Oval and Euro Cylinders
Q. What are oval and euro cylinders?
A. An oval cylinder has an oval shape and is used in conjunction with an oval mortice lock case. A euro cylinder is similar only it is shaped like an enlarged key hole and used in conjunction with a euro mortice lock case. The cylinder fits through your door, passing through the lock case which is mortised into the edge of the door. When using door handles with these types of locks and cylinders, you must ensure that they too have the oval or euro cut out on the back plate to allow the cylinder to pass through.
Q. Are there different types of oval and euro cylinders available?
A. Yes there are different types as well as different sizes available. They can be supplied as "double key" which allows you to lock the door from both sides by use of a key, or as "key and turn" which allows you to lock the door with a key from one side and with a turn from the other side. They are also available as a "single" cylinder which allows you to lock the door with a key from one side only. Normally the cylinders will be supplied in a brass, nickel or satin finish to match the door furniture being used.
Q. How do I know what size cylinder I need?
A. The size of cylinder you need is determined by the thickness of the door and the type of handles you are using. For example: If you have a door that is 44mm thick and your handle back plate is 10mm deep, the total length needed is 64mm (44+10+10mm). In this situation you would then normally use a 70mm cylinder which would allow for a small protrusion of the cylinder of 3mm on either side of the door. A small protrusion is desirable to both enhance the appearance and allow for slight tolerances in the door thickness and fitting.
Q. What are the advantages of using a lock case and cylinder instead of a lever lock?
A. The greatest advantage of using cylinders over lever locks is the number of key differs available. There are millions of key differs available which allows extensive master key systems as well as a high degree of key security for thousands of locks. A master key system is where a "master key" will open a number of locks which also have their own different keys. The cylinder key system is therefore well suited to commercial property where key security may be an issue.
Q. If my keys are lost or stolen, will I have to replace the whole lock?
A. No. If you do happen to lose your keys or they are stolen, all you need to do is replace the cylinder itself. The lock case remains mortised into the door and a replacement cylinder can be fitted. These cylinders are widely available from various manufacturers so finding a replacement will not be difficult.
Q. How do you change an oval or euro cylinder fitted into a mortice lock?
A. To a certain extent this will depend on the design of the lock but the procedure for a typical mortice lock in a timber door would be as follows:
1) Remove the face plate from the mortice lock in the edge of the door.
2) Locate the screw which retains the cylinder (this will normally be approximately level with the top edge of the cylinder).
3) Completely remove the retaining screw which may be a few inches long.
4) The cylinder may now pull out of the lock from a face of the door, but if not, this will be because the cam is offset.
5) In this case insert the keys into the cylinder and turn the key around 20 degrees to line up the cam and enable the cylinder to be removed.
6) It is not possible to determine which direction to turn the key as the cam could be offset in either direction. Try each direction in turn to determine which is correct by turning the key and gently pulling the cylinder at the same time. It will be obvious when the cylinder is released.
It is not normally possible to change a cylinder with an offset cam when the keys have been lost. In these circumstances the cylinder may have to be drilled and the assistance of a locksmith is recommended. The procedure outlined above may vary with some locks but the method is likely to be similar.
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