How To Install A Rim Lock On A Wooden Door Frame

29 June 2016
 Categories: , Blog

If you want added privacy for a door with a touch of elegance, add a rim lock.These locks are installed on the face of the door frame rather than inside the door frame.

Rim locks can be bought from antique dealers or hardware reproduction companies.You should be able to install them yourself with no prior experience. Here are some tips to install rim locks on a door.

Prepare to Work

For this project, you need:

  • work gloves
  • safety glasses
  • ruler
  • pencil
  • chisel
  • screwdriver
  • small plywood circles (optional)
  • wood putty (optional)
  • paint (optional)
  • drill
  • rim lockset

Choose a door for the lock. Rim locks work well on interior doors with a thin frame that would not be strong enough to hold a standard lock. Since rim locks don't offer a high level of security, they should not be installed on an exterior door, unless you add a deadbolt.

Drill a Hole for the Spindle and Keyhole

Shut the door. Place the lock in the chosen position on the edge of the door, and trace around it with the pencil. Measure the distance between the keyhole and spindle to determine their position, then mark it on the outline.

If you want to cover a keyhole where an old lock was, nail in several small circles of plywood to cover it. Mask the nail head with wood putty, let the putty set, and paint the hole.

Use the drill and chisel to cut a hole on the mark big enough for the spindle to fit through. Remove wood splinters with the chisel. Drill a hole for the keyhole beginning at the top of the mark. Test the key to ensure it fits the hole.

Install the Lock

Some rim locksets come with a fastener for a surface mount. You may also insert the lock body in the door using nails, screws, or antique fasteners, if it doesn't have a fastener included. Hammer nails in the holes on both sides of the fastener.

The strike plate catches the latch of the lock. Place the strike plate on the door face so the holes are in alignment with the latch, and secure the strike plate using screws or nails.

Insert the spindle through the lock body. Attach a screw in the base of each door knob to fasten them to the spindle with a screwdriver. Some knobs may use an internal connector instead of screws.

Install the rosette, or keyhole, on the other side of the lock body. The rosette may be a decorative metal plate that commonly attaches with screws to the door face.

Test the rim lock. If you don't trust your skill, or you want to upgrade door locks for entry doors, contact a locksmith in your area.