Introduction: Rekeying Home Locks Yourself
I have lived in my current house for over 14 years with the existing locks never requiring to be changed. As of late they are mechanically failing with increased internal friction making it hard to open them. Ultimately they needed to be replaced. This Instructable will cover the rekeying of 2 series of Schlage residential locks(A dead bolt and a simple keyed lock).
Why am I creating this Instructable:
I chose to create this Instructable as I work full time as an mechanical/software engineer and the 1 trustworthy locksmith in my area is retiring and only works 3 hours per day! Lastly, I didn't want the hassle of scheduling around them or the risk or a shady locksmith PLUS just taking my time off from work and paying someone else to do something that I know I could figure out.
If this thing turns out well because of the type of locks chosen, I will also create 2 additional Instructables showing:
- The pairing of this Z wave compatible lock to my Vera3 home automation server.
- The installation of the locks
My goals for this Instructable:
I had a need and I have seen so many Instructables out there that "filled in the gaps" for me that I thought I would give back based on my situation at hand. This is also my first Instructable to create so I wanted to "give it a go". As an engineer at heart, I am a doer. I want to learn, do and teach where I can. I like a puzzle and this project is about all of those rolled into one(mechanical, software, systems engineering). I found many piece parts of this series of locks all over the internet so I wanted to give a visual representation of what is required to do this in 1 nice visual setting. It may flop or really come off nice. Either way I hope you enjoy what you read or at least chuckle at my noobish attempt of an Instructable :D
I hope that you the reader find this instructable understandable and though you may not use this series of lock, the principles are all the same across lock families. Perhaps this will give you the idea to do it yourself and not spend the money hiring a professional and paying the $100 per 30 minutes of work!
Step 1: Gathering Together Your Tool List
The first step to anything successful in life is to plan things out by getting your supplies together. This applies whether you are going on a camping trip and you forgot to check to see if you had matches, or going to work and didn't go through your normal morning checklist and forgot your badge or key. I can not tell you the amount of added frustration that occurs when I am going back and forth looking for a specific tool to accomplish a job. This project is no different, in fact because we will be dealing with smaller components(springs, pins , etc), its all the more reason to plan how you will deal with these components while you work on each lock.
For my project, I chose to use a new set of Z wave compatible devices because frankly I wanted to setup my own home automation/security system well and frankly to play with the new technology as well. I felt that the Schlage lock series chosen are secure first and foremost, are visually appealing for the house, technologically capable and ease of use for my family will work out. Even if I cant get the technology portion setup these are Grade 1 residential locks and so that is enough to make me pay more for them since this is for protecting my family.
For this endeavor, My list includes the following items
- A Clean Workspace
- A Small Cup or Bowl
- A good old Fashioned Pocket Knife
- A Set of Tweezers
- Your Locks of Choice
Step 2: Select Your "Primary Key"
Select a key that you will use for all of your locks and set it aside as you will need it for every single lock you re-key to.
NOTE: My deadbolts came with only 1 key each and my keyed locks came with 2. I didn't think about it until I was through my first lock but I had chosen my deadbolt key. There is nothing wrong in doing this UNLESS you lose it after you have completed a handful of locks.(Thankfully I didn't.) But if you do, then it gets expensive....as you will have to either call out that locksmith that you didn't want to in the first place or drill out your newly installed locks either way more $$$ out of pocket.
So this being understood, I recommend using a key that you have multiples of because frankly that's 1 less key you have to have made and you reduce your risk of messing something up by losing a VERY important piece of the puzzle. Set one aside and use the other for your re-keying. I even recommend not using this master key in the event you need another one cut years down the road.
Now as I stated, I had a total of 5 locks to deal with which meant I would be swimming in a total of 7 keys. So that I didn't get it confused with all of the others I marked it with Duct tape. (Thanks to the Duct tape craze as of recent as I have plenty to steal from my daughters craft pile!).
Notice that on each key there is a 5 digit code. This code is very important as it matches the pins that you will use when replacing the ones inside of tumbler. Each one of the pins vary in length starting from a "3" to a "9". There is nothing wrong with reusing pins from your locks if they are the same numbers. Either way THIS is where the kit comes in handy.
Step 3: Select a Simple Keyed Lock
Before you begin working on your deadbolts, I recommend starting on a simple keyed lock first so that you can begin to understand the principles since primarily all residential locks are based off of similar designs.(Just think that 50 years ago the need for residential locks was very minimal. My how we have fallen as a society! Sorry.....political moment over..... :D )
Between a deadbolt and a simple keyed lock, in all honesty, for me, it was much more complex for me to do the keyed lock than the deadbolt. This was because that in order to get to the tumbler, it had to be installed in the door before I could remove the the tumbler to get to those pins that needed changing. It was a frigid, windy, wet day that day I had the chance to tackle this project which meant an open door while I accomplished the lock. Once I was able to extract the tumbler cylinder then it was a piece of cake.
- From the outside, Insert the existing Key into the door.
- Turn the Key 90 degrees clockwise
- Depress the release pin shown below and pull the cap off
- Remove the key from the tumbler
- Push the tumbler into the cap for extraction
- Grab your provided multi tool(Sheetmetal part)
- Push the C Clamp off(Be careful not to push it all of the way as it will shoot across the room!)
- Slide the Plastic pin replacement tool into the unit while the tumbler and pins slide out the other side
- Remove pins
- Place Master Key into the cylinder
- Match pins per the 5 digit code to the key(when the key is fully inserted the tops of the pins should be flat)
- Place everything back in in reverse order.
- And Whalaa!
- Repeat on other locks.
Step 4: Select a Keyed Deadbolt
I eluded to in the previous step that the simple keyed lock was actually more complex(for me anyway) to accomplish than the deadbolt. This was because the keyed lock had to be installed in the door before I could rekey it. The deadbolt was not as complex as the tumbler cylinder was completely accessible when it was "in halves" and this allowed me to access it without wasting time installing the unit, check fitting the frame and latch, etc. If I would have known this weeks ago I would have already completed those locks BUT then again that's part of the learning process. I am not a locksmith but from my engineering background, I can assume this complex design is because of the security/anti tampering/etc...
- To remove the tumbler assembly, take the keypad side of the lock and turn face down so you are looking into the back of it.
- There are 2 screws shown that keep the cylinder from falling out. Remove the 2 screws and the tumbler will slide out relatively easily and then easily separate.
- From here take this and depress the pin(using the pin assist tool) while you unscrew the nut by hand.
- Then remove the nut and bar from the pin sleeve.
- Now use the Pin assist tool as we did with the simple keyed lock and slide it into place to keep pressure on the internal springs so that we can access the pins for replacement.(Be careful, because of the shape and because I wasn't paying attention, I destroyed a small spring internally that I had to replace.)
- Replace the pins with the same set you are using in your house
- Re-assemble in reverse
- Install in your door
- And Whalaa!
- Repeat on other Deadbolts.
A note about the tools provided:
THEY have a purpose! If you don't use them properly, you will break and bend things (like the small spring I mentioned) and then have/get to put in a replacement spring by hand. Glad I bought the kit and the tweezer set!
Step 5: The Most Improtant Step!
If you are married like myself or even in a relationship of any kind, the most important part is.......
CLEANUP! If you are like me, by this time I am usually tired from the project and the next thing that happens is relaxing on the computer, watching some TV, or grabbing something to eat, or you might be one to put back a few to relish in your success. Either way each of these "traps" leads into hostile territory even after you spent a few hours fixing something for everyone's safety and mutual benefit...
Either way, to impress your significant other and/or just to abate your ears from the "Are you going to clean this up?" statements or the "Meh" sentiments....cleanup your mess :D.
I hope that this little write up will keep you from spending that $50-$100 on something that was really simple to accomplish or if you are even on the fence....go for it.. I intend to show you how to pair this series of locks to an open source Z-wave home automation server. in the next writeup if this is well received. It was fun to do and a first for me!