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How to Replace an Antique Mortise Lock

2012-01-04   Views:2

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Mortise locks were the precursors to today's modern latch-and-lock systems. They are flat, narrow mechanisms that you slide into a long narrow opening carved in the front of the door, as opposed to modern locks that you typically install on the sides

Mortise locks were the precursors to today's modern latch-and-lock systems. They are flat, narrow mechanisms that you slide into a long narrow opening carved in the front of the door, as opposed to modern locks that you typically install on the sides of the door. Mortise locks are simpler contraptions than today's latch assembles, and you can easily remove and replace them. You can find refurbished antique replacements or modern re-creations at your local hardware store or online.

Skill level:Moderate

Things you need

Multiple-bit screwdriverNew or refurbished mortise lock (purchased after you take out the old one)New doorknobs and threaded stems

Instructions

1 Take out the screw on the collar of one of the doorknobs and remove it from the stem. Pull the other doorknob out from the other side, taking out the stem.

2 Unscrew the two screws holding the latch plate to the front edge of the door (the screws are above and below the latch).

3 Use your screwdriver to pry the latch mechanism forward out of the door enough so you can grab hold of it from the front. Pull it the rest of the way out.

4 Buy your new mortise lock mechanism, using the old one to compare and make sure the dimensions are the same. Buy a new threaded stem for the doorknobs and new knobs, if desired.

5 Slide the new mortise lock into the long vertical opening on the front of the door, pushing it all the way in. Ensure that the latch plate sits flush against the front edge of the door as the old one did. Screw in the two latch screws to secure the latch plate to the front of the door.

6 Install the new doorknob stem onto one of the new (or previous) doorknobs, screwing in the threaded stem clockwise. Slide the other end of the stem through the square knob hole on the latch and screw the other knob onto the other end.

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