Insufficient lock for the job

We were asked to secure a commercial premises following a break in. The existing lock on the external door was a 3 lever, only really suitable for an internal door or bathroom, certainly not the main entrance.

Because of the badly fitted door the original lock bolt only entered the keep by about 2mm. The burglar simply pushed the door and the frame apart to get in.

A BS (British Standard) 2007 mortice lock has a minimum bolt throw of 20mm and makes it much more difficulty to prise door and frame apart.  In addition there are specifications for minimum key differs, sawing and drill resistance.

locksmith lock replacement
Original lock in grey. Replacement lock in red.

 

BS bolt in comparison with generic 3 lever bolt

Recovery from a ditch!

Note to self: Don’t let your van slide backwards down a hill into a ditch on a bank holiday. Fortunately shops open again today so could buy myself a winch.

Locksmith forest of dean
Slid backwards down a customer’s drive into a ditch.

Repairing and making a key for a chapel rimlock

This antique rimlock was taken off a chapel undergoing renovation.  The key was lost back in the depths of time and the owner wanted to keep as much of the original fabric as possible.

The bolt and the stump needed hammering flat as vandals had damaged it during a break in years ago. The mainspring was completely snapped and needed replacing.  A similar era salvaged key was hand filed to work in the lock.

rim lock, lock repair
Inside of lock. (Bolt already removed for hammering flat again. Most of the rubbish and spiders already cleared out).
rim lock, church lock repair
Lock with new key (obscured under penny for security reasons). Original broken mainspring below the hand file.

 

Mortice lock for a fire door.

Client needed a mortise deadlock fitting to a double fire door (for use only when the building is unoccupied). To comply with fire regulations the lock was covered with an intumescent seal.   Extra smoke and flame seals were subsequently fitted over the strike plate.

lock with fire seal
Mortice lock with intumescent  seal

Broken lock

Customer’s front door couldn’t be unlocked with the key and the door was jammed shut.  We were able to  open the door and removed the lock for investigation.  The problem was clear. The tail of the bolt that is pulled by the bolt thrower to withdraw the bolt had snapped right off. A replacement lock was fitted.

faulty ERA profit
Faulty lock prior to stripping
ERA profit
Lock stripped down
Locksmith lock repair
Close up of the snapped bolt tail

Repairing car ignition lock

A customer rang with the tip of his key snapped off the ignition.  It wasn’t possible to extract the broken part in situ therefore the ignition barrel and steering lock were removed. This enabled the customer to drive off (avoiding a parking fine). The ignition was then stripped (much more than shown in the photos) to removed the stray part and to cut a new key.  (Note: customer was able to provide proof of ownership of the vehicle).

car ignition
Ignition barrel and steering lock
Drilling out the barrel retaining pin
Snapped part removed. (Barrel already put back together)
car lock repair
cutting replacement key

There are several methods of producing a new transponder (chip) car key.  It is far easier and cheaper to copy an existing car key but if you’ve lost all the keys it is often possible to program a new key diagnostically. If that can’t be done it may be necessary to remove the immobiliser (aka ECU, EWS) and write information directly to the chip on the board.  This may require stripping off your dashboard or clocks to get to it.

In this picture we are EEPROM programming a new key into a Fiat Punto immobiliser.

car key programming
EEPROM programming a Fiat ECU

Cold weather and UPVC doors.

As the temperature changes UPVC doors can become difficult to lock/unlock. If it needs excessive force to lift the handle or turn the key then the door needs adjust or the mechanism inside can fail completely. If it fails in the locked position it can be difficult to fix. It’s far cheaper to adjust the door, and to avoid anything failing.

If the door does become stuck open or closed, give us a ring and see if we can fix it for you.

Skoda Fabia key

A dealer needed an extra key for a car that was being collected that afternoon. He couldn’t wait the week for a dealer key, and didn’t want to pay dealer prices either.  This era Skoda uses the same keys and transponders as VW, Seat and some Porsche.

Replacement skoda key
Skoda Fabia key