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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    62
    Country: United States

    Default Servicing the lock - to do - or not to do . . . that is the question !

    Can't seem to find anything which tells how to service the locking system on any antique combination lock or door hinges, bolts and latch system.

    I've taken a peek inside the back of the combination lock panel and can see where any previous grease had long since melted and run down the back of the panel.

    Any thoughs on how to service these areas?

    Also, I'm thinking I might rebuild my safe to include an extra drawer or two, and an extra pair of lock boxes - any idea where I might find the keys and locks for such items?

    Thanks a bunch!
    Rog
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails DSC_0017.jpg   DSC_0012.JPG   DSC_0013.JPG   Interior Box and Drawer - w Keys.jpg  

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    England
    Posts
    110
    Country: England

    Default Cleaning locks

    Hi Rog,
    As far as servicing antique locks or modern locks are concerned I have worked on many.
    The only thing that I use is WD40. I first strip down the lock to component form, then clean all parts. Re-assemble and lubricate with the spray. Wipe off access spillage.
    WD40 cleans and lubricates. If you use grease, it attracts dust and dirt and it ends up as a sticky paste which clogs everything up. Give it a go and see what you think.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Leeds England
    Posts
    153
    Country: England

    Default Wd40.....no no no

    WD40, is NOT the correct lubricant. Yes it's ok for a degreaser & cleaning agent, but as a service product, this should not be used.

    Ok, why not?

    WD40, will when dried out , ie in a centrally heated environment for one, dry to a powder finish, which then clogs up AND, it will form into an abrasive eventually causing wear & tear to the product.

    If WD40 was the messiah of lubricants, then why do manufacturers use specific grease viscocities on their goods?

    Clean with it by all means, then re-grease.

    Seeples innit.

    Regards
    Russell

    Withy Grove (Leeds) Ltd
    t: 044 (0)113 2721441
    www.wgsafesonline.com

    Quote Originally Posted by Timbo View Post
    Hi Rog,
    As far as servicing antique locks or modern locks are concerned I have worked on many.
    The only thing that I use is WD40. I first strip down the lock to component form, then clean all parts. Re-assemble and lubricate with the spray. Wipe off access spillage.
    WD40 cleans and lubricates. If you use grease, it attracts dust and dirt and it ends up as a sticky paste which clogs everything up. Give it a go and see what you think.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    62
    Country: United States

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Russell Stoner View Post
    WD40, is NOT the correct lubricant. Yes it's ok for a degreaser & cleaning agent, but as a service product, this should not be used.

    Ok, why not?

    WD40, will when dried out , ie in a centrally heated environment for one, dry to a powder finish, which then clogs up AND, it will form into an abrasive eventually causing wear & tear to the product.

    If WD40 was the messiah of lubricants, then why do manufacturers use specific grease viscocities on their goods?

    Clean with it by all means, then re-grease.

    Seeples innit.

    Regards
    Russell

    Withy Grove (Leeds) Ltd
    t: 044 (0)113 2721441
    www.wgsafesonline.com
    I have a bit of "old" vaseline/graphite grease, which is what was used on old phonograph gearing - so I'm thinking that since it is basically from the same era that this might be a good choice = yes or no ?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Tonawanda, NY, USA
    Posts
    691
    Country: United States

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Rog View Post
    I have a bit of "old" vaseline/graphite grease, which is what was used on old phonograph gearing - so I'm thinking that since it is basically from the same era that this might be a good choice = yes or no ?
    I recommend Super Lube synthetic grease with Teflon.
    (note-I tried to post an image several times but "Upload failed due to failure writing temporary file").

    Pete Schifferli

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Leeds England
    Posts
    153
    Country: England

    Default Graphite based lubes---NO

    Blimey!!!! Who ever in their tiny minds decided to add graphite to grease.

    Graphite is a naturally occurring product, generally, it is a fine powdered rock.. Guess what!!
    Its an abrasive product, and thus should not be used on a locking devise.

    Back to WD40 to de-grease n clean, low viscoss grease for locks, heavier viscoss for safe mechanics.

    Hoping this clears up this little theme.

    Remember, even John Travolta sang about the benifits of Grease.

    Regards
    Russell
    Withy Grove (Leeds) Ltd
    t: 0113 2721441
    www.wgsafesonline.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Cleveland, Ohio USA
    Posts
    1,238
    Country: United States

    Default

    Russell, here in the States, super fine graphite powdered has been used for years in pin tumbler locks. It is not as popular today as when I started, but back then my boss referred to it as black magic. This is not the same as found in hardware stores. All too often it is over applied in locks and will compact, causing problems. But properly applied it works great as a lube. Graphite is not as hard as brass therefore it doesn't damage the lock. Not that I ever saw at least. When Medeco first came out, powdered graphite was not recommended as a lube. I suspect it was feared that it was too easy to over apply and would therefore cause problems in their locks. But in standard pin tumblers it remains my personal choice. It is rarely used in safe combination locks but that doesn't mean it won't work there as well. But the proper application of lubricants (what, where and how much) is important. And I agree that WD 40 should not be considered as a lubricant for any lengthy period of time. Short term only in a pinch. Doug

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Seattle WA
    Posts
    1,325
    Country: United States

    Default

    I am with Doug on the lube.

    WD 40 stands for Water Displacement Formula 40 and was made to keep missile parts from rusting. It was not designed as a lube. It was just that everyone that worked in the plants took it home and used it for that.... and the following grew.

    As for DIY of safe lock servicing:

    1] Take lock apart taking pictures as you go so you KNOW how each part was before you took it off.
    2] Clean all parts with a agent that will not harm them but will remove all grease, dirt and grime. It should be an agent that dries in a very short time but doesn't leave a trace of itself.
    3] Any bolt part on part movement is the location to where you are going to use a lithium or other really good quality (safe lubes are available) light grease in very small amounts. This would be just enough to see it but not enough to move on its own with gravity.
    4] Any dial or wheel pack part you should apply the grease to your finger then rub between two fingers and then wipe just a bit to the part on part movement so you can feel it and see a sheen.

    If the lock is in use (several times a day or more) then the lock should be serviced at least once a year. If the lock is only used every week or two (as it should be with a safe of this age and lack of parts) should be serviced once every decade or decade and a half. Servicing might damage/distort (rings, keepers, ect) parts if someone that doesn't do it often preforms the work. Go slow and careful.

    My preferred lube is Lock Saver lube and grease.
    http://www.lock-saver.com/

    ---------- Post added at 06:55 AM ---------- Previous post was at 06:42 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Rog View Post
    Also, I'm thinking I might rebuild my safe to include an extra drawer or two, and an extra pair of lock boxes - any idea where I might find the keys and locks for such items?
    Depending on one point here. Do you want a lock that looks and works like those you have or does it mater if it is a more modern lock? If you want like ones you have might be a problem as I don't know of any that are made here or imported. Flat steel locks and keys have gone away as far as I can tell. Now you can still trip over them on ebay and might find enough for your project.
    Last edited by Dean Nickel; 10-02-12 at 03:45 PM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    62
    Country: United States

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Halflock View Post
    I am with Doug on the lube.

    WD 40 stands for Water Displacement Formula 40 and was made to keep missile parts from rusting. It was not designed as a lube. It was just that everyone that worked in the plants took it home and used it for that.... and the following grew.

    As for DIY of safe lock servicing:

    1] Take lock apart taking pictures as you go so you KNOW how each part was before you took it off.
    2] Clean all parts with a agent that will not harm them but will remove all grease, dirt and grime. It should be an agent that dries in a very short time but doesn't leave a trace of itself.
    3] Any bolt part on part movement is the location to where you are going to use a lithium or other really good quality (safe lubes are available) light grease in very small amounts. This would be just enough to see it but not enough to move on its own with gravity.
    4] Any dial or wheel pack part you should apply the grease to your finger then rub between two fingers and then wipe just a bit to the part on part movement so you can feel it and see a sheen.

    If the lock is in use (several times a day or more) then the lock should be serviced at least once a year. If the lock is only used every week or two (as it should be with a safe of this age and lack of parts) should be serviced once every decade or decade and a half. Servicing might damage/distort (rings, keepers, ect) parts if someone that doesn't do it often preforms the work. Go slow and careful.

    My preferred lube is Lock Saver lube and grease.
    LOCK SAVER

    ---------- Post added at 06:55 AM ---------- Previous post was at 06:42 AM ----------



    Depending on one point here. Do you want a lock that looks and works like those you have or does it mater if it is a more modern lock? If you want like ones you have might be a problem as I don't know of any that are made here or imported. Flat steel locks and keys have gone away as far as I can tell. Now you can still trip over them on ebay and might find enough for your project.

    Thanks for all this useful information...

    I should state that the dial/lock mechanisms seem to work extremely smooth in their current condition.

    But I'll definitely treat things gently!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    73
    Country: United States

    Default Lubricating Grease

    I know S&G used to specify a GE Versilube lubricating grease on their safe locks but have lately swiched allegiance to a similar Shell Petroleum product. GE seems to have sold off that division to a company called Novaguard and their Versilube is what I have been using for quite a few years. It is not as pertinent to a flat key lock but should work well to lubricate the sliding mechanism of the bolt and less is more.

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