Back Page, December 2014

Dec. 1, 2014


Locksmith tools were featured in the December, 1994 issue.  T.C. Mickley offered suggestions on basic tools needed by beginning locksmiths. Jerry Levine provided recommendations on several models of cordless drills.  Care and usage of multimeters was another Ledger article with information which never grows old. Another Locksmith Ledger article featured popular tools designed especially for locksmiths.  Charles Cole investigated tools available for marking keys. A-1 explained the features of their Herty Gerty tubular key cutting machine. High Tech car-opening were featured in an article.  Jerry Levine suggested applying dish detergent onto car -opening tools to simplify insertion especially in cold weather. James Glazier suggested gate control systems as part of an overall access control system. Joe Brickner, Automatic Gate Supply, added some facts on using AC or DC power for gate operators.  Edward Hite made predictions on what locksmiths should expect in the 21st Century.  100% of his predictions have come true.  Jerry Levine wrote about the use of key cabinets.             


Tom Gillespie described available residential hardware for modernizing an entrance door. Kwikset announced their new Powerbolt 1000.  Dale Bowman covered the Medeco product line for residences.  Jerry Levine showed the installation method for a Yale eBoss standalone lockset.  Locksmith Ledger wrote a special report on Harry Stratton and the history of Briggs & Stratton.  Rod Oden continued his interesting articles into the technical aspects of master keying.  Lloyd Seliber added another master key article on the use of SKD and NMK cylinders. Locksmith Kent Stinson invented a disassembly method for rekeying Schlage 'F' series locks when an operating key is not present. Locksmith Ledger visited the Institutional Locksmith Association convention in Roanoke, VA.  Another article described the educational value of joining a Locksmith association. Gale Johnson installed a Simplex 900 latch by Kaba Access Control which also contains a key bypass cylinder.  A risky safe moving job was described as a safe was removed from a second floor residential location. Lockmasters introduced a new video showing opening techniques for several types of safe deposit locks.  Tiny fit keys to a Dodge Ram truck.  Steve Kaufman offered suggestions on how to form good relationships with your customers.             

Tool Box Problems

Tool box keys are quickly becoming a sore spot for locksmiths as manufacturers are either making their own locks or sourcing less expensive locks overseas.  Many of these tool box locks use new blanks which are not currently available from aftermarket key blank companies.  With such a low volume item, it is understandable that there is no incentive to develop the key blanks.

A good example of new tool box lock introductions is a push button lock by Better Built. These tool boxes are specifically made to fit into the bed area of pickup trucks. Original double-sided keys have a single groove milled into each side of the blank.

After checking through key blank books, an Ilco X71 / HD70U fit into the lock plug without modification.  However, the X71 blank is slightly longer than the original so the X71 blank must be shortened slightly, otherwise the key tip will prematurely touch the end of the plug and cuts will not line up correctly.  The correct dimension from shoulder to key tip is .650.  Blade thickness cannot be more than .080. If you are using blanks from another key blank manufacturer, try inserting the uncut blank into the tool box lock before duplicating.   

The Better Built code series is 110-119. Code numbers are stamped on the plug face and on original keys. Contact Locksmith Ledger at [email protected] if you can provide any key cuts for this series.  There are only three depths and five spaces, so sight reading is not difficult to do.