Ziptide June 2011

May 16, 2011


Got a technical question for our Locksmith Ledger editors or a tip to share with your fellow locksmiths? Check out online discussion forums at At our Ask the Experts forum, post a question for editors Gale Johnson and Jerry Levine. Discuss Automotive, Safe Servicing, Electronics or General Locksmithing with colleagues in these four forums. Following are samples of recent conversations.


I realize that I am not the most prolific lock picker, but I have been pretty successful until now. I am having extreme problems picking an American 700 padlock. I realize it has spool pins, but been able to negotiate these in the past. Does anyone have any tips?

American padlocks have very tight tolerances and picking may not always be successful. With spool pins, you can try back-picking by lifting the pins having spool pins all the way upward and then releasing tension enough to let the bottom pins drop to the shearline. Then rake the remaining pins to unlock the lock. If your padlock has a removable cylinder system, the final solution is to drill out the cylinder and replace it.

Before you drill, try grinding the tip of the pick down, your lift from 8 to 1 is only .109' of an inch. Use a light touch on the wrench. The way you know that the spool pins are working is when the cylinder only turns 15 degrees. If that doesn't work, just grind of the retaining screw security nut. The security nut is American part # PKG4746010.


Help, I have a customer who lost her keys for her Dell stand-up computer server cabinet. I can’t find a key that will work. It’s a small double-sided key for a wafer lock.

Unfortunately sometimes there is no answer. Dell is importing a lock from Asia and aftermarket companies are not making the blank. We do not have any information either on the blank or depth and spaces.


The enhanced description for Clark Security in our April 2011 Know Your Distributors chart should read as follows:

CLARK Security Products is the nation's leading wholesale distributor of security products and services. With over 50 years in the security hardware industry, we are proud to provide door hardware, key systems, CCTV, access control and value added services to security professionals nationwide. We partner with over 200 industry–leading manufacturers of quality security products to stock over 25,000 items in major distribution centers across the country. Through our recent partnership with Anixter International, a leading global distributor of communication and security products, we provide our customers with a broad range of innovative security solutions.


The editors of Locksmith Ledger welcome reader input. Share your comments and suggestions on any of our articles or general industry trends and topics. Our mailing address is Ziptide, Locksmith Ledger, 3030 Salt Creek Lane, Suite 200, Arlington Heights, IL 60005. Letters can also be faxed to 866-827-8020 or E-mailed to [email protected].