Back Page, January 2022

Jan. 3, 2022

10 Years Ago

Traditionally, Locksmith Ledger starts off a new year with a cover focus on high security. Gale Johnson wrote that the benefits of a high-security lock system far outweigh the costs and gave tips for selling high security to customers. Jerry Levine described the new generation of electromechanical high-security products, featuring Medeco Logic and M3 Logic. Steve Kaufman visited the Ilco headquarters in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, and reported on the latest transponder programming equipment. Balancing life safety and security was the topic of Tim O’Leary’s report. Jerry Levine installed the keyless CompX StealthLock cabinet locking system. Distributor H.L. Flake (now part of Banner Solutions) was profiled as the company marked its 100th anniversary. It began as a bicycle shop in 1912.

20 Years Ago

Jerry Levine explained the Minimax hub by IEI. Tim O’Leary looked at the SmartLock Online by CansecScanlock Security introduced their ScanProx system. Gale Johnson suggested ways to fit keys to locks that have lever tumblers. Tom Gillespie reported on the PRO-LOK gun lock. Jerry Levine demonstrated how to rekey American Lock padlocks. Tim O’Leary showed the hybrid electronic and mechanical access control system by Intellikey. In a sidebar article, Tim wrote about the pros and cons of mechanical versus electronic key systems. Tom Gillespie continued his series on running a successful locksmith business. Jennifer Robinson interviewed Debbie Long and Dawn Schwartz, locksmiths in Oakland, California. Tiny showed how to service the lock system on a Chevrolet Avalanche.

Calling All Locksmith Sleuths

We recently received the following letter:

Last week, a lady called me sharing that her late father was a longtime locksmith for an educational facility and that she had some items that I might be interested in. I shared with her that at the very least I could stop by and take a peek at what she wanted to show me, not really expecting to find anything I didn’t already have or need. Many times over the years, people have brought me things they thought I would be interested in — mostly old key blank inventories, old pinning kits and basically old junk.

When I arrived, the first thing I saw and basically the only thing I was interested in was an old hand-grind key duplicator. I never have seen anything like it. It’s in very good shape, and the cutter isn’t really damaged all that much.

After looking at it for a bit, I decided I would take it apart and clean it up as a project. Then, I’d reassemble and just set it in the shop for hopefully a great conversation piece.

Nothing has given me such joy for some time as this has. I spent a good deal of a weekend taking it all apart, cleaning it, buffing it up and carefully reassembling each piece. I then attempted to cut a key and WOW. I duplicated an SC1 key blank to within 0.003 inches. The cutter is not very sharp, but it still cuts fine fillings. I’m not sure but I think it was designed so you can remove the handle and insert from either direction and use the hand crank with either hand.

Wondering whether you have seen this before, or if you could share any information about its age and or origin?

Mike Schmidt

Mike’s Lock & Key Service

Perham, Minnesota

We haven’t seen anything like it. What do you think, sleuths? Anyone who might have information about this key duplicator, please contact Locksmith Ledger at [email protected] or [email protected]. Thank you for your help.