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How can I identify the proper key for the upper housing of a WE 233G?

Started by LCStanos, October 10, 2021, 09:19:15 PM

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I purchased 10G and 29S keys but neither would fully insert into the key slot of the upper housing.  Is there a way to identify the proper key for opening the upper housing without guessing?  I'm trying to access screws I expect to find inside so I can remove the phone from the wall in my mother's house in Lake County, Ohio which is for sale.  The attached photo of the phone shows an original phone number of (216) 361-9151.  Thanks in advance.


Check the payphone section here. One of the members does make keys. I think he can cut one based on the location?
Harry Smith
ATCA 4434

"There is no try,
there is only
do or do not"

Stan S

Stop!!! There was only one upper housing key that would have been used on an UNMOLESTED 233G regardless of area. That  would be a 10G. If you bought a reproduction 10G key from ANY seller on Ebay the key blank is too thick. The reproduction blanks are brass, the originals were steel. The reproduction brass keys are soft, bend and will eventually break. That's the reason they were made thicker than the original steel keys. If you carefully file each side of the 10G key and make it thinner it should eventually slide completely into the lock. Assuming the lock hasn't been forced in the past it should open. File both side of the key a little at a time until the key completely goes into the lock.


Thank you for the responses!  We will try Stan S's suggestion to carefully file a little off of both sides of our reproduction 10G key purchased on eBay.  I hope the mechanism is not frozen!  The phone has not been opened in decades!


I've had repro keys as well, yes file each side down and it should help.
A little spray in the lock will help if it's sticky.
I've used WD 40 and it worked fine, just a shot or two should be enough.


Following the advice of Stans S and Key2871, filing the 10G reproduction key did indeed permit my sister to open the WE 233G upper housing, but not before snapping off the key in the slot.  (Probably should have sprayed some WD40 into the slot first as Key2871 had recommended.)  Using a pair of pliers to turn the key stub unlocked the housing, allowing her to access the mounting screws inside and remove the phone from the wall.  Thanks so much for providing the advice we needed!