Thursday, February 28, 2008


I wanted to do a slightly better job of documenting our rimlocks. We've got 2: 1 came with the house, and the other we just bought.

A rimlock (or rim lock) is a lock whose mechanism is attached to the exterior of the door. I don't know anything about the history of the rimlock--they are unknown to wikipedia, and the few mentions on the internet were sketchy and brief.

Here's our original:

Original antique rimlock

You can see that ours is missing the piece that rimlock latches into (the "catch plate"). There was obviously a place for it on the door, but the piece itself is gone. Not sure how difficult it will be to replace it.

And here's the one we recently bought:

Our RL. Co. rimlock

I don't feel entirely confident that the catch plate and lock are a match set--they're different sizes, and the ornamentation on the two parts doesn't match. Still, it's functional.

Well, sort of. Neither of our rimlocks are in working order at the moment. The house original is currently broken down into its constituent parts, and Matt isn't sure how to reassemble it. Apparently, he unscrewed what my Dad refers to as "the Jesus screw." Dad had warned me about that screw, but apparently Matt wasn't around at that moment, because when he took down the lock to clean it, he went right for that screw and the whole thing sprang apart.

The new rimlock is by the company RL. Co. (do you suppose "RL." stands for "rimlock"?--I think it's very weird that there's a period after the L, but not after the R--as thought it were an abbreviation, not an acronym.) I haven't been able to find out anything about them, though I did find our exact same model for sale on the internet at Scherer's Architectural Antiques for $90. Here's how it looks when it's all prettied up:

The same model as our RL. Co. rimlock

Here's a similar model for sale (for $175! That $22 price is looking pretty good) at Mowery Antiques:

Another RL. Co. rimlock--a slightly different model

Check out all the nifty matching doo-dads. I especially like the little keyhole frame for the reverse side of the door.

And another example, from e-bay

Another slightly different model

Ours is missing a spring to make the tongue stick out. We're hoping the locksmiths at Cothron's locks in Austin will be able to help us out. Matt tried jimmying with a spring, but he couldn't get it to work.
The un-springy innards of our RL. C0. rimlock. Needs a good polishing, too

And on a completely different note, here's Po. (It's late, and I'm tired. I can't come up with a plausible segue. We have some pictures of Po and I'm putting them online. Period.) We've been training him--he now sort-of responds to "come" and "sit." Isn't he sitting beautifully?

Po, looking demure. Check out his big galumphing thumb.

However, Po doesn't much care for flash photography.

Po, looking extremely irritated

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