This is part 3 of the Lock Rekeying Series.
In part 1 I discussed your options for Getting Your Locks Rekeyed. I also introduced the subject of lock rekeying kits and discussed three different types: a single use small rekeying kit, a custom rekey kit good for occasional use, and a full size manufacturers Rekeying Kit designed for heavy use.
In part 2 I defined the Tools and Parts Commonly Found in Lock Rekeying Kits.
In this article I will relate my experience rekeying a Schlage deadbolt lock.
I have never rekeyed a lock and had only a minor understanding of how locks worked. I found some guides from the Schlage website and read about rekeying my particular lock. I then purchased a custom rekeying kit on EBay. I was able to successfully rekey my lock and I am happy to have the custom kit in the event I need to rekey more locks later and the experience and new found knowledge.
I found the tools a bit unwieldy, somewhat due to their small size, inexperience and a less than perfect fit – I do not know if the tools were OEM Schlages or not, however I would guess that OEM tools may have been easier to use. If anyone has experience with this please comment. Specifically I found the follower to be an extremely tight fit which made it difficult to move and the cap remover teeth did not match up correctly with the scallops on the cap, the tools circumference seemed smaller than that of the cap - nevertheless, I was able to use the tools successfully.
Lock Rekeying Reference
Here are the manuals for Schlage Lock Rekeying that I used for rekeying locks:
Rekeying the Lock
This is the basic process I went through to rekey my lock, if you are going to rekey a lock use one of the manuals from the manufacturer as your reference.
With the deadbolt in my hand I lifted the plastic retainer off of the lock. Once the retaining ring was off, I lifted the crank off.
I then used the cap remover, I attempted to align the teeth of the cap remover with the scallops on the cap. I also discovered I must simultaneously depress the cap pin with the cap remover tool while loosening the cap (the pin’s purpose is to prevent the cap from turning).
Once the cap was off, I removed the tailpiece and the washer and then dumped out the cap pin and its spring.
With the old key in the plug and turned to about two o’clock, I attempted to insert the follower and push the plug out of the cylinder – I found this difficult because of the extremely tight fit of my follower, after a few tries the follower became worn enough that I was successfully able to remove the plug.
You may spill the bottom pins which are inside the plug during this process – this is ok, you will be dumping them out anyways. If you spill the top pins which are in the cylinder, you will have some extra work to do to get these back in (the follower is designed to prevent you from spilling the top pins).
Once I had the plug out, I replaced the old bottom pins with the new bottom pins to make my new key work. When the correct pins are in place, the tops of the pins sit flush with the plug surface when the key is fully inserted. I tested several different pins to find the right match, it wasn’t until later that I discovered that the numbers corresponding to the pins are printed right on the key – This is mentioned in the manuals linked above, but I not completely read them.
After I had installed my new pins, I reassembled the lock, installed it in the door and tested my work. It worked wonderfully. It probably took me an hour or more to rekey and install the lock, now that I’ve done it once, I should be able to rekey similar locks much quicker.
Articles in this series
Part 1: Getting Your Locks Rekeyed
Part 3: Rekeying a Schlage Deadbolt Lock