The outside latch on my front door doesn’t work to open the door. It’s not a security issue since the problem is that it doesn’t open. This may be a feature since it teaches the kids to ring and to answer the doorbell. However, it annoys my wife.

The problem is the sliding metal on metal interface for the outside latch; it just wore away. Bad design on Schlage’s part. I had the bright idea of welding in some filler and filing it down so that it would work again, at least for a while. Especially after I priced out a new lock set…

I successfully filled in the obvious gaps and filed it down smooth. Yay dremel! The only minor damage was when I dropped a small bit of glowing metal on an accidentally unprotected bit of my skin. I recommend against that.

Unfortunately, the problem remains.

Of course the exact color and style isn’t in stock at local stores nor is it sold by Amazon, so it is special order only. And I’m not overly excited to buy an identical piece of Schlage junk; disassembling it to fix it did not exactly impress me by the high quality.

So it’s back to the quandary I was in before I started the repair attempt: repair the front door latch or replace all the exterior door knobs and locks in the house with something else. Neither is an attractive option.

Or just tell the kids to use the side door.


James Stansell March 20, 2015 21:14

Maybe get the opinion of a locksmith?

Michael K Johnson March 20, 2015 21:16

Won’t make me feel better about either option! :-)

Eugene Crosser March 21, 2015 05:01

What an excellent excuse to install a properly engineered challenge-response based solution, with electrified bolt, NFC sensor and an RPi/Beaglebone/Minnowboard based controler. Use Yubikey NEOs as the keys. Easiest to use their HMAC-SHA functionality, with shared keys, but there is OpenPGP option, with proper PK, for extra complexity!

No practical value, but wouldn’t it be fun?!

Michael K Johnson March 21, 2015 06:42

+Eugene Crosser Heh… ☺

TBC, the bolt is fine; it’s the entirely separate latch mechanism that’s dead. So replacing any other parts would be essentially collateral damage from one cheap (though overpriced) and poorly-engineered latch mechanism.

Michael K Johnson March 21, 2015 10:37

While looking for replacement parts (fat chance, that), I ran across http://www.schlage.com/en/home/faq.html?id=431 — Schlage’s point of view on bump keys. TL;DR: locks are intended only to keep honest people honest. TOOOL seems to agree: <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VH7ekPB68OM — after demonstrating bump keying Schlage’s Primus, they say it’s still their favorite and recommend it with special anti-bump pins. But Schlage’s suggestion that regulating bump keys will have any impact on illegitimate use is stupid. “When bump keys are outlawed, only outlaws will have bump keys…”

Eugene Crosser March 21, 2015 10:59

Only proper challenge-response, I keep telling you! ;-)

Actually, this story puts in perspective our traditional complaints about the state of security in our digital lives. If our digital security is lamentable, then “physical” is outright disaster.

Michael K Johnson March 21, 2015 12:34

Well, they aren’t entirely commensurate. The defenses and challenges are definitely different…

I would enjoy working on the project you only slightly jokingly purpose, but other projects take priority, like putting the AH meter on my electric tractor to help me care for the batteries. :-)

Gordon Storey March 21, 2015 13:43

Or disable the door bell???  

Michael K Johnson March 21, 2015 13:45

No, ringing the bell is good. Except when they ring it and hide. Then we should probably lock them out. ;-)

Michael K Johnson March 21, 2015 14:14

I just realized I wasn’t clear: the latch doesn’t work from the outside. We can open the door from the inside just fine.

Daniel L. Johnson March 21, 2015 15:17

Aha! A one-way ticket to the play structure…

Michael K Johnson April 15, 2015 20:11

My FIL diagnosed the bent piece and fixed it while visiting. I hadn’t taken apart enough latches to know what it should have looked like. Thanks Mike!

Daniel L. Johnson April 15, 2015 22:30

Experience counts (again)


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