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Skeleton key help please

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insatiableOne

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Post Tue Aug 20, 2019 5:23 am

Skeleton key help please

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Going to make a skeleton key for an antique chirio cabinet.
The key pictured fits in & turns 3/4 of a turn. Now, how do I go about making a key to open this thing? A friend bought it & naturally, no keys.

Have very little to no experience with lever locks.

Can anyone give me some dimensions for the keys in how to make a two or three finger key.
I am a fabricator, have the tube stock just need to weld on some teeth.
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not illiterate, just tough to overcome auto-correct & type on mobile device
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MartinHewitt

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Post Tue Aug 20, 2019 9:03 am

Re: Skeleton key help please

Skeleton keys are for warded locks. If it is a lever lock you need a proper key. If you have an endoscope you can look inside to understand how the lock is built. Perhaps you can disassemble the lock, but in older cabinets it might be thoroughly nailed to the door.

You can to impressioning. In this case start with a key blank which can be turned until it touches something inside with a bitting as long as possible in both directions. Thickness is not as important. Then paint the bitting with permanent marker, put it in the lock and turn to unlock, wiggle it around there with some turning pressure. You can then see where something is blocking the key to turn. File there something of and repeat the process until the key works.
In case you wonder ... Martin Hewitt is a fictional detective in stories by Arthur Morrison:
Martin Hewitt, Investigator Chronicles of Martin Hewitt
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Visitor

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Post Tue Aug 20, 2019 10:57 am

Re: Skeleton key help please

With no idea at all about lever locks there's no way your going to do this right now.
The lock looks galvanised so its cheap, nasty and modern. Your best option (without a locksmith opening it for you) is to force it open and change the lock for a nice one with keys.
We will be here forever explaining how to open it and then once you've got the info it will take you forever to practise the techniques and by that time the lock will be wrecked anyway and we will have wasted a month.
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insatiableOne

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Post Tue Aug 20, 2019 6:24 pm

Re: Skeleton key help please

Thank You Martin. Will do the impressioning route with some blue dykem and an air grinder is my friend.
Most of these are simple locks so should not take too long.
not illiterate, just tough to overcome auto-correct & type on mobile device
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MartinHewitt

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Post Tue Aug 20, 2019 7:30 pm

Re: Skeleton key help please

In case you wonder ... Martin Hewitt is a fictional detective in stories by Arthur Morrison:
Martin Hewitt, Investigator Chronicles of Martin Hewitt
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safecracker33

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Post Tue Aug 20, 2019 8:52 pm

Re: Skeleton key help please

It will probably be quite a simple lock so I would advise trying to pick it open and then strip down the lock to cut a key, probably an easier option than impressioning.
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insatiableOne

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Post Tue Aug 20, 2019 11:40 pm

Re: Skeleton key help please

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Made the key out of a piece of stainless rod, turned it down to needed outside diameter and drilled the center.
Welded a 6 mm wrench on the end to hang. Built up the rod then ground down thin, polished surface, put blue Dykem on face for impressioning.

Now send it off to friend for fitting.
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not illiterate, just tough to overcome auto-correct & type on mobile device
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MartinHewitt

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Post Tue Aug 20, 2019 11:44 pm

Re: Skeleton key help please

That is a good start.
In case you wonder ... Martin Hewitt is a fictional detective in stories by Arthur Morrison:
Martin Hewitt, Investigator Chronicles of Martin Hewitt
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femurat

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Post Thu Aug 22, 2019 7:48 am

Re: Skeleton key help please

That's a good start, I agree. An optimum start would have been a BRASS blank.

Good luck :)

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