Easy latch fix for antique doorknob

Have a door that won’t latch anymore? Nothing happens when you turn the doorknob? Live in an older home with vintageglass or brass doorknobs? A broken door spring in your antique mortise lock is likely the culprit. Finding replacement springs can be a tricky. No worries, I’ll show you how you can fix a vintage door knobby using a commonrubber band instead.

  1. door handle spindleRemove the door handle

    Start by removing the door’s handle. Find the small screw on the base of the spindle and loosen it without removing it. Unscrew the handle counter-clockwise until it comes free. Make sure you hold the knob on both sides as you do this. Slide the spindle from the door.

  2. lock faceRemove the antique mortise lock from the door

    Next remove both screws from the lock face (the metal plateon theinside edge of the door). Note: if you have a painted door, you may needto score the edges of the lock face. Insert a screwdriver into the hole from which you removed the spindle. Twist the screwdriver in order to popthe mortise lock free from the door. You should then be able to grab it and slide it out from the door freely.

  3. Mortise lock coverUnscrew the cover

    Gently removethe cover by removing the small screw. At this point I would advise you to take of picture of the interior mechanism just in case… that way if any parts get knockedout of place by accident you’ll be able to easily reassemble the lock.

  4. mortise lock broken springInstall rubber band

    Starting from the latch, follow the path that leads up to a hook. That’s where you should find a broken or missing spring (top left corner in the picture shown). Remove the old spring and discard it. Finda thin and supple rubber band. You will need to reduce the size enough so that it will hold tightly on the hook and thepin shown here. Wrap the rubber bandaround your fingers until the desired length is reached.

    door latch elastic fixInsert the rubber band onto the hook first, then holding it in place, push the other end down onto the pin. Note that the rubber band must hold in position without any assistance on your part. If it comes off, make the rubber band shorter.

  5. mosrtise lock test with screwdriverReplace the coverand test the handle

    Once you have it securely in place, gently re-position the cover and tighten the cover screw. Before reassembling the door, test the latch. Insert the spindle and turn the knob to see ifthe latch now retracts and springs back into position.

  6. Reinstall the mortise lock and door handle

    Follow the steps you took to remove the antique mortise lock and handle in reverse in order to reassemble the door.

Antique door latch rubber band fix


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