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Replacing Keys on Furniture Locks

Replacing keys in old locks

Fitting Furniture Keys

Replacing keys for an existing lock is difficult

  • Knowing the manufacturer and model number of the lock unfortunately does not help in locating a replacement key.  The majority of historic lock companies are no longer in business.
  • Lock bits, also known as blades, are specifically cut in a pattern to fit a lock and turn the mechanism.
  • These cut-patterns are rarely interchangeable as lock mechanisms can be quite complex.  This makes it exceedingly difficult to know the exact pattern that needs to be cut for the key to turn the lock mechanism.
  • Cutting the bit/blade, to turn the lock mechanism, often requires the skills of a locksmith.

Choosing a key blank:

Key Blanks

Furniture Key Measurements

  • Determine lock-pin diameter This measurement is critical as key-barrel must slide over lock pin.
  • The key-bit must be sized correctly to move the lock-bolt .

Key-bit Patterns vary according to individual locks. 

  • Some locks are easily turned with a simple un-notched blade
  • Other locks require a key bit cut pattern to have one notch to lock or unlock
  • Many locks require a key bit cut pattern to have 2 notches: one notch locks the lock the other notch unlocks the lock
  • Locks made with spring-loaded levers require a  very specific key bit cut pattern. The cut pattern is often complex. This type of key is typically very difficult to reproduce.
  • We do-not know of or have a guide for how to determine the key bit pattern. A locksmith, who is familiar with older locks, is our best recommendation. 

Antique and vintage keyhole Covers

Selecting Keyhole Covers - Escutcheons

 Keyhole Covers and Escutcheons

  • Measure keyhole height in furniture
  • Measure height of key-bit
  • Compare above determined measurements, to interior keyhole measurements, of the desired keyhole cover

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