Behind old-fashioned doors, centuries of stories are concealed and there are surely some skeletons in the closets too! There's something timelessly magical about an antique door with a porcelain knob and a keyhole you can spy through. In fact, most vintage doors like these are opened with a skeleton key style mortise box. Typically characterized by their classic brass casing around intricate steel mechanical parts, these locks are often opened by skeleton keys with a narrow shaft and a flat extension on one side near the bottom of the shaft.

Modern doors are rarely graced with the beauty of skeleton key-type mortise boxes unless they are specifically fit and installed. The typical modern door is constructed to allow a tubular latch to slide in the cross bore of the door. A mortise lock, like one you can open with a skeleton key, may be a more antiquated approach to internal security; however, despite their old age, mortise locks are often stronger than bored cylindrical locks. The increased leverage and durability compared to modern cylindrical locks promise enhanced privacy with the added benefit of unique, discernible charm.

The beauty and practicality of a skeleton key can be brought to any door, from traditional modern and antique to custom design and salvage, but mortise lock cutouts require a specific prep for your door. Installation of the lock will require a professional to drill a pocket into the edge of the door and fit the mortise box accordingly. Some locks can be installed easily, but mortise boxes require an experienced professional to make precise cutting with a mortising jig. (1) While the installation takes longer than a typical cylindrical lock, skeleton keys' classic beauty and added benefits can be considered fair trade-offs.

Skeleton keys can open more than interior bedroom or closet doors too! Old chests, grandfather clocks, and lock drawers are often only accessed with a classically styled skeleton key. No matter what you're trying to lock or unlock, we've got you covered with antique replacement hardware. Crystal, porcelain, and craftsman are among the various styles of knobs that you can choose from in our inventory. With rustic, classic, and modern designs, there's something for everyone.

You can upgrade your modern or standard door prep with an antique look that will make you feel like you've been transported back in time. Choose from a wide array of plates and mortise boxes with peace of mind knowing warranties are also included. Browse our selection of dozens of elegant door hardware elements to spruce up your locks today!

Source: https://www.andersonlock.com/blog/5-reasons-mortise-locks-the-mysterious-locks/