If you have not noticed, the sidewinder revolution is well underway. What started as a trickle with Mercedes in the late 1970s has turned into a torrent as almost every car manufacturer has sidewinder keys either in one or two models or in most of their entire stable of cars. As an example, models such as Hyundai and Kia, once considered as lowly imports with only the bare driving essentials, are now very competitive in quality and value and most of their fleet has sidewinder locking systems.
The term Sidewinder covers a wide variety of key types. Locksmiths refer to them as two-track or four-track with internal and external milling. Regardless of the amount of tracks or where the tracks are located, all sidewinder keys have one trait in common. Key cuts are milled into the side surface of the blank. A web, or partition, is left uncut in the center of the blank for key blank stability. The same cuts are repeated on the opposite side of the blank. Because of these dual millings, sidewinder keys are known as convenience keys. A sidewinder key will operate without concern about top or bottom orientation as it is inserted into the lock.
Origination of sidewinder keys has always been a problem. A round cutter is required to mill cuts into the surface of the blank. The problem has always been in connecting each cut location with the correct milling angle to produce a smooth, continuous surface from space to space. Because of sidewinder cut complexities, expensive electronic machines have been the primary solution for originating sidewinder keys.
Framon Manufacturing has solved these problems with the new Framon Sidewinder 2. This new manual machine can both duplicate and originate sidewinder keys. Both duplicating and originating operations are quickly completed without the use any expensive electronic components.
The Framon Sidewinder 2 is equipped with two jaws and each jaw has reversible surfaces. In addition, six cutters and three key guides are included as standard equipment. A chart included with the Framon Sidewinder 2 indicates which jaw, cutter and guide to use when originating each type of sidewinder key.
Depending on the sidewinder key being cut, the key can be either a shoulder stop or tip stop type. Shoulder stop blanks are aligned with the shoulder against the front edge of the vise jaw. Tip stop keys are aligned at the back edge of the vise using a hand-held tip stop tool .
The Sidewinder 2 machine uses depth and space rods for originating keys. The rods operate similar to cams to position the carriage for each cut needed. A separate set of rods is required for each type of key being cut. Rods included with the machine allow you to immediately originate Honda, Volkswagen and Audi keys. Space and depth rods are available for many other car models such GM, BMW, Hyundai, Kia and Mazda. Additional rods sets are planned for many remaining models which use sidewinder lock systems.
Rod replacement takes only a minute. Each rod is turned into place until it reaches a positive stop. An Allen head set screw is then used to hold each rod in place.
Note: Always unplug any key machine from its electrical source before making adjustments or changes.
A special setup key is included with each set of depth and space rods. The setup key is used to set the proper cutter depth. The setup key is also used to prepare the key blank by cutting all the shallowest cuts and the beginning tip cuts on the blank. Once the key is prepared, code cutting can take place.
An excellent video is available for viewing at www.Framon.com. The video shows every procedure for originating or duplicating sidewinder keys on the Framon Sidewinder 2 machine.
When originating keys on the Framon Sidewinder 2 machine, attention must be given to the high-low order of cuts. If the next cut is shallower than the cut you have just made, turn the depth rod first. If the next cut is deeper than the cut you have just made, turn the space knob first.