I need to mortise out a door to accept a Baldwin mortise lock.
I know that the tolerances are really tight (with errors being pretty
disasterous) and that locksmiths typically use a router with a fancy
However, I have not been able to find the jig in the local tool rental
shops, so I was wondering whether there are any reliable alternative
approaches or sources for a good jig?
What is really tight is the mortise for the plate that the
plunger passes thru (the one that you see when you have
installed the mortise lock). For the interior, it is not that
critical. You can do it with a drill and a good chisel.
First lay out the two areas to be mortised. There will be one
for the plate and one for the lock (a rectangle within a
rectangle). Select the proper size drill bit and drill a
series of holes within the layout marks for the lock. Use the
chisel to clean out the rest. Then, use the chisel to mortise
for the plate.
You should drill the handle holes after doing this, and from
both sides, rather than straight through the whole door.
My concern is that I need to keep the drilling & chiselling "plumb" or
otherwise I will "poke" through the door. My understanding is that
there is not much wood left standing between the mortise hole and the
I guess I could always just be careful, but this is not a mistake you
want to make (and maybe I should just dig into my pockets and get a
locksmith to come out to my house...)
Yes, but I think that you are overestimating the difficulty.
If you place the door on the ground and brace it to hold it
still, it is not hard to do. I have often done this with the
doors still hanging in the frame. I have never had a problem
with either the drill or the chisels coming out the face of
Try it with a 2x4 or 2x6 and you will see that it is not that
I'm not sure what the Baldwin lock is, but
normally any lock has a big hole in the side of
the door (key part) and a small hole in the edge
(plunger part). Some also require the edge around
the small hole to be chiseled for a plate.
If it is a normal lock then both Lowe's and HD
carry a jig plus hole drills for locating and
drilling the holes accurately (about $12 for a
wood door and a bit more for a steel door).
Chiseling for the flat plate (plunger end) is
usually done freehand.
The jig is nailed or screwed to the edge of the
door and the nail/screw holes are filled after use.
You, sir, need to find out what a mortise lock is.
Here is a definition:
Here is an example:
Keep the whole world singing . . . .
DanG (remove the sevens)
Right you are, and I did. I've never seen a
mortise lock in a newer home. But, it sounded
like the OP simply meant a standard lock with a
plate around the plunger mortised into edge of the
door. On rereading it, he probably did mean a
true mortise lock. He ought to have someone else
do it for him if he isn't skilled with hand tools
and be prepared to pay a lot.
Fast work for one of these.
I own one, but for only one door, I usually do it with bits and
chisels. The fit for the mortise box and scalp plate on the door
edge do call for a router template whether one or many.
Keep the whole world singing . . . .
DanG (remove the sevens)
Yes I did mean a true mortise lock and our home is by no means new (at
least by U.S. standards) since parts of it were built back in the
1700's and the rest in 1870.
Even so, true mortise locks, like the Baldwin Estate series, are used
commonly today in many high end homes.
Personally, I love the solid feel of the hardware and the ability to
have both a standard plunger and a dead bolt in the same mechanism.
Still debating though whether to do it myself or pay the several
hundred dollars the local locksmith wants for the installation (plus
his marckup on the lock itself).
Well that's what I get for assuming, but I would
have assume correctly about 95 percent of the
time. And the date of your house explains it.
Don't know about a high end house. High end here
currently means $500,000 and above, but in CA
my low end house would be above $500,000.
In the west a house built before 1850 is old, old,
but then only a few trappers were around before
1850 in many places. You ought to see a one of
the first houses in Boise -- log cabin about 10
feet by 15 feet. Not exactly high end. Kind of
high end with all the money the spent on
preserving the wreck.
Drill through a hardwood block and use it as a guide when drilling into
the door. Handheld doweling jigs also make great drill guides if you
don't have a drill press or other accurate way to make the guide block.
I've always just done them by hand with a chisel and then drill out the hole
for the bolt. If you're bent on using a router (which makes sense if
you've got a bunch to do), there are templates available but you can easily
make one with a small piece of ply. Just cut the template taking into
account the bearing on your router and voila! you've got a template.
On Sunday, October 15, 2006 10:20:30 PM UTC-7, blueman wrote:
Yes there is but you need patience.
I had a chinese mortise lock set my friends got in China of all places.
First of course you will need to router your outer flange area that will ho
ld the mortise lock in place.
Next, I was able to go to Home Depot and buy a 5/8" dia hole drill bit for
my drill. I installed the bit on my drill with the shaft at it's "utmost ex
tended portion" of the shaft. (I used a drill with a hand tightened chuck).
Usually the lock set has a pattern so I marked were my lock set was going
to be using this pattern. You have to make sure your drill is at a 90 degre
e angel at all times while drilling the gap out. I had to use about 7 holes
befroe I was done.
Next, I got a very sharp wood chisel and a hammer and cleaned up the edges
going deep into the wood. Get a vacuum cleaner to clean out the hole from t
ime to time so you can see what you are doing.
It may be rugged but if you are careful you will get the mortise hardware i
n the gap easily.
Next using your stencil pattern mark your holes, drill the holes then insta
ll the lock.
Mine turned out pretty god.
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