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Jammed mortise lock

Discussion in 'Windows and Doors' started by Teasel, 28 Jun 2019.

  1. Teasel

    Teasel

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    We are half way through trying to change a mortise lock in a solid wood back door. However we have discovered that the lock is jammed in the mortise cavity. We have tried oiling it to hopefully break down any rust, easing out deadbolt with pliers, taking off the front plate incase it was misaligned etc, and all to no avail. There is glass in the door so don't want to be more forceful than necessary. The door is affected by temperature, so wonder whether the fibres might have swollen and dried into the lock components, impeding removal. I might try gently easing a blade down the side of the lock. Any suggestions gratefully received.
    As the door handle spindle had fused into the lock follower it had to be drilled out so we will have to replace the lock an handles. Can't afford a new door!
     
    Last edited: 28 Jun 2019
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  3. JohnD

    JohnD

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    photos please. Both sides, and the front.

    usually you can loosen the lock case by tapping the handle-spindle forwards with a light hammer. This will shift it within the space of the holes in the door faces, after which the fore-end of the lock will be exposed and you can lever it out top and bottom. When there is no spindle, a sturdy old screwdriver through the keyhole will move it a bit.

    Maybe the door has been painted without removing the lock and paint has cemented them together. Or maybe it is the rust.
     
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  4. opps

    opps

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    Seems very unlikely. It's not like the door is still growing.

    Running a knife around the visible plate will only help if there is paint fill. Be advised that the part of the lock in the door will be sufficiently thinner than the visible plate.

    I often use a thin screwdriver in the key hole and use that to prise the lock out.
     
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  5. big-all

    big-all

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    just a thought
    remove any handle and key furniture[plates] in case any screws are too long ??
     
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  6. foxhole

    foxhole

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    Handles are removed.
    If it was drilled out there may be metal fragments around the casing jamming it in the timber, did you drill it? or someone else? was a drill bit snapped during this process? You mentioned taking off the front plate to check alignment, it would have to be removed to access the fixing screws, which you removed ?
     
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  7. big-all

    big-all

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    mean on the side off the door onto the lock surface
     
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  8. wgt52

    wgt52

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    Is the face plate a two piece one? Some, better quality locks have two piece face plates which hides the retaining screws. You have removed the lock retaining screws?
    Use a half inch chisel to lever off the face plate or the lock out at top and bottom.
     
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  9. Teasel

    Teasel

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    Hi, thanks to you all for your replies. Sorry not to have responded sooner but only just saw them.
    I came to the conclusion that the lock had rusted over the years, badly corroding into the surrounding wood, and spent ages working on it tonight.
    Once I'd managed to bend and lever off the second plate, twisting and snapping the rivets I sprayed WD40 down the sides and top gradually removing the loosened rust. I'll continue in the bottom tomorrow. It's a mammoth excavation, but I'm getting there, slowly but surely.Where there's a will, and tenacity...although my patience will be tested, as I fear I will have to go through it all again with the French door!
     
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  11. Teasel

    Teasel

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    Many thanks John. I would've posted photos if I'd seen your message sooner. Although I managed to figure it out afterall, I appreciate your constructive comments. Yes, I have been using a screwdriver in the lock in the hope that it might aid removal.
     
  12. Teasel

    Teasel

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    Hi wgt52, thanks for your comments. I've figured it out, but no, it is/was a standard two X one piece face plate 2 lever lock. - I unscrewed the top one to access the retaining screws then levered the second plate off to get to the edges.
     
  13. Teasel

    Teasel

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    Hi Opps,
    As you see I did eventually figure it out and have been oiling and gradually removing rust. I reckon it had corroded into the wood over the past 30 odd years, so it'll take a while before I can lever it out completely.
    Thanks anyway
     
  14. Teasel

    Teasel

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    Hi big-all,
    I realised that it had corroded into the surrounding wood. There weren't any escutcheons or keyplates to remove and yes, I did wonder whether the the screws on the inside steel bolt might be too long, but thay turned out not to be the issie. Thanks anyway.
     
  15. Teasel

    Teasel

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    Hi Foxhole,
    Think I'm sorted. Just a matter of time and patience before it can be released from it's rusty cavity.Yes, I removed the plate screws, and the lock was already jammed before we drilled out the handle spindle which only resulted in steel filings which I brushed out immediately. Thanks anyway.
     
  16. JohnD

    JohnD

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    photos would have helped a lot. Still might.

    how wide is the lock case?

    As you are planning to replace the lock with a modern one, which will be wider, i have an idea.
     
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