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!
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.