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How to Fit and Install a Mortice Lock

Most new wooden doors will be supplied without any locks or furniture, this gives the opportunity for the owner to choose their exact lock and security requirements.  Mortice lock fitting is a fairly complex process that will require a good level of DIY skills.  Choosing the correct mortice lock for your door is also very important, consider lock size especially case depth and forend width, ensuring these correspond with the new door.

Tools required

  • Drill and drill bits
  • Chisel
  • Screwdrivers
  • Ruler
  • Pencil / marking gauge


1 – Position lock as close to mid height of the door as possible, place lock body against the edge of the door and mark top and bottom of lock case, try to avoid any joints or cross members.

2 – Between the two marks, as made above, drill series of overlapping holes to correct depth of lockcase, drill bits could be marked with tape to prevent drilling too deep.

3 – Chisel out the remaining wood to create rectangular hole, the mortice, this hole will take the lock body.

4 – Insert lock body into the newly made hole and draw around forend and faceplate.  Remove lock and chisel recess to take the lock forend and the faceplate, check to make sure that lock body and faceplate fit flush to the door edge.

5 – Hold lock against side of the door making sure that faceplate is flush with the door and lock body in line with mortice hole.  Drill holes on each side of door for key and spindle, fit the lock in the door and check the key and spindle move freely.

6 – Secure lock in the door with screws then attached faceplate over the top, fit other door furniture as required.

7 – Open the door and extend the locking bolt with key, close door gently against the door frame and mark the positions of the underside of the lock bolt and the top of the latch, between these create a central line on the door frame.

8 – Hold striker or keep to frame in line with marks, draw around the box part of the striker.  Along Centre line drill overlapping holes to the depth of the box part of the strike, then chisel out the remaining wood to accommodate box.  Position strike on frame then draws around edge of the striker, chisel out a recess to house strike making sure it fits flush to door frame.  Secure striker to frame with screws and test lock, adjust striker as required.


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