Friday, February 13, 2015

Key Extraction

Mortise locks Spokane locksmith
As a locksmith technician with many years of experience in the field, I don't get to do much lock work, but when I do, it mostly due to a misuse by the customer. There were many times where I had to come and repair a lock from one reason or another because it was not maintained well, or the customer just used the wrong key. Sometimes, the key got broken inside the lock which made things a little harder. Most average locksmith technicians can do broken key extraction without damaging a lock, but there are exceptions which will be depend on the situation as well.

I remember years ago getting called close to the late hours of the night by a lady who claimed that her key got stuck inside the lock. She could not give me much information, but I figured it should not be that bad, and I would be able to resolve the issue in no time. However, as I got to her home and did a quick review of the situation, I came to determine that she was using the wrong key. According to her what happen was, she tried to unlock the door using that key without realizing it was the wrong one. Although she was able to unlock and opened the door, she could not seem to pull the key out

Spokane locksmith mortise lock
The lock was an old Mortise type lock and the key she was using to try and open it was a bit key. By what she told me, it seemed like the main bolt somehow got pushed back after unlocking the door which caused the key to get stuck. I figured I could probably just break the key, remove the broken piece and repair the lock, but according to the customer, that particular key was the only one she had that opened other doors inside her home.

Not knowing what to do at this point, I called a fellow Spokane locksmith of mine to tell him the story and hoping for a helpful advice. Once I had the chance to give him the full story, he said that my only option at that point avoiding damage to the key or lock is drilling a small hole into the center of the bolt, screw in a tap and pull it out. Once I did that, it seem that the key was free and I was able to remove it without any issues. I then checked the lock for proper operation with the original key successfully.

Automotive Ignition Broken Key Extraction

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Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Ford Probe Key Origination

Ford Probe key Spokane locksmith
Originating a key for a vehicle is a fairly simple task most of the time for the experienced locksmith technician. With so many year, make and model vehicles in the market from different manufactures it is hard at times to keep track of all the different ways that are available for a professional locksmith to make a key. Most of the times, the door lock or ignition cylinder would need to be removed in order to retrieve a unique code that will allow the technician to originate the key. However, sometimes things will not go as smooth and an nontraditional solution would be required.

A while back I got a call from a customer who lost the keys to his 94 Ford Probe. I rarely got to service these types of models, but I knew that it would be the same key for the door lock and the ignition which meant I would need to remove either or in order to get the stamped code to make the new key. Thinking I had the solution figured out, I decided to accept the job, took the customer's information and was heading on my way.

When I got to the customer's home (where the car was parked), I reviewed my options again in order to originate a key for the customer. Normally, removing the ignition cylinder in order to get the stamped code would be much preferred. However, in that particular situation where the original key was not available, it meant that the ignition cylinder would need to be picked and I knew it may take a while since its a 10 cut ignition. I decided to go with my other option which was removing the door lock.

As I began removing the studs that hold the door panel, I noticed couple of them were giving me a hard time and didn't want to come out. Failure to remove those studs meant I would not be able to remove the door panel and access the door lock to get the code, but after about 10 minutes of trying, I finally gave up and started looking for another solution. The only option I could think of at that point was drilling the ignition and put another one, but before doing that, I figured I should make a call for a fellow Spokane locksmith technician of mine for an advice.

Spokane locksmith Ford Probe
After getting him on the phone, he mentioned something that I didn't know. Apparently, if I rolled down  the door window of the vehicle all the way down, I would have a clear look at the door lock and the stamped code should be visible as well. After finishing the conversation, I started rolling the driver's side window down and I was able to see the cylinder, but it seem a little dirty, so I couldn't get a clear view of the code. I had to take a small piece of rag and use a long bar I had to get to the cylinder and wipe the dirt off with the rag and the code was visible enough for me to originate a new working key for the customer.

Commercial Key-Less Entry Lock

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