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WWII Field Desk Keys Needed

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#1 true49er

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Posted 01 November 2019 - 09:40 PM

Does anyone have photos of the key needed for a Yale B2 and/or Yale B3 Field Desk Locks.  Or a cross reference to a key that would fit those locks.


I have searched and inquired with vintage locksmiths around the Country for a key and cannot find any reference to the cut needed to open/close those locks.  My hope now is to make one from a photo or diagram using another Yale barrel key.

#2 RWW

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Posted 01 November 2019 - 10:22 PM

I don't know anything about field desks, but I do know a little about locks.  If there is a number on the lock, a locksmith can make a key from that code.  If not, if you are able to take the lock off, or transport the desk to a good kocksmith, they should be able to make a key from the lock.  The problem may be finding a key blank to fit the lock, but again, if you can find one, and reputable locksmith should be able to make you a key.

#3 72psb

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Posted 01 November 2019 - 11:23 PM

I danced around Google to see the style of locks on field desks. The closest locks listed for sale are sold as foot locker locks,most listed as 1943 Yale/Towne.These are sold as an NOS kit with hardware and keys.

Look up,Kennedy Hardware and seller "Koolstuff1958" ebay seller has them also.

I usually start my searches with the subject and look at the images and go from there.

The worst that can happen is you have to buy the whole set up and install it. Or at least you can get a good picture of the key to help out the locksmith.

Good luck

Edited by 72psb, 01 November 2019 - 11:24 PM.

#4 true49er

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Posted 02 November 2019 - 12:49 AM

that's good feedback guys - 

I have purchased one of the York and Towne lock sets thinking that very thing, although the locks are similar the key cut is completely different, taking it a step further I found a mint Eagle key 'blank' that I was going to file and cut my own but the diameter of the hole is different (smaller) to those of the York center post and therefore will not work.


I have taken the box to a couple of local locksmiths and they look at them like a deer looking into headlights, I have emailed several locksmiths around the Country looking for the "B2" and "B3" keys (as stamped on the locks) and none seem to have a cross reference to what that key cut is or looks like.  One 'smith said "just get a B52 key, that should work...."  well, it didn't! 


There seems to be no data on what the keys look like or what the cut is, thus my posting here.  Surely someone must have fought this very issue in the past.





Attached Images

  • Field Desk 1A.jpeg
  • Field Desk 1B.jpeg
  • Field Desk 2A.jpeg

#5 TheGrayGhost

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Posted 02 November 2019 - 08:37 AM

There is a picture of the key in this Worthpoint listing


#6 VMI88

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Posted 02 November 2019 - 08:50 AM

At one time there were several dealers on eBay selling vintage keys that would fit the locks on field desks - you just needed the number on the lock to get a match.  I haven't checked recently to see if they're still available, but I was able to get a key for my field desk that way.  It was around $8-10 if I recall correctly.

#7 robinb



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Posted 02 November 2019 - 04:54 PM

Here's the key out of my desk.


#8 true49er

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Posted 03 November 2019 - 01:14 AM

Great photos - that gives me an idea where to start, and different references on the key markings. Probably need to start a database!

Robinb - your key looks to be an 'Eagle' is your lock a Yale like the photos I posted? Markings on your lock?

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