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Thread: Does anyone have a case like this?

  1. #1
    Registered User Rickker's Avatar
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    Default Does anyone have a case like this?

    I recently acquired a fairly decent F5 style case. The middle locking latch is different than most cases, (see attached photos).

    The problem is that there is no key! So if I close the lid, it latches and locks. And it is very difficult to get it open again. I have taken the case to 3 area locksmiths and was surprised that none of them were interested in picking the lock to render it in the unlocked state.

    There was a previous thread on the Forum with this same problem. I have tried picking the lock myself with all of the suggested techniques. No luck.

    So, I am trying to source either a key, or a complete replacement latch, complete with key. In the latter case, if the key is the same, that would solve my problem. If the key is different, then I could install the replacement latch by drilling out the rivets and using the same mounting holes.

    I have been on numerous websites looking for the same latch. It cannot be found.

    The case itself has no manufacturer's identification, only "Made in China" on the inside of the storage compartment.

    So I am asking if any of you have a case with this kind of locking latch. If I can find out the make of the case, maybe this can lead to a replacement key or latch assembly.

    Thanks in advance for any help with this search.

    .....Rickker
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  2. #2
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does anyone have a case like this?

    Go to a second hand store or anywhere they sell used luggage. I've been to several where they have boxes of keys that you try until you find one. That's not a complex lock. Try a local antique shop as well for a key.

    That looks like a Harptone Redline case.

    http://www.harptone.com/

    I keep thinking that Saga or somebody else made a Redline case as well a few years back.
    Last edited by MikeEdgerton; Oct-12-2019 at 11:35am.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Does anyone have a case like this?

    I bought a vintage case that was locked open. Steve Kirtley shows how to open the lock- it worked for me. It may work for your case but the mechanism may be different inside. His site is members only- I will post your question as a link and see if he can help you.

  4. #4
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does anyone have a case like this?

    I think his Facebook page is members only, I'm not sure about the website.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Does anyone have a case like this?

    Yes, it is but I have posted this link and I am sure he will give an opinion and help if he can or offer advice.

  6. #6
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does anyone have a case like this?

    Or send him a PM here. His username is Loudloar.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  7. #7
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does anyone have a case like this?

    Ask this guy really nice if he could take a picture of the key for his case and send it to you. If you know what it looks like you know what you're looking for and with a file and a piece of steel you might be able to make your own.

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/ads/144134
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Does anyone have a case like this?

    And, it should go without saying -- ONCE YOU GET A KEY FOR THE LOCK, UNLOCK IT AND LEAVE IT UNLOCKED AND NEVER USE IT AGAIN!!!!

    I never understood what security people think they are buying with a case lock -- a thief will steal the instrument, case and all, then break it open with a screwdriver and a hammer -- in other words -- no security AT ALL!

    Every music store has some used cases in the back room with locks that had to be busted open because owners insisted on locking them and then couldn't find the key.....

    Some people check instruments at the airport with the cases locked and get it back with the cases "unlocked" by the TSA......

    Looks like a nice case. If you can't find a key, you can "convert" it to a 2-latch case, by filing away the little tab that locks the case. 2 latches are more than enough to hold it.........

    Good luck!

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  10. #9
    Registered User Rickker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does anyone have a case like this?

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    Go to a second hand store or anywhere they sell used luggage. I've been to several where they have boxes of keys that you try until you find one. That's not a complex lock. Try a local antique shop as well for a key.

    That looks like a Harptone Redline case.

    http://www.harptone.com/

    I keep thinking that Saga or somebody else made a Redline case as well a few years back.
    Thanks Mike, yes does look similar, but I think it is a Chineese copy of the same construction, as it is totally devoid of any identification.
    .....Rickker

  11. #10
    Registered User Rickker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does anyone have a case like this?

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    Or send him a PM here. His username is Loudloar.
    Have sent Loudloar a PM. Thanks for the tip.
    ....Rickker

  12. #11
    Registered User doc holiday's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does anyone have a case like this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rickker View Post
    Thanks Mike, yes does look similar, but I think it is a Chineese copy of the same construction, as it is totally devoid of any identification.
    .....Rickker
    Yes it looks like the non-vintage SAGA version of the redline case.

  13. #12

    Default Re: Does anyone have a case like this?

    Yes, it's a Saga case from about 12-15 years ago. I have one exactly like it. The oval lock looks similar to the vintage oval locks, but the key mechanism is different. I have not had one of these open to see how they are constructed on the inside.

    If the lid will close and latch then it is NOT locked. (When locked the button will NOT move at all.) These locks can be out of alignment and the case not want to open, even though it is not locked. (Maybe a better way to say it is that the lid is out of alignment.) The big question is: Will the button move to the left? If so, it is not locked. If it is an alignment problem, try pushing the lid to the right as you move the button to the left. That probably will allow the lid to open.

    I still have the key to my case. See below. If yours truly is locked you could file any small piece of metal into that shape and use it to unlock your lock. It's not a complicated lock, just needs one small tab to turn the lock open or closed. Hope this helps.

    Steve

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  14. #13

    Default Re: Does anyone have a case like this?

    It's an Open Group, anyone can view the posts. You need to join in order to post or comment. We'd love to have anyone with an interest in Vintage Cases.
    Steve

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/vint...strumentcases/

  15. #14
    Registered User Rickker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does anyone have a case like this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Loudloar View Post
    Yes, it's a Saga case from about 12-15 years ago. I have one exactly like it. The oval lock looks similar to the vintage oval locks, but the key mechanism is different. I have not had one of these open to see how they are constructed on the inside.

    If the lid will close and latch then it is NOT locked. (When locked the button will NOT move at all.) These locks can be out of alignment and the case not want to open, even though it is not locked. (Maybe a better way to say it is that the lid is out of alignment.) The big question is: Will the button move to the left? If so, it is not locked. If it is an alignment problem, try pushing the lid to the right as you move the button to the left. That probably will allow the lid to open.

    I still have the key to my case. See below. If yours truly is locked you could file any small piece of metal into that shape and use it to unlock your lock. It's not a complicated lock, just needs one small tab to turn the lock open or closed. Hope this helps.

    Steve

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Thanks, Steve. Just to make sure we are talking about the same lock, are the keys shown in your photo very thin, like only 1mm or about 0.040"? When I was attempting to pick the lock, it became evident that what was needed was a key made of flat stock and no thicker than one millimeter. I have other mandolin cases, and the keys for those are made of much thicker stock. Thanks for sending along the profile. We will give it a try.

    .....Rick

  16. #15
    Registered User Rickker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does anyone have a case like this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Loudloar View Post
    Yes, it's a Saga case from about 12-15 years ago. I have one exactly like it. The oval lock looks similar to the vintage oval locks, but the key mechanism is different. I have not had one of these open to see how they are constructed on the inside.

    If the lid will close and latch then it is NOT locked. (When locked the button will NOT move at all.) These locks can be out of alignment and the case not want to open, even though it is not locked. (Maybe a better way to say it is that the lid is out of alignment.) The big question is: Will the button move to the left? If so, it is not locked. If it is an alignment problem, try pushing the lid to the right as you move the button to the left. That probably will allow the lid to open.

    I still have the key to my case. See below. If yours truly is locked you could file any small piece of metal into that shape and use it to unlock your lock. It's not a complicated lock, just needs one small tab to turn the lock open or closed. Hope this helps.

    Steve

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The button will NOT move to the left (or the right either), so it is definitely locked. Except for a little free play, the button will not move at all.

    Steve, would you be willing to send me one of your keys by mail, which I would return to you after having used it to unlock the case? I would of course send you a suitable money transfer to cover shipping and handling. Or, if you would rather not to do that, could I ask you to trace the key profile on a piece of paper and either post or email that to me.

    Also, as in my earlier reply to you, please confirm the stock thickness of your key(s). If they are thicker than 0.040", we may not be talking about the same lock, and the profile may not be the same.

    ....Rick

  17. #16
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does anyone have a case like this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Loudloar View Post
    Yes, it's a Saga case from about 12-15 years ago. I have one exactly like it. The oval lock looks similar to the vintage oval locks, but the key mechanism is different. I have not had one of these open to see how they are constructed on the inside.

    If the lid will close and latch then it is NOT locked. (When locked the button will NOT move at all.) These locks can be out of alignment and the case not want to open, even though it is not locked. (Maybe a better way to say it is that the lid is out of alignment.) The big question is: Will the button move to the left? If so, it is not locked. If it is an alignment problem, try pushing the lid to the right as you move the button to the left. That probably will allow the lid to open.

    I still have the key to my case. See below. If yours truly is locked you could file any small piece of metal into that shape and use it to unlock your lock. It's not a complicated lock, just needs one small tab to turn the lock open or closed. Hope this helps.

    Steve

    Click image for larger version. 

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    That's exactly what I expected that key to look like. Thanks Steve.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  18. #17
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does anyone have a case like this?

    I'm willing to bet that the only part of that key that matters is inside this circle.
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    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  19. #18

    Default Re: Does anyone have a case like this?

    Mike Edgerton is exactly right. All you need is something that will fit in the slot with a little tab. Ain't rocket science. You'll notice that the key slot is rather thin, therefore the key must be relatively thin metal. I think you could cut material from an old credit card into the correct shape. The width of the key in my photo is a hair more than 1/2". So, if necessary you could enlarge the photo to that size for a template. But honestly, if you create a shape that will go into the lock and turn, it will successfully unlock the mechanism. I believe it's clockwise to lock and counter clockwise to unlock.

    Steve

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  20. #19
    Oval holes are cool David Lewis's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does anyone have a case like this?

    It’s probably solved now but you could take the case to a chain locksmith - mister minute in Australis I don’t know what in your country - but the type of place that has a kiosk in a mall. There’ll be a number and they’ll be able to supply a key.
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  21. #20
    Registered User Rickker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does anyone have a case like this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Loudloar View Post
    Mike Edgerton is exactly right. All you need is something that will fit in the slot with a little tab. Ain't rocket science. You'll notice that the key slot is rather thin, therefore the key must be relatively thin metal. I think you could cut material from an old credit card into the correct shape. The width of the key in my photo is a hair more than 1/2". So, if necessary you could enlarge the photo to that size for a template. But honestly, if you create a shape that will go into the lock and turn, it will successfully unlock the mechanism. I believe it's clockwise to lock and counter clockwise to unlock.

    Steve

    Click image for larger version. 

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    All right! It appears to be far less complex than I thought. Will proceed to fashion up a key per your advice and report back.

    ....Rick

  22. #21
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does anyone have a case like this?

    Hardware stores in the US like Home Depot have small brass mending plates. I would think they would be thin enough and easy enough to work with a hacksaw and a file to make that key. You might even be able to bend the end of a large paper clip with a pair of pliers to make a key to unlock it. Best of luck with it.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  23. #22

    Default Re: Does anyone have a case like this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rickker View Post
    I have taken the case to 3 area locksmiths and was surprised that none of them were interested in picking the lock to render it in the unlocked state.
    This part does not make sense. It should be about 10 seconds work to open it if you have the knowledge. Less if you have the right key....

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  25. #23

    Default Re: Does anyone have a case like this?

    As a teenager at school most of the pupils' desks were padlocked- so they were not ransacked. As we went from class to class, it was customary to sit- supposedly taking in the subject while you picked the padlock. Most of us got quite good at it although some of the locks were much tougher to crack- the cheap ones were really easy! One day I managed to bust the lock I was working on which meant I had to go to whoever that classroom form master was, who looked after that classroom and its regular denizens, and tell him. Luckily, he thought it was amusing- the desk was prised open ripping off the hasp and staple from the screws and I coughed up for a new padlock!

    It seems one of the guys over at Steve's site may have a key for that type of case. I bought my G & S, Gibson A style case from him a while back.
    Last edited by NickR; Oct-13-2019 at 1:30pm.

  26. #24
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does anyone have a case like this?

    Howie has been a member here for years. It's a small world.

    If that case was sitting here I probably could find one of a dozen old suitcase keys I have hoarded over the years that would open it.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  27. #25
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does anyone have a case like this?

    those locks are rudimentary on those.. and so, a locksmith should be able to pick it open in 60 seconds..

    no real purpose in locking it.. someone will grab it and run, not stay & open it..
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