Have You Ever Wondered What Locksmiths Do In Their Spare Time?
A blog about the workshop that I attended to gain further training in various locksmith techniques.
Have you ever wondered what locksmiths get up to in their spare time? Well I thought I would update my blog as I have not had the time over the last few weeks and let you know about the locksmith training I’ve been doing recently. My aim is to keep training to be considered the best locksmith there is in Glasgow.
Last month an email popped in informing me of an open weekend being held at Keyprint in Edinburgh. As I had not attended the last one I thought I might pop along on the Sunday, so I filled out the necessary forms and received my confirmation email right away.I was looking forward to this as it gave me the opportunity to meet fellow locksmiths and to also try out some new non-destructive opening tools.
In the locksmith industry the term “try before you buy” is gospel and as these tools cost hundreds of pounds each the chance to get hands on with them before parting with a fair chunk of cash is a must.At the event there were many well knows manufacturers of locksmith tools but the ones I was interested in were manufactured by GJ Locks, Ultim8 tools.
There were several 1-hour courses I could select but I went for the ones most relevant to my working week. I opted for the non-destructive entry of British standard 3-star euro cylinders. This course was being held by Steve from Ultim8 tools, a master locksmith with 30 years’ experience.
The 2nd course I enrolled in was the non-destructive entry to mortice locks using decoders:
- Decoding the Securefast old and new
- Decoding the Era Fortress
- Decoding the Union Strongbolt
- Decoding the Chubb 3U
- Decoding the new Yale British standard mortice locks
First up was the course with Steve at Ultim8 tools.
Avocet ABS Lock Demo
He demonstrated their pick for the Avocet ABS lock. This lock is a British standard Sold secure police and insurance approved lock. It does not get any higher accreditation than that yet armed with this pick he was getting the lock open consistently in minutes. A nice tool and so easy to use.
I must confess I have used this tool before when I attended a 4-day course in January at MPL in Wakefield, so I knew how it worked and I also knew the times and results possible.
Next up from Ultim8 was their Brisant Ultion pick. Brisant offer £1000 if this lock is defeated via lock snapping. Again this lock is as good as it gets with regards to accreditation.
Now I can pick these locks (sometimes) however with their tool “sometimes” does not come into it. It’s so easy to use and the results are superb. We got a play with both picks and I have to say I am impressed by both.
Time for a quick bite to eat which Keyprint had so generously prepared then it was on to the non-destructive entry part of the day.
I was keen to go to this course as I am going down to Leeds 15th/16th September for some training with the man himself Geraint Jones of GJ Locks and as I already own several of his tools I thought this a good opportunity to fine tune my picking skills.
Chubb 3U Mortice Locks Demo
First up was the older Chubb 3U mortice locks. These locks are years old but have been upgraded throughout their lifetime, so it was interesting finding out how to differentiate old from new.
The trainer demonstrated the non-destructive opening technique using the safe ventures pin and cam decoder. He had the lock open in no time with no damage. The safe ventures pin and cam decoder lets you make a makeup key once the lock levers have been read which enables you to open the lock. If the client has lost the keys and has no spare key, then with the make up key you can cut a spare key and the lock can then continue its stellar service.
GJ Locks Fortress Decoder Demo
Next up was the GJ Locks Fortress decoder. This decoder also decodes the Union strongbolt and the new Yale British standard locks. I have one of these decoders but if I am being honest some of the readings I get are not so accurate. The decoder was demonstrated by a MLA member and it opened the lock without any problems. I will get a through demonstration at the weekend when I am down on my course. These decoders are very expensive and it’s a tough call when buying them as you might never see that specific lock that the decoder works on.
It’s also worth noting that any locksmith tool you buy you cannot just stick it in the back of the van until it’s needed. Every locksmith tool I have takes hours, days and weeks to master. Practice as they say does make perfect.
Author: Denis Maguire