Jul04

It seems there’s a lack of things to write about at the moment in the industry with a lack of locks and tools for me to review. I have seen however the new zoo range which are copies of the Chubb/Union 114 and 3k75 ect which I will certainly get my hands on to do a review very shortly. I know a few people who have tried them and so far the feedback I’ve heard is good but only time will tell if the they are as reliable and robust as the original Chubb/Unioun versions.  Also not sure if I’ve mentioned it before but awaiting a new tool from GJ lock tools which is still in the making but sounds good so can’t wait to get hold of one and have a play with it and do a review about it. Not sure if I can mention what it is at the moment though so I won’t!

So I’ve been mad busy again the last month or two but unfortunately not all with private work :-( contract work has remained at a good level but it’s meant travelling all over the country. Basically going where the money is, even went to Wales for a couple of days and stayed over night. Some people in fact most people think it’s crazy to go such huge distances to work as most locksmiths don’t travel very far but to be honest I’ve got used to it and now don’t mind it too much. At first I was like the majority of other local locksmiths Leeds and thought travelling more than 20 miles to a job wasn’t worth it but the way I see it now is what’s the point sitting around waiting for the phone to ring when I can be out doing guaranteed work even if it does mean travelling. Then I try to sub out any private work that comes in that I can’t get to in time. Obviously if I’m busy and a customer has a non emergency job that will wait until a time when I’m free I save the job and do it myself and usually try to save a few up so I can have a decent day doing them one after the other. I’m not constantly working away and travelling all over though and a lot of the contract type work I do is still fairly localised. Every locksmith and every locksmith business in Leeds is different though, and what works for one might not work for another! Although I cant help but think if I put as much time and effort into getting more private work that would be better in the long run. Its always going to be hard to find a balance between the two but I’m going to have to try!

I’ve had some highs and lows with lock openings on warrants over the last month or so. One which really sticks in my mind was an era Vectis which 3 people had tried opening on different occasions and failed. I used GJ lock tools decoder and opened it in around 10 minutes which felt unbelievable after the warrant officer said he didn’t think anybody was ever going to get it open! Also picked a couple of ABS locks, Millenco Magnum, Yale 3 star and 2 GEGE restricted thumb turns. As we all know though you shouldn’t get complacent, after opening some difficult locks I spent 45 minutes trying to open a bog standard Yale euro! I tried EPG, manual pick gun, bumping and single pin picking and I just couldn’t get the bugger to open. Thankfully we didn’t have a lot of jobs on that day so I was able to spend time on it. On a busier day I would of probably being asked to drill the lock a lot sooner. Eventually it picked but in the wrong direction, I don’t think I’ve ever been as nervous about plug spinning a lock before I had visions of it resetting the plug but it did work so I breathed a huge sigh of relief. It just goes  show you can be caught out by any type of lock any time especially when you get complacent. Over the past couple of months I have ended up drilling and replacing a couple of locks which is still not bad considering I sometimes attend about 40 warrants a week. I think my total is 5 lock changes this year so far so I don’t think that’s too bad at all.

I need to give a mention to a friend who runs a website called Special Keys. They manufacture and supply bump keys. I decided to get some bump keys for locks I find difficult to pick just to speed things up a bit when on site and to give me another option on top of picking. One thing I really like about special keys is they allow you to put together your own sets of bump keys so you only end up with the keys that you actually want. Some other suppliers sell huge sets of bump keys and only 50% are for common locks you see every day and the other 50% are for obscure locks and seem a bit of a waste of money. The main question as with all tools is, do they work? Yes they do! Or so far they do, I’ve tried the mila 5 pin which worked really well and opened the lock in around 30 seconds, I’ve used the universal 6 pin to open a Carl F which took about a minute and lastly I got a Yale AS bump key for the anti snap Yale but as the Yale AS Platinum uses the same key blank I gave it a try on one of those which are supposed to be anti bump and it worked! The only problem is it’s never worked on the AS Platinum again since but it’s important to remember this bump key isn’t even advertised as being able to open the platinum it’s actually for the older Yale anti snap.

That’s it it for today thanks for reading and  hope everybody keeps busy!

 

 

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