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Blog Archives for September 2012

Changing Locks

Saturday, September 22nd, 2012 - Comments (0) in House, Life

When I move I usually always change the locks on the new place, you never know who has copies of keys. When I bought my house I changed all but one lock: the deadbolt on the front door. This had to do with the type it was, the finish and backset on the latch. Well, years later I finally got around to replacing it.

I found a nice cheap deadbolt on eBay in the matching polished brass finish that would accept a 7-pin Best small-format interchangeable core (SFIC). This way the front door could be part of the same key system as the rest of the house. You might be thinking that using a multi-level master keyed system on a residential property is a bit overkill, and you'd be totally right. But this setup allows me to have each door of the house have it's own key, and a master that opens all doors. Then I can also have padlocks on the shed and my bicycles all with their own keys and a top-level master key that opens everything, with room for expansion.

original schlage deadbolt

New Best-style deadbolt

The guy I bought the deadbolt from also happened to have a core in the right finish that was rather inexpensive too. I was very surprised since this system is in a rather rare keyway. It's the same keyway that the RIT dorms were in when I was a student there. It was not easy to get my hands on those keyblanks, but I was able to find a box of them about 10 years ago. Perhaps it's easier now that the patends have run out on this keyway you will never see these blanks in a hardware store and probably not even at a locksmith. I designed the system, I have the blanks, I cut the keys and I pinned up the cores. That's probably just about as secure as I can be. But then again, if someone really wants to get into my house, they're just going to break a window.

Best core disassembled

It had been a few years since pinning one of these cores and I was having a terrible time for some reason. I took apart the core and saw that the control sleeve was damaged. I did have some other cores and was able to swap sleeves and get it working just fine.

Broken control sleeve

New deadbolt with Best sfic core

Now I just need to touch up the paint a little where the old deadbolt was touching the door and I'll be done.