Locksmithing Etc. November 2009

Nov. 1, 2009
News You Can Use


Where servicing an older VATS equipped vehicle, even if the Security light illuminates, try starting the engine. I have had two 2000 and newer Chevrolet vehicles that the engine started using the mechanical key to operate the ignition lock.


The Vehicle Identification Number is 17 numbers and letters used to identify the most important information regarding the vehicle. The VIN is normally on a plate attached to the dashboard on the driver’s side or the door or doorpost. On some vehicles, it is also stamped onto the firewall or one of the strut towers. For newer vehicles it can be on a special tag on all large removable body parts.

The first character indicates the country of manufacture. For locksmiths, the first and the 10th are probably the most important. The 10th character indicates the year the vehicle was manufactured. This is important for getting the correct clone or transponder blank.

From 1980 thru 2000, the 10th character of the VIN was the letters of the alphabet A-Y ( I, O, Q & Z were not used). The year 2000 was “Y”. In 2001 they changed to numbers 1-9. The year 2009 is a “9”. In 2010, the 10th character of the VIN will once again be letters, probably in alphabetic order beginning with “A.”


The patent pending High Security 4 Plug Holder is designed to provide a “third hand” when servicing and master keying high security lock cylinders. This four slot plug holder is manufactured from 6061 Aluminum, accommodating most high security lock cylinder plugs up to .512” in diameter. Each plug holder contains double “V” grooves, accommodating Schlage Primus, CX5, Medeco and other high security locks equipped with sidebar mechanisms.

Since each opening can accommodate a one half inch diameter plug, the tool can also be used when master keying and servicing most conventional lock cylinders. The top of this 1” by 2” by 4” servicing tool has a built in tray to keep small parts with their plugs.

For more information or to purchase, contact Gamble Lock Door & Safe, 3-1100A Davis Dr., Newmarket, ON L3Y 8W8 Canada. Telephone: 905-895-3348. Fax: 905-953-3312. Email: [email protected].


I’ve heard that in almost 50 percent of homes purchased, the owners do not replace or re-combinate the locks by the time they move into their new residence.


As locksmiths, we are asked to install door hardware products for many different applications. We are required to follow codes, laws and ordinances that are national, state, county and city. I was just told that condominium complexes, both residential and commercial, can and often do require specific manufacturers, trim and finishes to maintain consistency throughout.

If a customer wants something different than what is on every other door, make sure they understand (preferably in writing) that they are responsible, not you.


I received a telephone call from a locksmith. He was at off-college housing and could not figure out have to remove a double cylinder deadbolt installed onto a door.

The lock cylinders had the name Schlage; however, there were no visible mounting screws on the interior cylinder. He asked me to take a look. At first, I thought it might have been an old Lori deadbolt that uses mortise cylinders. Each cylinder is secured by 3/32” setscrew that is accessible through the door edge. To secure or release a mortise cylinder, a long 3/32” hex wrench slides between the bolt and the housing once the bolt faceplate is removed. Tightening a setscrew secures the mortise cylinder as if it were installed into a mortise lock.

The bolt had the name Schlage stamped into the faceplate. So much for the Lori Lock theory.

Using a small straight slot screwdriver, I carefully pried around the outer diameter of the interior lock cylinder. The faceplate slowly lifted off and beneath were the two mounting screws. Someone had either removed the interior faceplate and installed an exterior faceplate as an inexpensive way to increase the level of security or had an interior cylinder that did not have a faceplate.


Lockmasters and Tech-Train Productions have introduced the TT1037 car-opening tool, designed specifically for the 2010 Chevrolet Camaro. The new Camaro is equipped with high-security locks, protected linkage, indexing glass and an inside door release handle that is mounted too low for probably every make of under-window tools to reach.

The new Tech-Train TT1037 tool, designed by Steve Young, unlocks the passenger’s side door locking mechanism. To ensure unlocking success, the tool has an index mark on the shaft for exact placement within the door cavity. The tool shape avoids the guards in the door cavity without having to use an inspection light or other aids. Once the TT1037 tool is in position, unlocking requires only having to pull up on the tool in order to raise the vertical linkage rod.

The TT1037 tool can be ordered directly from Lockmasters, Inc. at (800) 654-0637 or visit web site www.lockmasters.com .


I was invited by a commercial locksmith company to observe an installation. We met at the jobsite and proceeded to install the lock hardware. When a door lock was being installed, the locksmith noticed that a piece of the trim was not in the box. Unfortunately, this resulted in sendng an employee back to the shop to take a replacement piece from a lock in stock. They were fortunate that the missing part could easily be replaced. This ended up as non-billable time, which no one wants in this economy.

It is a good idea to take a few minutes before you leave to install hardware to make sure all the pieces are in the box(es).


A multi-national key blank manufacturer and cloning equipment producer has in the early weeks of October had an early introduction of their Philips Crypto cloning equipment somewhere in Europe.


According to General Motors, the Saturn division will be shut down after sales talks failed.