Full Mortise Lock Information


Full Mortise Locks are a popular style, Lock-mechanism fits into a pocket in wood, This style is often desired for it's minimalist appearance as only selvedge is visible on door/drawer edge.
Use on Drawers, Doors and Desks.
Drawer Locks were commonly used on drawers. Lock-bolt shoots up into case above drawer, a strike is rarely used.
Door Locks are handed meaning right-hand or left-hand. 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.
    Full Mortise Lock Diagram
    Measuring Half Mortise Locks:
  • Before looking for a replacement it will be necessary to measure your lock.
  • Please view diagram below to determine how to measure your lock.
  • The backset measurement, is the most important measurement, must match precisely.
  • Once the backset measurement is determined you can look at your various options.
  • If potential substitutes have different lock-body or lock-plate measurements cabinet work may be necessary to fit the lock.
  • Full Mortise Installation
    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
  • Lock-body
  • 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.
  • Close