As buildings age and style changes, locksmiths have the opportunity to upsell customers to new lock hardware or even new doors. New lock hardware provides a bright and fresh appearance to the front door of a residence. New doors offer additional advantages. These include custom woods in different configurations including multiple panel doors and doors with custom glazing. With a new door or an upgrade comes new lock hardware.
Installing or retrofitting new lock hardware using dedicated boring jigs saves time and reduces measuring errors that can occur when rushed using just a drill motor and holesaws or drill bits. Over time, these savings will more than offset the price of the installation tool.
For this article, I will discuss three installation tools available from A-1 Security Manufacturing Corporation: Mortise Lock & Crosshole Jig #M-100, Cabinet Lock Installation Jig #BUL-1 and Bulls Eye Installation Tool for Cylindrical Locksets #BUL-2.
MORTISE LOCK JIG
To create a mortise lock pocket by hand, drill the door edge several times using up to a 1-inch diameter auger drill bit (preferred tool) to a depth of about four to five inches. Fewer holes are required for smaller mortise lock cases.
Once the holes have been drilled into the centerline of the door edge, A chisel is used to remove the web (the material left over between the holes). All of this drilling must be accomplished in a door that can be as thin as 1-3/8” thick. This means that the holes must be drilled straight and slow enough to ensure the bit does not change direction and emerge into the light of day.
Cutting out a mortise pocket in a door using a drill motor and an auger bit is difficult and time consuming. I have installed a number of mortise locks by hand and also using a mortising jig. Let me tell you a mortising jig is much easier and much faster. You can better control the positioning of the mortise pocket and the cutting tool can remove the excess wood from within the pocket easily and rapidly.
A-1 Mortise Lock & Crosshole Jig #M-100 is designed to cut out the mortise pocket, to mortise the faceplate opening and drill the crossbore holes for the handle, levers or knobs, thumbturn, and mortise cylinder. The M-100 jig comes with a 1” diameter cutter for mortising the pocket and a 1-1/4” diameter cutter for mortising the faceplate opening. Additional cutter sizes are available.
This mortiser is self-centering, designed so the cutter automatically finds the centerline of a 1-3/8” to 2-1/2” thick door. It can accommodate three different backsets: 2-3/8”, 2-1/2” and 2-3/4”. The cutter guide is attached to a threaded rod. Rotating the handle raises or lowers the cutter assembly. The jig is designed for cutting up to an eight-inch tall opening for the mortise pocket.
In addition to cutting the mortise pocket, the Mortise Lock & Crosshole Jig operates with optional A-1 side plates, which are templates providing drilling and routing locations for the crossbore holes and openings for the mortise lock trim. The hard anodized side plates are manufactured of aircraft alloy.
A-1 offers 12 make and model-specific side plates for the Mortise Lock & Crosshole Jig. They are sold in pairs to accommodate the exterior and the interior door prep.
CABINET LOCK JIG
A-1 Bullseye Cabinet Lock Installation Jig #BUL-1 is designed for installing cabinet locks using 3/4”, 7/8”, 1-1/8” and 1-1/4” diameter cross bores. The 1 ¼” bushing is designed to accommodate 1 1/8 and 1 ¼ cam locks, including interchangeable core cam locks. The 7/8” bushing is an option. The jigs can accommodate cabinet door or drawer fronts from 7/16” to 1 ¼” thick.
Unlike door lock installation jigs, the A-1 Cabinet Lock Jig does not have stops to accommodate specific backsets. Cabinet locks are positioned onto a door or drawer front at the backset necessary to accommodate the locking bolt or latch. To assist in the positioning process, the BUL-1 jig has a measuring gauge in the top of the right hand drill plate assembly ranging from 7/8” to three inches. To set the installation jig in proper position for the lock, there is a built-in vial level.