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Full Mortise Locks

Full Mortise Locks

Realize the Benefits and Uses of Full Mortise Locks

Full Mortise Locks offer the most concealed appearance. Use on drawers and doors. Installation requires, a pocket to be cut in wood, to house lock mechanism. Once installed, all that is visible is a simple, brass rectangular plate, known as the selvedge. Full Mortise Locks are often desired for it's minimalist appearance .


Full Mortise Lock installed

Drawer Locks

When using half mortise locks on drawers consider position of keyhole, as it is often off center. When engaged, lock-bolt shoots up into case above drawer. A strike is rarely used.

Door Locks

Our full mortise locks work both right-hand and left-hand cabinet doors. Please note: some full mortise locks are not available in both left and right options. When looking for door locks be sure lock is handed according to your needs.

  • doors hinged on right - bolt shoots to the left.
  • doors hinged on left - bolt shoots to the right.

Desk Locks

were often used on roll top desks. These applications require a trap-door strike with the lock. 

Measuring Full Mortise Locks

Full Mortise Lock Diagram
  • Measure your lock before looking for a replacement.
  • Please view diagram right, to determine relevant measurements.
  • Backset measurement, distance from edge of lock to pin in keyhole, is the most important measurement, it must match precisely.
  • Once the backset measurement is determined you can look at your various options.
  • Cabinet work may be necessary if potential substitutes have different lock-body or lock-plate measurements. 


Determine desired location of lock

  • Adjust position to allow for location of keyhole as it is often off center in lock
  • Lock should be positioned in middle of wood thickness, providing a wood edge around selvedge
  • Mark location of lock-selvedge on door or drawer edge
  • Hold lock-selvedge, at desired location, on wood thickness and trace outline
  • Inspect outline for accuracy , straighten lines where necessary
  • Mortise Selvedge


  • Trace lock-body outline into selvedge-mortise at correct position
  • Cut lock-body-mortise
  • Mortise can be slightly off as selvedge will conceal lock-body once installed.
  • Check lock with mortise, lock should sit in mortise with selvedge flush with wood surface
  • Strikes are rarely use with reproduction full mortise locks. Traditionally a simple mortise was cut in the wood to accept the lock bolt.

Keyhole Placement

  • Measure distance from top of lock-plate to center of key pin
  • Measure distance from side of lock-plate to center of key pin
  • With these two measurements locate keyhole on furniture front, make sure key pin is aligned with keyhole location
  • Drill small pilot hole at key pin location, hold lock in position and check to make sure hole lines up with key pin
  • Drill hole larger to accommodate key barrel

Mount Lock

  • Mount lock in a mortised- pocket in wood thickness/edge
  • Selvedge edge should be level with top of drawer or edge of door
  • Attach with wood screws
  • For a finished appearance: mount an  escutcheon/keyhole plate, on furniture front.

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