Lock and doorknob sets are available at all kinds of department stores and hardware stores, but if you want something uniquely charming and even more sturdy than the standard deadbolt lock for exterior doors, look to the noble mortise lock. As you look through your options, consider a few traits of the mortise lock and how it could work well with your door:
How Does A Mortise Lock Work?
Mortise locks offer a doubled effort in terms of security. It features both a deadbolt for the main lock and an often spring-loaded bolt above the deadbolt. The top bolt goes into a pre-cut groove or hole, which is called a mortise.
The top locking system is often paired with a key, although both the mortise and the doorknob can include key sets. With two bolts in place, a would-be intruder would need to work for an extra amount of time to get into the door.
Since security is the purpose of the mortise lock, you may find other features that enhances defenses. Many mortise locks include two bolts on the same spring-loaded system, which requires that a robber who wants to saw or otherwise break the lock needs to start on a second bolt.
The dual-bolt system has advantages over a single, thick bolt because of the way that metal separates when cutting begins. Once a cutter gets into the inner parts of metal, inner materials can be sawed and scraped away much easier than getting started on the bolt. With two or more bolts, the cutter needs to gain leverage and begin sawing on a new bolt, which can take more time.
Be Careful When Working With Older Mortise Locks
A mortise lock is designed to resist entry through cutting, lock-picking and even breaking the lock assembly. Unlike many residential deadbolt locks, there's more to the installation that screwing in a few face plates.
Older mortise locks include screws and fittings that interlock at different parts of the door. To stop an industrious crook who would try to cut or bash around the lock, there are a few securing screws that can thwart prying or doorknob bashing.
This can be a problem when trying to put an older mortise lock on a newer door. You'll need the specific dimensions of the inner components as well as a truly snug fit for the mortise hole and bolt.
Instead of trying to guess at the proper dimensions and potentially leaving the door vulnerable to brute force, ask a professional. Contact a locksmith to prepare your locks and bolt security in a way that doesn't cut corners and works with the specific needs of your doors. To learn more, contact a company like Bellows Locksmith with any questions you have.