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Ahoy Locksmiths! How can I get this Catch down into this Aluminium Jamb?...

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Batpig's Avatar
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    Default Ahoy Locksmiths! How can I get this Catch down into this Aluminium Jamb?...

    Fellow Frustratees (& hopefully the odd Locksmith or two...)

    I'm changing over the Lock on the enclosed-front-patio Door to one that has a more secure key, but the current Lock's Catch isn't quite compatible with the Tongue of the new Lock. So I'm going to have to somehow sink the new Lock's supplied Catch down into the "ribbing" of the extruded-aluminium Jamb.

    The first photo below shows the current Catch (which is "captive" in the groove where it sits, but able to be slid out of the way...)

    The second photo shows the proposed new Catch. It's obviously wider than the old one, but it's still going to have to sit down in the same narrow groove.

    The third photo gives you an idea of the widths that I've got to work with when somehow digging out the aluminium ribbing to make way for the new Catch.

    current-catch.jpg new-catch.jpg not-much-room-work-.jpg

    Now, if you have a bit of a think about the second photo, you can see that the 3rd aluminium Rib from the left will have to be cut out all the way down to the back face of the Jamb, while the little "Flanges" sticking out to the left off the next Rib to the right will have to be cut back to their parent Rib (leaving the Web of this Rib in place will allow the furry little "Weather Seal" on the other side of it to remain unbroken...)

    As with most Idealistic Battlers , I'd like to keep the installation as neat as possible, so I'm wanting to avoid cutting all the way across to the said Ribs from the left side of the Jamb so that I don't cut through the other Ribs (which are there for a Sliding Insect Screen) along the way.

    So the obvious question is: What Tool, and what Bit or Blade, to somehow Cut, Grind, or Mortice my way down into the confined little area in question...

    Is there perhaps some sort of "Alligator" style Nibblers that are setup in the "levered" way that Bolt-Cutters are, so that I can get some real leverage on them to "bite" their way through the aluminium ribs. They'd have to have thin (as in height) jaws, though...

    Many Thanks Gentlemen,
    Batpig
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  2. #2
    Tool Addict TimberNut's Avatar
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    You're in luck!!! I just happen to be a qualified locksmith (now aint't that lucky!)

    the tool we always used in situations like this is a B&D Powerfile. You can buy them at Bunnies still I'm pretty sure.

    You have to take out a section of the extrusion, to fit the strike plate as you've mentioned. Stitch drill a few holes at a 45 deg angle into the extrusion to be removed (to remove the bulk of the waste), then grab it with a pair of multi-grips, a quick back-and-forth and it'll break out. Then clean up with a powerfile
    (or an old chisel works well through aluminium as well for a nice clean crisp line (but don't use a good woodworking chisel. I'll get crucified for suggesting that on these forums!!!!)
    My idea of housework is to sweep the room with a glance.

  3. #3
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    what about doctoring the tongue of the new lock to fit the old catch. Might be easier to muck around with.

  4. #4
    Tool Addict TimberNut's Avatar
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    Steveo, don't do that. It's a die cast tongue, and modifying that results in it binding in the case of the lock (or breaking depending on how much was removed).

    I've seen many DIY'ers try that. it doesn't work.
    My idea of housework is to sweep the room with a glance.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Batpig's Avatar
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    Dear TimberNut and Stevo,

    The new Catch is in. Elvis has left the building .

    First photo shows end result.

    Second photo shows about 2/3rds of the little Dremel-type Cutting Disks that I either wore down or broke in the process because I was too "tight" to buy a Power File ( ), and because the proper Dremel-type Grinding Disks were worse than useless up against the aluminium (even the green Silicon-Carbide ones...).

    Stevo - the existing Catch is held "captive" by the Jamb's assorted ribs and flanges anyway. Being cast, would probably be tough as guts to grind as well - even if I could get a clean shot at it...

    Anyhow, all's well that ends well. Thank-you Linesmen! Thank-you Ballboys!

    Best Wishes,
    Batpig.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails new-catch-place.jpg   worn-down-disks.jpg  

  6. #6
    Tool Addict TimberNut's Avatar
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    Batpig, well done!

    As mentioned previously you can actually take off a thin sliver of the aluminium with a chisel (providing it has a sharp edge). If you have any old ones lying around, just linish them to a sharp edge, and use it to clean up that rough edge sitting against the face of the strike. It'll come up looking like a professional job.

    In fact, if you have decent quality chisels they'll work fine and providing you don't try to chisel too much at a time, you won't even damage the edge of the chisel (but don't tell any dark-siders I said this - they'll want to hang/draw/quarter me for suggesing using timber chisels on aluminium).

    But hey, it's in now, and working, so unless you want to go back for a tidy-up of that edge, I guess it's all just blah blah blah now.......
    My idea of housework is to sweep the room with a glance.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Batpig's Avatar
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    Dear TimberNut,

    Thank-you for the advice regarding the use of a Chisel. I've actually got a Cold-Chisel that I keep nice and sharp for some crazy reason (this was obviously the reason - I just didn't realise it...).

    Anyhow, everything that could go wrong with the Catch did go wrong. If you look closely, you can see that the thing is actually sitting on a fairly-chunky Spacer-Plate (and I don't exactly carry spare chunky Spacer-Plates of exactly that width around in my Toolbox...). Also, if you have a good look at the two screws that are fixing it to the Jamb, you'll notice that they are different colours. This is because the thread on the supplied originals was too small and fine and before I knew it - pop! I'd stripped the thread that they'd just made in the holes I drilled for them in the Jamb... (and I didn't have my Mega-Box of Assorted Bottled Screws with me either! )

    But I got there in the end. Yep - the Power-File would have been great. I just over-estimated the aluminium-grinding ability of the little bogus SiC Grinding-Stones in my Rotary-Tool Accessory-Kit... I might have to get some Dremel-branded originals for any more aluminium grinding in the future...

    Best Wishes,
    Batpig.

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