The faceplate of a lock is a smooth piece of metal that covers the workings of the lock itself. Faceplates are most common in mortised door locks, but can be found in some other types, as well. A lock faceplace can be plain or decorative, and serves several purposes.
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Lock faceplates hide the less attractive portions of a mortised lock, and may be made from more costly or ornamental materials than the inner workings and lock casing. Antique locks often feature decorative faceplates with scrollwork or other ornamentation, while modern locks are more likely to be plain.
The faceplate of a lock also protects the interior from dirt, foreign materials and human interference. Faceplates usually cover the side of the lock that meets the door, and are not exposed unless the door is open, but they do keep the inner workings from being damaged.
Lock faceplates may be made from a variety of materials, including steel, brass and zinc. Some antique locks are made from iron or bronze, but these materials are prone to oxidisation and may require frequent maintenance.
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