Dating antique secretary desk

20-Aug-2017 09:45 by 4 Comments

Dating antique secretary desk

These locks are most common on early 20th-century pieces and on inexpensive reproductions and are commonly used as replacement locks by inexperienced restoration “experts.” The purpose of a lock, of course, is to keep someone out of a private place, but since most locks are designed only to keep honest people honest, a determined trespasser can almost always find a way in.Most older and antique furniture locks work on the simple idea of a key moving a bolt through the lock and into the adjoining frame member.

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Also usually visible on a half-mortise lock are the screws or nails that hold the lock in place.A variation is two inside rings of different heights that require two notches of different depths but that’s a detail.A more serious impediment to the interloper is the accursed English “lever” lock.This lock relies on a series of spring-loaded levers, each of different thickness to deny entry.The levers must be aligned in a perfect line to allow the bolt to pass, but since their thickness is random and hidden, figuring out a cut pattern is very difficult.This lock requires notches to be made on the bottom of the key blade rather than on the face of the blade and is much more difficult to fabricate. Apparently the 19th century English had more of a need for security that we did.

This is one case where if you don’t have the key, don’t worry about it.The half-mortise lock is almost universal on 19th-century American and English case goods.The simplest design is the surface-mounted lock that is not inset in the wood at all but is mounted with screws or nails flush to the inside surface of the drawer or door.A spring holds the bolt notch fast to the face of the lock housing.The key must not only be the right size to move the bolt forward and back, it must be the right size to compress the spring and release the bolt so it can move.Most bolts have two notches, one in the locked position and one in the unlocked position.

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