Dating antique furniture locks intimidating and disruptive behaviors
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.
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.
A half mortise lock, the most common on 19th century American furniture, is concealed from the outside of the door or drawer but the back plate of the lock is visible from inside.
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.
Fortunately, most of them are conveniently labeled as “Lever” locks so you don’t have to waste a lot of time on them. The other common problems with locks are missing center pins and broken or missing springs.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.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. No part of the lock body is accessible without removing the entire lock from the wood, a trick but not impossible.
Quickly inspect the lock to determine if all the pieces appear to be present – the bolt, the interior center pin, the selvage.