Tuesday 5 March 2013


Over the years my brothers have told me many stories, some more believable than others. One of the most far fetched involved hiring a locksmith who turned out to be competent and interested, and who managed to open the jammed door without breaking anything.

My weekend has been ruined by the Devon Door and Lock company of Malborough Street who I think are either incompetent or dishonest (possibly just lazy). The rear entrance to my mum's house is protected by an iron gate which is locked with an obscure and fragile key. The first two keys are now broken after only about 25 years but my dad, with amazing forethought, sent us one more blank key from beyond the grave. I presented the lock, both broken keys, and the blank to DDLC who told me that the lock was worn out beyond repair and would have to be replaced in toto. They then spent a fortnight failing to find a replacement. I am not a locksmith, but I contend that the lock wasn't broken, and that a key could have been cut quite easily. I "repaired" the lock with nothing more than a screwdriver, a rag, and WD40. After having taught myself how it worked, I successfully cut a new key with swiss files and a ruler. This took many hours and excited me to a fury which is only now beginning to subside. I could have done it much quicker if I understood how locks work, and I'd had feeler gauges, a profile gauge, engineers blue, and a milling machine or microscope (or something) with a compound table. A competent locksmith, if there were such a thing, with one of those pantograph key cutting machines could have done it in 20 minutes.

Richard "security" B

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