I'm installing a deadbolt to a steel door. There is only a sheet of metal and it is hollow (empty inside). I also need to drill the hole in the door jamb (frame of the door) so the bolt can go inside when locked.

Considering that I already drilled the 2-1/8 inches hole on both sides of the door (exterior and interior), and also the 1 inch hole for the bolt:

  • The inner side of the door (where bolt sleeve/plate would be attached) is flat. The bolt sleeve would not embed inside the door, and would prevent the door to fully/soft close. How to fix this? How to prepare this side of the door to embed the bolt sleeve? If it was wood, I could simply chip the wood to the required depth, but how to do it with metal/steel door (specially considering it is hollow/empty inside)?

  • Same question above for the door jamb. Same thing, it is flat. If I install the strike plate, it would prevent the door from closing properly. How to embed the strike plate into the door jamb?

Thank you!


2 Answers 2


Since you already have the holes drilled, it seems you will need to make this work somehow. The latches that are supplied in many new lock sets typically have a few face plate options for the strike bolts. Since these types of doors are made to accept dead bolts at the place they are assembled, you will have to use the 'Drive-in deadbolts' option that has no face plate for the edge of the door. It is typically a thickened ring that fills the rest of the 1" bore in the edge and held in place by a snug fit and the connection with the deadbolt cylinder.

You may need to ream the 1' bore a little more to get the bolt in all the way, If that is not practical, you may be able to reduce the outside diameter of the added ring on the bolt.

With the 2 1/8" bore, it will not handle the compression of the screws that hold the cylinder in place and will always come loose if the bore is not reinforced with properly sized wood blocks that will keep the thickness intact while the screw hold the cylinder in place. Metal will work too if you can get it the right size.

About adding a strike to the door jamb. It can be done, but to make it look nice and not hacked up it will require a lot of time and tedious cutting and gluing in inserts to receive the screws to hold the strike in place, all for the effort to make a "pretty" hole. I would in all seriousness, simply drill a 1" hole in the jamb and be done with it. It will be plenty strong. The metal strikes that come with latch sets are to strengthen the wood jambs to make them more secure. The meal jambs already are.

  • 1
    Thank you, could you please clarify the last paragraph? Why you say it will 'always come loose if the bore is not reinforced'? When the cylinders are connected to the latch and screwed together, they already have a perfect fit (don't move) plus they will be supported by the exact hole (2-1/8). I did not understand why you say they will always come loose if it's not reinforced. Thank you!
    – igorjrr
    Commented Aug 23, 2019 at 16:14
  • 1
    What @jack is trying to say is that you'll be squishing the door panels together by attaching the lockset. You need something near 1-3/4" between the door panels to prevent that. Commented Aug 24, 2019 at 0:46
  • @AloysiusDefenestrate is correct. It is not the size of the bore I was referring to, it is the hollow metal construction of the door is what I should have detailed better. Since there is no substantial material around the 2 1/8" hole, between inner and outer panel of the door, the screws will collapse the door thickness down to less than 1 3/4" thick. You could re-tighten the screws again, but it will work loose again. I will add more to the answer since I did not answer the second part of your question.
    – Jack
    Commented Aug 24, 2019 at 6:06

For hollow metal doors, I would recommend the Ames Door Lock support, which goes into the hollow door and keeps it from getting crushed or bent while installing the lock. The Schlage deadbolts (and other brands as well) will come with a reinforcing ring that goes into the small hole on the door so that it can be used without having to install a strike plate on the door itself.

https://doyleshamrock.com/product/ames-door-lock-support/ How do I find a replacement door lock for this?

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