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Installing deadbolt on a steel door

I have four steel exterior doors that only have knob-locks on them and I'd like to install a deadbolt for a little extra security. In the home centers I see kits for the installation of these locks but they usually only show pictures of wood doors.

My steel doors do not have any pre-cutouts for the deadbolt. The casing is wood, so I am OK using a drill/chisel there. But I have no idea whether I can install a deadbolt on a steel door. I see from Ask This Old House that Tom Silva has done the installation on a wood door at http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/video/0,,1631601,00.html

Re: Installing deadbolt on a steel door

You will burn the hole saw a little sooner but it should be no problem. Electricians around the world use hole saws to punch knock outs in panels and metal boxes every day.

A. Spruce
Re: Installing deadbolt on a steel door

If your steel doors are the typical residential variety, they are merely a sheetmetal skin over a foam core with a wood perimeter frame. You would use the same holesaw used to drill a wood door, spade bit to drill the bolt, and a utility knife and chisel to cut the mortise for the bolt plate. One important tip when drilling the large hole, let the pilot bit stick out at least 3/8" from the face of the holesaw. As the holesaw is cutting the door, gently and carefully "lean" the drill slightly is several directions so that as the holesaw cuts through the steel and out the other side it isn't as likely to bind as it makes it's final cuts. Once all the way through the first side of the door stop and remove the piece of metal from the holesaw. Continue drilling just until the pilot bit penetrates the other side of the door and stop! Now drill from the other side of the door. Stop when you penetrate the steel, remove the piece of steel from the holesaw, then continue drilling to completion. Using this technique (drilling from both sides ) will result in a cleaner hole and no sharp shards or edges, regardless of the door being wood or steel.

Hope this helps.

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