When one is in the process of restoring furniture, sooner or later one will be confronted with the need to replace lost keys. Sometimes one simply wants to be able to lock a drawer or cabinet door, at other times, especially with Biedermeier furniture, there are no pulls and the key is the only way to pull a drawer or door open.
Looking through the wares at the speciality shops for furniture hardware can often be disappointing. When one finds a key that will work, it is often not anywhere near the quality of the original. The copies are often cheaply made and look like it, and simply cannot be used with beautiful old pieces of furniture. Often there are no small keys at all.
The copies we offer are made of the finest cast iron. They are cast in impressions made from the original old keys, and so have the nicks and dings of the real keys, and are sometimes even a little bent. With the naked eye, one cannot tell them from the originals.
In the photo to the left, one can see the original key on top. In the middle is the key blank as we sell it. During production, the key's tooth or bit was intentionally left larger than the original in order to allow the key to be custom-cut for different locks. The extra metal, or sprue, left over from the casting process on the back of the key must be filed away. The last step in the processing is to remove the casting cinder and polish the key with a fine, high-speed rotary wire brush, like those that can be mounted in a drill press or in place of a stone in a bench grinder. The last key on the left shows the results that can easily be obtained, but here the tooth has not been cut and filed to shape.
All of our keys are solid cast iron, not cheap, hollow copies. Our key blanks are no longer being made, and we will be able to sell them only as long as our inventory lasts.
Click on the photos, to see enlargements of the original keys, the raw key blanks we sell, and the beautiful finished keys that can be produced. One can also get an exact idea of how large the keys are, and their size in relation to one another. NOTE: We cannot finish the keys ourselves!