About Household Keys
West End Keys offer a convenient, quick and affordable duplication service providing replacement and spare keys for your house and office.
We have thousands of key blanks in stock on the premises and use the latest cutting machines. If we don’t have your key in stock at the time of your visit, then we will do our utmost to order the correct key in for you. Key blanks and keyboards are on display in our shop, which makes a selection of the correct key for needs much easier.
We can also cut many keys to code should you require this service.
All of our keys are fully guaranteed to work. In the highly unlikely event that a key doesn’t work we will give you a 100% refund.
West End Keys Can Supply Three Basic Types of Door Key:
In a cylinder lock the key turns a plug, which turns a cam. When the plug is turned one way, the cam pulls in on the bolt and the door can open. When the plug turns the other way the cam releases the bolt, the spring snaps it into place and locks the door.
The main components inside the lock are a series of small pins of varying length. When the door is locked the bottom pins are completely inside the plug, while the upper pins are half in the plug and half in the housing which stops the cylinder from turning.
When you insert a key, the individual notches in the key push the pins to different levels. The correct key will push each pin just enough so the cylinder moves freely, and you can push the bolt in and out.
Simply put, the inside of a cylinder lock is a sort of puzzle which only the correct key can solve.
A mortice lock needs a mortice, or a pocket, in the door frame to operate correctly. The bolt of the lock fits into the mortice. Because it uses the strength of the door frame, a mortice lock is far more secure than other locks that attach to the outside of a door frame.
There are four parts to a mortice lock other than the mortice itself. The main one is the lock body. This is the part that is fitted within the door. You won’t usually see it but it controls the opening and closing of the bolt when you turn the key. The lock trim varies widely according to the taste of the buyer and can range from lever pulls or handle sets to doorknobs.
The strike plate surrounds the mortice in the door frame and keeps it even stronger, thus preventing any tearing of the wood. Finally, there’s the keyed cylinder that operates the lock.
Dimple keys work in much the same way as cylinder keys but very few key cutting suppliers are able to reproduce them. At West End Keys we can duplicate dimple keys using a specialised cutting machine that reads the position of the dimples and cuts them on the blank.
FIVE FUN FACTS
1. World’s Largest Padlock
Pavlovo Arts College in Russia holds the Guinness World Record for the largest padlock ever created. The world record was awarded in 2003 after a class submission. The lock and key total 916 lbs, features intricate engraving, and a crest. The lock itself measures more than 56 inches tall and 41 inches wide.
2. Skeleton Keys
There are many theories about skeleton keys and how they got their name, but the truth is that skeleton keys, which are master keys capable of working many locks, are called such because they are stripped down to their essential parts, or skeleton. Use of a skeleton key is not very mysterious despite its reputation. Locksmiths use skeleton keys today to open locks when the keys have been lost or misplaced.
3. Ceremony of Keys
The oldest ritual of its kind, the Ceremony of Keys occurs nightly at the Tower of London and tickets to the event are typically sold out for a year in advance. Every evening at 9:52 pm guards exchange ceremonial words and lock the towers. The keys to the Tower of London are escorted back to the Queen’s residence by the Escort to the Keys. This ceremony has been held nightly since at least the 14th century, although some think it originated in the Middle Ages and has only been delayed once during the Second World War. It has never been cancelled.
4. Love Locks
Symbolic of love and marriage in many cultures, locks have been used as tokens of love for years. The Pont des Arts bridge in Paris, France has been a destination of lovers for years. Over time, hundreds of thousands of engraved locks have been attached to the bridge’s grillwork and served as a testament to each couple’s love. Unfortunately, the sheer weight of the locks threatened the bridge’s structure and had to be removed, but the trend has been replicated at bridges around the world.
5. Harry Houdini
It may come as no surprise, but the famous escape artist Harry Houdini started his career as a locksmith. Houdini worked in a locksmith’s shop at age 11 and the young apprentice quickly learned how to pick any lock available at the time. Without lock and key technology, the world may have never experienced the man who some consider to be the greatest illusionist who ever lived.