Hi all! I know I'm a moron - however, I found some strange keys in a
kitchen drawer and asked if anyone knew what they were for. No-one did,
so I threw them away in the rubbish. Now it turns out they were the
keys to the back door - which is locked. And I can't open it. Because
the keys are at the bottom of tons of rubbish at some council tip
SO - is there a reasonably easy way to remove a locked mortice from a
door without causing too much damage? Or am I going to have to chisel
away the door frame????
Are the hinge pins accessible? If so, you may be able to drift these out
and open the door the "wrong" way.
If it is a 3 lever lock, a locksmith should open it in no time. Even a
novice should get it open in a few minutes..
You won't even need these:
Thanx for that Sue - it is only a very cheap, basic mortice so I assume
it is indeed a 3-lever mortice lock
- you say "Even a novice should get it open in a few minutes.." - well
that's me, so how EXACTLY would I get it open?!?!
Thanx for your reply :)
The first thing is, do any of your neighbours have the same style lock?
You may even find one of their keys fits..even if not, it will show you
how many levers it does have and where the levers and wards are.
The next is to buy a cheap lock and take it to bits and see how it
works. There are books and tools but, once you see how they work, even
bits of metal coat hanger will do. You can practice on your cheap lock,
with the face plate off so that you can see what you are doing. Better,
replace the faceplate with a perspex one, so all the bits stay in place.
The Complete Guide to Lockpicking
A locksmith won't show you how he does it...
This isn't a solution but a bit of nostalgia.
When at School back in the 1960's, the Deputy Head loaned me a master key to
get to the roof because we were doing a weather project. Seeing the key and
noticing that it looked like a key from home, I got a spare cut of the house
key then went to work with a file. It fitted every door in the school that I
tried. Needles to say, someone blabbed and it was confiscated, parents
called and I got a thrashing with the cane. They then changed all the locks.
I save all old keys now and have helped many out over the years.
From the inside the hinges are the weakest point. If you can't get the pins
out of the hinges using a hammer and chisel you could try an angle grinder
on the hinges, while someone holds a suitable guard to try to protect the
door and frame from getting damaged. Obviously wear goggles and gloves. If
you are going to cause damage it would be better to damage the door because
that is fairly straightforward to repair or replace compared with the frame.
From the outside you could drill a series of stitch holes in the door around
the lock and remove it that way. Then buy a new door and lock. A locksmith
will open it in a few seconds but get some quotes.
Thanx also Phil! It is not a security back door - it just leads into a
utility room where there are then doubleglazed French doors into the
house - it might be easier just to cut a bit out of the frame, replace
the lock in the door, then bodge the frame back together with a bit of
wood and filler? Then I don't have to buy a new door and put a new
cat-flap into it!
Phil Anthropist wrote:
Assuming it is softwood, not hardwood, you might find it easier to drill
holes and then chisel out the section of frame that the lock fits into
instead of trying to use a saw, if you can accept that the repair to the
frame might be very noticeable.
Before I went anywhere near this door with a drill, chisel or saw, I would
want to have exhausted the possibility of 'picking' the lock. Having said
that, apart from those small Chinese-made padlocks, and a Ford Escort that
could be unlocked with a nail file, I have never managed to pick a lever or
What Ihave done in the past is if there is a gap between the frame and door
enough maybe to fit a metal blade for an electric jigsaw to fit in, I used a
few pieces of wood to keep the jigsaw far enough away from the external
frame and then cut through the lock with the jigsaw was supprisingly easy
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