Now the the big renovation is complete, I've been able to find some time to get to the finer details of owning a 92 year old home. A few weeks ago we installed a rice paper window film to the bathroom door off our kitchen. The previous owners had used a curtain to provide the necessary privacy but we wanted something a bit more modern. It looks great! One problem: the heavy solid wood and glass door naturally hangs about halfway open. Since it took about an hour of shimming, adjusting, and cursing to get the door to close at all, I wasn't about to try anything fancy. Another problem: the latch on the door was not working and I haven't yet been able to find the correct Corbin key for the mortise lock. If you haven't seen an antique mortise lock up close, see below. They are truly amazing little gadgets:
They just don't make stuff like this anymore. The lock that I am holding is close to 5 lbs. of probably brass. But something is missing... Can you find it?
The spring, which causes the latch to rebound after the door knob is released had broken. In the picture, you can see most of the spring attached to the stationary peg while a small part is still attached to the hook and lever controlling the lock. Where could I find a replacement? Lowes had a few springs, the smallest of which was the correct diameter but more than twice the needed length.
The picture is fuzzy, but what you're looking at is the spring from Lowes, snipped in half and re-bent on the end to make a loop.
I slid the mortise lock back into the door, re-installed the door knobs and face plates, and...
Voila! The Bathroom door stays shut! You can see the privacy film clearly in this picture, although not really the rice paper pattern.