Taking out the mortise lock from the front door of a nice old house is not an easy task but it’s definitely not impossible either. You may want to remove the mortise lock and change it for something more modern or simply polish it up. Whatever your reason, this article can help you take out a mortise lock.
Locating the lock
The edge of the door has a long brass plate. It has a bolt and a latch along with a couple of buttons. On the inside is a knob that moves the latch and a thumb-turn that kicks the bolt. On the outside is a grip handle that has a small lever. The lever can be moved by a thumb and above the lever is the escutcheon and a lock cylinder.
Taking the screws off
Inside the knob, the shank has a screw or two that holds the knob on the spindle. Once you have backed off the screws you can unscrew the knob.You will find that the threaded spindles are in two halves. One half will simply out and the other half can then be tipped from out of the hole. However, if you find that the spindle is non-threaded, you will see that the set screw here goes into a hole on the spindle. When you remove the set screw the knob will off the spindle.
Remove the knob rose plate
If you just want to get the lock serviced, you don’t need to remove the knob rose plate but if you are painting the door you will have to remove it. You will find the knob rose plate with little wood screws.
Removing the thumb-turn
Held in place by two screws, you can easily take out the thumb turn by removing the screws.
Unscrew the lock cylinder
The lock cylinder is held in place by a set screw, threaded into the lock body. On the edge of the door, the cylinder set screw can be found in line with the cylinder. Here, you do not want to completely take out the screw but just loosen it up enough so that the cylinder turns 2-4 times. An easy way to do this is by inserting the key almost all the way in and then use the key to unscrew the cylinder.
Taking out the face plate.
Now it is the just two wooden screws at bottom and top that are keeping the lock body in place. You can slide the lock body out of the pocket if you extend the bolt. However, if the lock body is stuck, you can put a screw driver into spindle hole and pull a bit at it until the face plate comes out a little bit. What you should NOT DO is try to pry off the face plate. It will just mess up the face plate and the door. If you also want to take off the grip handle, it is either screwed in with wooden screws or has a bolt from the inside.