Repairs: Some doors require more than just changing the lock: they must be repaired or the door jam needs to be rebuilt, or the hinges need to be tightened up so that the door hangs properly. Otherwise, the door simply will not close or the latch doesn't line up properly. Cases like this are almost always unique and require some on-the-spot ingenuity. Often special tools or hardware are required to solve the problem. Over time, as I have gained experience with these sorts of problems, I have come to expect the unexpected. I try to anticipate as much as I can and to prepare for whatever I might encounter. For example, it's handy to have a good supply of a variety of screws, door hardware, tie-wraps, tape, nails, glue, hasps, padlocks, etc.
Also there is the issue of power and light. Very often there is no power; so I have to rely on battery powered tools and lights. That also implies that I have to carry spare batteries and/or chargers.
I once found myself isolated out in the desert in Lucerne Valley about 120 miles from home at a little shack where I was to change the locks. The roads were not marked very well and the map I had was wrong; so it took me about 4 hours to find this place. I got stuck in soft sand once and thought I wasn't going to get out; but after a short, sincere prayer I did manage to back out and get on solid ground again. (Nothing like prayer to get one on solid ground!) No one knew where I was, so if I had gotten really stuck, I would have had to walk out to find help. My cell phone did not work at that location. Later I learned a tip from a friend who used to do a lot of off-roading. He suggested that if I am ever in a situation like that again, let some of the air out of the tires; then back out. I pass that excellent advice on to you for whatever it is worth.
So I finally found the place and changed the locks. I had been distracted earlier (still thinking about getting stuck in the sand) and had not noticed that the door jam had been kicked in. It was all splintered and laying in small pieces in the yard! There was no way the door would lock without replacing the door jam. To make matters worse, by this time, the sun was just going down and it was getting cold and dark.
I had to rebuild the door jam from scratch in order to successfully complete the job and lock the door. Fortunately, I had a battery powered saw, drill, wood chisels, nails, etc. and was able to find a suitable piece of wood to cut and shape to replace the missing jam.
As you can see, being a locksmith can be adventurous.
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