I realise I have not been updating the locksmith blog as much as I have in the past, things have certainly become busier with one thing or another. I swear there are less hours in the day as you get older, either that or am slowing down.
I thought I would summarise a few of the jobs that I have completed this week, thoughts, feelings and points worth mentioning, etc. etc.
uPVC French Door Unjam / Repair
I turned up to find a set of B&Q french doors that the owner had installed himself a few years back. Let's just say it wasn't a quality installation, the frame loose form the brickwork and wobbling around. The key tunred but handle seemed disconnected from the rest of the mech. This was easilly opened by spreading the door and manually returning the hooks.
Now as most uPVC locksmiths know, french doors can be a pain in the arse at the best of times and this particular set was the typical dragging on the frame type, slave door never been opened with shootbolts corroded and nasty. I whipped out the mech and replaced the knackered gearbox, drowned the rest of the components in release spray and oil and installed the working lock back into the door.
The doors needed some serious adjusting, it makes you wonder how these customers ever locked the them in the first place! So all squared up nicely, keeps adjusted to match... but would the bugger lock? Nope.
It's when you get an unknown fault that you begin to start sweating, I hate it and you put yourself through the whole problem solving routine, taking a keep off at a time to work out where the problem lies. All keeps now on the floor in a pile and I still don't have a working door!?
The door appeared to be working fine in the open position which only left the shootbolts.
After a little more head scratching i solved the mystery. I must have connected the bottom shootbolt one tooth out on the serrated fitting so the shootbolt was extending another millimetre more than before. This was bottoming out on the plastic in the frame. A quick drill in the bottom of the keep and bobs your uncle!
Opening A Jammed Safe
I had a call from a woman who had shut her scarf into her big old safe at the office and was now unable to get it open again. When I arrived I found that all the handymen had already been let loose on it and broken the unlocking handle by forcing it, scarpering back into the shadows when I arrived.
I unscrewed it and poked out the piece of broken metal, then making myself a makeshift handle with a pair of grips and the remaining square spindle. Pressing on this if felt as though the bolts were almost retracted. A few clonks of the rubber mallet with a little downwards pressure on my handle and I felt it slide into place. I then prised open the jammed door with a couple of flat bladed screwdrivers. The woman was chuffed I didn't have to rip her scarf.
The broken handle was an all in one cast piece and I could not source a replacement the same day. I decided to repair it myself by drilling carefully my best square hole into the back of the handle, inserting a fresh length of spindle bar and bonding it in with some chemical metal after roughing up the contacting surfaces to ensure it would bond nicely and was as good as the original once it had all set. Job done!
Unjamming A Locked Nightlatch Snib
This is a really common occurance with the 40mm nighlatches, the latch bolts aren't very long and do give a little under forcing so if the door user has knocked the snib deadlocking button down on the nightlatch and then slams the door hard enough, it will shut, making a re-entry impossible with the key and the door deadlocked.
If it's a particularly loose door you may be able to spread it and pop the latch. I wasn't so lucky and had to use the drilling into the back of the lock case method which I discussed in an old blog post whereby you 'mickey mouse' the lock cylinder to remove, drill a hole to access the inside of the nightlatch and then remove the snib from the deadlocked position. It's the best method in this scenario, leaving the nightlatch fully functioning afterwards. Insert new cyliner, jobs a good en!