Q   I have a beautiful 150-year-old house with very ornate doors.  I have the old-style skeleton key for the front and back doors.   I have been to every hardware store in town and they can't duplicate them.   Can you make them?

 Yes.  Most locksmiths have the equipment to duplicate these types of keys.  However, you will find that a good locksmith will caution you on the use of those locks as the primary way of securing your house.  The old "bit key locks," as they are called, are not very secure because the construction and operation of most of the bit key locks around today do not lend themselves to large numbers of key patterns.  At most, only 250 different bit key patterns are common today throughout the country, and many of the bit key locks on structures can be unlocked with a universal pass key which is shaped to open many different bit key locks.

Your professional locksmith can recommend a good auxiliary lock for the ornate doors that not only will blend in with your existing hardware, but at the same time will give you an excellent upgrade of your security. 

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