skeleton keys


Old 08-02-04, 03:32 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 87
skeleton keys

Does anyone know where i can have skeleton keys duplicated? I just bought a house that many of the doors have original hardware. I found a skeleton key for the doors and would like to have more. Also, one of the locks seems to have some buildup so the key barely fits. Is there a smart way to get rid of that buildup? It looks like cement.
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Old 08-02-04, 06:19 PM
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 674
Your best bet is to call your local locksmiths to see if they can help you with the skeleton keys. There are machines to duplicate them and many shops still have them around.

Not sure what the buildup is-could be hard grease, old graphite or an accumalation of nameless gunk.

Get some Tri-Flow lubricant-a brand I like to use on my locks. Lubricate the lock-spray it in the key way and the latches-have a rag handy to wipe up overspray and residue flushed out of the lock. See if you can get the crud out-hopefully it is not as hard as cement.
Old 08-02-04, 07:31 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 87

i'll get some stuff and try it, and will contact some locksmiths soon to see what they can do.
Old 08-06-04, 09:43 PM
WGW is offline
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Ontario
Posts: 313
From my experience, most of those old "skeleton" keys vary little from each other. I guess back in the day, it was more a matter of privacy than security.
Though our shop carries a selection of about 10 different bit keys, it's the same one that works about 90% of them.
I agree with schiejr about the buildup...either that or many coats of old paint.
Old 06-22-08, 07:53 AM
rebeljeep's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: illinois
Posts: 155
I am interested in skeleton keys,but I don't even have one as a referance. I seen a site that has a master key for about 5 bucks.Antique shops always have a lot of skeleton keys.
Old 06-24-08, 01:02 PM
GlobalLocky's Avatar
Join Date: May 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 940
Many brands of Pin key mortise locks (skeleton key type) used to be simple one and two lever locks that used one of five different keys.

The keys differed by the wardings ( the cuts in each side of the flag).

A master or "skeleton" could be made by filing the wards wider, effectively bypassing the wards inside the lock body.

With 3 lever and 5 lever locks, this is not possible.

3 & 5 lever locks are 100% bump proof. Difficult to pick without the knowledge or the correct tools. Sometimes even with the knowledge they are difficult to pick.

Making a key (impressioning) is usually the easiest way to open these locks when locked, although on one and two lever locks your wire coat hanger works really well.
Old 06-26-08, 05:58 PM
David's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Southern Florida
Posts: 23
Take a look at these has a couple of types of skeleton keys, do a site search under on the top right side of this page or click below:
It will link you to a site carrying many. follow the link up one level and they now carry 6 items. They cost very little, it doesn't pay to cut them or search. The gas will cost more than shipping anf they sell for as low as 2 for $1.19 or up to a buck and change a key...

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