Keying All Your Locks the Same Journal Date: 6/25/2000 Last Updated on: 6/19/2013
The Lock
Date 6/25/2000
This is the typical Arcade Game lock for a Coin door. Most Arcade games use either a 5/8" or a 7/8" type lock or a combination of them.

What this tutorial is going to show you how to do is remove the tumbler pins from a lock in order for a given key to work with it.

This should work for most of your locks, however, the trick is going to find a key that will fit in all of your locks. This could be a problem for some people. If that is the case, you might need two more more keys. The idea here though is to make all those locks without keys useful once again!

First off, I am not a Locksmith. The terms that I use are what I remember them being called way back when. If my terminology is wrong, please let me know what is wrong and how to fix it and I will update it. For the most part even if it is wrong you should get the general idea of what needs to be done.

Now some may argue that this is not really "Keying Alike" and they would be correct. What this is doing, though, is allowing you to use the same key for all your locks. This gets us the same results in the end, which is to use one key for all the locks.

Another thing to note is that these locks will become very insecure, however, for most collectors, this is not a problem since we really aren't trying to keep anyone out of the games, but rather it makes the game more complete.

If you wish to actually Key the locks all the same, it would require you to get the correct tumblers that match the key you are keying to. For me, this is more of pain then it needs to be since I already have a bunch of locks and would rather not spend the $2 - $6 a lock per game.

Taking the Lock Appart
Date 6/25/2000

The first thing that we want to do is remove the washer from the bottom of the lock.

This washer prevents you from turning the key 360 degrees. Some are easy to take off, others require some coaxing to get them off. This particular one required the use of a small flat bladed screwdriver to pry it off.

The different Parts
Date 6/25/2000
As you can see, we now have several pieces. The outer casing, the CAM, the washer and the Tumblers.

The CAM slides into the outer casing which has two grooves on either side of it. The Tumblers are spring loaded and when a key is NOT inserted the springs force the tumbers up into the grooves. This prevents the lock from roating.

The Tumblers
Date 6/25/2000

As you can see in this picture, the tumbers are in their Extended position.

This particular lock has 6 tumblers in it.

Check the Tumblers
Date 6/25/2000

Insert the Key into the lock.

When the key is fully inserted into the lock all the tumblers should be flush with the edges of the CAM. Those that are not flush are the ones that will prevent you from turning the lock and need to be removed.

Remove the Tumblers
Date 6/25/2000
Remove any tumbler that is not flush with the edge of the CAM. To do this, I use a pair of needle nose plyers and pull them out. Once you pull the Tumbler out, you will need to turn the lock over and the spring will fall out. Careful! Those springs are SMALL! and can be lost very easily.

Idealy you would like to have atleast ONE tumbler left in so that the lock actually does lock. If none of the tumblers are flush, you could try repositioning them in the different slots to see if you can get one flush.

Test It
Date 6/25/2000
Once you have removed the tumblers that you think will make it work, then you should test it by putting the CAM back inside the outer house and try turning the lock with the key. If the lock turns, then your all set. If it doesn't then chances are you missed a tumbler.

Check both sides of the lock as Tumblers can go into either groove.

If worse comes to worse, you can pull all of them out and then you really don't even need a key. Just something to put in the lock and turn.

Thats it. Your lock is now ready to go! Put it back in the game and enjoy!

Date Posted: 7/12/2017 12:24 PM
Posted By: Clive Appleby
Comment: I have a collection I purchased new from a distributor back in 1980 to the present day pins and vids we have to play. This article peaked my attention because I'd love to make my machines all work with the same key. Or no key as they are today. I've never had to replace anything as they were all new and it's my home arcade where I enjoy my games.

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