doorknob frustration--mortised locksets


Old 06-23-07, 11:52 AM
eddieo45's Avatar
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Milton, MA
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doorknob frustration--mortised locksets

I'm finally tackling replacing the doorknobs, rosettes and keyhole covers on my 10 interior doors, all with old-fashioned mortised locksets. I found a source online for chrome and/or nickel replacements for my tarnished pressed brass stuff and 'crystal' doorknobs. I chose oval or egg-shaped knobs, 'cuz they feel good in the hand. The spindles that came with them are a bit too fat to fit in the lockset, but the knobs do thread successfully on the old spindles (which are actually a bit loose in the lockset). The main problem is the little set screws for the knobs, which are allen screws. They're supposed to be tightened against the FLAT of the spindle, but the the oval knob doesn't sit right, since the lockset takes the spindle 'on the diamond'. That, plus the slightly loose spindle is making this install impossible. I've marked where the allen crews hit the spindle and I'm considering trying to file it down flat on those spots. Before I do, I thought I'd ask for tips. Also, is there some kind of 'bushing' I can slip over the middle of the spindle, to snug it up in the lockset? Or, are there maybe lots of spindle designs out there, one of which might solve my problem?
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Old 06-23-07, 06:54 PM
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 674
Hard to say anything for sure that can help you. With reproduction and old locks, you probably will not find much for parts except through specialty vendors. Trying to mix parts, as you have seen, is frustrating and often may not hold up for the long term.

Sounds like you had the right idea-order new locks and replace the whole works. Are these new reproductions or reconditioned used ones?

What ever they are, you should have received spindles that fit the lock, unless you ordered them seperately?

There used to be split spindle size adapters for old commercial mortise locks, but I assume yours are solid one piece?

You may be able to file the corners-be careful not to bung the threads up or you will not be able to get the knob on. What about ordering/exchanging the spindles for the correct size?

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