Back Page, April 2020

April 2, 2020

Twenty Years Ago

Wade Landrum visited an ADI distributor branch office and provided a positive report. Mike Groover interviewed the IDN distributor branch in Los Angeles. Mike Ferrill was impressed with his visit to Stone & Berg distributors in Massachusetts. Wade Landrum introduced a product line of security seals made by Encrypta Inc. Locksmith Ledger interviewed 20 company representatives that were chosen by the amount of reader service requests. Locksmith Tom Appel tested a mortising tool made by Pro-Lok. Jerry Levine suggested ways to troubleshoot electric strike problems. Jerry Levine followed that article with another concerning electrical requirements for electric strikes. Gale Johnson and Jerry Levine combined on an article that provided techniques for servicing profile cylinders. Charles Stevenson, Ilco Unican, wrote part 6 of an article on safe-combination lock servicing. John Grist recommended lock collecting as a great pastime.

Ten Years Ago

Tim O'Leary introduced readers to servicing and installing automatic door operators as a new revenue stream. Jerry Levine listed the advantages of several different brands of safe-moving equipment. Arnie Goldman, president of IDN Hardware Sales, outlined reasons why the Security Hardware Distributors Association (SHDA) is still important to locksmiths. Gale Johnson interviewed Hollon Safe regarding its full line of safe products. Jerry Levine described a new Helix 100 Biometric fingerprint reader by General Lock. Tim O'Leary suggested using a Securitron XMS Exit Motion Sensor to solve a specific motion detection application. Locksmith Allen Murphy described his journey in launching a product that he had invented.

Locksmith Specialty Tools

Most people attracted to becoming locksmiths have one thing in common: They’re interested in mechanical products, how they work and how they can be serviced. When it comes to servicing, old-time locksmiths had a problem — few specialty tools were available, which forced locksmiths to develop their own tools. This led to a situation where each locksmith often made “secret” tools, and sharing ideas between competitors wasn’t common. Our family locksmith shop had unusually shaped car-opening tools, long-reach rods for unlocking trunk locks after removing the back seat, feathering files to round tops of pin tumblers and homemade cylinder plug holders used during servicing. Specialty tools later were available off the shelf, and some locksmith ingenuity disappeared.

All is not lost. A California locksmith, Michael Tritel, sent in pictures of two homemade tools from his toolbox. One tool is a jig for reboring crossbore holes, and one tool has multiple uses as a slam hammer. If you developed tools to simplify your job, kindly send us pictures, and they'll be featured in subsequent articles.