Gainsborough Trilock

Gainsborough Trilock

During my time as a apprentice Locksmith, the Gainsborough Trilock was released onto the Australian market.  It was an instant success, builders were installing them into as many homes as they could.  The Master Locksmith (Steve) who I trained under, was absolutely terrified of these new Trilocks. They are extremely fiddly, have a lot more small parts than any lock should and a propensity to break in the strangest places.  It got to the point that he would pass up a job if it involved a Trilock.  I have never seen a 200 cm man so scared of a front door!

Naturally my exposure to Trilocks in particular, was somewhat diminished until I struck out on my own.  After working on more Trilock’s than I can remember, my attitude towards them, strangely mirrors Steve’s. – Although to a much lesser extent!

I was called yesterday by a customer in Kidman Park, he explained on the phone that he needed a Locksmith because he couldn’t open his front door from outside, but it worked fine from the inside.  As he was explaining his problem, in the back of my mind I know it was going to be a Gainsborough Trilock.

Sure enough, when I arrived, there is was….Bam, a Satin Chrome Gainsborough Trilock, I swear it was almost smiling at me.  The customer again explained that he could lock and unlock from the inside but all of a sudden, the same key wouldn’t work from the outside.  This is a pretty rare problem, in most cases, the wrong key is being used, or somebody has changed the combination of the lock (usually the landlord or owner to evict the current tenant.)  The customer had purchased the house 6 months ago so this was less likely.

I pulled lock down and removed the cylinder housing, undid the grub screw and took the double sided cylinder out. (Photo’s below)

As i removed the circlip holding the barrel in the housing, a small master wafer fell out of the lock.  Master wafers are used to create more than one shear line inside the cylinder – to enable the lock to be opened by more than 1 key.
Without the master wafer in the lock, the key the customer had wouldn’t open the lock.  I am at a loss to explain how a wafer that is contained in the pin chamber could possibly fall out.  I have NEVER seen this before.  It was a fairly easy problem to fix, just very time consuming.  And true to form, it took me longer to re-assemble the Trilock than the rest of job including travel, combined!!

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