Back Page, May 2019

May 2, 2019

Twenty Years Ago

Hubert Curry tested an S&G Comptronix electronic safe lock. Locksmith Barry Leas explained how to service locks on a Diebold 10741 ATM machine.  Jerry Levine offered general suggestions for servicing safe locks.  Wedgeco Tool Supply introduced a new set of tools for removing broken key blades. Where are they now?  Jerry Levine demonstrated the installation of a Sargent FW (free wheeling) lever lock. Gale Johnson performed some machining on Medeco knob cylinders to retrofit into ancient Corbin unit locks.  Jerry Levine demonstrated the programming steps for a Schlage e.Primus model 1 lever lock.  Kevin Moores, Lockmasters, demonstrated methods for unlocking both a Mosler port-a-vault and an ISM cash vault.  Locksmith Patrick McKinney displayed the steps necessary when installing an electrified rim exit device.  According to Jerry Levine, GM changed to three sources for locks in 1999, Ortec, Huf and Strattec. It’s hard to keep track without a scorecard.  Ford Ranger pickups introduced a short-lived extended length key for locking tire locks  in 1999.  James Glazier described uses for covert closed circuit TV. Milt Wolferseder described the emerging world of electronic safe locks.

Ten Years Ago

Residential security was the monthly topic. Jerry Levine wrote an article about selling home safes and what wording on the labels means.  Gale Johnson reported on a new Cargolock unit for securing vans doors. Where are they now?  Greg Waugh, Paclock, introduced a new 'puck' locking system for slide up truck doors.  Jerry Levine and salesman Rich Franken (Dugnore & Duncan) suggested installing door frames as a new locksmith profit center. Tim O'Leary outlined types of exit alarms.  Mr. O'Leary offered a second article on how to bid jobs.  Gale Johnson tested Kwikset Next Generation electronic deadbolts.  Emily Pike interviewed a young, under 30 locksmith for her experiences as a locksmith. Gale Johnson reported on electronic push button garage door openers by Domino. Mike Tierney, BHMA, introduced new standards for exit alarms and devices.  Gale Johnson was invited to UL laboratories to watch as a HES electric strike underwent extreme heat and cold testing.     

What Is It? Schlage Ward Ring

This photo appeared on the March 2019 Back Page, when Locksmith Ledger was looking to identify the lock part. Thanks to Jeff Kraus for the answer. 

As I’m sure you know, the object in your photograph is a Schlage ward ring, or more accurately, half of an original ward ring. They are used in the cylinders provided with hotel function locks (L9485P and ND85PD) to provide privacy against a maid walking into a hotel room while the guest is not expecting a visitor. This function was adapted for use in executive bathrooms so that the CEO (or the like) won’t be intruded upon while using the facilities. In order to override the lockout function an “emergency key" is provided that has ward cuts on the bottom of the blank to bypass the ward rings installed in the cylinder, much like the use of skeleton keys override the wards in bit key locks. For a supplier of architectural hardware (which I was for many years) this requires the use of emergency key blanks for the benefit of one cylinder out of possibly hundreds on a given project, cut usually to the Tenant Master Key level, all for the comfort and sense of security of one executive with an exalted position befitting him the use of a private restroom. Since most of these office suites are in tall commercial buildings with an existing masterkey system, the keys have to be of a specific (often rare or restricted) keyway. This usually requires hand-filing the ward cuts, or running the proper blank through a duplicating machine upside-down, using a C-keyway emergency key as template. Another use of hotel function locks in a hotel is as a “salesman’s sample” key. The salesman is given a change key to his room with ward cuts in it so that he can lock his room from the outside and prevent hotel staff from entering while he is out, preventing possible pilferage of valuable stock samples. The original use of ward rings was to provide additional change keys in a large keying system, using standard key blanks. This system was phased out in favor of patent-protected keyways and key/cylinder features such as Everest and Primus. By creating hotel function locks, Schlage found a way to re-use their now-useless stock of ward rings by cutting them in half.