A mortise lock is one that requires a pocket the mortise to be
cut into the door or piece of furniture into which the lock is to be
fitted. In most parts of the world, mortise locks are generally
on older buildings constructed before the advent of bored cylindrical
locks, but they have recently become more common in commercial and
up-market residential construction in the United States.
The parts included in the typical mortise lock installation are
the lock body (the part installed inside the mortise cut-out in the
door); the lock trim (which may be selected from any number of designs
of doorknobs, levers, handle sets and pulls); a strike plate, or a box
keep, which lines the hole in the frame into which the bolt fits; and
the keyed cylinder which operates the locking/unlocking function of the
The installation of a mortise lock cannot generally be undertaken
by the average homeowner since it is labor intensive and requires a
working knowledge of basic woodworking tools and methods. Many
installation specialists use a mortising jig which makes precise cutting
of the pocket a simple operation, but the subsequent installation of the
external trim can still prove problematic if the installer is
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