We are all familiar with homemade plug holders, fabricated out of discarded cylinders. Some years ago (don't ask how many), I fabricated a wood four unit holder from K.I.K. cylinders, inverted, with the bottoms cut off and the chambers filled with solder (Figure 1). It proved quite functional and was used daily.
The downside was size (4' x 8' x 2'), durability (didn't care for being dropped) and it wasn't high security friendly.
Two years ago I set out to improve the design with the goal to eliminate the deficiencies and fabricate a dedicated fixture. The prototype was manufactured out of 6061 aluminum, using a manual milling machine. The size was reduced to 2" x 4" x 1". Being a single block significantly improved durability and perhaps most importantly, it was designed for high security locks. With grooves on both sides, it's ideal for Primus, Medeco and CX5. No more cramped fingers, flying sidebars, springs, finger pins etc. The grooves permit the plug to function as if it were in the lock shell. If the plug turns you know the finger pins (Primus-CX5) and the pin lengths and angles (Medeco) are correct.
The new fixture was used by our staff in the shop and on the road and tested by a few others. It appeared to meet the design criteria so we introduced the fixture at last year’s TAOL show. (Figure 2)
Producing the fixture in quantity proved very labor-intensive and it lacked a certain polished and professional look. Clearly plan "B" was called for. Plan "B" required a CNC (Computer Numerically Controlled) Mill and the attendant programming. We were now able to produce the fixtures in bars of five (Figure 3) at a time. The finish was superior. Each unit could be engraved rather than stamped and overall appearance was more professional. Still it lacked that final "pizzazz". After much experimenting, it was decided to finish the fixture with a red anodized coating (Figure 4).
Nowthat it not only does what it was designed to do but also looks good doing it, we are re-introducing the PH-4-HS four-plug High Security plug holder. Your comments, critiques or suggestions are welcome and may be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, contact Gamble Lock Door & Safe, 4-1100A Davis Drive, Newmarket ON. L3Y 8W8 Canada. Telephone: 905-895-3348 or 866-698-5397. Fax: 905-853-3312.
- John Gamble TCPL