How to Unlock a Lane Cedar Chest

Written by helen jain
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How to Unlock a Lane Cedar Chest
(Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

Lane Home Furnishing produced cedar chests from 1912 to 1987. According to the company, it sold around 12 million Lane cedar chests. The locks on the chests were old fashioned and latched shut. Unlike new locks, the locks on Lane cedar chests were made without safety releases on the inside, resulting in the deaths of children who got locked into the chest. Though there are efforts to replace the locks with newer ones, some chests still have the old locks.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Key
  • WD 40 (optional)

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  1. 1

    Look to see if the lock is new or old. Lane cedar chests, especially the older chests, had the locks without safety releases. For safety reasons, the locks on some chests were replaced with newer locks that release from the inside as well as the outside.

  2. 2

    Insert the key. Turn the key and see if it unlocks. When the lock is new, the key should open it easier. Older chests and locks might have problems due to the age.

  3. 3

    Wiggle the key if it does not open or turn the first time, and then try again. Wiggling might clear any dirt inside the lock or anything blocking the locking mechanism.

  4. 4

    Spray some WD40 or similar oil into the lock.

  5. 5

    Push the button on the lock once the key turns. Not all Lane cedar chests had a push button, but some did. The typical lock was a latching lock, but newer locks or changed locks had different mechanisms.

Tips and warnings

  • If oil gets on the wood, clean it with warm water, mild soap and a wash cloth.

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