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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
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    Country: UK

    Default Sliding door mortice lock from airfield control tower - info please

    Someone I know has enquired about the type and availability of the hook bolt mortice lock on the sliding doors of the VCR of their 1946 RAF airfield control tower.

    Can anyone confirm the make and model, and advise as to whether a replacement would be available if they can't get a key cut for it?

    Other locks in conventional metal doors in the building are Union.

  2. #2
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    Sep 2012
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    Country: UK

    Default

    Had problems adding photo
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMG_0503.JPG  

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
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    1,326
    Country: Wales

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    Have you got anymore info Al, anything on the faceplate of the existing lock?
    Used to see all sorts used by the RAF, from old brass Gibbons hooks to more modern 5-lever stuff like Wil-Lok and Bolton Brady, to the favoured Chubb 3M50s and 51s on more recent doors.
    There's a lot of variations between specs and particularly dimensions between all the various hook and clutch bolt locks.
    Huw

  4. #4
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    Country: UK

    Default

    According to them:
    No visible manufacturers mark, 66mm backset, 72mm case height, 106mm screw centres, 16mm case thickness.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
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    Devon UK
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    Default

    It will be easy to cut a key to it because it doesnt look worn (or perhaps ever used).

  6. #6
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    Country: UK

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Gordon View Post
    It will be easy to cut a key to it because it doesnt look worn (or perhaps ever used).
    You're probably spot on with that. By the nature of the thing, it was manned 24/7 I imagine for the duration of its active life.
    And it was on the roof of the building, 3 storeys off the ground, so security was not too much of a worry!

    They probably had a key on handover from the builder, which was most likely lost within days...

  7. #7
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    Aug 2013
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    Country: Wales

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arcade Al View Post
    You're probably spot on with that. By the nature of the thing, it was manned 24/7 I imagine for the duration of its active life.
    And it was on the roof of the building, 3 storeys off the ground, so security was not too much of a worry!

    They probably had a key on handover from the builder, which was most likely lost within days...
    Seeing the condition of the lock in the photo and knowing what some of those sites could be like, it wouldn't surprise me in the slightest if it was never actually locked at all.

    Probably had a sign next to it saying "TO BE LOCKED SHUT ON BIKINI AMBER OR ABOVE ONLY!"
    Huw

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by Huw Eastwood View Post
    Seeing the condition of the lock in the photo and knowing what some of those sites could be like, it wouldn't surprise me in the slightest if it was never actually locked at all.

    Probably had a sign next to it saying "TO BE LOCKED SHUT ON BIKINI AMBER OR ABOVE ONLY!"
    ...which probably necessitated changing the bulb.



    Whereabouts of (some of) the key have been resolved:
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMG_0506.JPG  

  9. #9
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    Aug 2013
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arcade Al View Post
    Whereabouts of (some of) the key have been resolved:
    You won't have any problems making that like new again Al, you could also swap the order of the levers before you cut new keys, if they're worried about any old keys that might still be around. It looks like it's in very good condition.

    Broken keys on warded locks like that were common and even more so on those hook bolt locks where there's a lot of action and torque on the key- even more so when they're well greased up and the grease has started to dry out....it acts like adhesive, add to that a door that's dropped or a receiver that's out of alignment and it's a one-way ticket to disaster. I'm sure you'll get it all back and working like new again.

    Quote Originally Posted by Arcade Al View Post
    ...which probably necessitated changing the bulb.

    "oh smeg.."
    Huw

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
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    UK
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    It wasn't me making the key Huw, it's just a project I am interested in, and I used their photos - I have met the couple who are undertaking the restoration project and it's fascinating to see the progress they are making.

    They have now got two keys made for them by a local locksmith, I am pleased to report.

    I posted here in the hope that someone might be able to identify the manufacturer or narrow it down somewhat.

    A memory I seem to have is that somewhere or other there is an online "catalogue" of locks of a similar type to this. I was perusing it when trying to identify a Willenhall marked lock inside an MOD cabinet which I have. That's a long time ago now though, and I cannot for the life of me remember where I found them...

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