What are the best options with this old door lock?

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Old 08-31-18, 10:57 AM
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Angry What are the best options with this old door lock?

For 40 years we apparently never had a key for this lock so it was never locked externally. I'd like to change that so a key can be used on it again.
Most of the screws can be turned except for the rusty one below the keyhole.
In this small town I can't find much help with it. I tried to have a locksmith from a nearby town look at it and another door but they never showed up. The more I read about these locks the less I have faith that I can completely deal with it myself even if I manage to get out the cylinder. I don't want to replace the door. Should I just give up?
 
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Old 08-31-18, 12:34 PM
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If the lock works fine, (including the thumb-press outside, which is one of the first things to fail on these old locks), and all you need is the key, simply unscrew the mortise cylinder and take to any locksmith. On the edge of the lock, as shown by your photo, are 2 set screws exactly in line with the cylinder. Unscrew the one toward the outside of the door about 3 turns, and that will allow you to unscrew the cylinder. It may be a bit challenging to unscrew it, having been so many years without service, and while it should not be tightly screwed in to begin with, you never know...a small screwdriver in the keyhole may be sufficient, but you may end up messing up the cylinder getting it out. Loosen the lock body screws first, in case the cylinder hole wasn't drilled accurately. I would try to preserve the cylinder because key blanks are still available, and it would preserve the antique value of the lock. If you can remove it without damage, it appears that the plug may be corroded to the shell, meaning it may need to soak in a solvent such as Liquid Wrench to free it up.

If the cylinder is just not salvageable, a replacement cylinder can be bought in a dark finish very inexpensively, but show the old cylinder to the smithy anyway so the length and operating cam can be matched.

If you plan to keep the lock operating for years to come, (and you are a DIY'er) it pays to remove and disassemble the lock so that the internal parts can be cleaned and re-lubed, with a light grease on all bearing/friction surfaces, except the keyhole, which should get powered graphite or other light lube specifically designed for lock cylinders, ie., NOT WD40.

(Another area of concern was dealt with in an earlier post, about the set screw used to secure the inside knob to the spindle. If, after loosening the spindle set screw, the knob unscrews easily, no lube should be used to re-assemble.)
 
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Old 08-31-18, 12:46 PM
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In viewing your photo again, it looks like the cylinder collar may be of the spring type, in that you may be able to use a pair of round-jawed channel-lock pliers to grasp the cylinder flange....of course, you have to be very careful to not let the jaws slip, or you'll scar the finish. A locksmith would usually insert a key blank to use to unscrew it, but you don't have that option.
 
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Old 09-06-18, 07:26 AM
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rstripe is on the money again with his advice. If it is the spring collar, you can just press on the cylinder while turning counter clockwise
 
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