Mortise lock broken: door wonít open


Old 10-27-18, 03:17 PM
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Mortise lock broken: door wonít open

Hello everyone,

So, I have a mortise lock with a broken interior piece. I donít know what this is called so Iíve provided photos. As such, when I turn the knob the latch will not retract and the door will not open. I also tried using a butter knife to push in the latch while turning the knob but it still wonít retract.

Unfortunately the door door hinges are enclosed so I cannot take out the pins. If anyone has any suggestions I would greatly appreciate it!

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Last edited by PJmax; 10-27-18 at 04:59 PM. Reason: added pics from link
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Old 10-27-18, 05:01 PM
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The round part in the center that moves when the knob is turned is broken.
Have you tried using a large screwdriver across the corners of that piece to open the door ?

Ultimately that lock will need to be removed form the door for repair.
Old 10-27-18, 05:52 PM
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Put a threaded bolt thru the part with the square hole with a washer on each side (same diameter as the rotating piece). Place a nut on the bolt and tighten using 2 socket wrenches. Then use one socket wrench to turn the latch drive while moving the door in/out to minimize resistance on the latch.
Old 10-27-18, 06:07 PM
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I have a feeling the OP has access to only one side.
Old 10-28-18, 03:55 PM
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That's the "Hub" that's cracked....also looks like the lock case is cracked as well. I assume this is a passage lock, ie., an interior door that doesn't lock with key? I also assume you've sprayed the hub area with a penetrating oil (WD40 or similar) to see if it frees up the mechanism sufficiently to open. Failing that, you'll need to use a pry bar or similar to spread the door from the frame. If the hinges are not visible, you're on the push side and the door stop may need to be pried off to facilitate use of the pry bar. A cracked hub and case suggests internal parts are frozen/jammed.
Old 10-28-18, 04:26 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2018
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Hi there,

Thanks for the responses! Yes, this door is an interior door to a closet, which has no locking mechanism from what I can tell. I havenít tried spraying with wd40 but I could also give that a try. If that doesnít work I will resort to the other methods that were mentioned!
Old 11-29-18, 04:30 PM
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use a wedge on the door edge between the door edge and the frame to open up the gap. Then slip latch with a screwdriver
Old 11-29-18, 06:03 PM
Join Date: Nov 2012
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Hmm, door opens away from you, hinge pins are not accessible.

You need to use something thin to push the bolt back- plastic cutting board or bowsaw blade or screwdriver blade. You might need to remove some door trim to access the bolt.

1) "Plastic sheet trick"
Slide a thin sheet of tough plastic across the sloped face of the bolt to retract it out of the mortise hole.
See if you can slide a thin sheet of tough plastic into the gap between the door and the door-jamb. Think plastic cutting sheets. Apply force at at the bottom with a foot and knee to push the door back and open the crack. Slip a thin-but-tough piece of plastic into the crack, work up at 45 degree angle until you hit the bolt. Push the cutting sheet against the bolt, and you may be able to push the bolt back and open the door.

2) "Trim gap"
Starting at the floor, remove the trim on the strike plate side of the door. You should now be able to access the bolt that holds the door closed. Most closet bolts are curved which means you can use a pair of screwdrivers to "walk" the bolt back into the receiver and open the door.

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