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Random Locks... How to take part and key!

Random Locks... How to take part and key!

You're on a job, and a customer asks you about some random lock that they have. In this case, it's the Pro-Lock Patio Door Locks. The customer wants it to be keyed to a different key, or have two of them and want them keyed alike. A random type situation that you might encounter.

 

Here’s a guide on how to take the plug out of this patio door lock, talk about it, and try to come up with some solutions and tips that will help you out in the real world.

I used the patio door lock as an example because we get a lot of questions about it, so it’d be fun to answer them.

Recently, I talked about these disk tumbler-style locks that look like this from the outside and there's no way on either one of the sides to turn or pop. You can stick a key in with a key extractor and pop it out in the back.

 

But, that's not the only way that these can come apart. So, if you try that method in a lock like this, it's not going to work. That's why so many times, things are true and both untrue depending on the circumstances; this is one of those.

REMOVING THE PATIO DOOR LOCK OFF THE DOOR

  • Try putting the key and the key extractor.
  • If you can't get anything to come out, your next step is to take the lock off of whatever it's on or mounted to.
  • In this case, behind the metal bar, there are two screws. Remove those and then, take it off of the door.

REMOVING THE PLUG

Flip the patio door lock around. Look for this wafer and use multi pick tool.

 

Push in the back wafer, and push the plug out using your thumb.

 

ABOUT THE BACK WAFER

The key extractor technique goes put the key extractor in, use the bottom piece of the wafer to pull it, and get it out of the lock. This back wafer is missing the bottom. This wafer was designed to allow you to not do that. Which is why you have to take it apart that way.

 

REKEYING

Option 1: Check to see if the wafer kit that you have will work with it.

On the plug, take out the first wafer. Check your wafer kit and look for something similar to the wafer from the plug. In this case, I grab little compact like a cam lock from my tumbler style lock kit. They were very similar but you can tell that the wafer from the plug was longer. It might cause some problem or will not work.

I tested the wafer since these types of wafers are about the same diameter. It came through, but if I turn it sideways, it doesn’t stick up as much as the other wafers on the plug.

 

If you stick a key, it will work. Unfortunately, loose tolerances that leave these locks is going to create a problem.  That's not going to be a good solution, although, I would still put one if I was off one pin tumbler.

Option 2: Removing wafers to make them work.

Insert a key, and look for wafer/s that prevents your key from working. In this case, it’s this wafer. Take the wafer out.

 

If we have a couple of these need to key alike, find enough commonality between the two of them, and make it work. Use some wafers if you have them, but probably, you're unlikely to find anything perfect to work because Pro-Lock doesn't sell a rekeying kit for this lock. You have to just use what you can.

Extra tip: If your customer has a different key way, you can use the same trick I showed for the cam lock. By removing the little keyway notches, you'll be able to get any key to fit it. It lowers security a little bit, but a lot of times, the customer would rather have that convenience. It's always a 50:50 decision to make but it is an option.

There we go, we rekeyed these patio door locks to fit together. Thankfully, there was only one wafer that needed to be changed. A lot of times, it's just the tolerances are just so big that you can get away with a lot when you need to. Sometimes it's not going to be as simple as we all wish it was and that's okay. But, if we can arm ourselves with as much information as we can, it's going to set us up for the best success on the job.

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