Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Repairing Euro lock cases | Locksmith Blog

inside euro lock case

I recently spoke with a locksmith friend that works as a local locksmith who encountered a common problem whilst servicing a particular brand of lock installed all over a large office block that he manages.

These locks were oval profile mortice sash locks.

If you aren't familiar with this type of lock they usually work by throwing the bolt which is then locked into place by a single lever.

The problem this locksmith kept encountering involved the spring steel lever spring fracturing.
This causes the bolt of the lock to fall between open and closed if the key is turned to quickly.

When the user comes to unlock the door they find it wont work as the euro cam is trapped in the wrong part of the lock case by the intermittent bolt position.

So i put this question up on one of the locksmith forums i use and here's the fix that was recommended by one of the veteran locksmiths:

"replace the lever spring". LOL
I never realised you could buy spare lever springs to make repairs like this and it is going to save a lot of hassle ordering a new lock case and of course the extra cost.

It is simply a case of inserting the new lever spring into the groove and peening over the metal to hold it tight.

Carefully bend the lever spring into position and try to get the majority of the bend in the first half inch so that it isn't too highly sprung at the other end which could cause it to jump out of position.

If the lock is beyond repair and a new case is required then try and order a superior model such as the Walsall ACE lockcase recommended to me by Walsall locksmiths. These incorporate a heavy duty machined piece to hold the bolts position as opposed the the lesser quality sprung lever as pictured above.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Best anti-snap lock for a upvc door? | Locksmith Blog

Since the lock snapping technique was made publicon the internet and on various television broadcasts, lock manufacturers have all jumped on the bandwagon to ensure they have a product on the market that meets the required standards.

Publicising something like this has a knock on effect across the entire door and security industry, door manufacturers start looking for anti-snap locks to sell as standard with their doors, locksmiths start getting requests from concerned homeowners, insurance standards change requiring uprated locks on their customers properties.... the list goes on.

A few years ago you were limited to a few brands that offered an antisnap version of their cylinders, now they are popping up left right and center and its difficult to know which lock to choose.

Each has pro's and con's and Wolverhampton Locksmiths all have their own opinion on which is the best lock and which locks they choose to keep in stock.

There seem to be two distinct styles of antisnap lock:

The sacrificial portion locks have a machined in weak spot so that any attempt to snap the lock out of the door will result in half breaking away leaving the rest embedded securely' in the door.
This design is favourable as should leave the lock in working order and make it accessible to the owner or locksmith.

The reinforced  locks usually have some form of hardened spines or backbone to make the traditional snapping method more difficult.
Whilst superior to the sacrificial lock in this sense it usually ends up worst for wear after a lock snapping attempt leaving the lock well and truly stuck in the door and none functional. These can be quite difficult to remove and may have also caused the gearbox in the mech to have been bent since all the force prying is transfered to the weaker casement.

This with the addition to the anti drill properties of most of these anti snap locks has made gaining entry to faulty or jammed doors extremely difficult for locksmiths however whether or not it reduces the amount of break ins has yet to be proven and although a good deterrant do not stop a crook putting a brick through the window or gaining access via other means.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Rogue Customers - Locksmith Blog

Rogue traders get plenty of exposure in the news and on television however it seems the rogue customers are free to cause as much trouble as possible without any kind of exposure.

Working as a self employed locksmith brings me into contact with rogue customers on a regular basis.

One of my more recent 'customers' was locked out.
Naturally as a 24 hour locksmith I dropped everything and drove the ten mile to the home of the customer who lived in an apartment block.

Now upon arrival there are several apartment blocks in this particular street and hard to distinguish in the pitch black so i call to ask for further directions only to be told "oh it doesn't matter now we managed to get in...." (Insert cursing words here)

I know the sure fire way to avoid this kind of scenario is to take card payment up front, but firstly you need the equipment to do so and I think it may put off some customers.

You could demand payment for your time and have a good old argument about it however being a small self employed locksmith leaves you vulnerable to hoax calls and further trouble so i find its best to bite your lip and move on.

Then there are the customers that want to haggle after the work is complete.

This usually happens on those jobs you have already quoted at a reduced price for friends of friends or on particularly quiet weeks.

I am all for haggling beforehand, its natural for a customer to try and get the best deal, in any trade not just locksmiths.Then there are customers that fall into the down right criminal category, usually larger companies that think they don't have to pay the small guy and will fight to the last straw to avoid parting with a penny.

A recent post on a locksmith forum shows the trouble and financial problems a large customer can cause. Fortunately for this chap he had his day in court and won!
I know a locksmith in Walsall that was recently swindled by a squatter claiming to live at a property.They had all relevant ID and utility bills linking them to the property so access was gained and locks changed.

A few weeks later the cheque bounced and the customer upon further investigation through the letting agent turned out to be a serial fraudster named Tina Patel.

So i guess my main gripe is that the spotlight is always on the tradesmen, when in fact there are far more 'rogues' and crooked customers out there waiting to rip off the next self employed guy that doesn't have the bottle or time to defend himself and I think its about time Domonic Littlewood and all his cronies start to fight for the victims on the other side of the coin for once instead of tarnishing good reputations.