Step 6: Notch The Bit's Edges

file notches in the key to match the wards in the keyhole, making a new skeleton key for an old mortise door lock
Photo: Kolin Smith
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Inside the case's cover, alongside the keyhole, look for tiny bumps, called wards. (See Step 7 photo.) Pass the bit through the keyhole and mark where it contacts the wards. Then insert the key's tip from the opposite direction and mark where the wards hit the bit's other edge. Clamp the key in a vise and file two notches in the bit, as shown.
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    Tools List

    • bench grinder
      Bench grinder (optional)
    • warding file
      Warding file
    • table vise
      Vise

    Shopping List

    1. Penetrating lubricant, such as WD-40