Here’s a handy little jig that may help you if you’re attempting a upvc window repair, it’s intended more for higher level jobs and top hung opening windows.
The jig is basically constructed of wood I had lying around and I was interested to see if I could make an ‘extra’ pair of hands to tackle UPVC window repairs. It doesn’t take up much room and can be dismantled to take up even less space.
There’s a pair of arms that extend out to take the weight of the opener, they are attached to the clamping bar with a slight overhang and underneath for additional support is a gallows type block.
The wood was rough sawn, I’ve given it a good sanding and used the longest screws I could get away with. It took about 20 minutes to make and is a good DIY alternative to other commercially made jigs.
As you can see the ‘overhang’ sits inside and resting on top of the opener aperture with the clamp bar butted up against the outside of the frame. Once in this position it’s basically just clamped into position
With the jig in position and clamped up, you can open the window to allow access to the window friction stays. you can always tape an extra block of wood if you need to bridge the gap between the arms and the window opener.
The clamps can be angled to allow more of gap to pull the opening unit into the room to work on it with ease. If you have a larger opener you can use 2 jigs to take the extra weight. Trying to hold a window whilst unscrewing the friction stays without any assistance can be hard work and a 2nd person just gets in the way.
I’m working on a few more jigs for larger top hung openers where you’re constrained due the size of the bottom of the frame. Also I’m working on a jig for high level side hung windows.
Hope my blog may help someone, feel free to comment.
Had a call earlier on today from a guy who’d been trawling the internet for a locksmith to get his upvc door open and replace the lock. The story went his ex partner had gotten somewhat volatile and had taken her frustration out on his front door. The semi circular glass unit had been smashed in addition the Yale BS euro cylinder had be “messed” around with. The keyway profile had been opened up somewhat and the visible key pins were not springing up and down freely. Something had been forced down the keyway to either sabotage the lock or an attempt to get it open
I was 90% confident I could’ve picked the lock open but the euro was in the same condition on the inside as it was on the outside. The lock had been installed the wrong way round hence the sacrificial half was on the inside of the door. I was toying with the idea of drilling the non sacrificial half of the euro but curiosity got the better of me and I introduced it to the snapper bar.
I rocked the bar a little and the anti snap cylinder snapped! The outside half I removed which left behind the anti snap rod that attached to the retaining screw. I couldn’t use the cam turner tool due to the other half of the euro was still in situ. I attached the redundant cam to a piece of dowel with a screw and used that to throw the gearbox lever.
I proceeded to make sure the gearbox and mechanism was ok, goes without saying after it’s been placed under duress from a cylinder being snapped, everything was ok.
I replaced the lock with an anti snap + anti drill euro, the guy was pleasantly surprised that the job was pretty much hassle free and there’s was no damage. I spent a little while longer to fully adjust the door and get it working smoothly as it had dropped slightly and he’d been struggling to close it for some time. I always adjust doors as a free goodwill gesture after any euro change.
Locksmith in Walsall
If you happen to be unfortunate to have locked yourself out or need new locks or a UPVC Door Repair and you live in the Wolverhampton / Walsall area the chances are you’ll be turning to Google to find a locksmith. The search results will be rammed packed with adverts, directory listings and organic listings of locksmiths who service the area. It’s quite daunting and confusing there’s so many to choose from. Once you’ve made a few calls from numbers on Google’s First Page you’ll find that the prices can be bordering on extortionate.
These high prices tend to be charged more so by national companies using local numbers and sub contract labour. Having seen some of these pricing structures I truly feel for customers who been on the hook for the final bill.
I’d strongly advise any customer to look beyond page one (go to page 5 and beyond) and make as many calls as you need to get a good price and be prepared to negotiate with the locksmith. There’s some good locksmiths but they’re not so good at Search Engine Optimisation and their web site’s tend to be further back in the rankings.
In the event of a lock out I think £40 – £50 is more than fair depending on the time of day. The chosen locksmith should be fully versed in the skill of picking locks open and that should be the first technique employed on a lock in full working order. I’ve seen locksmiths who can’t pick locks and they’ve faired no better in attempting to drill the lock. It’s important to remember that the process of drilling a lock whether it be a euro cylinder or mortice lock still requires knowledge and there are plenty of pitfalls for the uneducated.
So always ask if the lock can be picked open first, it’s not always possible buts it’s a good barometer of the locksmith’s skill set and experience. It’s also fun to watch a lock on your door being picked open if you’ve never seen it before.
If you need some free locksmith advice I’ll be happy to help, call me on 07877 941019 locksmith 24 hours
Here’s a quick guide on how to change a UPVC Door Lock when you have the key,
As you can see the lock on the outside of the door is the wrong size and is sitting inside the handle, so I’ve marked the lock up O = outside, +5 = + 5mm required.
The lock on the inside of the door is too long so I’ve marked it up -5mm and an I indicating it’s the inside of the door.
Next slacken off the handles by loosening the screws or you can remove them completely if you feel confident. This’ll stop the barrel binding on the handles and it’ll slide out of the mechanism easier.
Next step is to remove the retaining screw that holds the lock in the mechanism. Once the screw is out turn the key to the left and right keep repeating with a gentle pulling action one these positions will allow the lock to be pulled free from the door.
With the lock removed I can now replace it with the correct size lock with the necessary adjustments made so it’s visually a better fit in the door. The new lock also has added anti snap and anti drill features.
I’ve put the new lock back in with the handles removed. Just wiggle the key so the cam locates in the body of the lock allowing the cam to house itself in the gearbox then screw the retaining screw half way in.
Replace the handles and gently do the 3 screws up together making sure that the locking mechanism is working fine as you tighten the retaining and handle screws together.
It pays to lubricate the lock and mechanism from time to time to keep everything running smoothly.
If you decide to have a locksmith do the work for you I wouldn’t pay more than £45 / £50.
If you’re a home owner and you’ve lost the key to a particular lock here’s a basic guide to drilling the lock open. This is a basic 5 pin tumbler euro cylinder without any anti drill pins.
So here’s the lock 100% in tact minus the operating key, first of all I’ve squirted some wd40 down the keyway to make sure the pins inside are all working freely. It’s worth mentioning at this time that you need to take your time and relax, there’s no point in rushing because you want to get it right first time without complication. Also wear eye protection if you have somethere’s going to be some brass chips flying about.
I’m going to make a dimple with a center punch in the area indicated. A few light taps with a punch and hammer should do it. If you don’t have a punch a steel nail makes a good substitute.
With the dimple in place I’m going to start drilling confident that the drill’s going to stay firmly centered on my dimple mark and not wander or skid off.
The drill hole is nicely centered in the section that houses the pins. Make sure your drill bit is nice and sharp so that the drilling edge is easily removing the brass without pushing too heavily on the drill bit.
The drill bit has now encountered the first pin chamber, when this happens you’ll hear the drilling noise change more to a screeching type of noise and you’ll feel a jolt down the drill. It’s important now that you count the pin chambers as you’re drilling through them. Also I recommend you clean out each pin chamber as you come to them.
I’m using a sewing needle to push the pins down into the drilled hole. It’s an everyday item that most people have lying about and should do the job.
Here’s a key pin that’s been pushed down into the drill hole with the needle, you should get a feel for how far you have to drill in to reach each chamber. You need to stop drilling at chamber 5 make 100% sure all the pins and debris are removed then check the lock to see if it’ll open most times it will, if it won’t drill very carefully to see if there’s a 6th chamber if there isn’t you haven’t fully removed all the debris from the first 5 chambers.
5 chambers successfully drilled you can now rotate the plug in the direction needed to open the door. It’s of paramount importance you drill NO FURTHER than the last pin chamber otherwise you risk damaging the cam assembly that has the notch attached to operate the Multi Point Locking Gearbox.
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