The Stonehead key

How does a Stonehead unlock a door? With a gas torch, of course. Snow and meltwater often find their way into hinges, hasps, bolts and the spaces between doors and their jambs. When overnight temperatures dip to -10C or lower, the result is firmly secured doors that no amount of levering can force open—or at least not without breaking the door. A thick coat of grease or lard reduces the chances of ice locking doors in place, but sometimes even that fails and the Stonehead key is needed. My preferred key is a butane-fuelled weed wand as it produces less heat than a blowtorch and it has much longer reach. A blowtorch is faster but there’s more risk of setting something alight. And both are also ideal for thawing taps before you turn on the indoor stopcocks.

3 Responses to “The Stonehead key”

  1. Likewise, here in France it’s been getting cold. Frozen letter box – padlocks. Even the car door was frozen shut (not the lock but the actual door).

  2. mummys little angel Reply 5 January, 2010 at 18:02

    Also the grease start to freeze I found on my barn door making opening it very difficult.

    You have now given me an idea. Instead of running the gauntlet with hot water to defrost the barn door lock then unlocking before it refreezes. I shall now get out my cooks blow torch (I wanted a small one) I bought for bumping off red mite and burning feathers off the cockerels after processing. I will however refrain from using it on the wheelie bin and stick to the trusted ‘thump’ to break the seal.

  3. I use a bundle of hay in an emergency…always to hand, easy to light..but your torch looks easier to handle!

    I have a huge weed wand, a parafin one, so your solution would not work for me….I would probably set fire to the barn!

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