Fix or replace an antique lock?

corbin antique door locksOtis emails:

Our house was built in 1880 and has a Corbin lock on the front door. The cast iron box that fits inside the door has some broken sections so it's no longer functional. Our locksmith says that there were many different Corbin locks and it's almost impossible to find a match in a working lock... but the alternative is to get rid of all our antique hardware and replace it with a modern lockset. So naturally I want to try finding a replacement.

We weren't familiar with Corbin locks, so we did a little poking around on Flickr -- and some of the examples that turned up are beauties. We can understand the desire to either fix or replace it with something similar, especially on a Victorian-style or other older home.

So, have a suggestion for where Otis can find someone to either fix this lock -- or, more likely, a place that might sell a similar replacement? Maybe someplace that specializes in working on older homes? Please share.

image via Wikipedia

Comments

hmm..I'd be surprised if you couldn't track down some replacement parts or even the lock mechanism on ebay...?

This forum seemed to offer a good bit of advice:

http://www.oldhouseweb.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=19480

Full disclosure: I work for Historic Albany Foundation's Architectural Parts Warehouse. That said, we do have mortise locks and some loose parts. It is however a very tedious task to find a match given the sheer number of lock manufacturers and models, your best bet would be to bring in the lock itself and spend an afternoon trying to find a match. If we don't have a specific lock set I often refer people to Wm J. Rigby Co. in Cooperstown www.wmjrigby.com

Dan, I was the guy who was in the shop buying the lock at about the time you were writing your post. I found my lock! Don't know whether it works or not, and I now realize I have to measure and come back and find a cylinder, but I've solved the one problem which was that the plate that holds the cylinder was broken, rendering it unusable.

Otis

I want to follow up with the happy ending: I did work with Bill Rigby in Cooperstown and ended up with a fully functional 1880s era lock set that used the Corbin lock I got from Dan and cylinder and other critical spare parts from Rigby. Bill was great and his prices were fair for the work and quality.... and considerably less than my local locksmith wanted to charge to rip out the old lock and replace with an ornate "Victorian" made in China. I am one happy Victorian camper!

Say Something!

We'd really like you to take part in the conversation here at All Over Albany. But we do have a few rules here. Don't worry, they're easy. The first: be kind. The second: treat everyone else with the same respect you'd like to see in return. Cool? Great, post away. Comments are moderated so it might take a little while for your comment to show up. Thanks for being patient.

The Scoop

Ever wish you had a smart, savvy friend with the inside line on what's happening around the Capital Region? You know, the kind of stuff that makes your life just a little bit better? Yeah, we do, too. That's why we created All Over Albany. Find out more.

Recently on All Over Albany

A quick recap of the week

Here are a few highlights from the past summer week on AOA: + Video and a collection of tweets and pics from the Wellington annex... (more)

Stuff to do this weekend

Yes, we have a few more weeks of official summer, but unofficially, folks, this is it. Pretty soon the swimming pools and ice cream stands... (more)

Mr. Harris

Over at the Times Union there's a really nice profile of longtime Washington Tavern bartender Mark Harris -- Mr. Harris -- by Steve Barnes. Harris... (more)

Voices for a mighty argument

We were browsing through the local photos today on the Yale Photogrammar site -- an easy-to-use interface for 170,000 photographs from 1935 to 1945 created... (more)

Drawing: Joshua Bell with the ASO + Yono's

Drawing's closed! The Albany Symphony Orchestra opens its new season September 6 at the Palace with a concert featuring superstar violinist Joshua Bell. We have... (more)

Recent Comments

Designers are doing "safe" designs because they really have no other choice considering all the whiners, budget and construction concerns.

Drawing: Joshua Bell with the ASO + Yono's

...has 87 comments, most recently from Jeniece

What's a recent building that you like?

...has 36 comments, most recently from Greg

Recommendations for hardwood floor refinishing?

...has 6 comments, most recently from Andrea Daley

The Gallery on Holland

...has 9 comments, most recently from daleyplanit

Voices for a mighty argument

...has 1 comment, most recently from Ellen