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Help with mortise locks

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philrab66

Newbie

Posts: 10

Joined: Mon Jul 08, 2013 11:39 pm

Location: united kingdom

Post Tue Sep 17, 2013 7:17 pm

Help with mortise locks

Hi all
i joined a few months back and got some great info about cylinder locks. I am a handyman and have been asked a few times to gain entry for clients. I bought a pick set and mastered a few cylinder locks but I am normally asked to look at mortise locks. When I was looking into the cylinder locks I found some very good information of how they worked in great detail. Can anybody give me any links to some clear explanations for the mortise lock. Also can somebody enlighten me on a kit for standard UK mortise locks.

Thanks Phil.
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nozza36

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Joined: Fri May 02, 2008 12:48 am

Location: Birmingham , England

Post Tue Sep 17, 2013 7:56 pm

Re: Help with mortise locks

Mortice (lever locks) are a good sturdy lock , unless you are a practicing locksmith though , you may as well just get your drill out and make swiss cheese out of it until you can drag the levers out and throw the bolt with a screwdriver , there are lots of techinques , over lifting is very popular as you can make up some wires for pennies , just go on youtube , find which method you want to try and come back with more specific questions , i have used overlifting and a Falle style curve to open working locks , but if you come across a "spread pack" the drill is the only option i know that works , if the lock has a hard plate use a masonary drill bit to drill through it then back to a hss or cobalt bit
Open Sez Me !
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Kyetror

Newbie

Posts: 2

Joined: Wed Aug 01, 2018 12:03 pm

Post Wed Aug 01, 2018 12:10 pm

Re: Help with mortise locks

I apologize for the bump...
Most every manufacturer has a difference engineered into their lock, the cylinders use different
keys and the mortise lock cases generally have different spacings for their hardware to fit. These
manufacturers couldn't secure patent rights for their products if they were too closely copied.
For example, a Baldwin mortise lockset could use a Sargent or Medeco cylinder with the proper
cam, but you couldn't take a door having a Bouvet mortise lock and hardware & substitute a Baldwin
mortise lock without also changing the hardware to Baldwin as well
billdeserthills

Mortise cylinders and interchangeable cores are two different things. Mortise cylinders have a standard diameter and thread pitch (1 1/8" diameter - 32 TPI), but come in different lengths for different door thicknesses and, as others have pointed out, they take different cams depending on the lock being operated. The door must be opened, a plate removed, and a set screw backed out to remove one of these for re-keying.

Interchangeable cores use a special control key to remove the core without having to open the door or backing out any set screw. BEST is the most popular for small format IC's, and a number of manufacturers (Schlage, Yale, etc.) https://secretstorages.com/best-mortise-locks/ have their own designs for large format IC's. The benefit of interchangeable cores is that a building can be rekeyed quickly, so long as they have the control keys and documentation.
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Werewolf

Familiar Face

Posts: 155

Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2011 10:00 am

Location: Belgium

Post Wed Aug 01, 2018 8:30 pm

Re: Help with mortise locks

@Kyetror
The term mortise lock means a lock that is fitted into a pocket (mortise) in the door.
In the UK , the word is mostly used to refer to lever locks.
Lever locks in the UK are very common and very high quality , compare to mainland Europe.

The world of locksmithing is very diverse. Just one of the things i love about it.
"Who are you and how did you get in here ?"
"I'm a locksmith , and i'm a locksmith"
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Patrick Star

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Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2016 9:40 pm

Location: Sweden

Post Thu Aug 02, 2018 7:50 pm

Re: Help with mortise locks

Werewolf wrote:Lever locks in the UK are very common and very high quality , compare to mainland Europe.

You mean all those 5 lever locks without any false gates or serrations on the levers? :)
At least in Sweden they typically have 9... and serrated levers on the newer ones (after some gang of thieves got good at picking them).
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MartinHewitt

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Location: Germany

Post Thu Aug 02, 2018 9:41 pm

Re: Help with mortise locks

Any youtube video showing one?
In case you wonder ... Martin Hewitt is a fictional detective in stories by Arthur Morrison:
Martin Hewitt, Investigator Chronicles of Martin Hewitt
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Patrick Star

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Posts: 281

Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2016 9:40 pm

Location: Sweden

Post Fri Aug 03, 2018 10:20 am

Re: Help with mortise locks

You mean the Swedish 9 lever locks?
No picking videos AFAIK, just a self-impressioning one:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QxqD_W8tggg

Can't vouch for the authenticity of that video (no idea where it's from) but I see no reason to doubt it.

Haven't picked them myself since tehre are no existing tools for them. Definitely on my TODO-list though - they are pretty pricey though, so I haven't been wanting to order one before I really have time to spend on it.
By the way, since the key is always symmetrical (so it can be used from both sides of the door), I think the best approach to picking would be a make-up key and "feeler".But definitely doable with a standard Hobbs pick as well - especially when you consider that 2 of the levers are always the same bitting (the corresponding bitting on the other end of the key is what tensions it, and like I said, it has to be symmetrical).

Some gutshots of the two FAS 309 models (old "standard" + new "slim form factor" with serrated levers and stump):
fas309_cropped.png
gates.png
lever.png


ASSA makes 7 and 9 lever locks as well - they essentially look just the same inside.
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Visitor

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Joined: Sat Sep 16, 2017 11:48 am

Post Fri Aug 03, 2018 10:28 am

Re: Help with mortise locks

Really easy to pick once you've got the tools and tried a couple of time, lots of tools on the market for them from self impressioning to picks. Don't kid yourself, more levers doesn't always mean harder to pick.

English b.s. locks do have false sets, it's part of the criteria, more importantly they have a curtain which puts them far above those Swedish ones, llthey are on a total other level.
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Werewolf

Familiar Face

Posts: 155

Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2011 10:00 am

Location: Belgium

Post Fri Aug 03, 2018 1:02 pm

Re: Help with mortise locks

Patrick Star wrote:
Werewolf wrote:Lever locks in the UK are very common and very high quality , compare to mainland Europe.

You mean all those 5 lever locks without any false gates or serrations on the levers? :)


It's better than what we have here in Belgium , that's for sure.
Our most common lever lock is the Litto A2408. It has 4 levers (5 cut symmetrical key).
It has a total of 4 possible bittings. And to make more differs , it uses a keyway ward.

To be fair , they are mostely used for sheds. Litto switched to cylinder locks very early on.
But there is an occasional back door with a lock like this.
"Who are you and how did you get in here ?"
"I'm a locksmith , and i'm a locksmith"

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