Install mortise lock

How to install a cabinet full mortise lock

In the display case that you saw me make in the previous entries, the door does not need anything to keep it closed, since being at the top horizontally it works like the lid of a trunk. But in a display case we usually put things that have value, at least for ourselves, so putting a mortise lock, such as those in trunks, is not superfluous.

How to Put a Mortise Chest Lock

We can install a mortise lock using a drill and wood bit, accompanied by a bit of gouge work, but it's a bit of a cumbersome method. And with a milling machine it can be done in a way that seems much simpler to me. So I bought a small mortise lock, and taking advantage of the fact that I have a straight bur with a diameter equal to the width of the lock plates that are visible and another with a diameter only slightly greater than the thickness of the metal case of the mechanism of the lock, we are going to see how to install the mortise lock with the help of the milling machine.

Adjust router depth

With the straight bur of diameter equal to the width of the sheet metal installed in the mill, I push the mill until the bur touches the table and locks it. I adjust the depth stop to the thickness of the sheet metal, and later on I will adjust the lateral guide to mill the box exactly in the area where I want to install the lock.


Measure and mark where to put the lock

But first I must mark the area with the help of the ruler, the square and the lock itself. I measure and mark the center of the ribbon, center the lock making sure I will not mill over the glass of the case, and mark the width and length of the sheet.

Milling recess for sheet metal mortise lock

Now, I only have to adjust the lateral guide of the router so that the router coincides just between the marks of the width of the lock plate. With the router unlocked, I can mill between the marks that give me the length of the sheet with the peace of mind that the depth stop allows me to mill a box with the perfect depth for the sheet. I won't touch the side guide adjustment until I drill into the window, which is slightly wider than the display case.

Mark the position of the lock box

With this first milling done, it is easy to mark the width of the metal box that houses the lock mechanism. Although I actually frame a little more on each side, since my straight burr is not long enough to mill all the necessary depth without the axis of the burr, wider than the burr itself, reaching the wood.

So that this does not hinder the milling, I first use an 8mm bur, equal to the axis of the drills, to mill a box a few mm deep. In this way the axis of the finest cutter will no longer hit the wood and I can make the box to the desired depth, previously adjusted with the depth stop of the router. Since I want this box perfectly centered in the milling I did for the veneer, the adjustment of the side guide is the same, so I did not touch it.

Make the hole to put the key to the lock

Once I check that the lock fits perfectly, I measure the position of the key hole, I mark the position in the case and with a drill I drill a couple of holes and one. I put the lock on and make sure I take it in and it triggers the lock mechanism smoothly.

Mark the position of the lock plywood

Now I place the sheet that will go in the window upside down in the box that I milled. And with the screws facing up. I put the window in place and press it against the screws, so that they stick a little into the window. And I screw them on completely, because with the window in place, I can check if the lock will work.

Milling the recess for the plywood

I remove the window again, mark the perimeter of the sheet in pencil and unscrew it. And with the same milling cutter that I used for the plate that is attached to the lock mechanism and the same procedure, I am going to mill a recess. This recess serves as a box for the plywood with the hitch pin that goes into the window. But this time I do have to readjust the position of the edge guide before milling. In addition, with the box already milled, I make a slight hole to house the riveting that has the hitch pin on the back of the metal sheet.

Mortise a trunk lock

I can already screw the lock into the frame of the showcase, and the plate with the hook pin on the window. I snap the window back into place and snap on the key hole trim. As you will see in the video, this trim gave me a couple of problems, since the screws are not as good as I would like. And if I put some more decorative screws I have to take into account that if they are very long they would trip over the metal case of the mechanism and would not enter completely.

Anyway, apart from a small problem, you see that with the help of a milling machine it is very easy to install a mortise lock.

So, after installing the mortise hinges and the lock of this showcase, I only needed to put a holding compass to prevent the door from opening too wide.


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