Shaw Walker Desk Won’t Open: Instructions : Locksmith


A few days ago, I had problems with my Shaw Walker desk. The drawers would not open, and I needed to get things out from them. So I searched Reddit, and there was a post from two years ago that dealt with this problem. There are some misconceptions there that I can clarify from my experience fixing the desk. Also, since there’s little information on the topic in the internet, I’m posting this to share.

First, there is no anti-tipping mechanism. It’s simply a mechanical interlock that locks all drawers when the center drawer is pushed in and locked with key.

The way the desk is meant to work is similar to a filing cabinet. The side drawers have a spring loaded rotating bar that has extending arms. When the center drawer is pushed in, a lever rotates the bar and extends the locking arms. When the center drawer is pulled out, the lever disengages, and retracts the locking arms.

The problem arises when, after several years, the components begin to grind and rust together. So even if you pull the center drawer, the mechanism is locked closed. If you can’t pull the side drawers at all, there’s a small access hole directly underneath the rotating bar. The bar has a notch on it, so it can be manually rotated with a long flathead screwdriver. Once it disengages, the drawers can open.

Pull out the top side drawer completely, then tilt it up to remove it and have access to the rotating bar. The points of contact need to be lubricated with light machine oil or WD-40. Once they are lubricated, the rotating bar can freely engage and disengage without getting stuck with rust.

r/Locksmith - Shaw Walker Desk Won't Open: Instructions

Inside of drawer with rotating bar shown and lever disengaged. Top part is the lever and spring cam. Bottom part is the locking lever.

r/Locksmith - Shaw Walker Desk Won't Open: Instructions

Inside of drawer with rotating bar and lever engaged. The locking lever tilts toward the drawers and locks them in place.

To be sure, I lubricated all points of contact and now it works like a charm. These desks were made to last lifetimes, and I’d hate to see these being destroyed or wrenched open for not knowing how to maintain them. If you have a desk like this, you can do this simple fix.



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Help finding a type of lock/key for a desk : Locksmith


I hope this is the right place for this question, I usually post in r/woodworking

I’m building a desk and looking for a specific type of lock that I’ve seen before but I have had no luck googling the description. I’m wondering if it has a specific name.

– It’s a decorative brass lock and key for a cabinet door on a desk.

– The key is very basic, like a skeleton key (?) with a larger ring.

– When the lock is unlocked, the key remains in the door and functions as the cabinet pull knob – there is otherwise no other knob or pull on the door.

– You can only remove the key, when you lock it.

– Bonus: There is a matching lock in a drawer on the other side of the desk where the same key works but can be removed if it is locked or unlocked.



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This is my old desk lock. Lost key. Anyone know what key? Says “513” : Locksmith


🙂 The information we really need is the shape of the keyway which means a picture straight on of the lock so we can see the shape better. With this angle where I can only see one side of the keyway and it’s clear except that single thin bar I’m going to say the standard CH 500 series might work so CH 513 is the key you can order and try if you want. That being said, I’ve only seen this style lock on an antique desk by Stow Davis and that was a proprietary blank, luckily I was still able to order the actual key.



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