Replacing Rim Locks on Victorial Doors

29 Nov 2004
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United Kingdom
I hope this isn't a totally stupid question. I am having my internal Victorian 4-panel doors stripped of paint. In the process of restoring them, I want to replace the original rim locks with spindle and mortice latches which will require new holes to be drilled for the position of the new spindle. What is the best way of filling the original spindle and key holes so that they blend in as well as possible with the rest of the door timber ?
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People pay good money to fit original features such as rim-locks!

If you're sure you want to replace them, make sure the door is thick enough to take a morticed latch - this is one reason the rim-lock was fitted to start with.

To fill holes, use a holesaw and some scrap timber to cut out a circular piece of timber to match the door. Enlarge the hole in the door to take the new piece, glue in place and then sand flush.
Thanks for the reply HandyHands. I take your point about the door thickness; I did notice that the doors were not as thick as the newer ones I have elsewhere in the house. I haven't ruled out keeping the rim locks; it's just that the original ones had been covered with several layers of paint and had ceased to operate smoothly. I suppose they could be cleaned up though the keys to them are long gone.
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Replacement keys are not a problem - take the rim lock(s) to your local locksmith who will make a key up for them. Also keep an eye of ebay, as you'll find original or reproduction rim locks for sale - may be easier than stripping paint.

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