Need help cutting mortise for door lock - Router Forums
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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-31-2011, 11:13 AM Thread Starter
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Default Need help cutting mortise for door lock

Hi everyone. I am replacing a number of masonite panel doors with solid meranti doors. After purchasing new handles to fit the existing mortice locks, I am having trouble cutting the mortices straight in the new doors. After my first attempt using a 16mm spade bit in my drill and then a lot of chiseling out to fit the lock, I found that it is not perfectly parallel with the door face. Whilst it works, the handles when attached tend to pull on the shaft making it tight to then turn the handle, as it is under strain. I have two choices for the remaining 6 doors. Either write off the handles and buy some round cylinder type, which would be easy to install with a hole cutter, or else perhaps use my router to start off the process with a 1/4 inch milling bit and then work from there. I am hoping someone has a suggestion, as my wife is quite fond of the new handles she has chosen.

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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-31-2011, 12:10 PM
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Hi everyone. I am replacing a number of masonite panel doors with solid meranti doors. After purchasing new handles to fit the existing mortice locks, I am having trouble cutting the mortices straight in the new doors. After my first attempt using a 16mm spade bit in my drill and then a lot of chiseling out to fit the lock, I found that it is not perfectly parallel with the door face. Whilst it works, the handles when attached tend to pull on the shaft making it tight to then turn the handle, as it is under strain. I have two choices for the remaining 6 doors. Either right off the handles and buy some round cylinder type, which would be easy to install with a hole cutter, or else perhaps use my router to start off the process with a 1/4 inch milling bit and then work from there. I am hoping someone has a suggestion, as my wife is quite fond of the new handles she has chosen.
Hi Stan,
Could you drill the hole for the shaft a little larger to relieve the strain when operating? Can you post a picture?

James
Whittier, CA.

Have a nice & safe day!
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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-31-2011, 12:38 PM
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Stan, Porter Cable makes a router mortising machine which is perfect for the job. You may be able to rent one locally; if not you can save yourself a lot of grief by having an experienced locksmith do it for you.

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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-31-2011, 11:08 PM
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Stan,
As you have discovered, mortise lock-sets are very tricky to get right and very easy to get wrong.
Mike's suggestion is your best bet assuming you can rent or borrow one, purchasing it would be cost prohibitive as it sells for over $1000.00 US new.
You might be able to use your router to remove the bulk of the material but I would recommend clamping some 2" blocks on either side of the door flush with the edge to give the router some added support. Trying to balance the router on the narrow edge of the door would probably end in disaster.
Making a template out of MDF and using a template guide would be even better, and with 6 doors to do, probably worth the time to make it.

Tim

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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-01-2011, 01:03 AM
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Stan,
First, don't use a spade bit. Use a brad point or a Forstner to drill the hole with. You can use a drill press to drill a hole through a wood block with a brad point that will keep you straight into your door. Mark the location for the hole, start it freehand, drill about 2-3 mm and then use the wood block guide to finish the hole.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-01-2011, 05:27 AM
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Can't you make a jig and cut it all with your router, a deep mortising bit will open up a real treat, have a jig for the plate and another for the mortise.



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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-01-2011, 03:31 PM
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Make sure that the jig fence is tall enough to support the router properly, and make sure that You don't catch the edge and pull You into the other edge. Make a short fence to keep in solid but easy to move! The short fence helps trap the door in the router and keep it against the other fence!

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Last edited by dutchman 46; 08-01-2011 at 03:33 PM. Reason: finished thought
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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-01-2011, 05:05 PM
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Hi Stan

This link explains it quite well. The cut can be done with most 1/2in plunge routers, but deally requires a deep pocket bit, like these to get the depth of cut. Even then I still finish with an auger bit and chisels

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Phil
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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-02-2011, 04:12 AM
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A few years ago, although well retired by then, I fitted 20 doors to my sisters house, I made mdf jigs for mortise locks and latches I used an L shaped jig that could be cramped to the door and I also put a guide hole in to take the spindle cut, I never got a chisel out of the kit during the whole process.



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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-02-2011, 09:27 AM Thread Starter
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Hi Derek, I would be happy to see how the jig was made if you have any sketches or photographs I could view. I only have a 1/4 inch router so I am not sure if I can even manage such a deep cut with my light weight router. Trying to phone around now to source a deep pocket 1/4 inch bit.
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