Ziptide January 2020

Jan. 2, 2020

Superglued Locks?

Editor’s Note: The following conversation is taken from the Locksmith Ledger Facebook page, regarding locks superglued shut by a homeowner in a dispute with a Homeowner’s Association. Apparently calls about locks filled with glue are not all that rare. Read the news story here: and join the discussion here:

--  About 20 years ago I got a call to a high school. It was the last day of school and all outside door cylinders keyways were filled with super glue. I came back a few days later and removed a cylinder (1952 Russwin A1011 RU16) and looked at it. The glue had hardened. As I looked at the back of the plugm I thought it looked familiar. I took a DE6 blank and tried it from the back end and it worked. I moved the shoulders back as far as I could and pushed it in the keyway. Tapped on the blank and the plug of glue fell out. It looked like a big thumb tack. The glue didn't stick to the brass cylinder or pins. I continued to do that to all cylinders.

--   I used to work for a school district as a locksmith. Superglued locks were no match after creating a system to defeat it. Acetone and a needle applicator. Melted the glue out of the lock. Combined with the periodic application of an oil based lubricant, the glue wouldn't stick to the locks.

--   I had a customer once call for a lockout she called my company and another. We both got to the call at the same time. The woman went with us because we were cheaper. He tried to charge her and she refused he left very angry.T he next day she called again and stated she couldn't get the key in the lock. I got the call back and discovered someone put crazy glue and broken tooth picks in the key hole! I wondered if was the other "locksmith."

-- I had a customer with a glued lock. I replaced cylinder, went back there and replaced the mortise cylinder about 4 or 5 times before they got a camera and caught the person. It was an unhappy employee.

--  I had a customer that someone filled every lock cylinder but 1 (front door) with expanding foam. Stuff was dripping down from the lock to the floor like stalactite.

Happy New Year!

Everyone at Locksmith Ledger sends best wishes for a happy, healthy and profitable New Year!

Our cover Focus topics include High Security (January), Healthcare Solutions (February) and Mechanical to Electronic (March). Of course, we will always focus on new products and techniques as they come available. Please drop us a line and let us know what subject coverage you would like to see.

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