Graphical Construction Glossary >> Doors. >> Door Hardware >> Rim Lock

Rim Lock
A surface mounted door lock. AKA Rimlock.
Restoration Hardware
Particular items of hardware that are used in restoration work to keep as close as possible to the original designs. Can be refurbished original items or replicas.
Rim latch
A latch fixed to the surface of a door. Often built into a combination lock and latch.
Black Japan
An old metal finish to builder's hardware items, consisting of an ashphalt base in turpentine or naptha that is baked in an oven to 200 Degrees Centigrade.

A very old combination deadlock and latch
Rim Lock : A old combination deadlock and latch

This beauty was seen at the Chataux de Vincennes outside of Paris. There is no way to put a date on it but it is quite old and certainly very solid.

Have a look at the door locks intro page if you haven't already been there as there are a couple of other rimlocks shown there.

Most of the rimlocks that are on this site are the night latch style which are still alive and well and they are sold in their millions. These very old ones are shown here just for interest, but I was surprised when I looked it up on the web that there is quite an industry in reclaiming and renovating these period pieces. People who are doing renovations to older homes are always keen to keep the doors and door hardware as authentic as they can and I applaud this trend to use restoration hardware rather than just completely replacing the old fittings with modern equivalents.

A gothic era German rim bolt
Rim Lock : A very early German rim latch .

Extremely simple this lock was seen in a museum in Munich. A finger would lift the latch from one side while at the other would be a ring on a square spindle.

So there must be a demand for these old rim locks as a quick search reveals that there are plenty on eBay, original and reproduction.

An old lift latchturn ring latch

a dutch turn latch

Above two sides of the same door showing a blacksmith made rim latch. This is a very old set up, with as you can see a fairly modern mortise lock. So again we get conflicting interest with people or organisations who are trying their best to keep the authenticity and yet still have modern security. This one seen at the Zuider Zee Museum at Enkhuizen in Holland.

At the right is a simpler version of the same typ of rim latch. The latch bar is lifted when the ring is turned. Or from the fron it is just lifted with a finger.

A thumb latch

This rim latch here is would not fit into the class of restoration hardware as I think they have been in continuous production for a very long time. I fixed a few when I was an apprentice and they were identical to this one. Others were almost the same but had a black paint finish which we referred to as "Black Japan". I know this as a Thumb Latch because the other side the activating lever looks like a flat spoon and there is a "D" handle just under it making it convenient to open the door by pressing down with the thumb and pushing.

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Adam Smith 1723-1790

"When we build, let us think that we build for ever."John Ruskin 1819-1900

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