Old door, the wood around the lock is breaking apart. Today a chunk of the material fell off. The chunk that fell off feels like rock and not wood. I wonder it they previously try to patch it up with Bondo or something like it.

What should I do to secure the mechanism into place?

Do I need to remove the lock mechanism, extract all that is deteriorating and then fill the void with a solid piece of wood?

(Yes. That is a piece of tape holding a loose screw.)

Is it salvageable or is it time to get another door? I would rather that replacement be the last option bc our door is not a common size and I think will be expensive to replace.

door lock

  • It's not damage if he removed all that stupid wood filler he could probably slip the original mortise lock back in and it would look perfect. Commented Nov 8, 2020 at 0:58
  • 1
    More tape:) Research "How to Patch a Doorknob Hole With a Dutchman" duckduckgo.com/…
    – Alaska Man
    Commented Nov 8, 2020 at 2:50
  • @AlaskaMan The Dutchman fix looks interesting. But in would have to out the old style lock back?
    – milesmeow
    Commented Jun 6 at 21:23
  • I don’t have the original mortise lock.
    – milesmeow
    Commented Jun 6 at 21:24

2 Answers 2


You have an old wood door that used to have a Mortise lock in it. Someone 'upgraded' it.

You have 2 choices:

  1. stuff the cavity with whatever you can find, bondo, wood putty, etc. Then buy a metal plate that "wraps around" the lock area.

  2. Pull the lock out, pull out everything that smacks of wood filler. Carefully measure the cavity and use a bandsaw, planer, jointer, etc. to take a piece of wood and shape it to slide into the cavity. Make it just a bit wider and taller than the cavity so that it has to be tapped in with a hammer. Then liberally smear it and the cavity with wood glue, tap it in, and clamp the door down tight in between 2x4's. When everything has hardened redrill the doorknob holes.

  • On the possibility that the original mortise is messy, I'd suggest a loose-ish fitting hunk of wood for #2 and liberal application of bondo to fill the voids. And if you go for #1, use a non-shrinking two part wood filler (ie, bondo) rather than a 1-part spackle sort of thing. Commented Nov 8, 2020 at 1:15

You really should replace the door. That is very nasty damage.

If you must repair it, I think your plan to remove the damaged part and replace it with a new solid piece of wood, then cut new holes for the lock mechanism should work provided there is enough strength left in what remains.

Bondo or other fillers will offer you a temporary fix at best. You may be able to wrap it with a metal lock protector but I think it will still be unstable because there is nothing solid to hold the lock mechanism.

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