Alternatives to Ball Catches

Ball catches don't work well when doors and jambs move from seasonal humidity changes. Here are some suggestions for other hardware. January 14, 2013

I have to deal with some interior double doors that were built with spring loaded ball catches. The ball catches are set into the knob side top edge of the door and the strike plates are located just above in the head jambs.

All this sounds like a good, clean, solid system, but in reality the catches require seasonal adjustment due to house movement. When set just right, the doors snap solidly closed. When out of adjustment, though, either the ball assembly rubs the strike or the ball isn't high enough to properly seat in the strike.

The only solution I've come up with so far is adding some heavy duty cabinet door magnets to the doors. I would then spin the adjustable ball catches down so that they give some resistance to closing but are no longer used to actually catch the door.

Anyone know of alternate solutions?

Forum Responses
(Architectural Woodworking Forum)
From contributor D:
Hoppe has tapered shootbolts, head and foot. Door alignment can be out about 1/8" and they'll still go into the strike plates, pulling the door in tight to the weather stripping as they engage fully.

From the original questioner:
Thanks. These are interior closet double doors, though. Both are free swinging - neither is fixed. I think you are describing a slide bolt that would fix one door in place and the other door would close to itů correct?

From contributor S:
We typically specify roller catches now over ball catches for interior paired doors with no active latching. The better ones are adjustable in height as well as the tension. Seasonal movement is not a problem, within reason. Deltana and Emtek are two makers, fair quality.

We have used rare earth magnets on large cabinet doors with success. They can be placed in a cup and the other side is merely a screw and washer. Or they can be veneered over and disappear. Lee Valley has what you need to play with magnets. This is more time-consuming, but a good solution. Seasonal movement will not affect them.

From contributor D:
Good quality and good price roller catches can be had from Cal-Royal Products.

From contributor B:
Try Colonial Bronze double ball catches. They are on their web site under architectural products.