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Drilling and prepping a door for a deadbolt install is fun and tricky. How about 3 in a row!?
Today I had the pleasure of doing just that. Anybody and drill a few holes and slap on a deadbolt. That part is easy.
Taking the time to chisel out the latch and strike sets is the difference between professional and novice.

I start by inserting the latch in position and tracing the outer edge with a pencil. Once I have the outline I remove the latch and get out my chisel and hammer. I go over the outline with my chisel holding it strait on the lines to cut the groves. After I have a good depth on the outline I’ll lay the chisel flat and work out a few shavings of wood at a time. I’ll stop after a few centimeters, put the latch back in place and check my depth to make sure I didn’t go too deep.

If I’m not quite deep enough I’ll go over the flat surface again and take off a few more centimeters until I can get the latch to lay even with the edge of the door.

Once I get the latch set properly then I’ll go ahead and install the deadbolt. Next step is to work on the strike. There are many different ways to line up the strike. My secret is good o’l fashioned lipstick. I’ll put a thin layer on the end of the deadbolt. I’ll close the door and let it rest naturally as it would with normal usage. Then I’ll extend the deadbolt directly into the door jam. It will leave a mark on the door jam. That is where you drill the initial hole for the strike. Once you have that drilled to the proper depth to allow the lock bolt to fully extend then you are good to start setting the strike plate.

First, I’ll hold up the strike and start some pilot holes. Then I’ll screw the strike in place. I’ll close the door and make sure that the deadbolt fully extends into the strike without any problems. Now is the time to fix any problem Before we start the chisel work. Next we literally just do exactly what we did with the chisel work on the latch.

Once you get the strike to the proper depth so that it is flush with the door jam you are all finished. Test the deadbolt a few times from both the inside and outside to make sure it extends and retracts smoothly. If it does then you are good to go. If not and you feel drag or sticking, you may need to make some adjustments to the location of the strike.

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