Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Key-less Deadbolt

I noticed recently, that in the area where I do most the residential locksmith jobs, that most of the apartments have key-less deadbolts on their doors. A lot of the times, I would get a call for a residential lockout to unlock a door, but once I arrive at the scene, I will find out that the lock needed to be handled is none other than a key-less deadbolt. These locks can only be locked from the inside since there is no actual exterior on the key-hole itself. However, it seem so often as people would leave the apartment from the patio or balcony after locking the key-less deadbolt without realizing it.
And to make thing even worse,they somehow, locked themselves out on the patio or balcony as well by slamming the sliding door. With a patio there's usually no major problem unless a Charley bar or similar has fallen down and caused the sliding door to lock itself. With a balcony, I won't take a risk usually climbing up.

On other occasion, a customer had told her 3 year-old boy to lock the door when she left and he did both the main lock and even the key-less deadbolt. What happen was he fell asleep afterwards. The mother came back and was knocking and banging on the door without being able to awaken the boy. As a last resort, I got the call from her to come. I found the best and easiest way to open this type of lock was to drill a 1/4" hole through the metal cover of the door and a little way into the wood. However, I was careful not to drill straight through the tailpiece hole. After drilling the hole, I simply stuck a screwdriver in and timed the latch. Most of these apartment types of key-less deadbolts that I ran into, seem to have their latch holes seven inches above the keyed deadbolt, with a standard 2-3/8" back-set. I set my drill bit between 2-3/8 and 2-1/2" from the edge of the door. I could see and feel with a plastic strip where the latch is located and just measure the 2-3/8" from that location. After getting the door open, I just too some epoxy and filled the small  it's a simple matter to take some epoxy and fill in the small hole I drill.

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Friday, September 12, 2014

Schlage Lock Opening Tip

With many years of experience in the locksmith field, I learned several tricks opening the most common locks existed in the business from leading brands such as Kwikset, Schlage, Corbin, and more. One of the locks that I learned how to unlock fairly quick without using a specialty key was the F series Schlage key-in-knob lock or the lever set.

What I do first is grasp the knob and apply light and continuous turning pressure on both directions. In the next step, I use a small hammer and hit the face of the plug, making sure not to hit the knob or lever and risking damaging it. You will be surprised at how quickly this opens one of these locks.

After several times of doing that and once you develop a feel for the procedure, you can open those type of locks in a matter of seconds. The reason this procedure works is that the locking mechanism is spring loaded, and by hitting the face of the plug, you are actually bouncing the two locking cams into the open position for a split second. That is why you need to engage the knob with light and continuous  pressure to unlock it. Check out this link for more interesting locksmith tips.

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Monday, September 8, 2014

Corbin Mortise Lockout

I had a job recently from a fellow locksmith technician to unlock an apartment door that was equipped with a Corbin Mortise lock. There was a bolt loose there and it seem like it would be necessary to drill for the cylinder retaining screw. After cutting through the screw with my drill, I unscrewed the cylinder and manipulated the bolt back with the tip of a long screwdriver.

After getting the door open, I was searching for a reason why the lock wouldn't open and noticed that the door, around the mortise lock, was bulging outward. Apparently, the door had been forced open during an earlier break-in. The lock was loose in the cutout and wobbled a little. I took the lock out of the door and found that because the lock was loose and apparently vibrating when the door was closed, the housing or cover plate screws had loosened enough to allow the cover to move, causing the bolt retractor to come out of it's slot and malfunction.

I reassembled the lock. inserted a new retaining screw, put the cover plate back on and used a little Loctite® to help prevent the screws from loosening again and put the lock back on the door. Although I did not have it in my service van, I suggested to the customer to allow me ordering a mortise lock reinforcing wrap around plate from MAG, which would cover the damaged area of the door and prevent the problem from reoccurring. For more information about similar services, check out the following link.

$68 Flat Price Lockout In Portland Oregon

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