... What's the trick for disassembling the old Dexter locks? I'm just
drawing a blank. It's clearly a Kwikset-like front-of-knob insert. I
know some of these needed a removal key to permit operating the
retainer, but I *think* this one predates that variant (not certain,
I know I've dealt with these before -- heck, I think I had one on my own
apartment many years ago -- but so far I haven't been able to recall or
to find my notes. A pointer in the right direction would be appreciated.
Sigh. Embarassing. That's what I get for not doing much locksmithing for
the past year, I guess...
got a key? pull the back rod out and hold it? turn WAY further
than normal then and it pops out, or is this the one that takes
the straight pick inserted and pushed thru the key hole?
havent done one in a few years myself..LOL
This is the ticket. Sometimes crud will accumulate and make the cylinder
stick inside. Sometimes a squirt of WD40 will loosten the crud enough,
other times you need to insert something and give it a tap.
"Joe Kesselman" email@example.com wrote in
message news:rP6dnftaQOjJfabYnZ2dnUVZ firstname.lastname@example.org...
just separate the inside knob from the outside knob.
put key in cyl and turn 180 degrees.
face should pull out the front.
WD, if needed ?
if no key ?
working from the back side,
remove the two tiny screws from the rear of the plug, pick
the cyl or shim. then follow the plug out.
g'luck / its been a while...
LOL, one you poke, one you unscrew.. its been a REAL long time
for me to do either.. only thing that sells here is KW or now and
then a piece of Baldwin, but normally KW for the cheap homes, and
whatever the CHEAPEST thing they can get for the $150k homes..
(KW costs too much for those builders...LOL)
Remove lock from door. (This separates indoor knob from outdoor knob.)
Holding only the outdoor knob in hand, insert key. Rotate 180 degrees.
Outside cylinder now pulls out. Remove two small slotted screws, and
clip that holds plug in. Use hollow HPC or equivilant follower.
(When lock is assembled, the key only turns about 40 degrees or so to
Hey, there's all kinds of locks to dissemble and service. Can't
remember them all. I still have total brain failures now and again.
I think the Dexter depths are eitehr a 015 step for the old ones, and
020 for the newer ones. Schlage pins should work if you have the old
key depths. Can't remember off the top of my head, but may be same
spacing as Schlage, so you can cut a Schlage key onto a Dexter blank
I've seen some new Yale. Dissembles a bit like Schlage, with the turn
key and depress retainer. Kwikkie keyway and spacing and all. Wow,
what poor quality, though. Outdoor knobs like the new Schlage, one
piece and short springs.
Thanks again for the reconfirmation and the details. Why is it that I
never forget this sort of thing except when working on a friend's locks,
to maximize the odds of embarassing myself? <grin/>
I _REALLY_ need to get my files organized, and/or spring for the
NL-on-CD set, so I actually find the info for older locks when I need them.
Really old Dexter has different depths but the standard Dexter pin lengths
are the same as Schlage but the depths on the key are different as the plug
is slightly smaller.
I think the spacing is different also.
My pin kit does have a table for Dexter (haven't rechecked exactly what
the step is)... but in this case I'm setting it to match an existing
Kwikset key, so it'll be KW's depths adjusted for the plug diameter.
(The spacing and keyway are close enough to interchange; original Dexter
made the same decision lots of other companies have made when entering
the market and went after some of the replacement/addition sales for
I suspect that Kwikset actually came after Dexter but when keying a Dexter
to a Kwikset key make sure you use ZIP pins instead of the original Kwikset
style. IIRC the spacing is slightly shorter, but you can get away with this
if the Dexter plug is slightly worn, and you avoid combinations on the
Kwikset key that has a large difference between cuts. I think the spacing
is pretty close but sometimes if you have a combination where the high cuts
do not have a large flat the point on the pin will not hit on the narrow
Pinning it any way will cause grief getting copies to work as the chambers
where the pin was not resting on the flat will bring it to the wrong height.
I've got a Lab kit with pointed bottom-pins, which I've always preferred
to the Kiwkset beveled-but-flat version. That allows a bit more room
before the pin starts riding up the sides of the cut.
Hm. Actually, I do seem to remember that, back when I was in a place
that had a Dexter lock on the front door and a KW on the back.
But this lock seems to like the key I was asked to pin it to. It's
possible this key was actually being used in yet another
not-KW-but-similar lock with spacing more similar to the Dexter.
Oh well. If the lock is happy, and will stay happy, I'm happy.