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Martin
Martin, Electrical Engineer
Category: Home Improvement
Satisfied Customers: 4764
Experience:  Design, construct, fix and grow stuff around and in the home.
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My son is going to be renting a room but currently his room

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My son is going to be renting a room but currently his room has an antique door knob with no lock. Is there a way to secure the door when he leaves the room? It's an antique I think they call it mortise, with a skeleton key type key hole. He's been told he can't alter anything so adding a dead bolt isn't an option. He needs to be able to have something that won't need to be installed but that he can lock when he leaves and use a key to get back inside.

Hello and welcome. Does the person renting the room is willing to have some modification made?
I saw you added some information. If the owner don't want anything modified, he could offer to pay for a new doorknob.

The only other thing i could see to be done "easily" is a back pillar of some kind that block the door and a radio guided toy and a controller could allow a steal sleeve to cover a hinge so that no movement is possible. A wall need to be near back of the closed door to provide support (those pillar are usually at angle and anchored into the floor).

A magnetic locked door would require a minimum of modification.

If something could be used as an anchor exterior to the room (like a heat system), a steel wire could be looped to the doorknob in an "8" shape and a padlock could join the loop.

The same kind of pillar idea could be used if the door have enough clearance under it. But an horizontal one made as a triangle with the wall behind the opened door. One part of the triangle would get out from under the door and a padlock could be used on it. To be able to break open the door one would have to for make the triangle corner penetrate the wall (making that corner with more surface would make it harder to penetrate something like plaster). The only thing that would be apparent is a little hook at the bottom of the door with a padlock preventing it to be folding. To enter, removing the padlock would allow the hook to fold and at the same time allow the whole triangle to slide out of the way of the door movement. The system could be installed by pulling a rope once the door is closed.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Buying a new knob is an option, but look at the photo? Is it possible to find a new keyed knob that would fit that without making any modifications?


 


Your last idea, using the triangle...can't wrap my head around that at all. Can you provide a sketch maybe?

Not easy t find a knob to an old existing door.

I will try to do you a sketch, i will be back in some minutes.
Here it is:
http://wikisend.com/download/722266/door.jpg

The red is the triangle frame that sit on the floor.

The blue are the 2 indoor hook that prevent the the apparatus from coming out of the room. The green is the hook that can tilt and is blocked by a padlock. The grey is just part of other color that are hidden by the door.

Being a lock not at the knob height, it is not as strong but should be enough to discourage any curious. The whole thing could be made of wood but the part close to the door would be best in metal so that nobody could saw it or weaken it with a drill.
Another idea i got this morning is to build a custom childproof door knob cover, a bit like this one:
http://www.amazon.com/Mommys-Helper-Door-Safety-Cover/dp/B000MF518O
Those are not locked by any mean but building a small wood box with the screws head in the inside, that open and close around the knob and use a padlock to prevent the opening could work well. It could be made relatively small.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

That's what I've had in mind. Before contacting you I found this item but its from the UK. Hoped you could figure out something better. The child system is similar. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7Ix5xvcTn8



Basically, it seems there is no real answer outside of this item. Seems like it wouldn't be that difficult but guess it is. Thanks for trying though.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

That's what I've had in mind. Before contacting you I found this item but its from the UK. Hoped you could figure out something better. The child system is similar. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7Ix5xvcTn8



Basically, it seems there is no real answer outside of this item. Seems like it wouldn't be that difficult but guess it is. Thanks for trying though.



One other thing just came to me...and I admit still not sure about your drawing, so maybe this is similar to yours. Using a rubber door stop, attaching to a chain that passes under the door then wraps around the knob and locks. You'd need a stick or something to push the stopper out of the way via the space under the door once you unlocked the chain though.

Yes that trick could work (the rubber foot one). The problem is that you better be sure nobody see you perform the trick because it would then no longer be a "secret" :) Also the floor would need to be dusted frequently and perhaps even waxed to have good adhesion.

The reason why there is probably no product ready to buy is because usually nobody have a no modification restriction.

I guess it really is easier for me to build one (with all the tool in my shop) than someone renting a room (when i was in that situation my tool box was so tiny). If you want a cheap (and delicious) way to solve the problem (taking back the knob protector idea): Buy a coco nut, slice it in 2 and make small opening for the knob base. make holes on it to insert the U or 2 padlock (one dummy that would act as a hinge and the main one that you open and close.
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