I was upstairs when Ennie came in and said the front door’s lock was broken. This was yesterday.

“I put the key in and it just spins and doesn’t do anything.”

Grrr… Not “Grrr” at Ennie, just at the world. Just on Tuesday I came home and the water heater was leaking. Now the front door isn’t working right.

So off to Home Depot. I figured that this shouldn’t be a big deal.

Then I looked at the pricing of the nice Baldwin locks. Ack. The previous owners had some good taste. $400 taste.

(I guess he was a builder so he might’ve gotten a good deal on the thing)

Not just that but it was a special order. Same with Lowes and a bunch of other places.

Plan B.

We have the same high-class lock on the back door. For last night I just swapped the innards. No real problem there… now we just most the problem to the back door (and we have to use the other keys which we don’t have enough of).

I did some research on this while we sat down to eat last night and I started to figure out the names of the parts of the lock. It turns out that the tailpiece of the lock had sheared.

Today my plan was to take the lock cylinder to a locksmith for a new tailpiece. I figured this would be a simple little swap.

Noooo… I was batting 0.000 after four locksmiths. All either closed, moved, or on vacation. Finally someone met me in front of a local diner and gave me a generic tailpiece. Free. :-) He didn’t have the right one and didn’t want to charge me for the wrong one.

After machining it for the better part of an hour to make it fit — all dimensions were wrong — I finally had a working lock!

I’ll post some pictures of the innards tomorrow (or the day after if something more interesting happens). I have to tweak one more part of the tailpiece to get a better feel for the lock so I’ll take some pics along with some explanation about how this stuff works. It’s kind of cool actually.