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Help with replacing a ball catch

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--Tom--

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With Lockdown in effect it’s a chance to tick some things of the round to it list, one of which I would appreciate some thoughts on.

There’s a broken ball catch on this cabinet door (ercol model 351), for which I’ve managed to source a replacement
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Any ideas on how to extract the old one without damaging the recess?
Guessing the old one is glued in so am expecting to need to drill it out unless there’s a better plan. If the ball bearing is jammed I imagine that’s going to interfere with drilling, any thoughts on if it’s likely to be hardened?
 

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Mike Jordan

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I'm certain that the ball will be to hard to drill. I suggest you try a flat blade screwdriver very slightly wider than the hole in the brass portion. Tap in tight and then try twisting to see if it moves. An appropriately sized tap or modified bolt might be run into hole and used to pull the catch out.
 

--Tom--

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Cheers, trying to thread something in to pull it out was an idea I’d toyed with but sadly nothing suitable to hand. The screwdriver technique is worth a try, if I can break any glue bond it should pry out
 

sunnybob

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Is the ball loose inside?
It is held in by the brass outer rim being squeezed narrower than the diameter of the ball. If you use a large drill you can carefully ream out the top of the brass tube just as you would countersink a hole. Once all the top brass is gone, turning the door upside down and tapping it should remove the ball. If not, a magnet on a stick will pull the steel ball out. Then you can drill or twist the rest of the brass tube out.
 

--Tom--

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So, took a bit of a struggle, but it’s out

Used a carbide burr to make a slot for a screw driver- well I tried but the bit was blunt and so it was slow going

Managed to twist it, very tight but meant any glue bond was broken

Found a bolt with a thread slightly bigger than the hole, could get the thread started but wasn’t enough space before the ball to get enough engaged to be able to get any purchase

Success came by drilling a hole in the side and then using a punch to tap / pry it upwards to then get a thin pry bar underneath to get it up enough to get pincers on it

Good news is the replacement I got is exactly the same size, so success.


Cheers for the helpful tips
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