New lock. Kind of anyway. (This is why I use combination locks on the boats!)

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I haven’t got to the tablet yet. I’ll go over how to do it later tonight.

When I was at the shop today I took the lock off the back cover of the F150 to take a closer look at what I was working with.20150323_162347 When I got it home I took it apart.

My key did not fit into the lock. The lock is designed to have a padlock/ house key shaped key with bumps on one side only and flat on the other. I couldn’t even get my key in the little stainless steel door that keeps dirt out.20150324_15535920150324_155413

When I took it apart I took it all apart. All the dogs and springs etc. I didn’t pay any attention to the order of the dogs as I didn’t have a key and there were no markings on the lock to give me an idea of the cut for the key.20150324_155423 (Some locks have a # printed on them that allows locksmiths to cut a new key without even seeing the lock. I’ve used that service before with a roof rack I purchased 2nd hand. The seller was skeptical that I could just get a key made from the # he gave me. It worked.) So without any dogs in the lock cylinder I decide that I would drill out the inside and make it big enough to fit my truck key. (I only want one key for everything on this truck or any vehicle.) I used a ⅛” drill bit and started drilling with a electric hand drill. (I wish I has a milling machine sometimes…) I took my time and got the inside wide enough that my key would fit in.

Next was to put the dogs back in and drill out the center of them to fit the key. I put the dogs in and drilled carefully while holding the dogs inside the cylinder with my vice. I would drill a bit and try the key, and do it again until the key fit all the way into the lock. I took the cylinder out of the vice and pulled the dogs out and sanded the birs off the sides. Then cleaned up the cylinder of birs and reinstalled the tiny springs and the dogs again.

The springs are what hold the dogs up in the locked position. All my dogs were up and would easily slide in and out without any catching. I reinserted the key and put the cylinder back in the lock mechanism to test. It didn’t work… Of course not I hadn’t tuned it yet…

To make my key fit and work I took the cylinder out with the key in it and filed off the tops of the dogs that stuck up above the cylinder. (Only 2 stuck up about .5mm) Once they were filed down I put the cylinder back in the lock mechanism and tested it.

It worked perfectly!

Now to widen the little stainless steel opening. I used the same ⅛” drill bit and widened and lengthened the hold so the key would fit. (Before..20150323_162335 After..20150324_171311  ) Not the most perfect job but good enough for me. (That would have been a job for a milling machine…) I put everything back together and tested it again. It worked nicely! It works so well you would never know that the truck key wasn’t supposed to be the key that opens that lock.20150324_171143 20150324_171157

I went back over to the shop after supper and reinstalled it into the cover.

I’m quite happy with the way this has worked out.

I use combination locks that the combination can be changed on the boats. I don’t like dealing with keys. I have the combination changed each week on each boat for each customer. It’s just much easier to change the combination each week than have 50 keys cut and try and keep track of them all. Ever loose a key? How about lend a key and have it go missing…?  Yea me too. That’s why I have bolt cutters… I haven’t needed bolt cutters since I started using adjustable combination locks. I have them all set the same for my things. If I need to give the combination out I change it first on that one lock and change it back after whoever I gave it to is done.

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