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A trick? Honestly, I have struggled along with you and countless locksmiths with this problem. Today, it is common for a company to supply screws that just barely reach the threads! And the view ain't that good, either! So don't consider yourself "klutzy"... consider yourself against a formidable foe... the desk jockey hardware designer!!
I usually just keep on trying, and eventually they do engage. As with most things "handy", the more you do it, the better you get at it! However, if you don't have the patience, just go to the hardware store and buy screws that are a quarter of an inch longer... this should make it easier because you will have a little more screw to hold onto and a better view.
Be careful, though. If you get screws that are too long, they may bottom out and not pull the lock securely against the door.
Another off the cuff approach would be to get a screw that is quite a bit longer… an inch or so. Then you can insert it through the lockset and into the other side with lots of room to see the threaded shaft. Once you have the longer screw started, slide both halves of the lockset tight against the door and install the other normal length screw. It will be easier to engage. Once tight, remove the long screw and insert the second factory screw in the hole.
I must warn you of a potential problem with this approach… on some locksets the doorknob interferes with tightening the screws, forcing you to hold the Phillips screwdriver slightly off center. Too long a screw might not be removable once the second screw is in place. So just get the second screw started, and then immediately extract the long screw. Get the picture?
Thanks for the kind words. You do know how to get on my good side!
The chain is mounted permanently on the interior molding on all the chain locks I have ever seen. The catch or slide is mounted on the interior of the door near the molding.
As far as the sliding doors go, go into the closet and take a good look at the mechanism. There are different types. Some (Stanley) have a large knob that is turned to raise and lower the door. Others require you to loosen screws to make this adjustment.
Look closely at the wheels and the hanger holding the wheels. Are the wheels worn or wobbly? Is the hanger bent? You will want to replace the hanger if either of these situations exist.
Sliding door hangers have a backset. The inside doors are often set further back than the front doors to prevent rubbing, so they have slightly different hangers. Bring the old hanger as a sample to the hardware store, and replace the hangers on either or both doors as a pair.
The door should clear the floor or carpet. If you have raised the door to its highest position and it still drags, you will probably have to cut a small amount of wood off the bottom of the door.
Have you tried the deadbolt with the door open? You did not mention whether you did or not, but this would eliminate the mechanism itself from consideration. Some locksets will bind internally if the mounting screws that connect the inside and outside plates of the lock are overtightened. Loosen them a few turns and see if this frees up the mechanism.
If the deadbolt otherwise works properly, the bolt must be rubbing on the strike plate as it extends into the pocket. Though you may have the bolt centered vertically, the opening in the plate must also be centered horizontally. It is quite possible that the bolt is rubbing on either the inside or outside edge of the hole.
To test this hypothesis, try to activate the deadbolt with the spring latch held in by turning the handle/knob on the lock. Is there a position that the deadbolt works smoothly? If so, then you need to either adjust the position of the strike plate inwards or outwards or, if there is no adjustment in this particular strike plate, use a metal file to slightly enlarge the strike plate opening so the bolt moves freely.
Sometimes, a bolt may not travel straight out, causing rubbing on the inside of the pocket in the door frame. Therefore, you must also look for any obstruction within the pocket and clean it out!