Non destructive entry of commercial premises.

I was asked to do lock changes on a vacant shop. It hadn’t been entered in about 18 months and was covered in dust and grime.  Dust and gungeThere were 2 British Standard 5 lever mortice locks on the door.

Both mortice locks were non destructively opened and removed. Interestingly (to me at least) they had both been previously drilled open and not replaced. There was still the hole in the hardplate. Whichever locksmith did it had just poorly replaced the levers inside. Admittedly they’d drilled the hole perfectly.

Normally levers in this model lock are a mix of hi/low lift, they’d certainly be different from each other.  When we opened the top locks all the levers were identical which is completely wrong.

ERA Invincible wrong levers
All levers the same.

Replacement Ford Fiesta car key

Replacement Ford Key
Replacement Ford Fiesta key

This poor Ford Fiesta was stolen/recovered. The keys had been tossed by the thief. I’m not sure if the thief or the recovery truck driver smashed the window. We were called to make a replacement transponder key so the rightful owners could drive it home from the pound. We also erased the missing key so that it can’t be used to steal the car again.

Paxton Switch2 system installed

Paxton proximity readerr
Paxton proximity reader

Here is the proximity reader for a Paxton Switch2 access control system we installed recently.  They have many other styles of reader/keypads available.

Switch2 is more suitable for external use than the Compact system. This is because the Switch2 control unit is mounted inside the building, rather than being in the reader/keypad itself as in the Compact. Therefore Compact systems are normally only fitted internally.

If you need audit-trail, time-sheets, anti-passback etc, then look at the Paxton Net2 or 10 systems

Heel – toe adjusting a badly fitting UPVC door.

Here is an old, badly fitting UPVC door.  It was sagging badly on its hinges, hitting the frame so it wouldn’t close. The hinges were non adjustable, so the the only option was to remove the glass and repack the door panels.  By packing the panels on the diagonal (heel – toeing) it shifts the door back into square with                                                                          the frame.

Eugh. A badly drilled door.

Badly drilled door
What a messs

I was asked to do a lock change on a commercial premises. It was obvious that a lock had been drilled at some point in the past. Underneath the escutcheon the door was a right mess.

There is sometimes a need to drill a lock if it is broken and there’s no other way to open it, but it shouldn’t look like this mess.

A drilled lock should be replaced with a new lock (otherwise the hole in the hardplate will be a weakness in security). The hole in the door should then be neatly filled and covered.  In a later post I’ll show you another lock that’s been drilled (not by me) and badly repaired.

Making a church key


Church rim lock
Boxed centre warded rimlock

This 19th century lock is off a Forest of Dean historic church.  It was made by John Moreton & Son, dating from the late 1800s. It had its only key stolen and a replacement was needed. A cast iron blank was initially shaped on a grinder. It was then hand filed to pass the centre warding.

Ross-Dean locksmith making a key


Double glazing repair
About to start filing key to fit warding. Normal chubb key shown below for scale.



VW transponder
See that chip on the end of the key? That’s the transponder that the immobiliser needs to recognise before the car will start. If it isn’t the right chip already programmed into the car, then it won’t start. This particular chip is a VW ID48, sat on a HU66 key.
VW Transponder. ID48 T6
VW ID48 T6 transponder on end of HU66 key






Modern vehicles (since about 2000) are fitted with immobilisers to prevent theft. The immobiliser checks for the correct, matched chip before it will allow the car to start. Some vehicles will just not turn over if the chip isn’t recognised. On other vehicles the engine will turn over but will not start due to the fuel pump being disabled.