Refurbish Vintage Brass Lock

It has been 19th Century Technology Month here at the International Handyman Headquarters.

First, there came vintage glass door knobs; (CLICK HERE) then came the 7 foot screen door with the original hardware (CLICK HERE)

Today we examine a mortally wounded full mortise box lock which must be disassembled and stripped for parts.

The cast iron case is irreparably cracked and broken so only the internal lock parts, springs and solid brass trim plate can serve in the future as replacements in other locks with undamaged cases.

As such it is an excellent opportunity to demonstrate how easily and quickly a lock such as this can be restored to squeaky, shiny newness with just a little care and caution.

Not only has this poor lock been abused to the point of a cracked cast iron case, but the solid brass latch plate ( a full 5/32 inch thick!) has been painted over AND BENT!!

In TWO places!

How or why anyone mangled it to such an extent is a question for the cold case files.

Task one is to clean the paint off the brass and polish it to a mirror finish.

This must be a gentle process.

Make a wooden scraper with a beveled edge and move the torch (flutter) back and forth to heat the paint without overheating the metal.

Scrape while the paint is hot and it will practically slide off.

As you will see the brass has not been too badly scratched or gouged in addition to all the other trials it has undergone over the years.

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