Metal Storage cabinet locks

Old 10-02-23, 09:00 PM
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Metal Storage cabinet locks

I have two metal storage cabinets made by Tennsco in my garage that were there when I purchased this house. These are cabinets with lever handles and there is a key slot on them but I never had the keys to them and never need to lock them, until now.

Upon closer inspection of the lever, I can see there are writing on the exposed portion of the cylinder. One says "SC 449" and one says "SC 584". Don't know what that means.

It also appears that the key slots are jammed, perhaps the key to them was broken off and stuck in the key slot?

Also a picture of the back side of the cabinet door to show the latches go up into slots at the top and bottom of the cabinet.

Old 10-02-23, 09:04 PM
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I broke something like this and a local locksmith had a replacement handle in stock.
Old 10-03-23, 04:45 AM
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1. Take close up pictures of the inside of the locking handle for reference when reassembling.
2. Pry the push-washer off the shaft. It may not be reuseable.
3. Remove the nuts holding the handle to the door.

Take the handle to a locksmith to get a key made or a new handle. Seek his advice on how to secure the assembly to the shaft and remount a new handle if that route is taken.

Keep us posted.
Old 10-05-23, 02:25 PM
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Those are indeed key codes, and while I'm retired now and no longer have code books (software, nowadays), I'd give it a 95% chance that most smithies can cut you new workable keys.

RE: the broken key, ThisOldMan's advice is probably the most expedient. We're all aware of living in an era where increasing labor costs vs. cheap imported parts dictates a throw-away society, One example here, is going from a screw retainer for the crank assembly to a push-on retainer, to save a few cents. The push-on retainer is difficult to remove without breaking it, and if you get it off successfully, it may not grip properly when re-installing.

"L" handle (what we call what you've got) dimensions have, for the most part, been standardized over the last 75 years, so there's a very good chance a generic replacement will fit. However, before taking that chance, however small, of a misfit, or parts unavailability, I'd see if I could "worry" (a technical term) the broken key out. Smithies have several tools and "tricks of the trade" used to extract broken keys, but given some time to ponder, I'll bet you can come up with something that'll work. The caveat is that the cylinder is not seized or jammed or glued in place, that, with the handle in the vertical position, the cylinder rotates easily through 180 degrees, and the remaining key blade can be jiggled slightly. The key can only be removed when the slot is in the 6 or 12 o'clock position, like in your other photo.

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