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Rack bolt

Rack bolt

Rack bolts are particularly popular fitted to sliding doors, at the top and bottom of the frame as extra security locks. These bolts are mortised into the edge of the door and therefore prevent somebody forcing the door open. If someone breaks the glass to force entry, it is difficult to see where the bolts are fitted and impossible to remove without the special fluted key. These locks offer extra security when the house is occupied.

Fitting a rack bolt

To fit a rack bolt, you will require the rack bolt, drill and bits, 3/4 inch (19mm) chisel, pliers, screwdriver. Decide on the position of the lock and mark the edge of the door with a pencil. Check that you have marked the centre of the edge. Drill a hole into the edge to the width and depth of the bolt. Check the depth by pushing the bolt into the hole. Place the faceplate over the top and mark its position on the edge of the door with a pencil. Use pliers to remove the bolt from the hole. Use the chisel to cut a shallow recess along the edge for the faceplate to fit into. Hold the bolt flush with the face of the door and mark the position where the key will be. Drill a hole through the inside face of the door only.

The bolt is now ready to be pushed into position through the door. Then screw the faceplate securely to the edge of the door. Place the key into its hole and check that the bolt operates efficiently. It may be necessary to enlarge the keyhole if it is not operating correctly. When the fitting is correct, the keyhole plate is ready to be securely screwed to the inside of the door. Next close the door and unwind the bolt to mark the doorframe. A quick help at this point is to smear lipstick onto the end of the bolt. When it is unwound to touch the frame, the lipstick will mark the position of contact.

Always check that you have the correct point of contact before proceeding. Drill an engagement hole at the point of contact and check that the bolt fits directly into the hole. Place the cover plate over the hole and use a pencil to draw around the edge. Use the chisel to cut out a shallow recess and then screw the cover plate into position. Test the movement as the bolt is screwed into the hole and adjust if and where necessary.

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