Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Locksmith Training Courses | Locksmith Blog

With competition for locksmith and door repairs work increasing on a weekly basis there are more and more locksmiths jumping on the training bandwagon to top up their income.

Just a quick search for locksmith training brings up pages of results varying from large training facilities run by locksmith organisations to random Joes training for peanuts from a garden shed.

Since there is no recognised qualification for locksmithing, a lot of these companies will invent their own certifications to lure in customers seeking to join the profession. Let me first warn anyone reading this that these qualifications are not worth the paper they are written on!

This can make choosing a locksmith training course pretty confusing for a newcomer looking to train so I have decided to point anyone looking in what I believe to be the right direction and offer a little advice.

Safe Lock Opening
Firstly, the larger organisations promote exclusiveness and appear to offer good support to their trainees. This usually comes at a hefty price and annual fees and membership are required to maintain this support. Usually access to work and clients is promised, however many of the members I have spoken to suggest this is only the case for the inner circle and main faces of the organisation with little passed on if any to the newer members.

Now the other end of the spectrum; the locksmith on Ebay offering to teach you the basics for a few hundred quid and a 6 pack of beer... As tempting as this may be it is probably best avoided and I would expect only the bare minimum of lock butchery to be taught here with no access to any specialist tools or equipment that would be used by a professional locksmith.

The inbetweeners  are usually self employed locksmiths that have established a recognised training school and have their own purpose built facility offering the same level of teaching as the exclusive organisations but without all the frills and unnecessary extras. In my opinion these are usually the best locksmith courses as will offer better value for money and not try to sell a load of side orders that you really don't need to buy into.

I have met a lot of locksmiths in my time in the trade and have been a member of numerous forums and clubs and there has always been one name in locksmith training that has always stood out, offering unrivalled post course support and has an enviable following of loyal friends.

Island Locks - Locksmith Training are in my opinion the course to choose, if only for the incredible support you will receive afterwards via the dedicated online locksmiths forum.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

uPVC Lock Repair Problems | Locksmith Blog

For an experienced locksmith, uPVC door lock repairs are usually a straightforward swap of a centre case or fitting a replacement mechanism. Every so often there a small complications that can make this job a little trickier and have you scratching your head and puzzled.

I thought I would share a few scenarios with my fellow locksmiths to see if you have had a similar experience. If not you will sure know what to look for when you do encounter it.

Lockmaster/Paddocks Centre Case Replacements

Have you ever swapped the centre case on a Mila-master/Lockmaster/Paddocks mechanism and found that upon lifting the handle the top hook and bolt will only protrude 95% of the way? This makes it impossible to throw the lock by turning the key.

After much head scratching I solved this mystery which has led me to order a complete locking strip in the past.

The followers on these strips connect to the centre case via a 90 degree bend which drops into a slot inside the gearbox. Continual forcing can cause this 90 degree bend to stretch which in turn throws the top hook slightly out of sync.

To repair clamp behind the bend and tap back into a 90 degree angle and refit the centre case.

Fuhr Lockcases Working But Not Opening

So you installed a new Fuhr mechanism and check it all works, however the door is not opening despite the key unlocking and the handles working as normal.

Sometimes the pins in the lock bolt have not been sealed properly and upon throwing the bolt they can slide out of the end, effectively extending the bolt length.

Resist forcing the door open and using a spreader, shuffle them back inside the lock bolt.

Peen over the ends and/or glue the pins in place to make good.

About Turn Locks Epsom

Unjamming Mechs Without Working Handles

When the spindle gear is broken or missing from a upvc door lock you can effectively unlock it with the key but have no real way to retract the bolts and hooks.

If you have access internally you can remove the handles and retract the bolts with an L shaped wire in the hole the gear sits.

When faced with a lock out situation I have found the best method to retract the hooks is to locate the position of the bottom most locking point using a mica card and then spread the door slightly at that point.

Using a bent screwdriver/wire, manually force the bolts or hooks back inside the lock case.
Since it is all connected all of the bolts will retract with it except for the latch piece which is easily popped with mica or a flat steel prising bar.