Furniture Detective: Unlock the secrets of furniture locks - Antique Trader
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If the door has a big round ugly hole it will need to be filled first. The easiest way is to cut several rounds of plywood with a hole saw the same diameter as the hole you are filling. This is the same drill attachment that you would use if you were installing a modern door lockset. Use wood glue to stack the pieces in the hole until they are flush with the door surfaces.
On painted doors just putty and paint. With a stained door you will need to be more creative. They provide everything but the doorknobs themselves. Some are quite attractive but I believe that it's worth the effort to use all antique components. And we all know that nothing is easy in restoring old houses! If you have a steel door, either use modern hardware or replace the door. A rim lock is the easiest lock to install - bar none!
It is also very forgiving with old houses settling as they frequently do. If your door has not been drilled in the past, all the better.
If it has the large hole from modern locksets, see above for filling the hole. The side with the lock body will cover any repairs but you will need to be creative with the other side for the knob, rosette and key escutcheon if your door is stained.
Furniture Detective: Unlock the secrets of furniture locks
Actually, even if you leave the plug slightly showing these locks have a primitive feel and it will only contribute to the ongoing changes for the door. For the actual installation, first lay the lock body in position with lock at the edge of the door and mark the location of the doorknob spindle and key hole on the door. Drill straight through the door for the spindle. Drill another two holes for the key and chisel out any remaining wood between the two holes. Screw the lock body to the door.
Screw the rosette and key escutcheon to the other side of the door.
- Half Mortise Locks
- The following are questions I am frequently asked - with ANSWERS!
The keeper or catch is typically installed on the flat molding that is flush with the door itself. Simply close the door, mark where the keeper is to go and screw it on.
Ready for the hard stuff now? A mortise lock is definitely harder to install but is a must for the fancy Victorian hardware.
With a little care and patience you can do it yourself but you can always call in your contractor for help. Again, fill in any holes that may already be in your door. See lock diagram following for definition of terms in these directions. The position of the lock is typically in line with the door cross stile.
Mark the top and bottom of the lock casing on the door edge. Add a vertical center line to aid drilling. It is best to secure the door before drilling. Make a series of drill holes along the center line. Mark the drill bit with a strip of tape to know how deep to drill into the door. Use a chisel to smooth the sides of the mortise slot so that the lock casing will slide neatly into the door. Sit the lock in the mortise and mark the faceplate on the door edge.
You must now make a recess in the edge of the door so that the faceplate of the lock is flush with the door. Using a chisel make a series of cuts down the length of the door where the plate will sit. Then ease out the indentations made by the chisel to give you your recess. Hold the lock in position against the face of the door and mark the center of the handle spindle and the key hole.
Using a drill, make holes through the door for the spindle and the key hole. Make the keyhole the correct shape by enlarging the lower half. Three main lock designs Cabinet and chest locks come in three major designs: Mortise refers to the cutout portion of wood in which the lock is mounted. A full-mortise lock is fully enclosed by the drawer front or door in which it is mounted. Only the selvage, or top edge, of the lock is visible on the lip of the drawer or door, and nothing shows on either side.
Full-mortise locks are usually found on higher-quality 20th century pieces, although they are used in rare cases in 19th century goods. A half-mortise lock is exactly as it sounds — half exposed. The top selvage is visible, but so is the back, or lockplate, of the lock on the inside of the drawer front.
Also usually visible on a half-mortise lock are the screws or nails that hold the lock in place. The half-mortise lock is almost universal on 19th-century American and English case goods.
The simplest design is the surface-mounted lock that is not inset in the wood at all but is mounted with screws or nails flush to the inside surface of the drawer or door.How to Install a Half Mortise Lock
Most older and antique furniture locks work on the simple idea of a key moving a bolt through the lock and into the adjoining frame member.
The key usually fits over a center pin of a given size and rotates around it. The blade of the key engages a semi-circular cavity in the bolt and moves it forward or back, as the case may be.
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The bolt, however, may have a built-in resistance to impede the use of an unauthorized key. The resistance is a notch in the bolt that engages a surface of the lock housing and prohibits the bolt from moving. A spring holds the bolt notch fast to the face of the lock housing.
The key must not only be the right size to move the bolt forward and back, it must be the right size to compress the spring and release the bolt so it can move. Most bolts have two notches, one in the locked position and one in the unlocked position. In addition to correct barrel size and blade size, a lock may employ other features to prevent the entry or use of a bogus key. The most common is an inside ring of raised metal, concentric to the pin, that requires a notch in the key.
This feature is easy to overcome by inserting a new blank key in the lock and working it back and forth.