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Master Keying Bit (Skeleton) Keys

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Skeleton_Key23

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Posts: 1

Joined: Wed Jun 09, 2021 3:34 pm

Post Wed Jun 09, 2021 3:42 pm

Master Keying Bit (Skeleton) Keys

Hi, I'm a cabinet maker who is making some historic man doors where the client would like to have Bit or Skeleton keys. I've sourced the lock body from Accurate lock but I'm told they can only do specific keys and not a master key between the 6 locks I'll need. The client is insisting on having 3 or 4 key options with a master. Is there anyone out there that can do this? Is it a lost art or is it just not possible? I've exhausted all sorts of sources for something like this. If it helps, the existing locks we'll be replicating are made by Yale in the late 1940's. This is pretty much my last ditch effort to find someone who can accomplish this.

Of course while I was researching this, I went down several rabbit holes and became interested in learning more about historic locks.

Thanks,
Drew
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Riyame

Keeper of the Bests / Supreme Overlord of Small Format Interchangeable Picking Nightmares

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Joined: Sun Jul 24, 2011 5:16 pm

Location: Canada

Post Fri Jun 11, 2021 2:30 am

Re: Master Keying Bit (Skeleton) Keys

Try going with a local physical locksmith shop and take a picture of what you would like and dimensions. If you already have the locks take at least 1 of them down. If they absolutely had to they could file notches into the levers to create master keys. This is not something all locksmiths can or will do. This is not something a key shop, or a distributor/lock supplier will be able to do.

They may have other products that would work or that they might already have master cut levers for that may better fit your needs.
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Visitor

Familiar Face

Posts: 161

Joined: Sat Sep 16, 2017 11:48 am

Post Fri Jun 11, 2021 8:31 am

Re: Master Keying Bit (Skeleton) Keys

3 or 4 keys per lock and a master key is not going to work very well on a cabinet lock due to lever number and size but master keying all 6 whilst keeping their original individual keys is very doable.
Be warned masterkeying lever locks removes a lot of security and makes them a whole lot easier to open without the proper key especially on a cabinet lock.
One key and a master key per lock will need at least a 3 lever lock, 3 to 4 keys and a master key per lock will need at least 7 to 8 levers per lock which on a cabinet lock isn't common.

Ready made locks such as the za range already come masterkeyed but the master key is readily available.

To master key your locks to have an individual key and a master key per lock will require you/your locksmith to have access to the full range of levers for that model of lock which is only really doable on the better quality more expensive locks, the better way to do it is to tell your local locksmith what you need and let him source the locks to suit.

If you were local I would have taken it on as a job so any decent lockie your side of the pond should be able to do the same.

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