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What Are Mortise Locks?

mortise lock installation

People usually use a mortise lock in the commercial security industry, and its design has stood the test of time as they are durable and reliable. Mortise locks can function for decades, and you can find these locks in old houses and buildings.

Furthermore, these durable locks have resisted the terrible weather conditions and time. Therefore, any locksmith near Miami-Dade County considers them good locks.

When a locksmith in Overtown, FL, client needs expertise, they can go to our blog or call us directly from our website for info when unsure what lock to purchase.

Brief History of the Mortise lock

Mortise locks were known long before the birth of Christ. They are mentioned frequently in the Old Testament and mythology. At this time, the experts made the mortise cylinder of wood. They were broad and crude in design, yet their principle of operation has been the inspiration of today’s modern pin-tumbler mortise cylinder.

Mortise locks are different and heavier than cylinder locks, and in their design, they use lever locks as a mechanism. The components of the mortise lock may vary slightly depending on the brand. However, the grounding principle is the same. These components have a solid metal construction, large springs, and come built out of very resistant materials.

The Difference between a Cylinder lock and a Mortise Lock

Unlike a cylindrical lock, the mortise lock parts come disassembled. So, you must assemble the lock in the door correctly. Therefore an experienced locksmith should do the job for you.

The mortises have parts that need assembly around a pocket and cut into the door to fit the lock. Also, the mortise lock is different from the unit lock, a pre-assembled lock that comes in the box just ready to be inserted in the cut area of the door.

The mortise lock parts:

mortise locks parts
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  • The lock body, which is the inside part of the mortise, is often seen cut out in the door
  • The handle or lock trim comes in some designs of doorknobs, levers, handle sets, and pulls.
  • The strike plate is a metal piece that keeps the hole in the doorway frame where you will fit it.
  • The through Spindle is a long metal rod that connects the trim lock through the door and mortise lock body.
  • The lock cylinder or keyed cylinder is the mechanism that operates the locking and unlocking function of the lock body when the user inserts the key. The mortise lock cylinder will have a cam, a rotating piece of metal that manipulates the handle’s ability to retract the latch.

Other features:

  • Escutcheon Plates or rose plates are responsible for fastening on either side of the door to create cohesion between the lock cylinders and handle.
  • Hard Collars – This is a metal ring that spins on the lock cylinder; by doing that, it prevents any tool from removing the cylinder.
  • Faceplate – The faceplate covers the internal systems of the lock’s housing parallel to the strike plate but on the door itself.
  • Day/Night Switch – This switch will lock the door from the outside and keep it unlocked on the inside or engage to keep both sides unlocked.

How to Install a Mortise Lock?

Mortise-lock installation
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Any homeowner can do the mortise lock installation with a basic understanding and knowledge of woodworking tools and methods.

However, the installation requires precise rectangular cutting holes within the edge of the door. The homeowner or locksmith will use the traditional mortising jig, which makes the job much more straightforward. This carved hole formed on the edge of the door will host the primary body lock, which the expert will need to secure inside the available space with screws.

The other part of the mortise lock is the strike plate secured over the door jamb, and where you should fit the locks into place to lock the door successfully. Nowadays, mortise locks use a lever mechanism instead of the old keyed cylinder locks.

If you would like to buy a mortise lock, we highly suggest calling your locksmith for advice and installation. Look at this small list of the best mortise locks on the market:

  • Yale PBR 8807FL
  • E 2330 Keyed Mortise Lock Set
  • Prime-Line E 2294 Vintage Style Mortise Lock

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