Is changing locks a DIY work ?

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  #1  
Old 06-15-06, 08:20 PM
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Is changing locks a DIY work ?

I am changing locks in all the external doors of the home that I purchased recently. The home currently has 'Sears' Lock. I have some questions

Is this a DIY work? I am handy but never touched locks so far
Is Schlage grade 2 a good choice ?
Why Residential locks are not manufactured in Grade 1 standard

Thanks
 
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  #2  
Old 06-16-06, 03:46 AM
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Originally Posted by sethramesh
I am changing locks in all the external doors of the home that I purchased recently. The home currently has 'Sears' Lock. I have some questions

Is this a DIY work? I am handy but never touched locks so far
Is Schlage grade 2 a good choice ?
Why Residential locks are not manufactured in Grade 1 standard

Thanks
Hello sethramesh,

Good idea, changing locks. And yes, replacing them is a DIY sort of thing.

As far as Schlage grade 2 is concerned, it is a good lock, well suited for your home. The grade 1 locks are designed for institutions, and are also available through special order. But be prepared, as the price might scare you. Grade 1 Schlage locks are about 3 or 4 time more than grade 2. They will however last a lifetime on your house, as they are very well made. If you should visit your local locksmith, you can probably compare them both side by side. There is a huge difference between them.

Now back to your original question. There are a few things to be watchfull of when doing it yourself. First of all, make sure you have the correct backset when you purchase the new locks. the sizes available are 2 3/8" and 2 3/4". To measure this, measure from the center of the lock, (The key hole) to the edge of the door. This will tell you what you need. (The hole for them is called the Cross Bore)

Next, when installing them you might find that they actually will not fit in the existing hole in the door. Most residential locks today require a 2 1/8" hole. (Called the through bore)Some locks however can be made to work with a 1 1/2" hole. If you currently have sears brand, I think you will be ok. If the hole should happen to be small, you can use an electric drill, with a side cutting grinder bit or something alont those lines to make the hole larger. There are a couple things you have to be carefull of here though. Pay close attention while grinding to insure you keep the cross bore centered. By this i mean, make sure the latch hole stays in the center of the larger hole. Not up higher than center, nor lower than center. This is important as most schlage locks are pretty unforgiving as to correctness of the two holes.

Lastly, have a hammer and chisel handy. Typically, it is not uncommon to find there is a difference in faceplate on the old and new latch. One may have rounded conrers, and the other square. This is easily correctable if necessary using the hammer and chisel. Also look at the mortise (chiseled out space) for the new latch. Insert the new latch into the cross bore of the door, and hold it in place. Does it go in far enough to be flush/flat with the edge of the door? If not, make the mortise deeper with the hammer and chisel. Use caution though while trimming the verticle edges of the cutout. The wood edges could be right on or near the edge of the door, and could split. Just use very light taps on the edge to mark the outline. This is all you'll need.

I know this sounds like alot to remember, and it actually is. however, it should not take long at all. Good luck, and let us know if you run into any problems along the way. There are alot of knowledgable people on this forum, and we're all glad to help.

cuedude
 
  #3  
Old 06-16-06, 11:37 AM
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Where I come from (originally), Schlage and kwikset are considered on the lower end of quality. However, both products can be suitable depending on their applications.

Schlage is definitely the better choice of these two, in my humble opinion (IMHO).

The grading system for products here in this country, leave a lot to be desired IMHO but for a residential application, grade 2 is more than sufficient.

Lock rekeying is generally (sorry cuedude) not considered a DIY application usually due to the specialist tools required for correct dismantle and re-assembly of products. This is not to say that you cannot do it yourself, but the time (in some cases) required to perform the tasks makes paying a professional all the more worthwile...aside from the warranty provisions that most locksmiths provide.

Generally, locksmith tools are not widely available to the general public, not because of anything necessarily to do with security, but more to do with the extensive training locksmiths usually go through to master the use of the tools.

I have been a locksmith for about 25 years and I'm still learning everyday how to master new techniques and to better use tools. There are some locksmithing tasks that challenge me too, but my joy is earned by using the methods of training i learned many years ago to figure out how to do something. When I find a worthwile tool that will help me to speed up my efficiency, I may purchase it depending on how often I might use it.

Arguably, I would highly recommend you taking the locks off your doors, yourself, taking them to a locksmith shop to be rekeyed, and refitting them yourself. You will likely save a lot of money in labour and alot of time in hassle.
 
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Old 06-16-06, 06:14 PM
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No offense taken, globallocky. I respect your knowledge, and hope one day to be able to say I've done this 25 years. My train of thought here was that the locks were being replaced, not repinned. So, no offence taken. Besides, there is so much to learn in this business, it's almost baffling.

cuedude
 
  #5  
Old 06-16-06, 07:35 PM
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Thanks for your responses. I ordered new dead bolts and Keyed knobs. My original question was whether I would be able to remove the old locks from the door and replace it with newer ones. Based on your responses, I am going to fit it myself. Sorry I did not explain it well.

Form your posting above, now I know I could have avoided ordering new locks by re-keying the existing locks; I was hasty!

I have learned some thing today

Thank you both for your help

Seth
 
  #6  
Old 06-17-06, 05:28 AM
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Grade 2 Schlage is not a top of the line lock, but as Cuedude mentioned, it costs a lot more to do better (I put grade 2 Schlage on my house). I think you have improved the quality of lock you now have, so replacing instead of rekeying was what I would have done.
 
  #7  
Old 06-17-06, 09:57 PM
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Hi Seth,

What are you replacing the old locks with? I'm curious. One part of being a locksmith is being concerned with security, and helping ensure people and property are secure.

cuedude
 
  #8  
Old 06-18-06, 07:14 AM
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Schlage Deadlocks and Keyed knobs. Just ordered them online
 
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