While people may be attracted to using antique locks due to their vintage aesthetic quality, antique locks are simply weak security providers. We recommend using antique locks simply as decorative accessories if they are used at all, while doors, windows, and storage areas are in reality protected by multiple layers of strong modern locks. Here’s a guide to some of the common issues with antique locks, as prepared by the lock repair and lock installation experts at Chicago Locksmiths.
Rust is the chemical reaction that creates a clogging solution inside the lock that can cause them to jam. You can often tell if a lock is rusting based on the presence of a yellow or brown sandy residue. This may be on the exterior, or coming out of the keyway. This can result in locks being completely inoperable, but it is a fixable issue with disassembly and cleaning.
Oftentimes, rust can cause imperfections inside a lock’s metal, which after regular use causes a severe break. Antique locks with large breaks will need to be assessed by a professional in order to determine the viability of a repair operation. It’s possible that you might decide to cosmetically fix the lock and simply use it as decoration while using a new high security lock to provide security.
Internal Mechanical Issues
This is a common cause of antique lock malfunction. As the 20th century progressed, locks became increasingly complicated and more efficient in design. Antique locks weren’t built with this function forward design, and their internal mechanics can suffer from a range of issues due to degradation, bumps, shifts, and misplacement of parts. These issues are usually difficult to fix, and are best handled by an antique lock expert.
Parts falling off the Lock
Antique locks often literally fall apart due to issues like slipped spindles, loose doorknobs, or loose door handle roses. The entire assembly of the lock can be loose and slack within the door. The easiest and most common fix for this issue is the simple tightening of the complicated connections inside the lock.