Installing a Ball Catch for Interior Doors
A ball catch is generally used on linen closet doors where a latch is not used or needed, but it can also be used on kitchen cabinet doors or where two double doors meet without a center door jamb. They're used primarily for interior doors and can be used almost anywhere for light duty use. The ball catch comes in two pieces with a variety of finishes and colors available. One half contains a spring loaded ball, and the other half (the striker) has a cup or small U-shape formed in the middle. The ball catch can be mounted on the top, bottom, or side of the door. Here is a how-to on mounting this type of hardware in your interior doors.
Step 1— Drill a Hole
Using an electric drill, drill a hole on the edge surface of the door at the location you desire.
Step 2 — Mount the Strike Plate
Mount a strike plate on the door jamb that is opposite to where the spring loaded ball catch location is. This holds the door closed. A pull on the door will release the catch. When installing the strike plate, be aware of the following two issues:
- Lining up the striker and ball catch properly.
- Determining the depth of the recessed hole that is needed for proper operation.
In order to make your life easy with regard to making sure the depth is right, purchase an adjustable unit which can be made longer and shorter to achieve the proper tension against the striker.
Addressing the task of lining them up is a bit harder. Use some carbon trace paper with the shinny carbon facing against the opposite surface where the ball catch is located. Hold the paper in this area and close the door. The ball catch will roll over the paper when you close the door and make a line on the surface. Where the line stops or ends is the middle location for the striker cup. Mount the striker according to this line.
Step 3 — Add the Door Handles
Dummy door knobs, fancy handles, or anything you can imagine can be used on the doors because you don't need to turn them in order for them to open or close. A slight tug is all that you will need to do.
Step 4 — Lubricate
Add a little bit of a light oil on the ball catch, and wipe off the excess. This is all that is needed in order to achieve smooth operation and years of trouble-free service.
In some cases where the doors may remain open (an example of this might be French double doors leading into the dining room), it would be better to place the ball catch in the frame portion at the top, and the striker cup on the door top edge. This will prevent a mark on the frame, which would be made by the ball catch rolling over the frame until it reached the cup.
You now have a door that will stay closed without a traditional door knob!