Broken spindle on door lock?

Reply

  #1  
Old 08-25-18, 10:01 PM
S
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 8
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Broken spindle on door lock?

Today as I was opening my apartment's front door to go out, the door knob pulled right off. I used a screwdriver to open the door, then found that the outer knob pulled right off too. I've attached photos of the knobs and the lock. Is the problem that the spindle broke in two? Can this be fixed?

I don't know which company made this lock; I don't see a brand name anywhere. I bought the apartment recently (it's in the US), but I think it's the original lock from 1965. The lock has plates inside and outside that attach to the door with short screws, and then a cover snaps onto the inside plate and another cover screws onto the outside plate. (The plates came off too, but I figured out how to re-attach them.) On the side of the door, there are buttons that either keep the door from locking or prevent the outside door knob from turning. There's a deadbolt above the knobs. Above all that is a Segal vertical deadbolt which uses the same key as the lower deadbolt. Security is pretty tight in the building, so I haven't been using either deadbolt -- I just pull the door shut.

Any info on who makes this lock and how to fix it would be appreciated. Thanks.
 
Attached Images     
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 08-26-18, 11:08 AM
S
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 8
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I've been reading up, so now I know this is a mortise lock with day/night switches. The problem seems to be with the swivel spindle. Can someone help in identifying the lock company and which replacement spindle to get? Thx.
 
  #3  
Old 08-26-18, 07:36 PM
R
Member
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 1,348
Received 9 Votes on 9 Posts
From the logo on the faceplate, it's a Russwin, and yes, this dates back to the early 60's or before. The weak link (literally) of 2-piece swivel-spindles has always been the connecting stud.
The challenge is to unscrew the broken pieces from each half of the spindle. But first I would consider just replacing the lock. Of course it will be more costly, but if time is important, that's probably quickest. If you've got the time to do some searching, replacement spindles used to be available at a full line locksmith, and nowadays, possibly online. If you live in a major city, look for one of the older locksmiths in town that's been in business a long time. There were about half a dozen different swivel spindle sizes, and the replacement consisted of the 2 halves, with the connecting stud. Always grease the stud before assembly.

For the patient (and cheap) DIY'r, a long socket screw of the same thread (don't worry, it WON'T be metric) or in a pinch, a machine screw cut to size will work. The stud should be a grade harder than just ordinary bolts, as it gets a lot of stress. Measure the broken pieces, and don't go any shorter. As mentioned, the problem may be getting the broken pieces out. Drill a pilot hole into the stud so you can tap in an Easy-Out. put a drop or 2 of Liquid Wrench and let it soak a while. See how that works.

Again tho, that's an old lock, and unless some preventive maintenance is done, it may have other parts that fail before too long. If you're willing to spend more time, a complete disassembly will allow you to properly grease internal parts and prolong greatly the life of the lock.
 
  #4  
Old 08-26-18, 07:45 PM
R
Member
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 1,348
Received 9 Votes on 9 Posts
PS: You might get lucky and find the replacement stud by itself. IIRC, they used to have kits with individual replacement components for the major brands of mortise locks of the day. Again, the older the smithy, the better your chances.
 
  #5  
Old 08-28-18, 07:08 AM
S
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 8
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Thanks for all the info, rstripe -- really helpful.
Looking online, I found a hardware store nearby whose owner is a locksmith. He had a compatible spindle in stock. He marked the old spindle where it protruded from the outside knob, used a hammer and awl to drive out the pin holding the knob in place, then used the pin to attach the knob to the new spindle. The spindle came with a bushing for each half, but I found that the bushing for the inside half was unnecessary. The spindle without the bushing was the right size for the inner hub; the outer hub was bigger so the bushing was necessary on that half of the spindle. At home, I lubricated the stud and inserted the outside knob/spindle assembly into the door, screwed on the inside knob, and tightened the set screw.
The only issue I have right now is that the new spindle didn't have as many holes in it as the old one, so more of the spindle was sticking out of the outside knob than before. I could only screw on the inside knob so far (because the threads on the spindle only went so far), so the knobs slide in and out a bit. Possibly, I could attach the outside knob using a different hole and that would work out better -- but getting out the pin was the hardest part of the whole process. Anyway, this turned out to be a quick and inexpensive solution for now. I get your point, though, about the age of the lock. Until I take further action, if I get locked in or out, I now have a locksmith to call.
Thanks again. This was great.
 
  #6  
Old 08-28-18, 03:41 PM
T
Member
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: US
Posts: 460
Received 14 Votes on 13 Posts
If you want a better fit, take a look at Progressive's 45-20-32 shown here. It's pretty much an exact replacement for Corbin's old #32 spindle. When working with a swivel spindle that uses threads between the two halves, tighten the two halves and then back them off at least 1/2 turn before installing.
 
  #7  
Old 08-28-18, 03:54 PM
T
Member
Join Date: Aug 2018
Posts: 14
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
If you can't get the pin out to push the spindle in further cut the end off, to the length you need, with a hacksaw.
 
  #8  
Old 08-28-18, 03:57 PM
T
Member
Join Date: Aug 2018
Posts: 14
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
P.S. I love that deadbolt retainment system...
 
  #9  
Old 08-28-18, 08:24 PM
R
Member
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 1,348
Received 9 Votes on 9 Posts
Per Tinker'er advice, or file the threads off a little, on the 4 corners near the end, will also let you screw it on further. And I might add, it's important to snug the knobs up into their collar/bearing supports as much as possible, but still allowing for free turning (these should be greased, as well), because the snug fit will minimize the bending stress on the connecting stud.
 
  #10  
Old 08-29-18, 11:06 AM
S
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 8
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Before I tightened the set screw, I could still turn the knob but it wasn't advancing. Unlike the original spindle, which was threaded practically its whole length, the new one is threaded only so far. When the knob wasn't going on farther, I thought it was because the knob had reached the end of the threading. Is that wrong? If sawing off the spindle end or filing the threads or getting a better spindle will help, I'll do it.

Tinker'er: Are you talking about the screws for the deadbolt's thumb-turn? Yeah, those big screws are barely in the wood.

Thanks for all the help. Really good advice.
 
  #11  
Old 08-30-18, 07:37 PM
R
Member
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 1,348
Received 9 Votes on 9 Posts
If the knob is not advancing, either the spindle or the knob is stripped...if the replacement spindle is steel, the knob is probably chewed up. If the spindle is bronze, look at the threads and see if they're chewed up.Look inside the knob to see if, were it not for the stripped threads, the spindle should go in further. If so, (and assuming you don't have a tap of that size) file the spindle threads on the 4 corners with a shallow taper, not too much, and with a drop of oil see if it wont self-tap in deeper.
 
  #12  
Old 09-06-18, 09:04 AM
GlobalLocky's Avatar
Member
Join Date: May 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 939
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
split spindles are cheap. make sure to tighten the grub retaining screw sufficiently too (often there can be 2 of them at 90)
 
Reply
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description: