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How to Install a Dead Bolt Lock

In this how-to video, This Old House general contractor Tom Silva shares his secrets for installing a keyed dead bolt

In this video, This Old House general contractor Tom Silva explains how to install a dead bolt lock.


1 Position paper template on door edge; mark center holes on face and edge.
2 Drill face hole using hole saw; drill from both sides to prevent splintering.
3 Drill edge hole with spade bit.
4 Insert dead bolt into edge hole and mark its outline.
5 Chisel out mortise for dead bolt.
6 Screw dead bolt to edge of door.
7 Screw dead bolt mechanism to door, with keyed cylinder on the outside and turn lever on inside.
8 Mark end of dead bolt with felt-tip pen.
9 Close the door, throw bolt to leave mark on doorjamb.
10 Use strike plate to mark dead bolt hole on doorjamb.
11 Drill dead bolt hole in jamb with spade bit.
12 Use utility knife to mark mortise outline for strike plate.
13 Cut strike plate mortise with chisel.
14 Set strike plate in jamb mortise and secure with long screws.
15 Close door and test dead bolt.


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