Changes in the Wind

Sept. 20, 2017

Locksmith Ledger has been told that Foley-Belsaw will be discontinuing their locksmith training course at the end of this year. Along with the Foley-Belsaw locksmith course, this company also makes a model 200 key duplicator fitted with a built-in micrometer for originating keys. Model 200 has been a popular machine for beginning locksmiths judging from the phone calls received over the years at our offices.

My Foley recollections go back decades to the time when our locksmith shop purchased a Foley saw sharpening machine. Our saw sharpening business quickly filled in any former slow time periods we may have had. Basically the saw filer had a part which fit in between each tooth and then pushed the saw forward two teeth at a time to align the next angled tooth under the sharpening file. It was my job to keep watch on the machine so the pushing part did not skip one tooth and sharpen a tooth at the wrong angle.

Discontinuing the Foley-Belsaw locksmith course signals the end of an era. One has to ask why this is happening. Do young people today not recognize locksmithing as a profitable occupation? Is there less need for security in today's world? Have Big Box stores replaced the need for mom and pop stores of any kind? Do security products of today not require the same kind of training currently offered by most locksmith schools?

Every sentence in the above paragraph is worthy of a lengthy discussion. As an observer of the locksmith business for many decades, I can attest to the change in the types of questions arriving at my desk. Twenty years ago vehicle lock questions predominated, followed closely by queries about masterkeying. Questions today are split between difficult questions concerning transponder programming and easier questions about tool box or desk lock key codes.

From my vantage point there is no clear indication of what the future has in store. Our industry is currently on hold and taking a deep breath. Security industry changes are happening and each of us must decide how to proceed