It never ceases to amaze me on how little I know about relatively simple things. When I ordered my Top Box and installed it, I was a bit disappointed that the key was different. Furthermore, the top would not lock when closed but would need me to put in the key and turn it to the right as I close the box in order for the latch to lock.. I thought that this was by design, but I know better now. When the locksmith looked at it, he was able to adjust the latch so that it was in the proper place to automatically lock when closing the box (matched with the mating part on the inside top part of the top box. He did make a thin washer to add more torque to the latch when re-assembling it to prevent it from moving out of place. So now it is even better than it was and has a matched key to my ignition key. So here is how it started…
Yesterday I was a bit bored in the morning and the lock issue came to mind. So I searched for locks on the internet and was totally surprised to learn that you can match a lock to a key. Probably everyone else on this earth knew that, but not me. I just assumed you could match a key to a lock but not visa versa.
The following explanation came from “How Stuff Works” on the internet.
“One cool thing about pin-and-tumbler locks is that you can re-configure them to fit an existing key (provided that the key is for the same lock design). The advantages of this are obvious: You can add new locks to your home or business without attaching a bunch of new keys to your key ring.
In this basic six-pin lock set, you can see how this re-keying works. When you open up the shafts in the cylinder and empty them out, you have six springs and 12 tiny pins. All of the upper pins are exactly the same size. The remaining six pins (the lower pins) will be of various lengths to match up with the notches on the key.
The process of re-keying a lock is very simple. The locksmith removes all the pins from the cylinder. Then, drawing from a collection of replacement pins of various sizes, the locksmith selects new lower pins that fit perfectly between the notches of the key and the shear line. This way, when you insert the new key, the lower pins will push all the upper pins just above the shear line, allowing the cylinder to turn freely. (This process may vary depending on the particular design of the lock.)
It doesn’t matter how long the upper pins are (since they all rest above the shear line when the key is inserted), so the locksmith simply re-inserts the six original upper pins that came with the lock. And that’s all to re-keying. The entire process takes only a few minutes.
The crazy part is that the cost at the locksmith with tax was $ 11.50. Have a look at the video on matching the lock to the key.