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Getting a Weslock to use Schlage SC1 key

TLDR: you have to drill or grind out the top of the cylinder housing where the bible goes a little bit.

Schlage cylinder after Weslock housing modification

There are two kinds of manufacturers: those that manufacturer products that use industry standards and those that make it up as they go along. They might make their own standards as a form of protectionism or vendor lock-in, or they might do it because it’s too hard to conform to standards.

Whatever the case, in the lock world many deadbolts can take a key in knob or “universal” cylinder, and many can’t. This is a daily explanation I give to people asking me to make one key work in their house full of incompatible locks. The mantra is, “If the key can be inserted into the lock then the lock can probably me made to use that key.”

Then the customer says, “But the key doesn’t work in that lock.” Then you have to explain that you aren’t asking if the key works in the lock, only if the key can be inserted into the lock. It is sometimes a lot to ask for people to understand this concept and you have to explain it several times. Perhaps you will have to re-read the above a few times to understand the conundrum. If you are one of these people maybe you will have to go over to your door and try sticking random keys into your lock to understand the difference between a compatible key and a working key.

Sorry for going off on a tangent. Back to the issue, getting one key to work with a bunch of different locks. Most Schlage deadbolts can have aftermarket key in knob cylinders installed in them so I buy a lot of Kwikset kik cylinders. I charge $40 to put one in a deadbolt. You can’t put a Schlage cylinder in a Kwikset deadbolt though, they use a proprietary cylinder format. To their credit, Kwikset recently started selling Smartkey cylinders in Schlage’s SC1 keyway but if you want to install some other kind of keyway you’re out of luck. Medeco might make aftermarket cylinders in this proprietary format but that’s it as far as I know.

Schlage isn’t totally absolved of this mess either because they invented their goofy floating cap cylinders for the popular f series handlesets. They did used to manufacture cylinders for these in the Kwikset keyway and Medeco made afermarket cylinders for the old version of the F series but the floating cap was probably a deal breaker for Medeco who rightly recognized the nightmare that the floating cap would be in product support. Any locksmith will take a deep breath before launching into a tirade of loathing about the floating cap if you ask them about it.

The same thing with Weslock, aftermarket cylinders won’t fit into their locks because of their custom format. However when there is a will and enough money there is a way. You can modify a Weslock to accept the taller bible of a key in knob format cylinder. A customer recently had a blank cheque for getting their house working with one key which is good because I ran into problems rekeying their profile cylinder, but also was willing to pay me $75 to modify their Weslock. The guy who built the house could have very easily bought a Schlage compatible front door lock and saved this guy some money but I digress.

The trick is to take a die grinder or even a good HSS drill bit and ream out the area at the top of the cylinder housing about a 1/16″ until the cylinder slides in. Try to only remove the area at the very top, you don’t want the cylinder rotating around in that big area to the left. You could jam some wood in there I guess. A 5 pin cyinder can reuse the Weslock cylinder housing screw, a 6 pin would require a longer screw. Note the tailpiece is the Weslock original. You need a really long tailpiece and it has to be skinnier than a Schlage, GMS or Ilco tailpiece to fit through the bolt.

The final product

Interlock multipoint sliding door locks

Sliding door locks are notoriously crappy. Usually it is just one little hook holding the door shut and customers think that hook is going to keep them safe. Well I’m here to tell you that it won’t. Aside from the obvious shattering of the entire door a large screwdriver can pry the door away from the strike. The whole thing is screwed into vinyl usually and it is much less secure than probably every other door in your house.

Enter the Interlock sliding glass door lock. It has two hooks and two vertical rods to keep the door shut. This is ten times better than a regular cheap one hook lock from the hardware store. Unfortunately it is also a pain to replace these and you will have to replace them because despite its good design there are numerous failure points.

I made this video so that you don’t have to call Intertek. I’m not responsible for what you do.

This lock uses a cheesy little pinion gear made out of powdered metal. When everything is lined up it will work great but as soon as you get a meathead trying to use that door they will try to force the lock to work even if the vertical rods aren’t lined up with the holes that they are supposed to go into. The meathead may not be aware that there are even vertical rods so we can’t be too harsh with them, for they are used to the lower quality and more forgiving sliding point locks found more commonly in the USA.

I called interlock usa to ask them exactly how one gets their lock out. The receptionist forwarded my call to “tech support” to whom I explained my problem at which point the asshole promptly hung up on me. I immediately called the receptionist back who apologized for patching me in to their computer guy. She then suggested I call some third party company for tech support called GH2 Industries. That company cannot receive incoming calls according to the text message they sent me after I called.

This isn’t my first runaround with Intertek, I’ve spent thankless hours trying to get Intertek USA to support or at the very least point me to replacement parts. I’ve gotten literally nowhere with Intertek so at this point I gave up and decided to start prying the door apart. It came apart fairly quickly.

It turns out that this is probably the way you are supposed to replace this lock anyway. I think they probably would tell you to take the door out of the track so that you can unscrew the top guide for the vertical rod but I just bent the rod and pulled it out, it worked fine after reassembly. So just pry the edge off the side of the door the lock’s hooks come out of, then pull the top rod out, then pry the lock out of the door and disconnect the bottom rod.

Install the bottom rod back into the new lock, push the lock into the door, and reconnect the top rod. You might have to reconnect the top rod before pushing it into the top guide at the top of the door.

I recommend checking to see if the lock works properly at this point. Obviously the door has to be positioned over the holes in the threshold and ceiling or the lock will jam. Turn the square hub in the lock with a screwdriver and make sure it works before reattaching the trim and snapping the edge of the vinyl door back on. When reattaching the trim make sure that the pinion doesn’t have broken teeth facing the teeth in the handleset or it won’t work. You can rotate the pinion ninety degrees for fresh teeth.

At this point you should have a working door. Tell everybody how to use it before they break it again. Don’t let drunks or idiots or drunk idiots use this door. Though secure when locked it is easy to break while locking it. Good luck…