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Mortise Lock - lost keys


 
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b0ne5ish

from United Kingdom

Joined: 19 Feb 2007
Posts: 6
Location: United Kingdom

PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2007 10:51 am Reply with quote

Hello,

The keys to my back door have been lost, 0 chance of finding them. Is there a way to change the mortise lock myself without calling a locksmith. Door is a hardwood door which is expensive and isn't painted so not keen on damaging it if possible. I am reasonably competent at DIY.

Thanks,
Stevo
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HandyHands

from United Kingdom

Joined: 06 Dec 2005
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Location: Derbyshire,
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2007 3:27 pm Reply with quote

If the door is locked, then I'd say you have zero chance of opening it without doing some damage to the door. Call a locksmith, who should be able to open it without any damage, and then you can change the lock yourself to save some money.

40-60 should see the door open - get the locksmith to quote you a fixed opening price before they attend, and ask them if they have curtain picks or decoders to open the lock non-destructively.

Don't use one of the nationals (big adverts in YP), as you'll likely get a 2-day course wonder armed with a cordless drill. Use a local lockie if possible, and ask around for recommendations.

Out of interest - do you know what make of lock it is ?
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Eric Sullivan

from United Kingdom

Joined: 13 Mar 2006
Posts: 18
Location: Bristol,
United Kingdom

PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2007 10:08 pm Reply with quote

HandyHands wrote:
If the door is locked, then I'd say you have zero chance of opening it without doing some damage to the door. Call a locksmith, who should be able to open it without any damage, and then you can change the lock yourself to save some money.

40-60 should see the door open - get the locksmith to quote you a fixed opening price before they attend, and ask them if they have curtain picks or decoders to open the lock non-destructively.

Don't use one of the nationals (big adverts in YP), as you'll likely get a 2-day course wonder armed with a cordless drill. Use a local lockie if possible, and ask around for recommendations.

Out of interest - do you know what make of lock it is ?


A locksmith should also be able to cut a key to the lock, once it is out or change the wards to suit a new key. Saying that, if it is a cheapo lock, don't bother, take the opportunity to upgrade to an insurance approved lock. Consider attacking it with a disc cutter through the gap between the door and the frame if it is wide enough. It takes seconds and if you are careful you shouldn't need to damage the door.
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HandyHands

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2007 11:22 pm Reply with quote

Even with steady hands, you will scuff or gouge the woodwork with the disc. The only way to minimise the damage would be to insert something alongside the disc to act as a buffer - assumes you have the space, and not too bothered about losing a finger or 2.

Weigh up the time/cost to source a grinder with a 1mm cutting disc.
Add to this your time in faffing around trying to cut the bolt.
(Add a bit extra for a visit to A&E if you're not careful).
Add more time and cost to fill in the gouge/scratch marks and paint/stain over.
Add even more time to buy and fit a replacement lock.

Don't be tight - get a pro to do it.
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ModernMaterials

from United Kingdom

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Location: Leicestershire,
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2007 7:18 am Reply with quote

I had exactly the same problem some years ago and decided to cut the deadlock out with a hacksawblade screwed into a wooden handle (a padsaw i believe this is called) first few seconds was great as it ripped throught he brass in no time. Then i hit the first of 3 hardened steel pins (you might have more in your one)

Anyhoo, 3 days (off and on working) and about 5 hacksaw blades later, i cut the thing out and was able to open the door. There was certainly some scuffing on the door edge as i recall but front and rear faces were not damaged.

I would not bother doing this again though, i would pay a locksmith to pick the lock or get the locksmith to make a key for it, if that is possible.
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salem2000

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Location: Essex,
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2007 2:18 pm Reply with quote

If the door is locked. As long as hinge bolts are not fitted, you should be able to remove the pins in the hinges and remove the door from the frame. the lock can then be replaced by matching it with one at your local store/locksmiths. If this method is used, you will need to replace the hinges as well.

It is often cheeper to replace the lock, than have an old lock keyed, and as this is takes time to do you can't lock the door.
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b0ne5ish

from United Kingdom

Joined: 19 Feb 2007
Posts: 6
Location: United Kingdom

PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2007 10:12 pm Reply with quote

Update.

Thanks, for the tips. I managed to borrow a grinder from the other halfs dad. I hammered some wooden wedges in between the frame and the door to open the gap a little (tip from a local lock firm) and let rip with the grinder.....

Well I got through the lock pretty quick, took a small chunk out of the door, but not too bad you can't really notice. The grinder went bang just after cutting through the bolt and loads of smoke came out of it. The switch on the fuse board clicked down and the room filled with an acrid smell.

So 60 for a new grinder and 20 for a new lock. Would have been really cheap compared to calling a locksmith had the grinder not blown up, just my luck it was on it's last legs as I got hold of it...

On a slightly different note, when I went to the local lock shop the tradesmen there were saying it would have cost me a 65 call out fee + 1 hours labour (another 65) + cost of a new lock.

How difficult is this locksmith lark? I work in IT but am reasonable at DIY and found changing that lock and 2 euro locks on my patio doors pretty simple. With the threat of redundancy always present in IT and the thought of being able to work for myself very appealing, it's something I would not mind investigating. Has anyone been on one of the 5 day courses I see advertised on the net (Master Locksmiths Association) for example? Is there a lot to it?

Cheers.
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HandyHands

from United Kingdom

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2007 12:31 am Reply with quote

Very few charge a call out rate plus an hrly rate. As mentioned above, 40-60 should have seen the door open with a reputable company.

See this previous link for info on Locksmithing: http://www.diynot.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=74301&highlight=
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Softus

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2007 2:32 am Reply with quote

Eric Sullivan wrote:
Consider attacking it with a disc cutter through the gap between the door and the frame if it is wide enough.

Just noticed this part of this post Eric - it makes my blood boil that you're suggesting something so dangerous, without a trace of a hint of a suggestion of a warning. icon_evil.gif
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salem2000

from United Kingdom

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2007 4:26 pm Reply with quote

Softus wrote:
Eric Sullivan wrote:
Consider attacking it with a disc cutter through the gap between the door and the frame if it is wide enough.

Just noticed this part of this post Eric - it makes my blood boil that you're suggesting something so dangerous, without a trace of a hint of a suggestion of a warning. icon_evil.gif


Some people will do anything to save a little time & effort.. icon_rolleyes.gif

Most BS approved locks have hardened steel rollers within the lock bolt, these can snag and shatter a grinding disk in seconds, not to mention it gatting jammed between the door and frame and kicking back, that is one reason locksmiths don't do it.
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