Mortising doors for mortise locks...

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 mortising jig.
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?
Thanks
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blueman wrote:

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.
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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 door faces.
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...)
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blueman wrote:

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 the door.
Try it with a 2x4 or 2x6 and you will see that it is not that difficult.
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Robert Allison
Rimshot, Inc.
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blueman wrote:

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.
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You, sir, need to find out what a mortise lock is.
Here is a definition: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mortise_lock
Here is an example: http://www.sargentlock.com/products/mortise/product_group.php
______________________________ Keep the whole world singing . . . . DanG (remove the sevens) snipped-for-privacy@7cox.net
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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.
DanG wrote:

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Fast work for one of these. <http://www.coastaltool.com/cgi-bin/welcome.pl?ref=froogle+page=/a/port/pr513.htm 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) snipped-for-privacy@7cox.net
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<http://www.coastaltool.com/cgi-bin/welcome.pl?ref=froogle+page=/a/port/pr513.htm
Yeah -- that's the exact tool I would love to rent. But for $979 can't really justify for one door...
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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).

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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.
blueman wrote:

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If I were you, and looking to hire the job out, I'd find a handyman with good references to mortise the door. It'll cost a little less than the locksmith, and he (or she) will likely do a better job. Generally speaking, the locksmith cares about the lock working, and the handyman usually cares about the whole door- at least from what I've seen.
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blueman wrote:

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.
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It seems harder than it really is. Just work at it patiently, and I'm sure you'll do fine. I use a forsner or (in a pinch) a spade bit for these, then pare away with a sharp chisel using hand pressure only. No matter how tempting it is, set the mallet aside if you think you might blow out the side of the door.

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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. Cheers, cc
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Practice on some scrap pieces of wood until you get good at it. Then do the door.
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