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Old postal street letter box lock gets a new key!

PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2019 10:02 pm
by PhoneMan
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I've wanted one of these for awhile, but ones with keys were out of my price range, so I put off getting one... That is, until I found this one with no key on Ebay for $25. I looked around for a key, knowing that the key is the same for locks with the same number. Someone on the FB padlock group sent me a high res pic of a #18 key!
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I printed off the pic, and had to tweak it until it was the size of the real deal, I then taped it to a piece of metal I had lying around and it was time to dremel it down!

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Here is a crude copy, let's see if it works...

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Success! Later i will make a nicer copy using either a proper blank, or shape one out of thicker steel myself. I may even be able to find the real key eventually.

Re: Old postal street letter box lock gets a new key!

PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2019 4:37 am
by mastersmith
Well done! And a fine lock for your collection!

Re: Old postal street letter box lock gets a new key!

PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2019 5:50 am
by GWiens2001
Agree with Mastersmith. I bet you are proud of yourself making your first push key. Well earned, Phoneman!

If you are unsure of the key, you can try making a tool that I used a few days ago to make a key for my first Champion 4 lever push key lock.

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The tool was made for me by the illustrious Lauren, and has been great. Before getting the one he made me, I made a simpler version using drill bits, plywood and wing nuts/bolts. Adjusted properly, it is a pick as well as a good way to make an impression of the levers and transfer it to the key.

Gordon

Re: Old postal street letter box lock gets a new key!

PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2019 5:55 pm
by PhoneMan
Thanks guys! Gordon, I've seen people using tools like that before. Does it work similar to a tubular pick? (self impressioning)

Re: Old postal street letter box lock gets a new key!

PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2019 8:44 pm
by GWiens2001
Yes it does. Though for a lock that is already picked open, you can loosen the screws and slide the pins into the lock to merely read the pins. Then tighten the screws and you have a key and/or pattern for a key.

Gordon

Re: Old postal street letter box lock gets a new key!

PostPosted: Sun Oct 27, 2019 5:02 am
by tpark
I had opened my 6 lever padlocks by using a thin wire with a tiny hook on the end and measuring the location of the gates. I had made keys by filing a sheet of sheet metal, but I managed to acquire some blanks, and those work better. I had toyed with the idea of building a fixture for the Framon machine for it, but I don't do this often enough to warrant that kind of effort. Congrats on making a working key!

Re: Old postal street letter box lock gets a new key!

PostPosted: Sun Oct 27, 2019 1:43 pm
by GWiens2001
First way I used to pick them open before using tpark's method and later getting the tool was to tie a small rope to the shackle, put a loop in the other end. Put the loop over my foot and pull it tight with my left hand to tension the shackle against the levers and use a straight piece of piano wire to manipulate the levers. They will bind and pick like picking a pin tumbler lock. I stopped using that method when I learned easier methods. Was worried about possibly damaging the levers.

Gordon