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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
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    4
    Country: United States

    Question Norwalk 1863 mortise lock questions

    I am trying to repair a Norwalk lock Company lock, Patented July 2, 1863. Plese excuse me for probably not using the proper terms; I'm an amateur! The problem is that the 'tongue' wasn't fully extending, so I took it apart and found that the long ribbon spring was snapped. I've jury-rigged a solution, but it's not perfect.
    I have two questions.

    1. It wasn't exactly clear how the long flat spring was supposed to be sitting in the lock. Does anyone know of a diagram for this lock? I created an aluminum foil wedge to allow it to push back on the yoke. Works OK, not great.

    2. What is the purpose of the v-shaped piece that seems to be able to pivot up and down? (see photo). I can't imagine why it would pivot, and I don't see it moving at all when I turn the door handles. Is it supposed to adjust something? I'm stumped!

    Thanks for any insight anyone on this forum can provide!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails lock-1@0,75x.jpg   IMG_5797.1.jpg  

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Tonawanda, NY, USA
    Posts
    822
    Country: United States

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    Quote Originally Posted by bobtreitman View Post
    I am trying to repair a Norwalk lock Company lock, Patented July 2, 1863. Plese excuse me for probably not using the proper terms; I'm an amateur! The problem is that the 'tongue' wasn't fully extending, so I took it apart and found that the long ribbon spring was snapped. I've jury-rigged a solution, but it's not perfect.
    I have two questions.

    1. It wasn't exactly clear how the long flat spring was supposed to be sitting in the lock. Does anyone know of a diagram for this lock? I created an aluminum foil wedge to allow it to push back on the yoke. Works OK, not great.

    2. What is the purpose of the v-shaped piece that seems to be able to pivot up and down? (see photo). I can't imagine why it would pivot, and I don't see it moving at all when I turn the door handles. Is it supposed to adjust something? I'm stumped!

    Thanks for any insight anyone on this forum can provide!
    1. Here are some images of Norwalk builders' lock mechanisms from their Cat. No. 39 (c) 1939. None seems to be identical to your earlier model and probably will be of little help but should at least you an idea of typical construction. See thumbnail.
    2. Sorry, I have no idea what that pivoting piece may be for!

    Pete Schifferli
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails NorwalkBuildersLockMechanisms1939.jpg  

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Posts
    4
    Country: United States

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pschiffe View Post
    1. Here are some images of Norwalk builders' lock mechanisms from their Cat. No. 39 (c) 1939. None seems to be identical to your earlier model and probably will be of little help but should at least you an idea of typical construction. See thumbnail.
    2. Sorry, I have no idea what that pivoting piece may be for!

    Pete Schifferli
    Well, I finally learned what the pivoting piece is for! It allows you to flip the tongue around without having to open the lock. At least that's what a locksmith told me. Unfortunately, he did not know how the spring is to be positioned.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Cleveland, Ohio USA
    Posts
    1,325
    Country: United States

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    There are a couple questions I have about your lock. And when I have questions I strip all the parts out of the lock so a clear picture of the case can be seen. Then a close inspection of each part and one by one checking each part reinstalled in the case. Being at the disadvantage of not being able to inspect each part, and to check for correct location of each part, I am at the mercy of you photographic ability. That lock is so simple that it doesn't make sense that it would have a feature to flip the handing of the latch bolt. So let's see some pictures, clear close up pictures. Or just send me the lock and I will fit a proper spring.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Posts
    4
    Country: United States

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug MacQueen View Post
    There are a couple questions I have about your lock. And when I have questions I strip all the parts out of the lock so a clear picture of the case can be seen. Then a close inspection of each part and one by one checking each part reinstalled in the case. Being at the disadvantage of not being able to inspect each part, and to check for correct location of each part, I am at the mercy of you photographic ability. That lock is so simple that it doesn't make sense that it would have a feature to flip the handing of the latch bolt. So let's see some pictures, clear close up pictures. Or just send me the lock and I will fit a proper spring.
    Thanks for responding to my post. I am 99% certain that the locksmith who looked at this today (he was working on another lock at my house) is correct -- that the arm at the top allowed for flipping of the latch bolt. Nothing else makes any sense. I was a bit surprised, since it would seem to be a trivial effort to remove the cover, but I guess one would risk having the spring go flying if one did.

    I have reassembled and installed it with the spring in a precarious position. If I remove it and open it up again I will take more photos. I assume you were able to view the two that I posted a couple of years ago?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Cleveland, Ohio USA
    Posts
    1,325
    Country: United States

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    It appears the lock was a Henry Elwell design. He apparently had an obsession for reversible latch locks as I found several patents, but none for your exact lock. I suppose there might have been a legitimate reason for the design, but I am not seeing it. It also appears your lock may be missing a spring for the deadbolt detent.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    619
    Country: United States

    Default Norwalk 1863 mortise lock questions Your Message

    It get to be funny as I have work on some of those Mortise lock. I think I used to have one sometime and don't know if i still have it or not. But your the first time seeing it and now that it almost because a puzzle lock of how everything support to work. If anything come up my way will let you know for sure....Timothy....

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Posts
    4
    Country: United States

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug MacQueen View Post
    It appears the lock was a Henry Elwell design. He apparently had an obsession for reversible latch locks as I found several patents, but none for your exact lock. I suppose there might have been a legitimate reason for the design, but I am not seeing it. It also appears your lock may be missing a spring for the deadbolt detent.
    Thanks for the additional information. I knew that the deadbolt spring was missing, but this is on a door that doesn't need to be locked. And I don't have a key for it, either. I'm still puzzled as to what the spring for the latch bolt would look like and where it should go. Not at all obvious to me or the locksmith who looked at it.
    The reversible-latch mechanism seems like overkill! A lot of engineering/manufacturing work to solve an otherwise easy-to-solve problem. But nothing else makes sense.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Cleveland, Ohio USA
    Posts
    1,325
    Country: United States

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    If you look below the latch bolt right up against the faceplate, there are a couple protrusions. Also note the backside of the bolt itself is curved. It certainly does look like a spring could be fitted there.

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