Locked Out

Discussion in 'Watch Repair' started by Marty101, Feb 13, 2018.

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  1. Marty101

    Marty101 Registered User
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    Oct 28, 2007
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    Friends,I have a pal who just acquired a beautiful old watchmakers work desk,roll top,lots of drawers,etc.

    The drawers are closed and locked,and he has no key. He is not sure how to proceed. Are these keys of a generic nature? Can the lock be picked easily?
    Anybody have experience with this?
     
  2. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User
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    Jul 26, 2015
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    Most clock repairers are adept at picking locks, I think mostare only one or two lever.
     
  3. Marty101

    Marty101 Registered User
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    Oct 28, 2007
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    Friend,that helps-if the keys are often of a simple design,maybe a generic type key will work or can be modified. He's afraid to do harm of course,and I can't blame him. I've only seen pics of these old desks 3-4 times.
     
  4. Tom Huber

    Tom Huber Registered User
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    Call a local locksmith. That is what they do

    Tom
     
  5. Bohemian Bill

    Bohemian Bill Registered User
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    Hi Marty..I have a antique rolltop watchmaker's desk made in 1890's from Chicago with cast iron pedal for a lathe. All the drawers are locked when the rolltop is closed and covered. When the roll top is fully open, it depress a wooden locking lever hidden in the back. It is accessable through the 8 inch by 16 inch lower storage door. My lowest right hand door, I sometime have to reach in the back and push it down to help it totally unlock all the drawers. I hope this will help
     
  6. Marty101

    Marty101 Registered User
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    Oct 28, 2007
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    Bill that data might just be "key" haha-but seriously I do thank you. This is an early rolltop and it is closed...you certainly sound like experience speaking. I want to help this man if I can,and I will forward this immediately.

    Hiring a locksmith would most likely solve this trouble but it would be a last resort.
     
  7. Ticktinker

    Ticktinker Registered User

    Jul 7, 2015
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    If the key is skeleton it should be relatively easy to pick.
    Often flat keys for desk drawers are very similar, look through all your keys find something that goes in the slot and try each one...
    Good luck.
     
  8. THTanner

    THTanner Registered User
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    Jul 3, 2016
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    can you or your pal provide a closeup of the lock and key hole? I usually pick these with a bent large size paper clip or with a right angle scribe.

    the usual design of these desk locks is a leaf spring that has to be lifted up about 1/8 of an inch and slot in the locking plate that gets slid up or down. The leaf spring has to be lifted before the plate will move so sometimes you have to use two picks - one to lift the spring and a second to slide the plate.
     

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