Can a lock part be $250.00?

I have a mortise door lock - no idea what brand and what model. It is missing two pins and took it around to different locksmiths and no one knows how to fix it. Finally this locksmith told me if I left the mortise with him:
http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2005-10/1090906/lock1.JPG
This is what the lock with handles look like:
http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2005-10/1090906/sideview.JPG
Now after a few days he called me back and said he found a replacement mortise. He said it will be $250 just for that part.
Now I know there are expensive locks out there like Baldwin and they run $200 or over, but that includes the handles and hardware. Can a mortise be actually $250 on a nameless lock? Can he be trying to rip me off? He would not tell me where he found it or what brand it is.
Thanks in advance,
MC
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If he tells you then you don't need him any more. He probably has found a new lock assembly rather than parts. Since it is much different than todays locks it is expensive. You can fit a modern lock to your door if you wanted to modify your door.
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On Fri, 14 Oct 2005 21:35:52 -0700, "Pat"

Exactly.
When I was a freshman in college my radio had a hum. The guy at the repair store wanted 10 dollars for the part and 15 for labor, an awful lot of money in 1964. More than the cost of the clock radio, I think.
I didn't mean anything bad by it, but I asked if I could buy the part** and put it in myself.
**I meant, Can I buy it from you, but I don't remember if I said "from you"
He got definitely angry, and I left with the radio.. He had made the mistake of saying filter capacitor, or something, and I read or asked others a bit about it. Wwhen I was home a few weeks later, I found a suitable part for a dollar and soldered it in myself.
It was a college neighborhood and he was sick of being treated this way. OTOH, it was a college n'hood and one must expect that they don't know how much repairs cost and don't have much money either.
And I am sure he diagnosed the problem in 10 seconds. I can now.
mm

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mm wrote:

So, naturally, now you spend your life giving away that knowledge for free to help those who don't wish to pay for it.
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On Sun, 16 Oct 2005 13:18:27 -0500, clifto wrote:

Do you have a problem with people teaching others? Maybe you're in the teacher's union?
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l had a part-time repair service for about 3 years, and iirc, no one ever asked for details or how to fix something, Most of my customers were students at the nearby college and my charges were low, $15 for a B&W tv and 20 for color, plus 5 dollars more for each other separate problem the set had.
If one had asked a simple question like I asked, , I would have told him the answer, and expected to lose a customer, but I'm not expecting someone who does this full time and needs the money to live on to do that.
I remember now. I didn't leave the radio and come back for it. I got there, he plugged it in, and he immediately told me what it was and what it would cost. Like I said 10 seconds for diagnosis, and let's add another 15 for the radio to warm up. If the price is too high for me, I have no obligation to him at that point.
Now, none of the people I know, friends and neighbors, know how to fix anything, except one guy. I tell him everything I know. And most people try to install software, fix problems, etc. on their computers, and I tell them everything I know.
But in my story, he yelled at me. I intended to buy the part from him and install it myself. It was an innocent question. If he had said, "No, I can't do that.", or even "You'll probably have trouble with that", I either would have left the radio to be fixed, or I might have decided that 25 dollars was in 1964 too much** to fix a simple clock-radio. If the latter, I might have just given the radio to him*** if he wanted it, but he yelled at me. So I took it with me. Someone else might have just thrown it away then, but I had been fiddling with electiricity since I was 9 years old, and I figured I could fix it.
I don't like it when people yell at me. It was an innocent question and all he had to say was No.
**My mother got the clock-radio free for opening up a savings account, and I at least didn't know what the retail price was. Maybe less than 25 dollars.
***I do give things to repairmen. This summer I gave two gas lawn mowers to a guy a mile from here who fixes mowers. One he sold me 2 or 3 years ago, and it never worked well (He had told me at the time that he hadn't finished working on it, but it was the only one he had left, so I bought it), but I *gave* it back to him. I didn't ask for my money back. And the other one worked pretty well, but stalled more often than it should and the gas tank had just started leaking. He fixed the first one, and probably the second already, and he has probably sold them by now.
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Follow-up on this. I still have no doubt I wasn't required to have him fix the radio, even if he hadn't yelled at me, and that afterwards I could do anything I wanted to with the radio, including fix it myself.
But this morning, only a couple hours after I posted what is below, I went into the kitchen and turned on the radio. It's one of my favorites, because it gets stations from DC that other radios don't get. It was an expensive radio from the 70's or 80's that I bought at a charity rummbage sale for maybe 10 dollars.
And this morning, there was the 60 cycle hum in it. Maybe it will go away tomorrow, but I doubt it. Quite a coincidence, huh.
This is the first radio in 10 or 20 years, and I have one or more in every room, to come up with 60 cycle hum. I have a discarded tv that I think has 60-cycle hum, but I haven't had time tto check it out, and it had it when I got the tv, so that wouldn't count. OOOEEEEOOO
wrote:

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knows
be
would
I used to do a bit of locksmithing back in my university days (25 years ago); I've never been formally trained but I did repair, rekey or replace a few hundred locks so I probably know a little bit about the subject.
I think the key point is that you seem to want to replace a single major part of a lock, rather than the whole lock. That is almost guaranteed to be difficult since you are probably going to end up trying to mix and match parts from different locks, very possibly by different manufacturers. A locksmith might conceivably have or find the main assembly from a mortise lock of exactly the right year and model for a used lock of indeterminate age. On the other hand, it is a lot more likely that the parts he will have or be able to find will be for newer locks by different manufacturers. So what are the odds of a mortise assembly from a different manufacturer to be "close enough" to the one you want to replace? Not too good is my guess; roughly the chances of a carb from a new GM car being "close enough" to replace the carb of a 30 year old Honda.
You'd be a lot better off replacing the entire lock than trying to find parts for it, unless it is a very common lock or a very new one. Then again, I never had many occasions where I tried to look for parts for locks; the locks we were using were in the $25 range and often worn out or abused so it made more sense to replace them with new ones or use cannibalized parts from other broken locks - it was a university residence so there were always some spares around - than to make a lot of effort trying to find new parts for the locks from locksmiths.
Still, if you feel like doing a bit more work, you might try determining the brand of lock and contacting the manufacturer of the lock to see if they have parts. Most locks I've seen have a manufacturer name stamped somewhere on the lock or latch (or both). Look for names like Dexter, Best, Weiser, Schlage, etc. If you can determine the manufacturer name and the company is still in business, you might very well find a website with a customer service number or email address; then you could contact them to see if parts were still available for your lock. The first picture will be invaluable in helping them identify the exact model.
You may also want to consider something other than a mortise lock; a deadbolt, for instance, is probably more secure.
I think you're on the right track in consulting a professional locksmith. I wouldn't want to buy a lock from some guy working in a hardware store or an associate at a department store: they're not likely to know much at all about locks.
Rhino
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http://images.google.com/images?svnum0&hl=en&lr=&newwindow=1&safe=off&q=lever+door+handles
warning this link will take you to over 2500 pictures of door handles.
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A few possibilities: He found the part and the company making them wants a fortune for it He made the part and it took a very long time to make it. He's screwing you
Comes down to just how much you want that lock fixed. For the price, you can probably replace the entire door and paint the room to match.
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Is there nothing on it that indicates a brand? Is it old? How old? Do you know who built the house? If they're still in business then ask them what locks they used.
If there are other houses in the neighborhood that used the same hardware then ask around for ones left over from remodeling efforts. I managed to pickup a number of spare handles and doors for another house when a neighbor decided to renovate.
Given the odd size of that assembly it's unlikely you'll find something that will fit it perfectly. With luck you might find something close. But if not it's really not all that hard for a decent woodworker to refit something new. The door would probably end up needing to be repainted but the job could be done well enough to look good. Probably trigger repainting the nearby trim and room though...
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On Sat, 15 Oct 2005 11:12:55 -0400, "wkearney99"

When I bought my house when it was four years old, the owner gave me docs for almost everything, including the bathroom fan AND iirc the front door locks.
OTOH, when I wanted to buy matching carpet and kitchen vinyl, the woman at the carpet store (he had saved that receipt too. He bought that himself) told me that when they leave scraps, the housewives call up and complain that they didn't clean up.
?? Is this really true, or do they do it on purpose so that we'll have to buy a new floor sooner?
She sold me some matching vinyl linoleum, whatever amount I asked for, but had none of the carpet left. (The seller of the house said that when he spilled paint inthe middle of the bedroom floor, he had to cut a patch out of a closet. But I've been in all the closets and I never found a hole.)

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On Fri, 14 Oct 2005 21:18:21 -0400, "miamicuse"

I you sure you can't make the pins yourself. Start with a bolt and grind the threads off, or a rod and stack washers around it, or something. (You can cut the bolt off with the same grindstone, after the other dimensions are good.)
MY mother's power window on her Chrysler broke. When I looked inside it was 2 of the 3 little plastic barrels that had burst. But Chrysler only sold a full repair kit for $65. I made copies out of dowel rod, and it worked but only for 2 or 3 ups and downs.
So I went to a plastic store and bought a rod made out of nylon. An 8" scrap and it was only a dollar or two. Put it in a chuck, and turned it down a bit with a surfform. Cut two pieces off. Worked fine. I still have enough for 6 more pieces, for other Chryslers.

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miamicuse wrote:

I looked at the pics and it looks like a Baldwin. I would think about replacing the mortise lock with a new Baldwin. Baldwins are primarily brass and the insides do wear out, but take many years. You may get lucky and find one that fits the opening.
Good luck
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On Fri, 14 Oct 2005 21:18:21 -0400, "miamicuse"

Sure it can. If he "found" that a machine shop could quote him for it, figuring dimensions and shaping it from stock steel, that is actually real cheap. Otherwise, for a lock part, it is ridiculous.
FACE
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