August 4, 2011

Necessity is the mother of figuring sh!t out

I broke off a key in a deadbolt. The piece was stuck in the lock, so I had to take it apart to get it out. In the process, I learned how locks work. I also learned how NOT to take a lock apart. Pins and springs everywhere.

Whenever I work on something, I always keep in the back of my head the medical edict of "First, do no harm." Basically, don't make things worse than they were before you started messing with it. Pay attention to how you take things apart so you can put it all back the way you found it. But now the lock lay in pieces, and since things were spring loaded, I hadn't so much taken it apart, as it came apart.

As I tracked down pieces and figured out where everything went, I began to understand how it all worked. How the pins and springs interact with all the dips and peaks in individual keys. I had installed locks before, but never had to pull a cylinder apart. Who knows if I will ever use this knowledge, but it is still cool to know how one more thing works.

Later, I jumped online and found instructions on how I should have done it. Never too late to read the instructions.

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