Bean Cobb lock removal?

Joined: April 18th, 2018, 12:34 am

September 11th, 2018, 10:55 pm #1

Hello fellow collectors,
I have enjoyed becoming more active in this forum, and the next part of my ongoing series showcasing my collection and detailing what I am calling "modern vintage" darby style restraints will be ready shortly.

In the meantime, I was wondering if anyone has experience removing the lock cases from a pair of Bean Cobb handcuffs. I have the third version, where there is an indent around the lock button, the lock case is *slightly* larger than the body itself, and there are no patent dates on the inside.
I have removed the tiny screw from the side, but hesitate to apply much force to the lock for fear of damaging it. The lock is in the 'primed' state, that is, unlocked and the shackle can freely enter and exit the lock without engaging. My understanding is this should allow the case to be removed. Do I need to apply more force? They are not rusty, and in overall good condition. Should I try using a force multiplier such as a vice, or a press, or a wooden dowel and a hammer perhaps?

My reason for removing, aside from curiosity, is that in one of the locks, one of the locking pawls doesn't remain in an unlocked state, but activates, so the cuff will lock without activating the lock via the button. The key will retract both pawls to an unlocked state, but when i remove the key, one always pops back into activated state.

Thank you for your time!
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Joined: November 2nd, 2010, 2:12 pm

September 12th, 2018, 12:28 pm #2

Hi
I've run into this often.  You have the set screw removed; the lock can be tapped out. Apply some rust penetrant to it or WD-40 give little taps with something solid but careful not to leave marks. After a while it will loosen up and gently remove it.  The locks are easy to work on; they were designed that way originally.   
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Joined: April 18th, 2018, 12:34 am

September 12th, 2018, 3:02 pm #3

hello,
Thank you for the information! Its good to know i am approaching it with the right technique. I will try this after work today. I'm excited to see if I can clean out the mechanism and make it work as it should.
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Joined: May 8th, 2018, 2:18 pm

September 12th, 2018, 5:58 pm #4

something u might want to note: see the numbers on the inside hinge of bow's, those same numbers will be on the lock when u get it out !
just of interest !

LK D~D
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Joined: April 18th, 2018, 12:34 am

September 14th, 2018, 5:19 am #5

Thanks to the encouragement of fellow collectors, I approached this lock project this afternoon, and it was a success!

LK D~D, I didn't find any numbers on the inner workings of the lock. This is the 3rd version of the Bean Cobb, which I have identified from an informative post on this forum in the past. There are no serial numbers on the inside of the hinge, either, but I think it is fascinating that the numbers would be on the lock as well. I imagine at one point, one could easily buy replacement parts and locks for these cuffs. Now that I have taken one apart, I have an even greater appreciation for them, and I look forward to hopefully getting another example or two of these, in particular, a pair of Bean Cobb leg irons would be nice. There was a pair on eBay not too long ago, which I ALMOST won, but now I see the winner left negative feedback for the item, stating "Not as described", so perhaps it was for the best. I will keep looking.
Does anyone have anything to say about Bean Cobb leg irons? I know there is an H & R version, but it seems to be much more rare and thus more expensive. I am also partial to the twisted chain on the Bean Cobb vs the straight link chain on the H & R. It's on the wishlist, either way.

escapeguy, thank you, I used a little wd40 in the lock, and after it soaked in, I was able to press out the lock by hitting a wooden dowel placed on the lock with a small hammer. It came out, and I photographed the inner workings of the lock, in part to help with reassembly, which ended up being fairly easy. Thanks for the encouragement.
The lock wasn't too dirty, but there was of course years worth of dust and a little gunk. Here are some pictures. P1050324.JPG The cuffs: Bean Cobb, third version.(indent around lock activation button, no serial number, fluted key, lock slightly larger than body)
The problem: One cuff does not stay in "primed' state. Removing key causes one pawl to activate. pushing button than activates other pawl.
P1050325.JPG After a little WD40, the lock case could be persuaded out using a wooden dowel hit by a hammer.
P1050326.JPG Here you can see there was some gunk in the lock case. Here I used a small screwdriver to pry the lock out from the hole where the shackle enters. P1050327.JPG Here is the removed lock with cuff. It is interesting to see such a design. The locks are rather simple, yet elegant. They remind me of clockwork, particularly now having taken apart and reassembled one. Small metal shapes, springs, cams, levers, press fit together and operating just so. P1050330.JPG Here is the lock up close, when I started to disassemble it. The arrow points to a small protrusion on the clip type part which seems to serve as a spacer between the spring loaded pawls. When I was putting it back together, this small part broke off of the clip; it doesn't seem to affect operation in any way that I can tell. Can anyone tell what that may have been intended for? P1050333.JPG Here are the parts of the lock. The cylinder itself, on the left, which is actually pretty heavy. The aforementioned clip, and below, the two spring backed pawls. They each have a divot on one side which interacts with the lock activation button, which is lower right. Upper right is the keyway.

After cleaning everything, I reassembled, which was tricky. The keyway spindle goes through the cylinder, with the pawls being mounted on it in the center of the cylinder. The springs are oriented against the solid side of the cylinder, and it does make a difference which way they go. The clip then slides between them, acting as a spacer. The lock activation button then sits in its groove, with a spring on the bottom which keeps it lifted. When the key is turned to unlock, the pawls retract and are caught by the lock activation button, placing the lock in a 'primed' state. (counter intuitive as "primed' seems to indicate ready to use, but that is the term I found during my reading and research about these cuffs) The divot on the lock activation button engages with the divot on each pawl, holding them in a retracted position, allowing the shackle to enter and exit freely the cylinder.

I am happy and satisfied to say that it is now reassembled and working as intended! A small piece of the clip did break off during reassembly, but it seems to have no effect on the operation. It was a very small flange on the back of the clip, which would be oriented towards the outer edge of the cylinder, not interacting with the lock in any way I can see.

Questions, comments, concerns, all are welcome. Thank you for reading and for the information above. I really appreciate this forum.
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