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How to remove a 1949 Yale lockset

I have a house that dates from 1949. The original interior door hardware is still here: Yale lock sets with push button locks. Most are in great shape, but a few need to be replaced. I can't figure out how to remove them, and a local locksmith spent over three hours trying to remove one. I reached out to the Yale company, but they were of little help as they could find no information on their products from that time period (hard to believe). In fact they suggested that I would need to take the door down and remove the lockset with a torch. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Re: How to remove a 1949 Yale lockset

Long time ago I was facing the same issue: an old Yale lock with hidden screws.

If you could post a couple of picture that could help. Otherwise, look for a cover plate (from the inside) that when removed exposes the screws. You may want to use a utility knife to pry it loose, but don't damage the door.

Trust me, the screws are there.

A. Spruce
Re: How to remove a 1949 Yale lockset

It's interesting that a locksmith couldn't figure it out.

I've come across a few locks in my time that didn't seem to have any screws. Turns out there were screws EXACTLY where every lock has screws, the heads just had buttons to hide them. Look at the interior portion of the lock and you'll likely see what looks to be buttons or rivets on either side of the key cylinder or thumb latch. Take a pocket knife and get under the head of the buttons and they'll pop out of the screw head, revealing the screw. Pull the screws and the lock falls off the door.

If you look at these screw covers, you'll see what I'm talking about. Notice the center of the cover has a little nib, that nib is pressed into the head of the screw. Your Yale lock probably has a similar thing.

Re: How to remove a 1949 Yale lockset

Don't remember if it was a yale, but I worked on an early-era tubular lockset that was removed by pressing in a tiny pin (really no more than .0125" dia) and then screwing off the knob that was threaded to a spindle. Took forever to see that little pin.
There's another style where the release tab is hidden under the escutcheon ring, which snaps off or unthreads.
Then there's always the cut-off wheel on a grinder.

Re: How to remove a 1949 Yale lockset

Look on the side of the shaft of the inside handle (the side with the pushbutton). There may be the edge of a tab in a slot, which when pressed in, allows the handle to be pulled off. Look around the edge of the rose (escutcheon) for a slot. If there is one, use a screwdriver in the slot to pry it off. Under the rose should be a pair of screws you can remove.

If it is how I think it is, once the body is removed from the door, the outer rose can be adjusted by screwing it in and out on its shaft to accommodate different door thicknesses.

If you can take pictures -- of the inside handle and of the outside handle -- and post them, that would be a great help.

I've seen some mortise-type locksets (not the kind that use a skeleton key) where you remove the plate from around the bolt on the edge of the door and there is a setscrew under that which, when removed, allows the handles to be removed.

Re: How to remove a 1949 Yale lockset

Good advice - thanks! I have found no hidden screws at this point, but will take a closer look tonight. I will also attempt to post some photos, if I can find a camera that will take a good, clear close up.

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