How do I Replace a Mortise Lock With Rim Lock Woodwork?

Written by kristi waterworth Google
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How do I Replace a Mortise Lock With Rim Lock Woodwork?
Rim locks are commonly seen in older homes. (Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

Mortise locks are commonly found on older homes. Over time, keys for mortise locks become unreliable and a change is required. To preserve the look of an older home, many people choose rim lock deadbolts because they do not require the removal of the original hardware. Another advantage of rim lock deadbolts is the prevention of excessive damage to the door, which is often an antique and a unique feature of a home.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Power drill
  • Drill bit
  • Power screwdriver
  • Rim lock with included hardware

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  1. 1

    Place the box portion of the rim lock on the interior door face, with the edge of the box (not the edge of the latch portion that goes in and out) against the edge of the door. Select a location where there is plenty of wood around the lock. Mark the location and screw holes with a pencil. Generally, rim locks are installed above an existing mortise lock. Mortise lock removal can severely damage a door and destroy its integrity and is not recommended.

  2. 2

    Use the enclosed pattern to drill the keyhole out of the door face. Line it up with the screw hole markings and the keyhole will be exactly where it should be. Drill the keyhole and any additional holes recommended using a drill bit attached to a power drill that is the exact size of the keyhole. Pre-drill the holes for the screws if the door is made of a very hard wood.

  3. 3

    Attach the box portion of the lock to the interior door face using the enclosed screws. Attach the outside hardware through the holes drilled through the door. The face plate for the keyhole will feed through the front and attach through the box with a long screw to the back of the plate.

  4. 4

    Extend the latch and shut the door (making sure that you are on the inside). Fit the latch keep over the extended latch on the woodwork opposite the box part of the lock. Position the keep so that it is as tight as it can be against the door without interfering with opening and closing when the lock is unlatched. Mark the screw holes with a pencil.

  5. 5

    Attach the keep with a single screw in either corner, fasten them loosely. Double check that they are in the correct place by opening and closing the door again and extending the latch. If all is well, screw the remaining screws in the keep and tighten the first two.

Tips and warnings

  • The rare occasion may occur where the door's trim will prevent proper latching. In this case, carefully chisel the material away from the keep until everything fits together.
  • Do not remove the mortise lock from the door, simply make sure the mortise lock is set open. Removing a mortise lock is a very delicate procedure and can cause irreparable damage to an antique door because of the size and depth of the internal hardware. If you do not want to have a mortise lock in your door, it would be best to replace the entire door.

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