An irregular, irreverent, post-modern account of the surreal, the ordinary, and the bizarre happenings on and around the Felia lavender farm in Crete

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Dead lock locked

I love full mortise dead locks. With the lock itself safely tucked into the body of the door and the tongue locked firmly into the jamb, they are so secure. They are really difficult to tamper with. Aye, there's the rub. Really difficult to tamper with.

Last night we adjourned to the lounge for the latter part of the evening as usual. It was about 10:30. As we were going to be in for the rest of the night I turned off the outside light and double locked the door behind us The redoubtable mortise lock clicked into place. Something clicked in my mind. That didn't sound right. Along with the reassuring clunk there was another, alien, sound.

Just to make sure I put the key back in the lock and opened the door. Or rather that is what I tried to do ... but the lock was stuck firm. The key would not turn . The tongue would not withdraw. I checked that I was using the right key. I was. I tried again. No luck. No change. G came along to find out what I was doing wrong and had no better luck than had I.

This floor has no back door save a balcony two and a half metres above the garden at basement level and no internal staircase to the lower level. The now permanently locked door is the only usable entrance. Tomorrow.

We settled down with a DVD after lighting the stove. We drank our tea and relaxed as best we could knowing that we were firmly locked in.

This morning we left by the front window and roused Farmboy to deal with the problem. Six hours later the door was re-instated with a new mortise lock. I'm not exactly sure how he did it but I did see the following tools and supplies going upstairs and through the window: screwdrivers various; chisels various; mallet large; mallet small; tenon saw; angle grinder; files various; electric drill; drill bits, wood and steel, various; new mortise lock; new lock cylinder; door handles cast iron; sandpaper grades various. It is by no means an invisible repair but it works - for now.

Thanks Farmboy.


  1. I've been in a similar situation, but
    was able to cut out the section of door frame housing the bolt keeper box using hammer and chisel, open the door (to buy a new mortise lock), and scarf in a new piece of door frame, but it is an inconvenience I could well have done without.

  2. I had a situation like this over a month ago. The handle to one of our closet broke. I couldn't open the door in the hallway closet that is where we keep the toilet paper and household cleaning goods. I removed the pins in the hinges. After that I manages to open the door with a screw driver