How To Install Barrel Bolt Locks On Wood Doors


A barrel door bolt increases your security for either commercial or private buildings. A barrel bolt attaches to the inside of the door, can only be opened from the inside, and is easier to install than a deadbolt. Follow these directions to install a barrel bolt lock.

Prepare for Installation

To install a barrel bolt, gather the following: 

  • work gloves
  • tape measure
  • rag
  • screwdriver
  • torpedo level
  • pencil
  • medium-grit sandpaper
  • chisel and hammer
  • drill and one-eighth inch drill bit
  • barrel bolt lock

Determine a good height for the lock based on who uses the door. A suggested height is two feet over the door knob. If you have children around, you may want to place it higher.  

A position near the middle of the door offers more security, since an intruder could push against the door to loosen the screws on locks that are too close to the top or bottom. Mark the position on the door casing, or surface, then repeat to mark placement for the staple, the part that catches the bolt. Check evenness by using a level. 

Drill Pilot Holes

To make cleaning easier, spread a drop cloth around the work area. Position the bolt on the door casing mark with the barrel retracted, set it on the interior part of the door, and mark the screw hole placement. 

The edges of the barrel and door edge should be flush. If the door casing isn't even with the wall edge, chisel the door casing it until it is large enough to accommodate the latch. Avoid whacking motions that may damage the frame. Smooth the wood with sandpaper, and wipe sand dust.

Use the drill to make an eighth-inch pilot hole on the door face. Pilot holes help prevent the wood from splitting when you install screws.

Position the staple over the other pencil mark, trace the shape, then chisel a light recess around it. Detach the wood, and make a mark for the screw holes.

Install the Lock

Lay the barrel over the screw holes, and insert the screws partially using a drill and screw tip or a Phillips screwdriver. To fix splitting wood during installation, drill a larger pilot hole. 

Test the fit of the bolt into the staple, and make adjustments. The bolt should slide smoothly into the staple and not extend past the door jamb. 

For extra security, install an additional barrel bolt close to the first. If you doubt your skill to install the lock, or you prefer a keyless system, contact a commercial locksmith.


11 July 2017

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