Padlocks have always been a substantial segment in the security hardware business. In the past, the small size and design often meant that your keying choices were limited. However, that is no longer true today. Years ago, padlocks weren’t rekeyable and weren’t serviceable. They could...
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Padlocks have always been a substantial segment in the security hardware business. In the past, the small size and design often meant that your keying choices were limited. However, that is no longer true today.
Years ago, padlocks weren’t rekeyable and weren’t serviceable. They could be ordered keyed-alike or keyed-different. If you needed long shackles, you had to order the locks that way. If you wanted brass shackles, you had to place another order.
Padlock manufacturers have realized the huge field of potential to recover lost sales by offering special products and services to the locksmith.
The two biggest features are the ability to match keying to house and/or office keys and stamping or engraving padlock bodies to promote your company or to allow your customer to promote his. Padlock identification to controls key system information for the user.
Following is an overview of padlock companies and their products.
The potential to key a padlock to a house or office key originated with Almont Lock Company of Almont, Mich. Almont still makes a line of brass padlocks in two convenient sizes that will key up to a series of popular cylinder keys.
The 112 series padlock is a solid brass lock with 1 ½-inch body. Various shackle lengths are available in steel or brass. The 134 series features a 1 ¾- inch body with interchangeable shackles up to four inches in length.
Compatible manufacturers’ keyways for the locks include Schlage C, Schlage Composite C-K, Kwikset, Yale 8, Weiser and Russwin. All locks come with a pair of 0-bit keys.
Because the cores and bodies are pre-drilled for chamber spacing, you cannot interchange parts between manufacturers’ brands and body sizes.
The rekeying process includes using some specialty tools. A special bottom tip cut allows a working key or blank to turn the core past the normal operating stop. A special retaining wire is then used to capture the drivers and springs in the upper chamber while the core is withdrawn.
The core is then keyed or master keyed as required. Pushing the core back into the body along the guide wire then reassembles the lock. After it is fully inserted, the wire retainer is removed and the core returned to the at rest position.
The trick is to do all of this without ‘dropping’ the upper chamber contents. If the wire comes loose with the core out, the drivers and springs come tumbling out. A special reloading tool is then used to repack the upper chamber.
If you are rekeying a master keyed padlock, you must be sure to empty the upper chamber of any existing master pins before setting to a new key. If all operating keys are present, a ‘clean-out’ key can be used to disassemble the lock. If not, pull the wire out, clean it out and start from square one.
Because of the effort involved to reload a dumped lock, many locksmith shops have a box or drawer with “extra parts” for Almont padlocks. Although it took a little practice to be able to quickly rekey these locks, the ability to offer a customer ‘keyed-alike’ locks to fit their door key outweighed the design limitations.
Information: contact your favorite locksmith distributor or Almont Lock Company Inc, 113 School Street, Almont, MI 48003. Telephone: 810-798-8950.
The first laminated padlocks will have a four-pin tumbler lock mechanism using the Pacific Lock PW1 keyway. Future introductions will include a five-pin tumbler version with various restricted and...