Installing a locking mechanism on file cabinets

Written by steve smith
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A file cabinet lock has a strip of metal running through it. When the key is turned, the strip of metal slides into position and extends beyond the drawer. When the drawer is pulled out of the cabinet frame this metal strip hits the edge and prevents the door from opening. This metal strip prevents the cabinet door from being opened when the lock is turned one way, but it slides back when the key is turned the other way so the door can be opened.

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Installing the Lock

To install the lock drill a hole in the cabinet using a metal drill. The hole must be the same circumference as the lock. The lock should have instructions telling you what size hole to drill. The hole should be drilled just below the top of the cabinet, so the tongue reaches above the top of the cabinet drawer and catches on the edge of the cabinet itself.

Putting in the Lock

Once the hole is drilled, you disassemble the lock by turning the key and taking off the metal tongue. Then you slide the key lock into the hole, so the threaded part is through the cabinet drawer face. You then slide the tongue part over the threads and screw it into place until tight. Test the lock to make sure the tongue catches on the edge of the file cabinet and to be sure that the lock is secure.

Where to Buy Them?

File cabinet and display case locks are sold at any hardware store. They are also available through a lock shop or locksmith. If you think you need a professional to do the installation, call one. It will not cost much to have one installed if you bring the cabinet in to the shop yourself, and it will help you sleep better at night.

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