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Sounds a little boring but I want to tell you about a little device that will maybe help keep you house secure from those nasty little burglars that want to get hold of your belongings that you and your family have bought with hard earned cash whilst those horrid intruders feel it all belongs to them.
This little device is not a burglar alarm, nor is it an offensive massive pad lock that looks like a dangling wad of metal hanging from the door.
This little device is in fact a type of lock that, once fitted in place properly, is barely visible at all, making it not only useful in locking your interior doors but also keeping those precious doors of your looking as good as they ever were.
The little lock I am talking about is in fact called a 'Rack Bolt' which, for anyone that thinks this is something to do with a game of snooker, let me tell you that it is in fact a tubular piece of brass effect metal, about 60mm long, with a hole that goes right through it. This tubular section slides into a wooden door and has a little bolt inside it that, with the turn of a star shaped key, goes in and out of the tube to either lock or unlock the door it is attached to.
On the end of the brass tubes there is a flat piece of metal, about 40mm by 20mm, again brass effect, which the inner bolt slides through. On either side of this plate there are two little drill holes.
That's the main section, housing the working parts, if working parts is the right word of course.
As for the other part, well, to finish the stylish look of this lock there is another brass effect plates of metal, again 40mm by 20mm, only the edges of this one being curved slightly to give them more 'style'. these curved pieces are the ones that are on show the most so they have to look 'pretty' shall we say. This plate has a 7mm hole drilled through it.
Then, finally, there's the key itself, which is needed as it slides inside the little hole in the tubular section and helps slide the bolt in and out. This key is about 80mm long and has a round end which is easy to grip for turning/
What about fitting it and is it difficult?
(Caution, this bit is about fitting and can be skipped if you want to, but if you do read it please don't then comment on how much this reads like padding...thanks.
Plus, if you have an easier method of fitting then pleases let me know..?).
Fitting it is quite easy and most competent DIYer's should handle this with no trouble at all.
You will need..
Drill bits, both a 16mm flat wood bit and a normal 5mm wood bit.
A pencil or something to mark the wood with.
A cross head screwdriver
A chisel and something to hit the chisel with.
Maybe a plaster if things go wrong.
How to fit this lock...
You need to drill a hole using a flat drill bit into the side of the door. The side of the door that is opposite the hinge side, the side that has the handle on it. This hole should be the width and the depth of the tube, allowing an extra few millimetre to allow for the brass effect plate on the end of the tube.
Then you need to mark out the area around the brass effect plate on the end on the side of the door, so that it looks level around the hole you've just drilled.
Then carefully chisel out this section.
Now you should be able to slide the lock in and out, but do remember that you still have a bit more drilling to do.
Then, with the lock taken back out, you can measure the distance from the end of the brass plate and the hole in the tubular section. Either that or use the tubular section to mark out on the door itself.
With this mark in the right place you can now drill a hole through one side of the door so that the drill bit stops inside the hole you drilled earlier.
Remember, choose the correct side of the door which you want to use the lock from, this is your choice, I have the locking sides on the hallway so that the kitchen, living room, downstairs cloakroom and small office/storeroom, where there are larger windows, do not give access to the lock itself.
And remember, DO NOT drill right through the door, make sure you stop drilling when the bit pokes through the hole you drilled earlier, and make sure the drill bit is slightly larger than the key itself.
Once done you can then slide the lock into the hole in the side of the door, screwing the plate into place and screwing the curved plates into place over the smaller hole you drilled that will take the key. This plate protects the wooden hole so that it doesn't damage it every time you put the key in and out.
So now the door part is over with you now have to fit the frame part, the part that will take the bolt itself, securing the door to the frame so that it doesn't open when it is locked firm.
This is the tricky bit. Well, the trickier bit anyway. You do have to line up the lock section to the frame and mark out where the bolt will come out of. I tend to use something like a lipstick, rubbing a little on the end of the bolt so that it leaves a mark on the frame so you know where to drill.
Once marked you then drill into the frame the same depth as the length of the bolt coming out, or there-about, as long as enough of the bolt goes into the frame so it is firm.
Finally, mark out where the brass effect plate will fit, these go over the hole where the bolt goes into, chiselling out the small amount of wood until the plate fits in snuggly, screw into position and take a step back.
You've now finished the job and you should be ready to give it a test run.
Shut the door, slot the key in the hole and turn it.
Hopefully the bolt will turn out of the tubular lock and slide into the hole made in the door frame, securing your door and help keep any intruders from going through your house.
Just remember, place these locks in the doors you feel will, if locked, would stop burglars from getting around your house with ease. If they get into one room then these should keep them out of any others.
Sorry for that bit, and I know it wasn't that brief either, it's just simple instructions on how to fit these locks. Call it padding, (I know I do)
These locks are in one word 'brilliant'.
They are simple to fit, as long as you have got the right tools, and once fitted they are as strong as the proverbial ox, even if they do look a little flimsy when you have it in your hand. But the best thing about them is that they are well hidden so they don't actually look like they are there. The only thing you see is the curvy little brass effect plate that protects the key hole.
The bolt isn't that long, which helps when it comes to drilling into the doorframe, but once it's fully extended and pushed into the hole you drilled into the bolt hole it isn't moving anywhere. So small things do work well sometimes.
The lock itself can be fitted anywhere along the height of the door, even fitting more than one if necessary, although hi find that in most cases a single lock near the centre of the door does the trick. But one at the top and another at the bottom would make the door more solid. The choice is all yours.
The brass effect plate that fits around the key hole itself doesn't draw that much attention due to its size but if it is noticed then the curved edges make it look nice and neat.
The key is shaped like no other key, having 6, what I can only call latches in the shape of a hexagon, in a way. Just over half the key is covered by a grey plastic moulded cover, making the key look less like a wad of metal, with the far end of the plastic covering being flat so that you can get a grip on it to turn it. And there is a little hole in the flat end so that it can be attached to a key ring, if you want to.
It is this grey plastic covering that is visible when this key is slotted into the lock itself, with the 'hexagon' key section fully inserted home.
This single key fits all of this type of locks, no matter where you get the lock from, which may make you think that if a burglar comes to your house and has one of these keys on his keychain then what is stopping him from using it to unlock your door?
Well, as there should be no keyhole on the side of the door that faces the room that the low life member of society is in then even with his/or her pea brain and IQ the size of a squashed tin of mushy peas then they should have no access to the lock itself, probably no even knowing that there is a lock in place anyway.
What more can I say about what it a lock that could save your house from being ransacked, maybe giving those horrid burglars no chance of getting into other rooms in your house. As long as you have put these on the right doors, with the lock holes on the right side of those doors, then these will hold your doors firm, taking a sledgehammer to batter through the doors themselves.
So what about the price then?
These type of locks sell in most DIY stores, and even in some not so DIY stores with various price tags. But, this is the best bit, at the moment of writing this you can get two of these locks, with one key, for less than £8, which, for peace of mind and security, is a cracking price to pay.
In all, for a low price security feature that even Insurance companies may even praise you for, then you can't go wrong if you fit these.
Simple to fit, good on the eye and above all, they work like a dream, (as long as you don't lose the key... but if you fear you may lose the key you can always buy a spare from most DIY shops for a couple of quid, it is after all a standard key).