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How to Pick an Antique Cabinet's Lock

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antique cabinetFrom www.schloss-jegenstorf.chWe all love antique furniture. Nowadays, we rarely see such beautiful woodwork like in the olden days. In the past centuries, cabinets were made exclusively by hand. And with our modern lifestyle and standard furniture, we rarely get a chance to see some exceptional piece of art. So, when our luck does work out and we end up with something like that in our home, it should really be treated carefully. One of the big problems with these cabinets is that they're rarely in good shape, and when you find one that is fine, the lock is usually locked and the key is missing.

So, how can you solve this problem? Obviously, breaking the lock is not an option because the cabinet's value will be diminished. Here are some useful tips you can use in order to have an authentic and fully functional cabinet.

The first thing that pops to mind is to disassemble the cabinet and see if it can be opened from the inside. That sounds like a plan but remember that this is probably more than a 100 years old and back then self-assembly furniture wasn't popular. And if you get on with the disassemble process, chances are that you will ruin the cabinet.

The best solution will be to go into James Bond mode and pick the lock. Those old cabinets are maid with ordinary locks that can be opened with a skeleton key so picking one will not be such a complex process. Inspect the lock and proceed with the operation. It will be nice to have an assistant to hold a flashlight into the lock so you can see clearly what's inside. If nobody is available to help you, place the flashlight in a way so you can see what's going on in the lock.

Once you can see clearly into the lock, imagine how the key would have looked like. Use a really small screwdriver. Insert it in the place where the ball of the skeleton key would usually be. If the lock is more sophisticated, you will feel some kind of spring inside. Next, use a paper clip and put it in the place where the strait part of the key would usually be. Hold the tools, try to gently turn them counter clockwise. It's important to turn both hands in the same time and apply the same force. If one of the tools is not gripping well, try to replace it with something with a slightly bigger surface. It's probably not going to work from the first time but have patience.

Of course, if this method is not working, there's always the option to locate the model of the antique keysFrom farm1.staticflickr.comlock and start searching for an original key. You can try some local antique stores. Your chances of finding one are actually quite good since they are all pretty standard.

With a furniture that old you need to be extremely careful. Specially when it's time for cleaning. Most of the modern detergents are so powerful that you can easily peel down what's left of the original coating of the cabinet. If you are willing to clean it by yourself make sure you chose the softest possible cloth and that your main cleaning solution is water. But when it comes to a furniture that's so exquisite i would prefer handing it to the professional cleaners. They really know what they're doing and will give you back the furniture in as pristine as it could be for it's time solution.

In Conclusion

Having an antique piece of furniture is all about the original parts. No matter what happens, never break or replace any parts with new ones. If unlocking the lock seems impossible, simply let it stay like that or call a professional locksmith. Preferably, someone who is familiar with antiques – they know how to handle the situation.

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