From the Forum – Where do I get a replacement skeleton key?

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Where do I get a replacement skeleton key?

“Our row house was built in 1924 and still has all of the original doors and locks. Luckily, the former owner passed down a skeleton key that worked in all doors. Unluckily, we have lost that key. Any idea where I could buy another?”

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9 Comment

  • The Brass Knob probably has ’em.

  • Flea markets.

  • Possibly a locksmith?

  • Do you have an idea of what shape you need? House of Antique Hardware sells a bunch. They have a pair that they claim opens ” 2 out of 3 antique mortise locks”. Might be worth a $10 try.

  • I used to work at Cherrydale Hardware in Arlington. We had a wide variety of skeleton keys for sale and a ring w/each one on it that we’d rent out for a day so you could try them out at home to see if we had yours. I don’t know if other local hardware stores do something similar but I’m pretty sure we got our keys through one of the major distributors so it’s definitely possible. Good luck!

  • Take one of the locksets out of the door and take it with you to a *good* hardware store (I’d recommend Fischers but they sadly are no more), Brass Knob, flea markets, etc. It’ll be much easier to see if the keys you find work by fitting them into the lock right there and then. Once you find a key that fits, I suspect you could google for duplicates.

  • I got some for my house from The Brass Knob in Adams Morgan. They have a huge bucket with random skeleton keys. The thing about skeleton keys is it doesn’t have to be a perfect fit, if it’s close enough it will work just fine (and by close enough I mean maybe a combination out of 20 or so).
    You do need to take out the lock from your door and bring it with you though. Not hard to do, just a flat screwdriver and you’re done, nothing can really go wrong.

  • I found skeleton keys for my doors at the Home Depot near the Rhode Island Metro station. The selection is limited, and the display is so small that they’re easy to miss so you need to ask a salesperson to direct you to them (and may, like me, have to educate the person on what a skeleton key is in the first place.). But the keys it were sold two to a pack (where each key is cut slightly different so you can test which fits your actual door). I think I had $2 or $3 max for the pack, and I ended up going back to get a second spare pack once I confirmed that these keys worked for me.

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