Help with mortise lock function

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  #1  
Old 08-31-09, 05:07 AM
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Help with mortise lock function

I hope there is someone who will be able to help me with a problem I encountered with a new mortise lock from Emtek.

This lock replaced an old Yale mortise lock, which I believe is original to the house from 1929. That lock had knobs inside and out with a turn knob for the lock inside and a key outside. It had two buttons on the jamb side of the door which in one position would lock the outside knob and in the other allow it to turn to open the door. We routinely left it in this position so we could never be inadvertently be locked out.

The new mortise has the same setup but works differently. Once you lock the door from inside or outside, the outside knob automatically locks. There is a level on a pivot inside the mortise which automatically changes the position of those two buttons, so that when you throw the deadbolt, the outside knob locks. Once the door is unlocked, you have to manually push lower the button in to unlock the outside knob. It will stay that way until the next time the door is locked, when the outside knob will again automatically be locked.

Is there some way to disable this feature? I am afraid that unintentionally I will be locked out some day not remembering that the outside knob is locked.

I tried opening the mortise and removing that one lever figuring if it wasn't there to change the position of the two buttons, I wouldn't have a problem, but without that lever the lock does not work correctly. The position of the buttons doesn't change automatically, but the deadbolt doesn't work as easily, and if you try to open the door from outside with the bolt thrown, the deadbolt actually opens part way.

Any help with changing how this lockset works would be appreciated. I did call a locksmith to get an opinion about whether it could be fixed. He said it couldn't. Emtek mortises are always made this way. He also implied, though, that this was the way that all mortise locks made since the early 1900's functioned. Certainly, the Yale lockset we had there previously didn't work this way.

SMK
 
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  #2  
Old 08-31-09, 03:50 PM
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Only One word comes to mind: NO!
 
  #3  
Old 08-31-09, 10:05 PM
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If you dont want the lock to lock from the outside, then dont use the outside keyhole.

If you want to leave it unlocked while go out to grab the newspaper, leave it unlocked from inside, the handle will not lock on the outside unless you cause it to.

If you want a different operation, you need to select a different function lock.

These locks were made specifically that way, because the method of entry used to be that people attempted to cut the bolt from outside, thinking the latch would be always unlocked.
 
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Old 09-01-09, 04:01 AM
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Thanks for explaining why the locks are made the way they are. I have to believe a lot of people are locked out of their homes unintentionally by this feature, though.

You say that I should just not lock the door from outside, and then the outside knob wouldn't be locked, but the outside knob locks whether I lock the door from outside with the key or inside with the turn knob.

I'm not worried about being locked out when I go get a newspaper. I always have a key when I am planning to leave the house. I'm more concerned that my wife or I will unlock the door to go get the mail or water her window box flowers, and we will come back to find the door locked.

I guess we are just going to have to make sure we have a key outside in a safe place so we are not locked out unintentionally.

Thanks for the info.

SMK
 
  #5  
Old 09-01-09, 06:07 PM
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The buttons you describe on the edge are called "stopworks" and tho not familiar with Emtek, most knob-inside-knob-outside (as opposed to grip-handle with thumb operator outside) mortise locks work the same way...when you push the locking button a blocking piece goes into a notch in the outside hub, locking the outside spindle & knob. The inside hub, not being notched, never locks. Since you are already familiar with the innards, (and I don't have one in front of me to examine) AND, this possible solution will render the lock permanently altered, you COULD consider removing the outer hub and grinding away just enough metal surrounding the notch, such that the outer knob will turn, even tho all the stopworks linkages are in the locked position, thereby not affecting the other operational aspects of the lock.

Check one thing tho, first...on most modern mortise locks, when the deadbolt is thrown, turning the inside knob retracts the latch & deadbolt simultaneously, a safety feature. If your lock does this, study it carefully to see if this modification might render this feature inoperable....AND that the linkage that withdraws the deadbolt when you operate the inner knob will not operate once the outer hub is free to turn.

Whew! Well, if you can't visualize the operation with this modification before you alter it, better not mess with it.
 
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Old 09-03-09, 04:03 AM
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Thanks, rstripe,

That is exactly the way the door works. The inside knob does unlock the door without having to turn the lock knob.

I have been looking at the mechanism to try to figure out what could be done to alter the way it works, but I think anything more than just removing a lever or some other part inside is beyond what I'd like to do. I actually had the thought of grinding down the "ears" off the outside knob notch myself, but I really don't want to ruin the lock.

Thanks for the info.

SMK
 
  #7  
Old 09-03-09, 09:15 AM
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Well, the trick (inasmuch as I'm not looking at your lock), is for you to visualize what would happen, with the deadbolt thrown, if you were able to turn the outer knob. If your lock is new, it'll give you many years of service anyway, so if the alteration would work properly, you'll benefit for many years.

Personally I'd try to do the same---there's nothing more embarassing than a smithy locked out of his own house!
 
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Old 09-03-09, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by I
If you want to leave it unlocked while go out to grab the newspaper, leave it unlocked from inside, the handle will not lock on the outside unless you cause it to.
I meant, you can turn the inside button to unlock or lock the outside handle. If you go out with the button in the lock position, you will lock yourself out.

The handle is always unlocked inside for fire escape function.
 
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Old 09-04-09, 04:26 AM
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Well, again all, thanks for the information. It wasn't what I wanted to hear, but it is good to know there is a reason the lock functions the way it does, and I just will make sure I have one or two keys securely salted away that could be used when the inevitable lock out happens.

SMK
 
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