Do It Yourself: How To Add A Lock To A Dresser Or Desk Drawer

If you need a private space in your dresser or desk, then you need a lock. Find out how to add one with these tips and instructions.

Adding a lock to a dresser or a desk drawer can create a place where you can keep personal belongings safe. If you keep your checkbook, savings account book, bills, and other financial statements in your desk, then you need to keep the drawer securely locked so they can't be stolen.

There are basically two types of locks that you can choose from. These are exterior or surface locks, and half mortise or full mortise locks. The exterior locks are, of course, easier to install, so, you may want to choose one of those if it will work. Both types of locks are available in polished brass, antique finish, steel, and more.

Exterior locks have two pieces that lock together. The main piece of the lock is installed on the drawer, while the smaller bolt piece is installed on the wood frame. To install an exterior lock, you must have enough space on the drawer, as well as on the piece of furniture itself to accommodate both pieces. If you do, then you should read and follow the manufacturer's directions in order to achieve the best results.

Basically, though, you'll need to choose the best location for the two pieces of the lock. Hold the main pieced in place against the wood, then, use a lead pencil to mark the screw holes. Then, hold the bolt piece into place and mark the location of its screw holes too.

The next step is to use a low speed electric drill with a bit that's designed for drilling wood. The bit should be slightly smaller than the diameter of the screws. Use the drill to carefully bore starter holes into the wood. Then, hold the main piece of the lock securely into place against the wood. Insert the first screw and use a screwdriver to turn it in securely. Repeat the process with the remaining screws.

Then, line up the bolt piece on the wood frame of the furniture. Drill starter holes in the wood with an electric drill. Then, use a screwdriver to insert the screws.



Finally, insert the key into the lock to make sure that it locks and unlocks correctly.

If the dresser or desk that you're adding a lock to cannot accommodate an exterior lock, then you'll need to purchase a half mortise or full mortise lock. These locks are actually installed into the wood of the furniture. A half mortise lock is only installed about half way into the wood. It's counterpart, the strike plate is installed on the surface of the drawer. A full mortise lock, on the other hand, is installed completely into the wood. It's strike plate is installed on the inside of the drawer.

Before you install a half or full mortise lock, you should read the manufacturer's directions in order to do the task right.

Basically, though, you'll need to choose the best location for the two pieces of the lock. This will probably be in the middle of the drawer that you want to lock. Then, use a lead pencil to mark the locations.

The next step is to use a hammer and a chisel to carefully chip out a space for the main part of the lock. Since a full mortise lock is installed entirely into the wood, the space will need to be large enough to accommodate it. But, be careful not to remove too much of the wood! Repeat this process with the strike plate.

Then, use a screwdriver and the included screws to secure both pieces of the lock into place.

And, use the key to make sure the lock works properly.

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