Mortise Locks

Fitting a mortise lock, is a more difficult matter. Lay the lock right way up, against one face of the door, with the knob spindle and key-. hole in the horizontal centre hue of the middle rail. Then mark the doors edge at points level with the top and bottom of the locks casing. Square lines across from these marks and run fines down the edge with a gauge, as far apart as the thickness of the lock, and equidistant from the corners.

To begin the mortise, two holes are sunk with a bit of the same diameter as the thickness of the lock. The holes must just touch the top and bottom marks, be perfectly parallel to the faces of the door, and as deep as the length of the lock. Parallelism may be checked by means of a straightedge. The waste wood is romoved with a mortise chisel used down the centre, followed by a wido chisel on the sides to clear the hole to the required width.

When the lock has been persuaded into place – tight places can be found by rubbing the lock with coloured chalk or paint – it should be noted whether the front is square with the edge. If not, more wood must be romoved until things are right. The edge is then marked for countersinking for the front flange and false front of the lock, which must be let in level.

The next step is to measure off very care- fully on one face of the door the centres of the spindle and shank part of the keyhole. Bore through gently into the mortise; chisel away any splinters, and replace the lock. If the holes register correctly, well and good. If not, they must be enlarged in the requisite directions with a circular rasp or hot iron.

The holes on the farther side of the mortise may be bored with the lock in position, and through the holes in the lock, with bits or drills of suitable size. Take care not to splinter the door when coming through.

A Box Lock has two internal hooks on the bolt which engage with staples projecting from a plate screwed, to the box lid, and entering through holes in the locks top. This type also is sunk flush into the woodwork.

The Yah Lock, so popular for front doors, because very difficult to pick, and equally easy to fit, consists of a round barrel containing the key mechanism which is let into the door from the front and attached to a latch, with hand knob and safety catch on the inside.

A Dead Lock is a door lock with key.


After the look is in place the socket plate has to be countersunk into the door jamb at the right height, and the mortises for latch and bolt cut in the jamb.

Should the plate, when screwed on, not be in quite the correct position, ease the holes in it top or bottom, or along one side, as the case may need, with a file.

Other Locks

The straight cupboard lock is suitable for fitting right way up on either side of a cupboard door, as its bolt shoots in both directions. It is screwed to the back of the door.

A Till Lock is that most commonly used for drawers. It is sunk into the back of the drawer front and shoots the bolt upwards into a mortise.

Operated bolt, but no latch. The term latch is applied to any lock with self-closing latch like that of a door look, drawn back by a key or handle; but without a separate locking bolt.

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