Mortise lock mystery : Locksmith


Back story, I was called to a business a few weeks ago because they couldn’t get their front door to lock. Standard SC1 mortice cylinder, it was stuck 180 degrees upside down cause the driver pins fell into the keyway.

As far as I know, the only way for that to happen is somebody picking the lock?

I fixed that, but then the key wouldn’t work, so I pulled the whole cylinder and looked at the pins. The pinning wasn’t for the key the owner gave me. I double checked, she assured me that was the proper key. I rekeyed the cylinder and cut new keys, everything was working smoothly all good.

I get called back to the same location today. The key wasn’t working the lock anymore.

I pulled the cylinder again, the pins didn’t match the key again.

What the hell happened to this cylinder? Did somebody tamper with the lock since it looked like somebody did pick it at some point?

I don’t think it could’ve been me, I double and triple check my pinning when I rekey something until it’s running perfectly smoothly. And these pins were so far off, if that had been the case this problem would’ve arisen sooner than this.

I ended up installing a new mortice cylinder with factory keys just to eliminate some kind of faulty cylinder. If I get called out there again, I’m thinking somebody is fucking with the lock.



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A mystery? Perhaps just a novice mistake : Locksmith


Hello everyone:

So just over a week ago I went to this store and rekeyed it. Two Kwikset (KW1) locks on a side door, one Schlage (SC8) knob on another side door and two old mortise locks (Y1) on the commercial doors on the front of the store. I tested everything before I left and it worked great.

The customer called yesterday and said his keys did not work in the front door anymore. He opened the store but he could not lock the doors at the end of the day. I was jam packed on my schedule, but nevertheless, I fit him in at the end of the day. I take pride in my work and I would hate to jepordize someone’s business because of a fuck up of mine.

I go out there and sure enough, his key did not work in the lock. Well, kind of. The outside lock on the door, it would only turn maybe 1/8th of a turn clockwise, but not counterclockwise. The inside lock would not turn at all. I pulled the locks off and took them plus his key to my van.

When I originally keyed up these two locks, I had used a General Lock set of factory keys. The bitting on the key was 23236. I still had the factory keys and I tried those. They did not work. His key no longer worked in the front lock. I shimmed both of the locks opened and pulled the cores out.

To my surprise, I found that the 5th pin was well below the shear line. The other 4 pins were just slightly above the shear line. When I tried to key these locks originally, I had to drop each pin length by one full cut, so the pinning inside the lock was 12125. Maybe the plug diameter was smaller than .5? They were pretty old locks.

Anyways, I took the 5th pin out and measured it with my calipers. It measured .258. According to the LAB chart, this corresponds to Yale #4.

This really confused me. How could I have pinned the lock with a #4 pin in the 5th chamber even though the 5th cut on the key was a 6? The .276 pin is gold, but the .258 that was in there was red.

I just don’t see how I could have pinned the lock wrong, tested it, and it worked. I also don’t see how the customer could have been using his key for over a week with no issues but then suddenly have a problem after a week. But how does this explain that the outside lock could turn just 1/8th of a turn but only clockwise? The only time I have seen something like that was when the mortise cylinder was screwed in too tight.

One of my thoughts was sabotage. I don’t really think it is likely, but perhaps someone pulled the locks off and switched the last pin. Or maybe the cores were so worn down that there was some movement with the key and I just didn’t notice it when I keyed them originally, so I dropped the last pin from a 6 to a 4. I only remember dropping it to a 5 though.

Well, I ended up just putting the right pin in the 5th chambers of both locks and reinstalled the lock. The customer was happy his doors could lock again and I went on my way. Still, it makes me wonder what happened. When I was testing, I did notice that the peak at the tip of the key brought the 5th pin to the shear line, but made the others either above or below the shear line. Maybe that has something to do with it. I did use some Tri-Flow on all of these locks, so I don’t think they were sticking.



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Inside Safe Compartment Mystery Key : Locksmith


Hello, we run a small business, I’m decently handy and am happy to pay professionals when I cannot do it myself.

This key has stumped a local commercial locksmith and I can’t find anything on it.

Can you tell me where I can get a blank and or copy made?

Otherwise a lock I can replace this with with a similar key that cannot easily be duped?

Thanks for looking at this r/Locksmith

mystery key

mystery key 1



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Calling all ‘smiths to solve a mystery. : Locksmith


I’ve got a coworker, fellow licensed locksmith, that is in a situation where someone is getting into an apartment with no signs of forced entry. The front door lock was changed out to two Mul-t-lok 006 keyway, on a jimmy-proof deadbolt and a mortise lock. There are no other ways into the apartment: 13th Floor, fire escape is not attached. This is a former significant other with no known locksmithing experience, that’s getting in and is stealing items and shitting on the floor.

Does anyone have any ideas how this person could be getting in? I’ve seen people pick mul-t-lok cylinders but I highly doubt this person is capable. Or are there vulnerabilities that would allow someone to bypass two jimmy-proof lock and mortise body with two mul-t-lok cylinders that I’m missing?

All are welcome to message me if you have an answer, where I’ll provide my license. Thanks to everyone in advance, we are completely stumped.



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