Mortis Lock Split Spindle Removal


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Old 07-02-24, 12:58 PM
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Mortis Lock Split Spindle Removal

I have a mortis lock where the knob latch has stuck in the extended position. The combined deadbolt is retracted. I am trying to remove it to see what's going on, but I am stuck in removal of the knobs and spindle. I can remove the inside knob by loosening the set screw, but I am unable to pull the spindle out from the outside or remove the outside knob. The spindle is a 3-piece triangle split type (See attached example Type B). In my situation it appears the holes are inside the outer knob. I do not see a pin anywhere on the knob neck that may work with this, but then again, I do not know how this is supposed to work. We never locked this door, but it would have to take a good hard yank from time to time to latch it. I am thinking something has frozen/jammed the knob latch in the extended position and will not retract, hence the door can no longer latch.



 
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Old 07-02-24, 01:16 PM
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I believe there is a threaded screw that holds that spindle together on one end of the spindle shaft. Might be under the other knob.
 

Last edited by XSleeper; 07-02-24 at 01:32 PM.
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Old 07-02-24, 02:30 PM
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Finally got it off. I took the claw of a hammer and gently pried the outer knob and spindle at the same time out of the mortise. It was a pretty tight fit going through the square hole in the mortise box. It seems there may be tension among the three spindle pieces there to help grip? I did not explore the outer knobs attachment to the spindle. Leave well enough alone. As far as the locked-up latch, the latching piece itself was bent most likely from the aforementioned abuse. I straitened that out and reassembled it. Its working as expected now. Really need to do some work on the door and frame fit.



 
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Old 07-02-24, 03:12 PM
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Yeah I was going to suggest pinching them together with a pliers as you pulled... they seemed to be splayed apart in that middle picture. Nice job.
 
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Old 07-02-24, 09:28 PM
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Glad you got it.....usually a penetrant like Liquid Wrench or similar is applied and left to soak a while to loosen these old parts. I think the three-piece spindle was Yale's answer to the common problem of knobs becoming loose on the spindle.
 
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Old 07-03-24, 06:01 AM
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It may be these old eyes, but that looks like a Yale triplex spindle. The inside knob sides on the spindle and has a key (a projection) in its square hole. The key is 180* from the knob screw (explanation follows).

Looking at the end of the spindle you should see that one section is triangular, and on the opposite face of the spindle is a space for the key allowing the knob to slide on the spindle. The key and keyway allows the spindle to enter the knob in only one position, so the knob screw will contact the triangular section. When the screw is tightened, the triangular section is forced between the other two sections spreading them. Between the screw and the spreading, the knob was very secure on the spindle.

IIRC, the piece with the key was die cast and could sieze to the spindle. That could be part of the reason for the difficult knob removal.
 
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Old 07-03-24, 09:54 PM
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@ThisOldMan: You got my curiosity up when you referred to Yale's 3-piece spindle as the "Triplex" spindle. I'd heard that term before, but couldn't remember where. After a little digging I found that several years ago I downloaded a reproduction of a 1904 builder's hardware catalogue published by Henry Towne of Yale & Towne fame. It's several hundred pages, going into the history of locks in general, extensive review of the 1868 Pin Tumbler patent, all their hardware line with pricing, a treasure trove of information I'd completely forgotten I had. One section describes spindles, and the "long-established evils of side screws" (what we call the set screw) "working loose". As far back as 1878 Yale had come out with "screwless" designs, but were too expensive to implement. It was in 1890 they patented the Triplex spindle. With the typical flourishing verbiage of the time, the catalogue goes on to point out that other manufacturers "opposed it, due to ignorance and prejudice" but "more than 10 years [of service] has proved it's value". Of course, unlike with the pin-tumbler cylinder, where everybody copied the design after the patent ran out, I don't think anybody ever copied the Triplex spindle.

I flunked History in school, but the older I get, the more interesting it becomes. Funny how that works.
 
 

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