INSTALLING BALL CATCHES

The other day I was thumbing through a copy of a woodworking magazine at the newsstand and an article on installing a ball catch caught my eye.

While I was looking at the photos & reading the supporting text for them I kept coming to the conclusion that it seemed to be a bit over thought or complicated to me.

It also brought me back to an email I received awhile back from Orion where a customer wrote him to show off a jig he made to do the same thing.

The reason for Orion sending it to me was that he was a bit confused on how it exactly worked & he was wondering if I could walk him through this.

So a few days passed & one day while on my way home, while stuck in traffic, I started thinking about both of the examples (which I do realize both work) and that there had to be a simpler way.

So when I got home, I started to mock up a small cabinet & came up with a solution that requires a small jig & a clamp.  Listed below is how I went about making the jig & how to use it.

MAKING THE JIG:

Step 1: First, I cut a block of wood to the size of ¾” x 2” x 2”.

Step 2: Using my marking gauge, I divide the top across the length & width.  I then rotate the block 90 degrees & make the side the same way.

Step 3: I then head to my drill press & drill a 7/16” diameter hole though the block, top to bottom, at the intersection of my marks.  I then rotate the block 90 degrees & repeat the procedure.

Step 4: I then cut a piece of small plywood to be 2” x 3” & glue it to the face of my block.  (I make sure that 3 of the 4 sides are flush.)

That finishes the construction of the jig.

Using this jig I can locate the hole for both parts of the ball catch: 1” in from the edge & center on my ¾” door.

USING THE JIG:

To drill the hole for the ball piece, I clamp the jig to the top of my door.  Next, with a 7/16” drill bit I plow out the waste while being sure to stop at my depth mark.  (In this case I’m going high tech with painters tape!)

Then for the catch piece, I just clamp the jig to the inside top of the case while making sure the jig is pushed against the edge.  Using the same drill bit I again plow out the waste.

I then turn the case upside down & push the catch into place.

After flipping the case right side up, I then insert the ball part.  However, I was only able to push this in so far so I had to finish pushing it by giving it a few taps with my wooden mallet.

And then I simply tested the operation by opening and closing the door to see if the catch would hold.  It worked perfectly!

BONUS:

So you might be asking what was the reason for making the jig with two holes” (1 top to bottom & 1 side to side)?   It was so you could use it if you happen to have a profile on the case.

Instead of clamping the jig to the top of the case, you would simply rotate the jig 90 degrees & clamp it to the side of the case while still drilling up into the top for that catch.

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