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Need advice on vintage Chinese lock without a key

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Keynesian

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Joined: Mon Jun 26, 2017 7:19 pm

Post Mon Jun 26, 2017 7:33 pm

Need advice on vintage Chinese lock without a key

I have a lock with no key.

Lock.jpg


Long story short, this is the lock on a Chinese chest I just inherited. Age unknown, but at least forty to fifty years old. The previous owners apparently lost the key. :-(

Currently the lock is, well, locked, and the only way to open the chest is by unscrewing the lock from the chest. I'd love to be able to open and close the chest without doing that, which means finding a way to make a key that will open the lock. I'm not an amateur locksmith or anything like that, and I've been asking local locksmiths what my options are. None of them seem to know where to start, but one of them pointed me to this awesome forum.

Does anyone have advice on what might be possible with this lock, and how I should proceed here?

Thanks.
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just1pick+open

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Familiar Face

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Joined: Wed Dec 17, 2014 1:13 am

Location: Pennsylvania

Post Mon Jun 26, 2017 7:47 pm

Re: Need advice on vintage Chinese lock without a key

Get a new lock. :D
xeo: i use an electric buzzer exclusively for my ass that gets sanitized afterwards
PhoneMan: would have freaked my friend out if hed come over
MBI: Most anything goes.
PhoneMan: way to give me nightmares
selim: ok then blow your load,, i'll take anything free now a day's
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Patrick Star

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Post Mon Jun 26, 2017 8:01 pm

Re: Need advice on vintage Chinese lock without a key

Disregard the former poster :)

Start by determining what kind of lock it is, i.e. how does the actual locking elements inside it that interact with the key work. Are you familiar with the different kinds of locks? (Pin tumbler, lever, disc detainer, etc)
Shine a light into the front of the lock and see what shape(s) you see, or better, use a fiber optic light to illuminate it from the back.
Poke around a bit in it with a lockpick or other suitable tool to see how the things in it move.

Chances are decent this is just a warded lock, i.e. the key only needs to physically fit and be able to engage the mechanism, not needing a specific code like modern locks.
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jharveee

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Location: San Marcos, Ca.

Post Tue Jun 27, 2017 12:52 am

Re: Need advice on vintage Chinese lock without a key

http://www.ebay.com/itm/like/331701344626
I hope this link works.
If not, Gordon has posted some where here (keypicking) a similar type of lock.
Inside there is a long spring that needs to be depressed. A long key is slid into the end and pushes it down.
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jharveee

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Joined: Thu Aug 22, 2013 3:14 pm

Location: San Marcos, Ca.

Post Tue Jun 27, 2017 1:26 am

Re: Need advice on vintage Chinese lock without a key

https://youtu.be/lRh2sUp0jcQ
This video may help.
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Keynesian

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Posts: 3

Joined: Mon Jun 26, 2017 7:19 pm

Post Tue Jun 27, 2017 8:26 pm

Re: Need advice on vintage Chinese lock without a key

Thanks for the replies!

@Patrick Starr - I suspect you're right about the locking mechanism.

@jharveee - thanks for the links. I wonder what the odds are that one of those Ebay items might have a physically compatible key...
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MartinHewitt

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Location: Germany

Post Tue Jun 27, 2017 11:59 pm

Re: Need advice on vintage Chinese lock without a key

I have seen many Asian locks where the key just compresses a spring. So they really can be quite simple .
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jharveee

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Joined: Thu Aug 22, 2013 3:14 pm

Location: San Marcos, Ca.

Post Wed Jun 28, 2017 1:58 pm

Re: Need advice on vintage Chinese lock without a key

As for me ...I would fashion some crude lock picking tools to open the lock up and then try to make a key.
You could spend a lot of money trying to buy the lock with the correct key.
Be sure to post some photos when you get it open and make a key.
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Keynesian

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Joined: Mon Jun 26, 2017 7:19 pm

Post Mon Jul 10, 2017 7:39 pm

Re: Need advice on vintage Chinese lock without a key

An update on this.

After dropping by a few antique shops, I found one selling a lock and key that, while not being an exact match, was able to unlock my lock.

The shop was asking a fairly high price for the lock and key pair, and kindly offered to order another key from the supplier. In the meantime, I bought a lock and key pair on Ebay whose key that looks fairly similar to the successful one. We'll see how it goes.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Chinese-Vintage ... 2216491660
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bitbuster

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Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2010 8:03 pm

Location: NW Wis

Post Mon Jul 10, 2017 11:09 pm

Re: Need advice on vintage Chinese lock without a key

Similar to this key.
http://imgur.com/a/WtrJ7
"I dream of a world where, chickens can cross the road without having their motives questioned."......Ralph Waldo Emerson

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