Broken antique desk lock


Old 01-05-18, 12:43 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 1
Broken antique desk lock

Hello, any ideas would be appreciated. I acquired an antique secretary desk from a family friend, and all the locks on it are perfectly functioning, except for the full mortice lock that locks the fold down desk portion. It will not budge. The key will turn in it until it stops and the bolt refuses to move.

The big problem here really is that there are no screws to remove the lock, so I'm worried it can't be repaired or replaced without having to replace the entire door. There is simply the keyhole on the front and the lock at the top of the door. Is there a specific method to removing these non-screwed-in locks? Can it simply be repaired somehow? Googling this comes up with nothing. Any input would be appreciated as I really would like to restore this desk to its full working glory.
Sponsored Links
Old 01-05-18, 05:38 PM
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: US
Posts: 370
Likes Received: 2
These locks were usually fairly simple. But a different size or type of lock (full mortise v. half-mortise) usually means a different key.

If you remove the troublesome lock, you may be able to see why your key doesn't operate that lock. Before trying to modify the key, make sure everything is unlocked, remove a lock the key does operate and see what parts of the key you CAN NOT change.
Old 01-10-18, 02:55 PM
GlobalLocky's Avatar
Join Date: May 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 940
sounds to me like perhaps the key is incorrect or the levers have dislodged. The lock can be picked. Typically, the key will turn 360 to unlock and withdraw. If it is not turning fully, it could be because another key "flag" could have broken off inside and is preventing the bolt from retracting
Old 01-13-18, 09:05 PM
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 1,244
Kinda late to the party, but since OP says there are no screws visible, I assume the door is unlocked. A photo of the key and lock might be helpful. Many of the smaller sized bit-key type desk/cabinet locks were simply "pressed" into the mortise, as the force applied to the bolt when locked, would not tend to dislodge it. If, what you can see of the lock, looks like the other locks, and the key fits into and turns part way with no problem, it suggests the locks would all be keyed alike. You might try a drop of Liquid Wrench (or similar) for a few days to see if the bolt becomes free. But, if you see no screws, pry up gently on either side of the flange and see if it slides out.

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes