I remember the difficulty of installing retrofit cam locks into cabinet doors. The original cam lock often became inoperable from years of abuse, large key rings and lack of proper maintenance. This meant that the original “correct” cam was no longer in its original shape either.
Replacing a cam lock is not difficult; the hole is to some degree standardized (depending upon if prep was factory or post-construction). The difficulty is in ensuring that the new cam is in alignment in order to maintain the door/drawer at the proper position when locked.
In an attempt to satisfy the almost infinite number of cam shapes to ensure the door closes to the proper position, cam lock manufacturers would include many different shaped cams or make them available as an option. Unfortunately, I would never know what cam shape would be required for the next job. I would usually maintain a stock of very long straight cams and use a vise, hammer, pliers and hacksaw to configure the cam to the cabinet/drawer. Unfortunately, there were times that the strike area was worn down or destroyed and a new cam design had to be invented.
Today, CompX® National has simplified cam lock installation. They have introduced the FlexaCam™ and the FlexaStrike™. The patent pending FlexaCam incorporates a hole drilled through the cam towards the operating end. This hole accommodates a plastic spacer that can be press-fit into the hole using your fingers or pliers. The plastic spacers come as a spacer tree in three sizes - 1/16”, 1/8” and 3/16” thick. The spacer’s purpose is to increase the surface area of the cam in order to fill any void between the cam and the strike area.
The new standard CompX National Cam Locks with FlexaCam will have two cams; the straight cam and the 11/32” offset cam. These two cam configurations and the three thicknesses of the spacers provide a total of 12 different cam thicknesses ranging from no offset in either direction to 11/32” offset behind the rear of the cam lock to 17/32” forward of the rear of the cam lock.
Note: FlexaCam Cam Lock cams are interchangeable with standard National cam lock cams.
The change to CompX National Cam Locks equipped with the FlexaCam feature will be a running change with implementation as existing product is sold. For locksmiths who have existing product and wish to upgrade to the FlexaCam feature, CompX National will be selling the modified cams and a spacer tree.
At this time, the FlexaCam feature is only available from CompX National on the single bitted, threaded wafer locks.
The CompX National Cam Lock FlexaStrike™ is an expandable strike plate for most types of utility locks including CompX National Cam Locks. These patent pending adjustable thickness strike surfaces help ensure proper alignment of the drawer or door when closed and locked.
The plastic composite FlexaStrike is comprised of two stair stepped rectangles designed to be placed together to create a varying thickness strike surface to accommodate utility locks’ latching mechanism. Each stair surface is scored for easy separation. The smallest thickness is approximately 1/8” to 1/2”. There are many intermediate sizes depending upon the configuration.
Each of the stair steps has a countersunk opening designed to accommodate a flat head screw in order to secure one or more sections of the FlexaStrike. Depending upon the application, each FlexaStrike piece can be cut to size and screwed into place using either wood or machine thread flat head screw(s).
The CompX National FlexaStrike will be available by year-end.
For more information, contact your local locksmith wholesaler or CompX National, P.O. Box 200, Mauldin, SC 29662. Telephone: 864-297-6655. Web Site: www.compxnet.com.