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frankflynn 11-28-2012 09:28 PM

skeleton key door lock (where to find the key?)
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I have a 1930's home. It came with many projects - today I'm looking to find keys that will work in the original doors. These do not have to be incredibly secure - just be able to lock a door. Does anyone have a source for these keys? Is there any particular size or other specification for the right key?

As I have painted (and removed old paint) I have been able to remove the door latch / lock mechanisms and they clean up nicely and the do work but I have no keys.

I've removed the lock but it has no brand or other identifying marks (probably at one time so ubiquitous that it didn't need one).


nealtw 11-28-2012 10:41 PM

Wuzzat? 11-29-2012 03:46 PM

Some locks have a 3/32" dia. pin that only allows a key with a hole in the shaft to get in. This might be called "warded."

Blue Jay 11-29-2012 08:35 PM

I have seen keys of this type at Lowes, take your lock with you as there are a couple of different sizes.

frankflynn 11-30-2012 12:42 PM

After some research on the web the most practical suggestion for me was to bring the lock to a "real" locksmith (as opposed to a hardware or department store that has a small booth for copying keys).

This makes most sense for me because (as you can see) the lock is already out of the door. I once lived in a house that had door locks identical or at least very similar to these and it had keys. These keys were not particularly fancy or exotic. Looking inside this lock I don't imagine the keys that will fit this lock would be particularly special. In fact it looks like the most simple key would work.

I've also learned that these "skeleton keys" are also called "bit keys" - go figure...

nealtw 11-30-2012 01:04 PM

You want to be carefull with these locks. Kids think it is really funny to lock each other in rooms or closets and than can create a real problem in emergencies like fires. There is a reason why new interior locks are simple to open.

diy_1207 12-12-2012 06:41 AM

I had identical locks in my ancestral family home, judging by the mechanism if your photos with the lock cover removed. They will take an Ilco #2B or possibly #7B. You have to buy both keys and try them, but in the end, it will be much cheaper than the services of a locksmith. plus, the Ilco keys are solid steel and are good and durable. This can be important for old doors, which can sometiems take quite a bit of physical effort and hard key-turning to lock and unlock. Good luck!

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