Recently a contractor called me on a Major Condominium project being built in a revitalized area of Toronto known as Regent Park. The contractor was creating custom frames for the doors for the indoor swimming pool, because of the design created by the architect he had to use a European Profile locking system. The problem he encountered was none of the locksmith agencies he talked to had either the clue or the inclination to tackle this type of rekeying job, namely making the 6 European locks so that they would work off the same key.
At Mr ProLock GTA we pride ourselves on being able to work on extraordinary projects such as this, so I welcomed the challenge.
These European Profile locks were very similar the Small Format Interchangeable Core locks in that they need to be loaded from the top. The main issue is there is no readily available parts for these locks in Canada that I could find, so we worked with the materials that were available.
Step one: Figure out which key to use, there were 6 locks and to rekey 6 did not make sense do I picked out one lock with the least amount of different pins I could find, this allowed me to decode the lock easier and also make the rekeying job simpler.
Step 2: Removing the plug, the plugs on the locks are held in with a C clip made of soft metal, it was easy to use a pair of snap ring pliers to bend the clip for removal without breaking it. A pair of needle nose pliers one the clip was spread and it was removed.
Step 3: Removing the plug. Knowing that when I removed everything other than the bottom pins would come out all at once I was careful to make sure everything landed on my LAB mat, it’s a simple work mat designed by Lab Lock Pins http://www.lab-lockpins.com/ they make a professional working mat that is designed to catch everything that comes out of a lock, the benefit no lost parts.
Step 4: Pinning the Plug. After figuring out that pins were required to pin the first lock I made sure i wrote down the size of the pins(memory isn’t what it used to be). I loaded the plug and then the real fun began.
Step 5: Everything has to go bak in the top. The bottom pins can and should be inserted with the plug. The rest has to go in through the top, the problem is a pressed in pin that cannot be easily removed. The solution drill it out. The problem what to replace it with? To me the easiest and most efficient way was to drill the pins out and to tap the holes and insert a set screw, a drop of Lock-Tite so it won’t back out easily and problem solved.
Step 6: After Drilling, Tapping and testing the Set Screws. After the process of drilling out and tapping the holes you have a lot of debris inside the cylinder, you can never leave metal filings inside the cylinder it is a recipe for disaster. I found the best product to wash out the cylinder is WD-40, after cleaning out the cylinder and carefully drying out the excess lubricant it’s time to assemble the lock.
Step 7: Putting the Lock Together. The first thing before anything is to reinstall the plug, I inserted the plug and tailpieces into the cylinder after making sure the lock would turn freely with the key with no hang ups I reinstalled the clip and bent it back to a closed position with a small pair of needle nose pliers.
Step 8: Loading the Cylinder. I loaded the balance of the pins from the top, it was nice to see that 4 of 5 of the top pins were “J” pins making it harder to pick this type of lock, the 5th pin was a standard top pin. After the pins in goes the springs. because the set screws would not go and deep as the standard pressed in pins that come from the factory I decided to use a longer spring, perfect for the job was another LAB product that is also tangle proof. I put in the set screws and tested the locks.
Step 9: A Sigh. All of the locks now work with the same key perfectly Job almost completed.
Step 10. Making Extra Keys. The job required some spare keys, Trevor Bridges from Jovan Security Distributors, has very sharp eyes and key identification skills that made it easy, in about 30 seconds I had the blanks required to cut the duplicates. I tested the duplicates and the job was completed.
All in all this job was far from “run of the mill”. What it provided for me was something out of the usual, a break from the ordinary and a bit of a test of my resourcefulness. I thoroughly enjoyed this job and would do another without hesitation.
Special thanks go out to Terry Whin-Yates of 24 Hour Mr. Locksmith in Vancouver a good friend and a mentor and to Trevor Bridges from Jovan Security Distributors for his assistance in obtaining materials and insights into the job. Thanks to both of you for your kind assistance.