Lane cedar chests are well-known for quality and beauty. But 6 million Lane cedar chests have potential for child entrapment and suffocation. The locks automatically engage when the lid shuts, which traps children inside. Lane Furniture -- as part of the Heritage Home Group -- has recalled all locks bearing the Lane and Virginia Maid brand names built between 1912 and 1987. About 12 millions chests were built between this period, and the company has already provided new safety locks for 6 million of them. The removal of the lock takes only minutes, and new replacement safety latches are free.
If your Lane cedar chest built prior to 1987 has its original lock -- it must be replaced -- as the lock has been recalled. If anyone climbs into the chest and the lid closes, it's impossible to get out from the inside. If you don't have a replacement latch on hand, prevent the lid from locking shut by removing the catch on the lid. There are two types; rectangular and circular, but they both remove the same way.
To remove the catch, open the chest, and allow the lid to lean back against a wall or anything to prevent it from falling shut. Use a screwdriver to gently pry a flat seal up on the lid to reveal the three screws, and remove them from the catch with the screwdriver. If the catch doesn't fall off by itself, remove it from the lid with your fingers. Tap the seal back down with a wooden mallet or wood block and hammer.
Locate the back of the lock on the inside of the chest. The locking mechanism consists of a plate; the lock cylinder is part of the plate. Remove three screws from the plate to release it from the chest. The lock cylinder is mortised into the chest, so it will not automatically drop out. Use a screwdriver to pry away the plate, rocking it gently from side to side to loosen it. Pry gently from the bottom or top, or as needed to loosen the plate without damaging the chest. When it's loose enough, pull the plate and lock assembly out of the mortise or cavity. You don't need to remove the flat plate on the outside of the chest.
Locate the chest's style and serial number branded on the outside bottom,r outside back of the chest or inside the lid. To determine if the chest was built before 1987, read the serial number backwards to get its production date. Seven-digit numbers represent two-digit months, day and years with the last number in the series being the production plant number. Remember to order the lock with the right catch -- rectangular or round, and use all the information to order a new lock, with the safety button to make the chest safe. The new lock should fit snug into the recess or mortise where the old lock was removed. The safety button is actually the lock. When you insert the key, turn it and push to depress the button, and lift the lid.