Custom strike and nickel plated key are included. Iron nickel plated case with nickel plated key.

Antique Furniture Lock Repair Furniture

Nickel plated metal case and centered cylinder. Comes with one nickel plated rose and two keys. Rounded brass plated faceplate, measuring approx. Most of us in the real world (at least as we perceive it and ourselves) are considered to be hardworking, easy to get along with and above all, honest individuals.

For the most part we are not politicians or lawyers so that description is fairly universal and fairly accurate. Otherwise why would there be the need for those inevitably cranky, non-functional, generally aggravating locks on what are otherwise very nice pieces of older and antique ?

If it didn’t or it wasn’t, that was fine too. locks are classified by how they are fitted to the piece. The basic categories are full mortise, half mortise and surface mount. This describes the way the lock is mounted into the door, drawer or frame.

A full mortise lock is totally concealed within a space below the surface. Only the top edge, called the selvage is visible. No part of the lock body is accessible without removing the entire lock from the wood, a trick but not impossible. The body of the lock is fitted into a mortise in the wood and mounted so that the backplate is flush with the interior surface. The backplate is screwed or nailed to the interior surface. A surface mounted lock is usually a cheap 20th century innovation that requires no cutting of the surface to mount. It screws directly onto the interior surface and protrudes into the interior of the cabinet or drawer. These are often used as “quickie” fixes by some restorers who are not familiar with the inner workings of locks. Since most people are frustrated by a door or drawer that is apparently locked and since most of us are conditioned to accept locked spaces as “off limits”, furniture locks actually don’t have to be that secure and almost any determined interloper can gain access. The most frequently encountered problem with old locks is neglect and abuse. Quickly inspect the lock to determine if all the pieces appear to be present – the bolt, the interior center pin, the selvage. A couple of shots will have the same effect as whiskey on a barfly – it will loosen right up. Use a stout steel key to work the lock back into order. If the piece has previously been stripped but the worker doing it was too lazy or too ignorant to remove the locks first, you may have to pull the locks and clean out the old finish and stripper residue before there is any hope of making the lock work. If that doesn’t work or if you don’t have a key at all, then its time to get serious. The operating heart of most furniture locks, excluding “grab” type locks used on chest lids, is a metal bolt that slides across the lock and fits into a mortise cut in the frame that surrounds a door or drawer. This prevents the door or drawer from moving. The blade fits into a semi-circular slot in the body of the bolt and as the key is rotated the bolt slides either horizontally or vertically, into and out of the locking mortise. To make sure the bolt doesn’t just flop out of place again once it is locked (or unlocked) an internal leaf spring keeps tension on the bolt, holding it into a notch in normally two pre-determined positions, locked and unlocked. Only the action of the key, slightly lifting and sliding the bolt can overcome the spring tension. So all you have to have is a key – that fits. First, the blade must actually fit into the opening in the lock itself. Then it must the right length to a) engage the bolt, b) compress the spring exactly enough and c) move the bolt through the entire range of motion. Unlike most old interior house door locks which use “skeleton” keys with a solid shaft, furniture locks use barrel keys which are partly hollow on the business end.

Antique Lock Restoration

That is so the key can fit over a pin, which is installed in the center of the lock. The key uses this pin as a fulcrum to apply the required force to activate the bolt. We’ve got a key with the right size blade and the right size hole in the barrel. Sometimes there are some primitive anti-intruder devices that must be defeated. The most common of these is a raised semi-circular ring, concentric to the pin mounted onto the plate of the lock. This ring keeps a key from entering the lock far enough to engage the bolt – unless it has a slot cut to the right depth, located in the right place on the face of the blade. Since it is usually too difficult to look inside the lock and determine the depth and placement of the ring (or rings – some locks have more than one) the easiest way is to let the lock mark them for you.

You can easily alter the brass blank by filing the blade to fit and drilling the barrel to fit the pin. Press it into the lock as far as it will go and, while applying as much pressure as you can, move the key from side to side. When you pull out the key there are the marks on the brass key made by the steel security ring that shows you exactly where to cut the notch with a hack saw!

The most devilish of the security devices is a set of internal, randomly spaced, spring held levers that be must aligned into a predetermined position to allow the bolt to pass. The other common problems with locks are missing center pins and broken or missing springs. Both can easily be remedied but they generally require disassembly of the lock itself. Center pins were pressed into position into the back plates. When they work loose and fall out they can be replaced by a metal screw that fits the hole. It may have to be held in place with some epoxy glue to reinforce it. Missing or broken springs are recognized by the loose action of the bolt, falling freely into or out of the body of the lock. Spring replacement requires the removal of the bolt. At the rear of the bolt is a tiny slot where the leaf spring was installed.

Antique Locksmith Services Chicago IL

If it is broken off in the slot remove the stub with a tiny chisel or screwdriver. Then hammer the appropriate length of a modern bobby pin into the slot. The bobby pin is a natural spring and will allow the lock to work again. Practice with locks is the key — that and collecting as many types and sizes of keys as you can from the local flea market, lock shop and antiques show. Soon you will be breaking into old cabinets at will. Just don’t let the kids see how you do it. A half mortise lock is implanted part way in the wood but leaves the back plate visible from the inside. A surface mount lock is simply nailed or screwed to the interior surface. This diagram show the parts of a half mortise lock. These keys are all “notch” keys with cuts in the face of the blade. This illustration shows how a notch key works over the internal security ring of a lock plate.

Often people lose their keys when the pieces are locked. Many antique furniture pieces including curio cabinet s, use really old hardware made from brass and iron. Many of the locks are small and can be rusting. The impression system of key fitting is the one skill that is unique to locksmithing. Impressioning is used daily by few locksmith technicians these days and the art and talent is diminishing. Impressioning enables the use of a keyblank, some hand files and some practised techniques to produce working keys to locks without the need to dismantle the piece of furniture.

Largely, there is also rarely any damage to the woodwork, which is a good thing, because this maintains the value of the piece. How does one impression an antique cupboard lock?

It is a talent that few tradesmen technicians still use today. It definitely requires practise, but it save the needs to dismantle a perfectly good lock. Mortise refers to the cut out portion of wood in which the lock is mounted. Locks210 encourages public discussion on articles of interest. He not only gave me the quote and fixed the exterior door and explained his work. He came in time took care of it on the same day.

I had ordered new handles and he was honest enough to say that we don't need them that he can fix the doors and he did. Am very, very pleased with the service and cost. He was there when he said he was going to be there. All doors have 1 matching key and the safety of excellent quality product and workmanship. Arrived early, fixed door and explained what he was doing during repair.

They came out, did the job (which took longer than expected) and they did not change the price they quoted me.

I will be calling on him again in the future as well as passing on his services to friends and family. He stayed until 8:00 until the job was done, and cleaned up afterwards. Was very pleasant and explained the situation and how to keep the door from sticking in the future. He had very reasonable pricing for re-keying.

I received three phone calls within several days. He was persistent and cleaned up the work area afterwards. This was vitally important as this particular waiting room was for "waiting detox patients". He also gave me some information about other issues that could arise with my door and locks. Dan worked a long time drilling and sanding to shore up the door as best as possible. He could have easily sold me a new door and the same issue would happen. He was honest, thorough, and did an excellent job without charging me a fortune. The purchase was quick and easy and the lock was shipped immediatly. But you do need to convert millimeters to inches (use the internet) in the installation instructions. And the lock looks great and works great. All products are dispatched within 10 business days of remittance. All products are subject to manufacturers warranties. All products returned within 30 days, will be 95% refunded less shipping. Danny served as an apprentice in small, medium and large businesses.


Danny has other certificates in physical security products and services from multiple manufacturers. Danny is well qualified to offer advice on physical security products and services. He was prompt and got us back into our house right away. Professional, friendly and reasonably priced.

I would highly recommend him to anyone requiring the services of a lock smith. The antique style of the wardrobes can include a locking mechanism, which is usually separate from the pull handle and may work with a skeleton-type key. The hardest part is finding a lock that fits; check your local antique markets as well as locksmiths. Examine the front and back of the wardrobe door to find any screws holding the lock in place. Some have external screws, while others pop off. Unscrew visible screws with a screwdriver. When no screws are visible, slide a flat-head screwdriver under the outside of the lock and gently push it away from the wood of the wardrobe to loosen it. Put a piece of poster board under the screwdriver to help keep it from damaging the wood. Remove the front and back pieces of the lock. Unscrew the screws holding the strike plate in place. There are normally two screws on the strike plate. Remove the strike plate and pull the locking mechanism out of the wardrobe door. Place the pieces and screws in a zip-top bag and take them to an antique market or locksmith to buy a matching lock, or at least one that uses the same size opening. Push the new lock assembly into the hole in the wardrobe door. Tighten any screws that hold the assembly in place. Place the strike plate on the side of the door and tighten the screws slightly. Test the lock by turning the key before tightening the screws fully; the new lock may require you to move the strike plate slightly up or down to allow for a full range of motion of the lock. The locksmith can change the size of the lock opening to fit an available locking mechanism. In most cases we can custom craft a new key if you bring the lock to us. It wasn't an inexpensive repair, but absolutely worth it. The rest was a wreck from 88 years of enter and exit usage. He brought all his tools up and worked on the lock for the better part of half a day.

He aligned the lock to work with the strike plate, which required working with the door's wood that surrounds the lock. He fixed a 1920's unit lock our our front door that stopped working. He even offered to fix some of our other internal door knobs since the front door "didn't take that long". He is incredibly knowledgeable about all types of old locks. Flat price and stays as long as it takes to get the job done.

We have an 1929 home and the front door latch has on occasional stuck and stopped working. A locksmith would come and get it working again and then a few years later the problem would happen again. Then one day the entire door handle fell off. Johnathan came and spent an hour diagnosing the problem at no charge, opening the mortise and determining a spring was missing, which explained the latch problem. He's not the cheapest, but we ended up negotiating a cut rate with for extensive work. He guaranteed the workmanship for 5 years (instead of his usual 10) - although he said he can't imagine he'll have to come back. So far, everything works like a charm - opening the door has never felt like this - the mechanism glides open and closed smoothly.

Locks and Keys

It might cost a little more - but its worth it. Jonathan specializes in this type of work. He meticulously rebuilt the springs in the mortise lock, repaired the thumb latch and adjusted the relationship of the lock to the strike plate. For the first time in 20 years the door handle and lock feel substantial and fully engaged. He also applied a patina to a still shiny deadbolt that had been added to the door in the 60's to blend the look of the door hardware both inside and out. Finally he re-keyed the front door lockset and deadbolt and the back door lockset and deadbolt for use with a single key and fixed a loose interior door knob by shortening the connecting shank.

I had an appointment scheduled for only getting an estimate. After several years of marginal performance, our 90 year old door set finally disintegrated.

We once again have a thumb latch, the internal knob can be operated with one hand, the key works, and all the essential bits stay attached the door at all times!

To our knowledge, the lock had never been maintained or repaired, and the only part of it that still worked was the dead-bolt. He quotes you a price to bring the lock back to working order. If he can't, then it costs you nothing for the consultation. He replaced springs, and bent parts back to the way they were originally. He repaired the thumb latch to freely move they way it did when the lock was new. He took it apart completely, and when it was reassembled, it works very nicely. He realized that due to the age and poor condition of our lock, he would have to actually engineer some parts - which he did. He carefully restored the front door lock so that it not only looks wonderful, the mechanism is the smoothest we have had in the 40 years we've lived here. In light of his excellent results, we had him work on three other old door locks in the house. Johnathan (the lock expert behind this one-man operation) is a master. If you have an old lock this is the one stop shop.

He knows what he is doing, passionate about his work and charges a fair price.

I was looking for someone that could fix/repair our front door lock (mortise lock). He just completed the job and the door works better than ever. Since we bought the house, the door never locked easily. Now we no longer have to lift, jiggle, and pray that we completed the door closing dance properly to have our door lock!

Jonathan, however, was confident he could restore the old lock. Over the next two hours he calmly and meticulously did just that, even fashioning a new spring and soliciting feedback when a couple cosmetic choices needed to be made.

Jonathan quoted me a very fair flat rate up front, which removed any time pressure from the job. Jonathan is easy to work with and a true expert in old locks.

I had initially expected but after considering the alternatives it was a fair price for quality workmanship. Secure your desk or drawers in style with our antique locks and keys. Replace old or broken cabinet locks , lost clock keys or update worn furniture drawers with new keyhole escutcheons. We’ll come out to repair antique locks on doors or large pieces of furniture.

Old Lock Repair and Restoration

You can also bring smaller pieces or antique padlocks for repair in to our and service shop. Keep the original locks on furniture, cabinets and doors to keep the historical value of the pieces. We’ll come out and repair the original locks so that they work as good as new. And, if you need additional keys, we can duplicate keys. We’ll also rekey certain antique locks if you lose the keys. We’ll repair interior and exterior door locks. Instead of replacing antique locks on your cabinets and furniture, call us for an estimate to repair the locks so the pieces hold their values. Clean and repair antique padlocks so that you can continue using them on antique furniture, cabinets and doors. We’ll make duplicate keys for antique locks so that you can hand them out to other family members or keep an extra key in a safe place.

We provide on site and off site services and hard to find antique hardware and will repair your antique locks so that you don't have to change them to modern locks. There's also plenty of antique furniture still in use that dates as far back as the 18th century, and all of these old buildings and pieces of furniture have antique locks and keys that need specialized care to remain functional. Such work provides us an opportunity to enter into a different era by fabricating keys using older, traditional techniques. If the lock isn't working, is jammed up, or a piece has broken from over a hundred years of use, obsolete lock parts can be fabricated by hand in our workshop. If you've lost all the keys for your antique locks we have the skills to hand-make new keys for them.

In some cases it may be easier and/or more affordable to replace a broken antique lock or hardware piece with an authentic replica.