Skeleton Keys in the Closet…Door

Do you have a Skeleton Key Type Mortise Box?

You may know what that is, but if you don’t… GRRREAT! Because I can show you.

A skeleton key type mortise box looks like this…

Requiring a certain prep for your mortise door, it slides right in.


The more modern doors are prepped like this…

Tubular Latch


And the tubular latch would slide in the cross bore of the door. But that’s another post in it’s self.


The skeleton key type mortise box is for those old fashioned doors. You know, like the one’s with the crystal  or porcelain knobs and the key hole you can spy through, with those sweet skeleton keys. Yeah, those!

We carry brand new replacement hardware for those type of doors.

Like this one


Nostalgic Warehouse New Yor Plate with Porcelain Knob - Mortise

See more here. Or go under antique hardware on our site.

So, if you need some replacement antique hardware, we’ve got you covered. We even carry the mortise boxes. If you have the modern or standard door prep with the tubular latches like we talked about and want that antique look, don’t worry, we have that too! (Click here)


You like Crystal Knobs do you?

Well, we have plenty to choose from. And if you don’t like the rosette (back plate), don’t worry, because you are the boss and can choose whatever one you like best.

For starters there are the ones from Baldwin,

Then we have the ones from Emtek.

(Again, many rosettes to choose from)

They even have the pretty colored ones!

Nostalgic Warehouse has one Crystal Knob, but don’t forget what I said before, and I will say it again…


(Just to name a few. Just go here to see the rest!)

Nostalgic Warehouse even has replacements for those old fashioned skeleton key type doors. Just look under our Antique hardware under “Skeleton Key Type Mortise Locks”.

Did you think I was finished? Well I am NOT. We have one more brand to go over.

The Grandeur…

Only a fancy name like that could carry fancy door knobs like this…

Did I mention they have fancy names?

Like everything else, Grandeur has a lot of different Rosettes. Click Here.

Well, I am sure you have lots of deciding to do, so I will let you get to it!

Let us know if we can be of any assistance!

Stylish Kwikset Ultramax Hancock Stands Alone

Kwikset Ultramax Hancock door knob is in a class of its own.  This knob looks good in any one of its 10 finishes.  Kwikset doesn’t just play around with their door hardware.  They provide a 10 year finish guarantee and a lifetime warranty.  This doorknob is designed to last.  It is as to install and has all the necessary styling you need.  Be sure to check out this and all our other door knobs.

Take a Step Back in Time

We often feature the newest and best selling supplies in this blog.  Today we are going to take a step back in time.  Come with us as we look at the crystal door knobs that we offer on the site.  We have a warehouse-filling stock of crystal knobs made by companies like Grandeur, Nostalgic Warehouse and Emtek.  This make great additions to your old world style home.

Refinishing Old Door Hardware

Over the years I have had many customers ask if they can just keep their old door hardware, but have it refinished. Most of us really don’t have hardware that is all that unique so it’s probably better to replace with new door knobs and recycle the old at the scrap metal shop because the cost to refinish would be much more than the cost of brand new door locks.

Ocassionally though, someone has a piece of hardware that is unique, historical, or maybe their front door is unique or very valuable and the best option is to replace the hardware with the exact same so that no drilling or further damaging the door is required. Recently I found a shop in Glencoe, ?IL that specializes in refinishing door hardware among other things. If you have some antique hardware that you would just prefer to keep, check out International Silver Plating Inc.. We’ve never had them refinish anything for us, but it sounds like they have been doing it for 80 yrs so they might just be a good place to start.

If you want replacement antique knobs or have ?a new home that you would like to install antique looking door hardware in, be sure to check out our selection of Antique Style Door Hardware.

Mortise Locks: Two Basics Types

A little clarification for remodelers out there:

A lot of older homes use the old skeleton key type lock where there is a box (called a mortise box) mounted inside the door and the knobs mount to a spindle inserted through the mortise box. We have a lot of customers that need just the knobs and spindle replaced. Here is a link to just the knobs and spindles:

If you need to replace the whole entire set, you can purchase a new mortise box with knobs, spindles, and backplates. Find complete skeleton key locks here.??On that page you can choose from many styles, then choose the mortise function. In ?my opinion, if you are replacing the knobs, you may as well replace the whole set-up and have some nice smooth functioning knobsets. Replacing the knobs does make an immediate cosmetic difference, but those old mortise boxes get worn out and tend to have a lot of play in them. A new mortise box will operate smoothly, yet feel solid. But, luckily for those of us on a budget, you can just buy the knobs seperately, or even the backplates (found here), or even just the mortise box.


Example of a skeleton key mortise box

Example of a skeleton key mortise box



The second kind of mortise lock is often confused with the first, so I thought I’d clarify a little in this blog post. Mortise Entry Sets also use a mortise box that slides in the edge of the door, but they do not use a skeleton key like the vintage mortise locks. The Mortise Entry Sets or Handlesets have a larger box that connects the lower knob or lever handle and the deadbolt lock above. These type of mortise locks are much more expensive than than standard tubular latch sets that most of us have in our homes. There are several advantages to mortise entry sets. One of the more popular styles that we sell are the Emtek Mortise handlesets. These locks have a larger than standard deadbolt throw for added security and lock at the doorknob or lever latch as well. These mortise locks also have an option that allows you to keep the door locked at all times so that when you leave the home it will lock behind you. The added security and smooth operation of mortise locksets make them a popular choice, but since they require more preparation than the standard lockset, they won’t work for every situation. Emtek also makes decorative plate locks in the mortise function. You’ll notice in the example below that the latch on the edge of the display is long and rectangular with deadbolt and lever latch towards the center, where a standard sideplate would have two seperate tubular latches top and bottom.


Emtek Mortise Sideplate Lock

Emtek Mortise Sideplate Lock

Antique Door Hardware

For quite some time we have sold a great line of vintage style knobs from Nostalgic Warehouse. There are many knob and backplate styles to fit your historic home, but up until now we have just sold the complete locksets. We now offer all of the misc back plates and knobs for sale individually. If your old mortise box works fine but your old antique doorknobs are falling off of the spindles, you can now just buy replacement doorknobs and spindles if you need to. Check out our Antique Door Hardware and Parts.