Getting an old door to lock with mortise lock ?help?

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Getting an old door to lock with mortise lock ?help? Empty Getting an old door to lock with mortise lock ?help?

Post by tuberadiogeek on Sat Feb 23, 2013 9:43 pm

I recently refinished a interior door that is original to my house which uses the old removable pin hinges and a mortise lock. I had it hung for a few weeks now and put spacers on the striker plate to allow the door to latch and lock using the mortise lock,and it was latching OK and would lock with a bit of wiggling the door. Now a few weeks later its not latching as well and when i turn the key the lock works flawlessly but the bolt is hitting the striker about 1/8-1/16" too low. I just pulled the door off and tried to raise it up a bit then slid the hinges together and dropped the pins in on the upper and lower hinge and it doesnt seem to drag as much but still wont lock. The hinges are recessed on the door and jamb as they are supposed to and the striker was recessed until i put spacers on it. Is there something i'm doing wrong or something i'm not doing right? any tips or advice? BTW the door is solid pine and 7 ft tall and 32" wide and is not exactly light.
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Post by Dr. Radio on Sat Feb 23, 2013 11:19 pm

Is it possible the holes that hold the screws apart of the hinges are worn-out? I have a basement interior door that has this issue. I had it aligned perfect and after a couple of weeks, it was back to it's same old issue, rubbing against the jamb and not quite mating up with the strike. Re-re-tightening the screws on the hinges again put it right...for now...
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Post by tuberadiogeek on Sun Feb 24, 2013 3:01 am

Its possible, but it seems like the screws hold pretty tight. The first thing i did was re-tighten the hinges on both sides. This is the first time there has been a door hung in that spot for at least 30 years. I only say that bc when i was a kid in the late 80's and early 90's we lived here then bc it belonged to a family member then. There was no door there then, and i doubt it had one the entire time other people lived there bc i rescued the door out of the shed almost 2 years ago, and i've lived here just about 3 years now.
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Post by DancingBear on Sun Feb 24, 2013 11:11 am

I tackle many doors. I make it a practice to never mess with hinge alignment during the winter. The added moisture can do strange things that will cost you later if you mess with them too much.

Regardless of the hinge type the constant in these things is the framing, usually made from a member of the fir family. It's not strong wood and after time will settle and sag, changing hinge/striker plate alignment. If possible, (and it almost always is) find or install a piece of harder wood behind the door frame so you can really tighten it up. I try for the middle hinge as that position gives better control of the torque created by stress. You can do all of the hinges but if done right just the center one will give you the stability you need. It's easy to pop the frame moulding out and install the harder stuff to use as a better anchor for the screws. I use ash, Tight grain and strong as it gets.

After re-installing the molding and mounting the door replace the screws with 4-6 inch drive deck screws, the super-strong anodized kind that will not break. Use a good low speed driver with lots of torque to drive the new screws into the hardwood pulling the hinges tight. If done properly you won't ever have problems related to weather. If you can get a long piece of hardwood behind the molding where you can anchor all hinges it works best but the basic idea is the strength of the door "hang" relies on the strength of the wood the screws go into.

It may not be weather related but you live in Ohio. I'd be willing to wager.
TonyM
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Post by tuberadiogeek on Mon Mar 04, 2013 1:45 am

I finally tackled it, i replaced the top and bottom hinge screws on the door side with 2" wood screws and did the same with the jamb side and it was better, but still wouldnt jive up. So i did what i really didnt want to and chiseled out the jamb where the striker goes and lowered it just enough to allow the lock to latch. I think the entire jamb is just sagging from age. I dont have a level but i'd be willing to say its not level any more.. I'm no carpenter and i only do minimal work with wood so my solution is good enough for now.. I wasnt going to even attempt to pull the jamb out, as its way too much work. Its an old house and its going to sag here and there so i'll let it be until the next problem.
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Post by Ben Delk on Mon Mar 04, 2013 8:56 am

There are usually to contributing factors to misaligned old doors. 1st....As with any alignment you need to be sure the door and the door jamb are square.
2nd...If the room is subject to extreme temp changes, the constant temp changes place stress on the glue joints and they weaken allowing the door to be slightly out of square.
3rd...If this is an older (50 years or older) home it also likely the foundation has settled a bit causing the door jamb to stress.

If the lock is hitting the striker low, loosen the top hinge screws, remove the center screw of the top hinge and use a 3 inch wood screw of the appropriate size to draw the latch into alignment.

If it is hitting the striker high, reverse the process.

Our men's group at church does a lot of home repair for seniors, the ill and needy. This process works well 99% of the time.
Good luck.

Blessings,
Ben
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Post by Guest on Mon Mar 04, 2013 9:20 am

I have made cardboard shims and placed them between the hinge and door frame, usually placing a shim under the bottom hinge only.

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