I know your dilemma,
I have a wardrobe,nothing fancy,pre mid 50`s,the key got misplaced when moving furniture around in the house when we had a grant here,2 others of the same type of period`s key`s don`t fit,
I have a walnut sideboard with locking cupboards below and an oak wardrobe with locking doors either side pre 1916,neither key fits the other side door.
||I have had some success buying lots (ha ha) of old keys on ebay, keeping the ones I need and selling the others. Still need a few keys though, some are rare...|
Yes, the items aren't anything fancy either, some items probably around the 40's or 50's. Having said that one desk does have a double sided key and luckily that works.
All the locks do seem different though, all plain looking brass jobs but one the key is very long (that lock seems to half work, the key turning half way but not fully) and the keys I do have all look different.
Funnily enough I was looking at another desk today and that had a key but it didn't work, it looked too worn. I also wonder if the locks themselves have worn out.
I am keeping my eye out for some cheap bunches of keys, although they seem collectable in their own right, or sold with other 50's stuff as a single lot.
||I don't know if it would help, but the rnli in Ilfracombe have a game, with a lock and keys. The box of keys is huge. They may have something that would fit your needs.|
it might be easier to replace the locks but a decent locksmith could take the existing ones and make keys to fit ,i have had that done for antique stuff but it aint cheap compared to a replacement lock with key
if you fancy a challenge taking a impression (wax on a suitable key blank) and using needle files until you get it to pass the gate ,repeat the wax thing and some more work to get it to swing the levers and move the bolt can be done(mi9,cat a escapes ,etc etc ). this is easier if you can dismantle the lock to see as well as feel .
If I needed to get a lock working I could replace but it's not essential and as the items only cost a few pounds it's not worth spending much on the locks or a lock smith.
I'll keep a look out for spare bunches of keys but liking a challenge just wondered if I could do what the pros do with a simple lock.
||i recon you could but it is fiddly and can take a while even with past practice|
||If you've got the locks dismantled then it shouldn't be too difficult to modify keys to fit locks or vica-versa. Even making keys from scratch is quite do-able. a bit of careful file-work and some soldering will soon get you there. As a business proposition it's only worth it for more valuable pieces (£20 to £50) but as a diy craft project it can be very satisfying.|