OT- Rekey toolbox locks?
I have an assortment of Craftsman brand tool boxes, (three rollaway chests, etc). None of the locks are cored alike. So, between the keys I don't have anymore and the ones I can't find at the right time- I end up leaving my tools unlocked most of the time.
Problem: my employees all feel pretty free to "borrow" my tools. I don't think any of them are thieves, but they do frequently forget to return my tools. I find it very frustrating to be working on something, know that I OWN the tool that I need, but can't find it because someone has borrowed it and not returned it or did return it but didn't put it away in the proper place.
I want to either purchase new lock cores that match (qty 14) or have the cores rekeyed. I can't imagine its cost effective to pull the cores and take them to a locksmith- they just appear to be way too low quality to dink with. Craftsman doesn't seem to sell lock cores [if they do- they're not easy to find on their webpage].
McMaster Carr sells cam locks that are keyed alike, I believe
Check with the repair/service/parts dept. at your local Sears store for replacement locks. They might be able to help you. Asking at the store's tool dept. is probably a lost cause.... Half of the store's tool dept. staff doesn't even know what new tools they sell most of the time, anyway. What Sears may charge you for new locks, if they can supply them to you, might well cost you more than the charges of having the original locks re-keyed by a locksmith
Is it possible, for the number of locks you need have re-keyed, that it would be cost effective for a locksmith to come out and do the work on site.... Assuming they don't have to remove the locks and take them back to their shop. If they have to do that, and Sears can't help you out probably cheaper to remove/reinstall and take them to the locksmith yourself.
At the Sears stores, they sell sets of 3 locks keyed alike. There are a few different sets, depending on the latch styles at the backs of the locks. You need to look at your lock cores, then go to Sears, and buy the kit that has the 3 latch styles you need. Unfortunately, they don't seem to stock multiple kits that are keyed alike, so 14 locks keyed alike are not a possibility just showing up there. You could buy a bunch of kits, and just switch the pins around until they are all keyed alike. Maybe Sears has some custom service that would key them alike for you.
The locks Sears sells are pretty cheap and flimsy. Maybe the best option is to take all your lock cores out and take them to a locksmith, who could provide you with better quality locks with the correct latch styles, identical to the cores you provided. The double d lock most tool boxes use is very standard.
Not sure if this helps or even if they are sold anymore but Kennedy used to have an option for the "cylindrical" locks for toolboxes. I believe these could be ordered "keyed same" although it has been several years ago. Also the more important issue of whether they could interface with a Craftyman box is an important one for which I have no data.
I have also seen toolboxes modified with something like a 1/2" or 5/8" rod which goes thru a loop at the bottom of the box and then is padlocked to a flat plate at the top. IOW the vertical rod, centered closely in front of the closed doors, prevents opening of any drawer. Then the padlocks are keyed same and the regular toolbox locks are abandoned.
Funniest thing I ever saw was a guy who had a complete set of T-handled allen wrenches bolted to the outside front door of his cabinet in plain view. However, he had carefully measured and mounted so when the door was closed, the allen wrenches just could not be removed from the holder due to the solid benchtop overhang above (without gorilla techniques of course). When he was in the shop, the doors were open and he could grab what he needed..
Stopped at the locksmith on the way home from the shop this afternoon. I had pulled one of the lock assemblies as an example. Apparently I was making this much more difficult than it needed to be.
For $5.95 he can provide me with a new lock core, I'll need to grind off the peening that Craftsman uses to keep the tailpiece onto the square shaft of the lock core...the tailpiece will attach to the new core with the included screws and voila' DONE!
Slight catch: he'll need to order in all the lock cores keyed alike in order to avoid any labor charges associated with rekeying. So- in about a week- I get to stop and pick up 14 cores all keyed alike. Problem solved.
Thanks for the advice, Luke
Kennedy, Craftsman, and other brands all use locks that fit in the same double d hole, so keying alike between brands is not too difficult.
But, the back end of the Lock core has many different variations, some a tab, some a hook, some fit into slots on other hardware, etc. This is why I say - take all the lock cores to the locksmith, each lock is a little different, but a locksmith should be able to get them all.
Matt, et al:
You wrote: "Kennedy used to have an option for the "cylindrical" locks for toolboxes. I believe these could be ordered 'keyed same' "
At the risk of me-tooism, I'd like to point out that Homak can do likewise. I'd wager that any of the "quality" toolbox makers would have such a service. I called up about getting keys for some Homak "scratch & dent" boxes I'd bought at Homier's itinerant tool sale. Homak went the whole nine yards on customer service. They offered replacement locks keyed any way I liked or keys for the locks already on the chest, ordered by code number.
I believe that most Craftsman have been made by Waterloo Industries - www.waterlooindustries.com . I found this on their web site under the FAQ's:
"Yes, different key numbers and locks can be purchased directly from our Service Parts division by calling: 1-800-833-4405."
Glad you found help from your local locksmith. Maybe this info will be useful to someone who can't find someone as helpful.
I just received three tubular locks through J&L for my Kennedy boxes. I ordered them on Friday and received them today, not to bad. I realize the OP already solved his problem, but for others the service is available.
just some general FYI on cam locks. There are just a few basic cores and lots of cam options, ie the arm that swings around, so that is what you want to look for. As far as keys go, I was making bike carriers for Mini-Cooper and was using a plunger lock, a better lock than the typhical cam lock, we used two per unit so we had to match those up and maintain a supply of replacement keys. I think we found 23 different keys, but 75% of the locks used 5 different keys. So the key range is small. BTW, a few years ago cam locks were in the $.80 range in quantity.
Also, I used to be in the case business and would occasionally get a panic call from someone who lost their key, wondering how we would every match their lock for a replacement key, easy they were all the same.
A couple of years ago my Wife and I came out of a resturant in the dark, walked up to my dark blue Dodge minivan, unlocked it, got in and I started it, then I looked down and said , hey where did your hard hat go? [your wife has a hard hat doesn't she?] and I realized it was not my vehical, we quickly got out, locked up and got in our van right next door.
Last edited by surplusjohn; 05-08-2008 at 07:12 PM.
Reason: added story
Not too long ago I had three vehicles re-keyed to use the same set of keys, I was always switching between them and hated to carry three different sets so it was for convenience more than anything, but it only cost $50 total for 14 locks. (6 doors, 1 trunk,1 hatch, 3 ignitions, and 3 glove boxes)
Did have to bring the locks in though.