deciphering Schlage keys


Old 05-04-09, 12:34 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 5
deciphering Schlage keys

I have a door with a mortise lock that I want to rekey. I have some experience rekeying; but it has been been easy enough to do as I was always just substituting a similar type of key for the one I was trading out and repinning.

This mortise lock is the kind with just a cam on the back- not sure what depth yet- that's another question. Anyway the key operating the lock is presently a SC Schlage. I wanted to buy a set of mortise locks and replace the ones that are in now. I found some online but I have 2 questions.

1. The new mortise locks are Schlage either type E or type C. Since I am using SC keys am I correct in assuming that the SC key is meant for a C type core? NOT E?

2. I understand that the legnth of the mortise lock is measured from under the lip near the front to the back of the cam at the rear... so are all Schlage mortise locks the same length and I'll be safe just switching the cam from the old lock to the new one?


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Old 05-04-09, 03:41 PM
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 1,197
I think you're on the right track--if the advertised mortise cylinder is available in EITHER "C" OR "E" keyway, and your Schlage original key has a small "C" stamped on it, order the new cylinder in the "C" keyway.....However, if the new cylinder is available in a "CE" keyway, this is a "composite" keyway that will accept EITHER a "C" OR a "E" key.
Matching the cams can be a little tricky...if the new cylinder is Schlage brand, you're OK, but aftermarket brands should come with the popular "Standard" or "Yale" cam to work a Schlage L series mortise lock. Switching cams from one cylinder brand to another does not always fit well and may require some tweaking with a file.
Old 05-06-09, 09:47 AM
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 1,197
Forgot to answer your length question...since there is considerable tolerance within the mortise lock body, lengths of 1", 1-1/8", or 1-1/4" will work, as measured from under the flange to, and including, the cam. Schlage original cylinders should include the collar and a wave washer or similar that will allow for some length tolerance as well.

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