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Locksmith Blog | Locksmiths Blog | Blog
Saturday, 10 May 2014
Chasing Debts | Locksmith Blog
Topic: Locksmith Jobs

It's an all too common situation that can have any number of reasons from poor management of paperwork to calculated deception. Every now and again someone will try it on and lead you on a wild goose chase for the money they owe you which is both time consuming and irritating, particularly if you a relying on that income for the month.

I am currently chasing a small debt of £200 for some recent locksmith work myself at the minute, from a regular customer no less, that has never given me any trouble in the past.

Whilst you need to be firm enforcing your terms and conditions you sometimes have to relax a little as not to put off a regular customer from ever using you again. However, nobody likes a piss taker and I would rather have no custom at all than one that fails to pay on a regular basis.

Here are a few steps that I have successfully followed in the past to help resolve these situations and identify a genuine fraudster from a simple mistake.

1/ Terms and Conditions

If you haven't got this at the bottom of your invoices already it is something worth adding. State clearly a due by date or reasonable time frame in which you expect to be paid. For new locksmith customers I specify 14 days if not immediate payment, customers that I already have a good relationship with get 28 days which is pretty much the national standard.

2/ Signature

Once work has been completed ensure you obtain a signature of satisfaction to say that work has been completed, the customer is happy and they agree to your invoice terms.

 3/ Friendly Reminder

You can judge this one any way you feel fit. Based on 28 day terms I would expect payment to have been made within the first 14 days and usually this is the case. The beginning of week three I would call or email a reminder through just to let them know you are still waiting. If you are in a queue of paperwork this usually gets you bumped to the top for immediate payment. Depending how familiar I am woith the customer I would do this a couple of time approaching the due date.

4/ Firm Reminder

Day 28 and still no payment. It is time to send out a reasonably firm reminder in writing stating terms agreed and requesting a reason for the delay. More often than not there has been a staff member away, paperwork misfiled or you were just forgotten. You can include a copy of the invoice if they have lost the original.

5/ Final Request For Payment

It is up to you how long after day 28 you leave this but up until now you have been both reasonable and patient allowing plenty of time for a response. It is now time to state clearly you will not be undertaking any more work until debt is cleared and that further delays will leave you no choice but to hand the debt to a collection agency including additional costs incurred. You may want to specify a further timeframe, seven days is usually more than reasonable. Send this letter by special delivery so you have proof of contact should you require it in the future.

6/ Taking Further Action

Failure to act up upon the previous contact it is now clear the customer has little intention of settling the debt. My mate Rick at Cannock Locksmiths showed me that there are online solicitors that will send out an official letter for a small fee, stating clearly your intentions to escalate the matter and follow up in court, including all the additional fees and potential black mark against their organisation with regards to future credit. A proper letterheaded document from a real solicitor has always been the tipping point in my experience and has yet to fail. Money usually arriving within seven days.

7/ Follow Up / Write Off

If all else has failed you either have the option to write off the debt, take the loss and never engage in further business, or to proceed further via small claims or however a qualified solicitor suggests. If you have followed all the steps above you will already have proof of work satisfaction, records of letters and confirmation they received them. This shows in court you have been reasonable throughout the dispute and have given more than enough opportunity to query or settle the debt.
There is never any guarantee you will see your money after a court hearing and may need to employ further collection agencies on top of court fees. It is something you either follow up out of principal or for a large sum owned.


It is important to maintain good communication throughout to ensure a favourable result and hopefully resolve the issues without damaging the relationship with customers. Never be naive enough to keep accepting work from rogue customers and persistent non payers, it is rarely worth the headache.


Posted by Rick the Pick at 10:00 AM BST
Updated: Wednesday, 24 June 2015 7:32 PM BST
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Wednesday, 30 April 2014
Worst Locksmith Job Ever | Locksmith Blog
Topic: Locksmith Jobs

The Lock Out From Hell

Thought I would write about a job I did last night which won the award for the worst job i have encountered in my five or so years of trading.

After a fairly busy day it was about knocking off time and I was looking forward to a spot of dinner. As I pulled upon the driveway the phone rang, a chap locked out as his uPVC door had jammed.

Not a problem I thought. I have probably unjammed hundreds of doors and rarely present a problem, I carry a tonne of uPVC gearboxes so although out of hours I can replace it.

When I turned up the chap had already sawed off his handle and been digging at the spindle gear which was now sitting sideways in the hole.
I immediately identified the lockcase as a mila/coldseal.

The key was turning fine to 'unlock' the mech so it was just a case of forcing the locks' hooks back in place... or so i thought.
Using various bent tools in the spindle gear hole I dug around to find a bit of rail to slide the hooks in but nothing would budge. It was jammed solid, a bit more digging around in hope of releasing jammed parts probably obstructed by broken cast metal also failed.

Now half an hour in it was time to try plan B.
Using a flat wedge i spread the door gaps to see how many hooks I was dealing with. It was a 4 hook system and an incredibly tight fit!

Now the basic principle of unjamming a door in this way is to make enough gap to manually retract a hook which in turn should put them all back in place, providing you have unlocked the mech with a key.
Another half hour passed and it was beginning to get dark with still no progress on retracting these hook bolts which appeared to be jammed locked.

Having faced this situation on a two hook system in the past I would normally spread as wide as possible and push each hooked section out of its keep one at a time until the door pops open. The problem with a 4 hook system is that you have two pairs of hooks throwing both upwards as well as down making this impossible.

At this point the next door neighbours arrived and we were allowed access to the rear of the property where i gained entry to a back door and get the customers in. This also allowed me to tackle the door from the inside.

Another half an hour spent I finally submitted and made the decision to venture into unknown territory and remove the hinges in hope of freeing the interlocking hooks. With the door off its hinges and rotated as much as possible without bending anything I again tried to free the hooks to which i had full access. Still I could not free them from the keep!!

After much struggling and a murderous headache coming on I finally released it by unsrewing the keep completely, which is not easy through an angled door gap I tell you!

The next hour was spent repairing the lock, re-hanging the door and adjusting it all to work smoothly again.

In the five or so years of opening jammed uPVC doors which I believed I was pretty much an expert at (Its usually a thirty minute job to open and repair) I have never had to go to these lengths to repair a door.

It just goes to show no matter how good you think you are, theres always going to be that job that will knock you down a few pegs and remind you that sometimes you will have to work hard for your money.

Update 06/11/2015

I have since encountered a couple of similar scenarios with this particular lock setup and have developed a great way to unjam them. Keeping it to myself for the min but it may make a future appearance on the locksmith blog ;-)


Posted by Rick the Pick at 9:14 AM BST
Updated: Monday, 9 November 2015 3:05 PM GMT
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Friday, 21 March 2014
Chubb AVA Deposit Boxes | Locksmith Blog
Topic: Locksmith Jobs

Im currently working on a job to open and replace locks on a bank of deposit boxes for a customer in the West Midlands.

Its a really old system using dual key Chubb AVA locks, most of which no longer work or are missing keys. Its going to be an interesting job for sure.

The hardest part is sourcing these obsolete locks as there isn't anything that will retrofit the existing fittings that won't require a load of modifications, something which I doubt the customer will be interested I paying for.

Apparently Gunnebo have a load of bits and pieces knocking around in a warehouse I may be able to use, hopefully enough to do the job.

Anyway I grabbed some photo's for the lock enthusiasts out there that may be interested to see the innards and how it works.

I won't waffle on, the pics are self explanatory really.


Rick - Wednesfield Locksmiths


Safety Deposit Lock Chubb ava deposit lock AVA Safety Deposit Lock Chubb AVA disks Chubb AVA Lock

Posted by Rick the Pick at 11:41 AM BST
Updated: Friday, 5 June 2015 8:30 AM BST
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Wednesday, 12 February 2014
RAKnomination - Locksmith Blog
Topic: Locksmith Jobs




So everyone has already heard of the Neknomination craze that has spread across Facebook recently and has now given birth to the spinoff RAKnomination (Random Act of Kindness) which in my opinion is a more positive use of that spare time.

So today I decided to jump on board that bandwagon after meeting a little old lady in Brownhills in need of some expensive door work. I had adjusted her door in the past and knew she was a worthy  candidate.

Her uPVC mech was shot and needed a replacement which as you know is expensive stuff. I had been waiting for an opportunity to do my good deed and decided this was the time to do it.

As a Yale Expert I fitted a brand new Yale Doormaster repair lock to the outward opening door getting completely soaked in the process by torrential rain. Just my luck.

Job completed, I went and told her the good news. I'm not sure she knew what to make of it all and was a little confused with my response upon inquiring how much it would cost.

I just hope she doesn't tell all her friends she knows a guy that will do it for free :-D 

Heres the video and my two new nominees.

Update 06/03/14

Rick - Wolverhampton Locksmiths

Posted by Rick the Pick at 1:00 PM GMT
Updated: Tuesday, 3 June 2014 8:30 AM BST
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Thursday, 23 January 2014
Day In The Life | Locksmith Blog
Topic: Locksmith Jobs

Day in the life of a UK locksmith

Reading back through my blog I haven't posted about any locksmith jobs for a while. I have written you an insight into one of the more interesting days worth of locksmith work.

1/ uPVC Mechanism Repair

So first job of the day was one I had been out to the previous day and ordered a new Yale multipoint lock since the existing one was having sticky latch issues.

The internal latch section was so worn it had begun catching on the faceplate and not retracting fully after use. As you may or may not know unless the latch is allowed to fully retract you will not be able to fully turn the key, the same as a hook that meets an obstruction in the keeps and does not fully extend.

Easy replacement of the centre case and a few adjustments to the top hinge of the door resulted in a fully functioning uPVC door lock. Had to do the usual explanation to the customer how to use their own door, it always surprises me how many people can't understand that the handle and key do not need to be operated together whilst slamming the door....

2/ Locked Classroom Door

Had a call come in from a local school that could no longer open one of their doors and the master key had snapped off inside.

I arrived to find an ancient horizontal mortice sashlock so was hoping I wouldn't need to order an expensive replacement. I was presented with another master key and carefully turned back and forth. The bolt felt solid to unlock so I turned backwards in the locked position popping the bolt back out slightly. The lock then opened fine.

I removed the Sashlock and opened her up to find a lever spring had snapped off inside. I removed the lever from the pack and replaced the lever spring with one from an old 110 detainer lever, which was a similar length and crimped it in place then put the lock back together.

3/ Dodgy Euro Sashlock

Had to open a euro sashlock with an internal thumbturn that would no longer unlock. Usually this happens when the bolt falls into a half open/closed position so the cam on the euro just hits the flat bottom of the bolt.

I tried for a few minutes to bump the bolt into a better position using a rubber mallet but it was a pretty tight and I eventually snapped out the euro to make access to the lock case. It opened easily using a screwdriver blade to pull the bolt open, Now I was expecting a broken lever spring inside which is the usual cause however the internals were all in tact.

I fit a new euro lock which worked fine inside the lock case and upon testing with the door closed felt the bolt bottom out and would not lock.
Upon closer inspection of the keep there was very little wood taken out by whoever fit it. A little swelling in the damp wood meant the bolt wasn't fully throwing. Chopped a little more out with a sharp chisel and job sorted.

4/ Up And Over Garage Door

I was called out to open an up and over garage door who's cable had fallen off the back so would no longer unlock with the handle.

Usually these are a doddle and you can just flick the shootbolt in with a screwdriver or pry bar, however this garage had a nice wooden facia rendered in neatly with the brickwork obstructing the usual gap.

After fifteen minutes or so of digging away with bent wires I figured I wasn't going to be able to do it without physically seeing the shootbolt.
I used my mica to locate its exact position and drilled a small hole in the facia. Using another modified wire I now had access directly to the bolt and nudged it down out the way.

With plenty of spare cable swinging on the back of the door I repaired it and made sure it was all bolted back tightly this time.

5/ Sashlock Not Unocking

Final job of the day was a sashlock that was not unlocking but spinning 360.
Nice easy one to round off the day, its always a bonus when theres a key to work with.

I inserted the key and turned to the upright position so that all levers were in line to open and used  small screwdriver in the door gap to inch the bolt inwards and unlock. This is a common fault with the Era Fortress locks and I replaced the broken curtain wheel for a new one to make good.

Thanks to: Locksmith Cannock | Locksmith Enfield

 locksmith van and new lock

Posted by Rick the Pick at 1:36 PM GMT
Updated: Wednesday, 21 January 2015 7:00 AM GMT
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Tuesday, 12 February 2013
Inside A Floor Safe | Locksmith Blog
Topic: Locksmith Jobs

Had to open and repair a faulty floor safe in Wednesbury yesterday and took a few photos for my own reference. They are worth a look if you ever have to replace a floor safe lock or make a repair to one.

Floor safe and key

This particular floor safe was locked shut with the key jammed inside.
After much pursuasion with a healthy dose of release spray i managed to free it up and get it opened.

The key had been over-turned inside the lock causing one of the fingers to bend inwards through the lever pack, the whole mechanism had an unhealthy rattle so i pulled it apart and gave it a good servicing.

inside a floor safe

floor safe internals

removing the four large allen bolts holding the back plastic cover releases the sandwich of steel plates which the lock body sits on.

About 1/2lb of dust and shite errupted from the case at this point which was probably why the lock had become so stiff.

Beneath the lock body sits a central pin that engages the centre of the clutch and allows the thumbturn to activate.

If the lock were to be forcibly detached, this pin would fall loose preventing the thumbturn from working.

floor safe lock

The bolt stump has two roll pins attached which link the lock body to the release mechanism of the safes lid.

Two spring loaded plungers block the main bolts from retracting via the thumbturn.

When the key is turned 350 degrees the bolt is thrown and the plungers fully compressed out of the way.

bolts in locked position

bolts unlocked position

Its a pretty solid design and would make drilling tricky considering being mounted a good 6-8 inches below the floor. You would have to be spot on with your accuracy.

Now that i have seen the internals I would avoid drilling at all costs and definately choose the NDE approach since the lock was a relatively simple 7 lever.

Quick Tip

This will save you half an hours head scratching if you have never rebuilt one of these!

When re-assembling do not think of the lock in the usual sense.

Seems silly but REMEMBER:

When the lever lock bolt is fully withdrawn; the lids locking mechanism need to be set up in the locked position. (ie side bolts out)

If you do not set it up in this way upon re-assembly you wil find the keyholes out of line and it takes a little head scratching to work out why.

We are so used to seeing bolt out= locked, however in this case it is the opposite.

Inside a Floor Safe | Locksmith Wednesbury | Opening a Floor Safe

Posted by Rick the Pick at 8:03 AM GMT
Updated: Wednesday, 8 January 2014 2:35 PM GMT
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Monday, 21 January 2013
Amusing Locksmith Stories | Locksmith Blog
Topic: Locksmith Jobs

Ricks Locksmith blog:

Before i begin writing my intended post i would first like to WARN all the CONTENT THIEVES stealing pictures and articles from my locksmith blog that I have now started reporting it to Google who will bum your site accordingly.

If you are reading this on any other locksmith site other than  then it is being used without my consent and you are probably looking at the site of a rogue locksmith or national company employing a poor webmaster.

Try writing your own content you lazy feckers!


So back to my original post:

It goes without saying that being a professional locksmith brings you into contact with all walks of life. A few years working as a locksmith and you will pretty much see it all, whether you want to or not, right down through the utterly grusome, the absolutely hilarious and the down right awkward.

So I thought i would share with you some of the most memorable locksmith stories that i have heard over the last few years as well as a few tales of my own.

The Sleepwalker

Firstly an unbelievable scenario that I encountered in my very first year of locksmithing:

I was called out late one night by a neighbour on behalf of one of the residents that had become locked out of his apartment block.

I pulled up outside the block in my van and had a quick look around for the customer. At first glance nobody was around and got out of my van to take a closer look.

I heard "Pssst" from behind a bush and a head popped up followed by the rest of the mans naked body. Luckily he was wearing his best tight fitting Y front pants but looking rather cold. I bit my lip and listened to his tale of woe.

As a professional locksmith you learn to bite your lip and resist any kind of laughter while listening to the explanation.

Now the story goes that this guy had been travelling from holiday and was pretty shot, gone straight to bed and next thing woken up outside on the grass with no clothes. Lucky for him a neighbour spotted him and called a locksmith before he caught hypothermia.

Turns out the fellow was a serial sleepwalker and had decided to take a stroll mid dream shutting both his and the communual door on the way out.

A couple latches slipped and back in the warmth of his apartment, although i had to take a load of Euro's as payment.

The Horse

This is one of my favourite locksmith stories purely because its bizzarre!

My father in law works as an emergency locksmith for a local housing group and one day was called out to a lock out on one of the floors of some local high rise flats.

Whilst working on picking the lock for the tenant he spots a neighbours door opening down the hallway and man comes strolling out...

...followed by his pet horse on a rope.
Obviously a few refresher glances were taken at this point to make sure he wasn't losing his marbles, however the neighbour then explains that this particular guy likes to take his horse out for a walk about this time of day.

I would imagine the only way this locksmith story could have been any more bizzarre was to have discovered the beast whilst waiting for the lift door to open.

Ultimate Lock in

Again, another story from my earlier locksmithing days and one of my first eviction jobs.

I was called to attend with the bailiff upon reposession of a local house in the area. Once everyone had arrived and the courts had phoned through to give the go ahead I proceeded to gain entry and a few minutes later the door was open and I let them in to go and do their thing.

The house appeared to be abandoned anyway and was in a state so the sitex crew got to work and started unloading the steel shutters to board the house up.

At this point i got my paperwork signed and set off with the rest of my locksmiths jobs for that day.

Later that evening i got a call from the firm responsible for the operation and was asked "Why didn't you check the house!".
Completely puzzled by what i had been asked it was then explained that the Sitex team had in fact secured the house and left leaving the tennant trapped inside!

Now firstly its not the job of a locksmith to go checking these things thats what the bailiff should have been doing. I dont enjoy trapesing through other peoples shiteholes and mess and rarely set foot in these places.

Secondly, How on earth did they not see someone in the house!? My only explanation is that they must have been hiding for whatever reason... but in my opinion the bailiff should be sacked! Dropped a real bollock there to say the least and luckily the tennant had a phone handy.


And i think thats enough amusing locksmith stories for one post but will definitely be sharing a few more later on as they are being told thick and fast, its hard to remember them all. Maybe next time I will focus on some of the more grusome and disgusting locksmith tales!

Posted by Rick the Pick at 12:49 PM GMT
Updated: Monday, 9 November 2015 3:16 PM GMT
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Sunday, 13 January 2013
Common Security Risk | Locksmith Blog
Topic: Locksmith Jobs

Are you one of those people that always leaves a key inside the lock on a upvc door?

Well you may be surprised when i tell you that on this weeks locksmith jobs i have opened three doors through the letterbox and two doors (unusually) through the cat flap cut in the bottom panel of the back doors.

Where keys were left on the inside of the doors i have managed to turn and unlock the door with the key using various poking instruments, a technique that could be used by any crook that fancies his chances, no special locksmith tools required, any old stick would do the trick!


Firstly, Don't leave a key in, or in fact anywhere near the door. Ever heard of key fishing crimes?

Secondly, if you have to leave a key in make sure you have a letterbox guard or similar fitted, particularly letterboxes situated close to the lock. A small child may even be able to put their hand through the ltterbox and turn it from outside!

As for catflaps, some form of internal lock should be fitted to prevent a crook getting his arm inside. Sash jammers or upvc deadbolts would be a good addition.

Posted by Rick the Pick at 9:28 AM GMT
Updated: Sunday, 13 January 2013 11:11 AM GMT
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Thursday, 21 June 2012
bad customers - Locksmith Blog
Mood:  don't ask
Topic: Locksmith Jobs

Being a self employed locksmith can be quite frustrating at times.

This week seems to have ticked all the boxes, being messed about left right and center on most of my locksmith jobs. Its definately been one of those 'Why do I bother' weeks.

First lesson i'v learned is:

Never do anyone a favour!

Your act of charity or heping out that 'friend' is rarely appreciated. Regardless of the greatly reduced fee (if you have made anything at all) they WILL moan about it come paying time. Needless to say i'v been clear that next time; "dont be calling me!"

Second lesson:

Dont expect any thanks for the work you do...

I recently had a hospital book me to arrive at a patients house on their return as the paramedics had just shut the door whilst rushing her off to hospital.

The family of the patient all had keys however none of them could be contacted or had bothered to visit the elderly woman (In 5 weeks i might add) thus a locksmith had been arranged.

So the ambulance pulls up and i begin unlocking the door whilst they unload the elderly woman.

locksmith picking a lock

Literally as the last pin was binding a car screaches alongside the road and a big burly woman screams "Stop, I have the keys!"

Ignoring me completely the woman barges through everyone there and her first words, i kid you not... "Why didn't you tell us you were in fucking hospital..."

Since i was ignored completely whilst they shouted at one another I packed my bag and left. This was clearly not anyone i was going to see a penny out of...

Although not every working week as a locksmith is this miserable, it has dented both my pride and enthusiasm and I'l definately be glad to see the back of this one.

Chin up and Happy locksmithing! :-)

Rick | Walsall Locksmith

Posted by Rick the Pick at 2:56 PM BST
Updated: Monday, 9 November 2015 3:30 PM GMT
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Wednesday, 30 May 2012
Staffs Police - locksmith Blog
Topic: Locksmith Jobs

I havent blogged for quite some time now as work has picked up and it seems im the only locksmith in the area that hasn't gone under.

I can't complain....


Just blogging, well more ranting regarding a certain non paying customer.

I feel it is my duty to publicly name and shame, even if it saves just one self employed tradesman from getting shafted by these unlikely CROOKS!

I completed a locksmith job for Staffs police, over eight weeks ago.

The PC i dealt with (5093 T.Reece) promised me this and that regarding payment for the job and seemed a genuine chap.

So the weeks passed by and I heard nothing from Staffs police and sent out the usual reminders and made a few calls.

Well two months on and iv currently been in touch with six different members of Staffs Police, sent 6 reminders all with payment details, sent a letter of legal action to both the officer i dealt with and the accounts dept.

Still no attempt whatsoever to make a payment, nobody calls back and the original PC full of promises seems to have vanished.

Its customers like this that self employed tradesmen DO NOT NEED.
Times are hard as it is, and frankly I think Staffs Police are a complete bunch of criminals.

I strongly recommend you think carefully before dealing with these pirates.
Staffs Police, come pay time will lead you on a wild goose chase and pass you from pillar to post to avoid paying up.

I will be pursuing this one as far as possible as I think crooks like this need exposing.

For anyone else that has been shafted by Staffs police, here are a few contacts I did manage to scrape together but dont hold your breath!

MARCIA ASHER - Senior Finance Asst

DEE ECCLESTON Responsible for setting up accounts

...and should the money arrive in my account I will let you all know.

Happy Locksmithing


UPDATE: Money finally arrived after ten weeks hassling them and an apology from the gaffer... Case closed Locksmith Cannock

Posted by Rick the Pick at 10:59 AM BST
Updated: Monday, 9 November 2015 3:31 PM GMT
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Friday, 15 April 2011
Unlocking a deadlocking snib with no letterbox
Topic: Locksmith Jobs

A few days ago i encountered my first deadlocked nightlatch where the snib had managed to activate as the door was slammed shut, and of course this door had no letterbox.

Another good locksmith showed me a method to unlock these a few years back however iv never hasd the opportunity to test it out.

The basic principle is to remove the cylinder from the door, then drill a hole in the back of the nightlatch to manipulate the back of the snib button.

So heres how i got on:

To remove the cylinder you need to break the two retaining screws on the rim cylinder. Luckily for me it was only a cheap one and not a solid brass one which would have been far messier.

The best method (if you dont have a fancy rim snapper bar) is to drill top right and left of the cylinder face, angles slightly downwards on the face of the cylinder. This will prevent you drillin the actual securing screws and hit directly on the bit of brass holding it in.
 rim cylinder lock removal

Once you have fractured both retaining areas you may need to get a good screwdriver in there just to wiggle thecylinder until the screws free off, it should then drop straight out.

You are then left with the 32mm hole and the cylinder back plate.

If you can identify the type of nightlatch now it would be useful to locate the position of the snib, however the usual location is to the bolt side of the lock (frame side).

Yale nighlatch opening

Drill yourself a decent sized hole approx 10mm on the edge of the 32mm hole angled slighlty towards the frame side of the door.
This is absolutely bang on target for the Yale nightlatch i was working with and probably the majority of the nightlatches you will encounter.

Once the backplate has peen penetrated try not to go in any further and damage the lock. Using a poke wire locate the snib and deactivate. Open with flat blade screwdriver.

Posted by Rick the Pick at 8:38 AM BST
Updated: Monday, 2 May 2016 4:20 PM BST
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Wednesday, 30 March 2011
Dealing with nutters? O_o Locksmith Blog
Topic: Locksmith Jobs
Every once in a while i get called out to a job that i cannot wait to get away from.

Today for example, i turned up to do a free home security survey. The door opened and i was greeted by a fairly normal looking woman in her thirties.

As i was about to walk in the door i noticed the postcards stuck in the window relating to various conspiracy theories and government cover ups.

I was half way through the door and i realised it was now too late to turn back...

Basically one of those customers that was completely stark raving mad, the house was in an odd state and i tried my best to get away as quickly and politely as possible without offending.

The customer was very paranoid about security and had alarms, locks and hasps on everything, even the loft hatch, and locked the door behind me on the way in *GULP*

These are never nice situations to be in and luckily i escaped unscathed on the promise of providing her with some high security locks for her door.

Literally anything could happen on a job like this; getting attacked, getting accused of attacking, etc. These kinds of people are usually easilly offended, angered or upset and should be dealt with utmost caution!

So my question is, how would you deal, or have you dealt with a similar situation?

Its not my first and im sure it wont be the last...


Our friends at Pennine Security Solutions - Locksmiths in Sheffield have a new website, please check it out :-)

Posted by Rick the Pick at 5:14 PM BST
Updated: Thursday, 6 December 2012 5:32 AM GMT
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Thursday, 17 February 2011
Back to basics Locksmithing - Locksmith Blog
Topic: Locksmith Jobs
Had to open up an antique chest today and make a key for the lock. Very simple warded lock open in about 30 seconds with a well shaped wire.

I love this kind of work, back to basics, locksmithing at its best, working on a handmade lock that some long dead craftsman probably knocked up in his garden workshop. There looks to be a name scratched on the back but i can only make out the letter 'A'

lock restoration

restoring old locks

antique locks

antique locksmith

Posted by Rick the Pick at 1:56 PM GMT
Updated: Monday, 9 November 2015 3:34 PM GMT
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Friday, 9 July 2010
Safe Tamper Bolt - Locksmith Blog
Topic: Locksmith Jobs

I took a quick picture of the inside of an old chubb safe i worked on just to show how the tamper mechanism works.

Older safes were prone to a destructive attack whereby the lock was hammered away from the face of the safe..

In this case a bracket is affixed to the back of the lock which holds a large ball bearing in recess.

Hooped around this Ball bearing is a wire attatched to a spring loaded deadbolt. (pictured bottom left)

chubb safe lock

When the lock is forced backwards the ball bearing is dislocated and allows the spring loaded bolt to engage, securing the safe.

This mechanism can also be triggered in old safes that have never been serviced and parts may have come loose.

A customer will usually describe the 'PING' of the ball bearing landing in the cup below it when calling a locksmith regarding their safe failure.

Posted by Rick the Pick at 11:07 AM BST
Updated: Friday, 9 July 2010 11:26 AM BST
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Thursday, 1 July 2010
Disgusting Repo's - Locksmith Blog
Topic: Locksmith Jobs

Iv just returned from a nice early morning property reposession.

Today it was a butchers shop and i really wasnt looking forward to this one, id already met up with the tenant who was an absolute nutter so we figured it would be best to do this one early before he shows up.

It seems he knew we were coming and after quickly gaining entry I sheepishly poked my head round the door to see what was in store.

Immediately i was hit by the foul smell ... old meat had been left in the back room and was festering nicely, flies buzzing around all over the place. It really was a stomache wrencher...

There were plenty of grusome looking knives lying around too, very intimidating... There was also a narrow dark room at the back with quiet music playing, but there was NO WAY i was going in there, thats not in the job description.

It takes a real animal to leave this mess and i hope the guy gets his just desserts. Its a shame you cant get a court order forcing them to clean up thier own mess... im just glad i dont have to do it

On a brighter note, i gained a nice pair of keyed alike ERA padlocks to play with once i clean all the e-coli from them.

era padlocks

Please spare five minutes and take a look at Pat's website:

Posted by Rick the Pick at 8:17 AM BST
Updated: Monday, 9 November 2015 3:51 PM GMT
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