Asked on Sep 14, 2019

Is it possible to fill in this door hole and put in a new lock?

by Nora

I have a door, circa 1910, has old Corrine Mortise locking system with no keys , any ideas on filling in the gynormous door locking system hole to put a regular door knob in it's stead? This is an exterior door. Could an exterior wood putty fill in the area after I remove the Mortise locks an then drill a new hole for new door knob? The replacement for this door lock system is over $800.00 so I could buy a new door, but the front door is so perfect in every way except I cant use it!!!

Front door needs new locking system.

  5 answers
  • Vimarhonor Vimarhonor on Sep 14, 2019

    Hello, I will suggest using epoxy putty something that strong weatherproof can be sanded or drilled.

    It's a two-part epoxy sticky-found at big box hardware stores for about $6.

    You mix press -then you can use scrape off excess (I use depleted gift card) and/or sand and paint. Cured putty is strong enough to drill through. Its a light grey putty.

    Oatey Putty safely seals/waterproofs for plumbing boat repairs.... Ive used it for exterior entry door frame wood rot repair, elliptical pedal repair, multiple arts and crafts repair of furniture, pottery- wood -ceramic- concrete statues -both wooden and metal candlesticks, even a garage laundry sink with a hole ( thanks for hiding that defect with carrots -previous homeowner)

    Every home owner crafter or second hand shopper need a 2 part putty epoxy stick!

    You can find other slightly more expensive and smaller 2 part epoxy sticks versions in the boat marine and wood repair sections this Oatey one is a great value.

    Consider the epoxy putty for your repair needs.

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    • Nora Nora on Sep 14, 2019

      That tube looks too flimsy to fill in the huge gap that the Mortise removal will cause, are you sure about this? Look at the picture, it is not just the hole with lock worn, it is the Mortise that fits the whole locking system , that is about 7 3/4 inch length by 1 1/2 inch width. That little stick could not possibly fill in that area could it?

  • Joel Abanilla Joel Abanilla on Sep 15, 2019

    This looks like major repair work. You’ll need to clean cut the area into a rectangular shape. Then cut a similar shaped piece of wood to patch up the area. Fill with putty the gap between the original wood on the door and the patch. When the putty is dry, sand it smooth. Drill the necessary holes for the new lock. You can spot paint the repaired area or the entire door. Install the new lock.

    I hope you are able to save your door.

  • John Biermacher John Biermacher on Sep 15, 2019

    Very do-able repair, especially if you are going to paint both sides.

    Fill the hole with a round wooden plug and the lock set with a rectangular piece. The closer the fit the better, but they don’t need to be exact. Glue in place with polyurethane (gorilla) glue and tape in place until glue sets/swells overnight. You can chisel away the excess and ultimately sand. Fill remaining voids with 2 part epoxy. I typically use bondo. Is can be more easily trimmed down with a putty or painter knife when it starts to harden, but before it completely hardens. Easier to do multiple patches, rather than all at once. Multiple postings on HTalk, Sand until the door looks like it was when it was made and then redrill for new look. Will try to add photos on a door repair I am almost done with, but not posted yet.

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  • Columbia GB Columbia GB on Sep 15, 2019

    Here's a similar method:

    Search through these -

  • William William on Sep 15, 2019

    The This Old House video from Columbia GB is exactly what you want to do. The epoxy putty idea would not work. Not enough there and it would pop out. The wood plug works on modern day locksets. I have done it. But you a mortice lock. It need to filled with a wood dutchman. Which i also have done before.