Safe re-install

Sorry you all–Business has kept me away–so it has been awhile since I have last posted.

I have to move a safe and key drop-off pedestal on Monday for a nation-wide rental car agency–that ought to be fun!

Barring any catastrophes–all should be completed within a day.

It is not my usual forte, but work is work, and I’ll bite!

Hopefully, I will be able to return regularly here soon!

More Later!



Boring Larger Pin Holes in an Aftermarket Cylinder Plug

As the title implies, I came across an off brand lock–a unique looking lock with a very nice finish, but certainly something I had never seen in my 25 years experience.

Funny thing was that when I went to reconfigure the pins in the plug, the normal sized pins were too large a diameter to fit in the tiny holes.

After some careful thought on the matter, I used a drill pit slightly larger than the holes and bored them out, not unlike boring out cylinder heads on an engine (though not as intricate, expensive, or time-consuming).

What do you know–it worked, and my customer was extremely pleased.

Always find ways to analyze the problem from different angles before you give up on a solution–you might surprise yourself, I know I certainly did!

More later!!


Very Heavy Re-Keying Day Whew!

The day starting with removing and rekeying several panic bar rim cylinders for a popular restaurant chain.  I like using replacement ILCO rim cylinders when the locks I rekey have been done one too many times and are in need of replacements.

Several residential jobs in between, and then a Master-key involved rekeying for another restaurant 45 miles away from my shop the finish up the evening.  They also required Neuter-bow (which is a non descript “Bow” or head of the key) keys–with an embossed DO NOT DUPLICATE on the head.  For these types of keys I use BASIKS brand which are quality and of low cost.

A great day of locksmith-related work, and for a change, everything went relatively smooth.

Cheers to all–more later!

Rekeying 1967 Ford Fairlane Door Locks

I dove back into something I have not done in a very long time–rekeying some antique auto door locks for a customer doing restoration.


While I may have been a little rusty doing this sort of work, I found that I recalled a lot of the procedures quite easily even though it has been years since I have done it.

Now I have a finished product and a happy customer!

Maybe I might start selectively taking this kind of work again on a case-by-case basis!

More Later!!


HPC Electro-pick gun

This is mainly for my fellow professionals, but I just had a bank-repo building to do, and I must say that the HPC Electro-pick gun is an absolute must for getting into things fast.

It is also reasonably prices–under $200 last time I looked–and worth every penny!

Don’t leave the shop without it!

Lock work keeping me too busy to post

Shame on me!!

The volume of work in my locksmith business has been picking up–especially on the days when winter weather steps aside and gives us a small glimpse of spring–usually just a minute one–but it promises to tantalize us with even more the closer we reach Spring.


The winter weather also brings to mind the need for us to lubricate our locks on our House doors and our vehicle doors.  I recommend WD-40, or some other silicon based spray, since not only does it lubricate, but it also displaces moisture–something that most lock deicers on the market do NOT do.

Perhaps the only drawback is that it requires lubing every 1-3 months or as needed for your particular application.

Just a thought that occurred while I prepare more content!!






Hello everyone, and here is wishing you all a very Happy and Prosperous New Year for 2018.  Interestingly, my first job for this new year will be tomorrow, changing the combination on a mechanical dial, 3-wheel lock safe.  Initially the call was concerning some problems the owners were having with the safe, and they felt that an adjustment to the dial wheel on the spindle itself might be in order, but there were several issues that made me feel their request was circumspect–chiefly the fact that the problem did not occur for everyone who used the dial–only a few.

As a person who routinely has to use either your personal or company safe, if you are having problems dialing in the combination on your mechanical dial, probably the main problem you might be experiencing is IMPATIENCE. 

If it turns out that ends up being the problem, then the remedy is quite simple–SLOW DOWN–dial the combination slowly, and if there are no other problems with the safe, then typically you will open it on the first time every time.

Generally, mechanical dial safe locks need to be finessed, as you will soon find when you spin the dial roughly and fast that haste REALLY DOES MEAN waste–and you will have to start from scratch each time you misdial the combination to the safe.  Of course, this results in repeated attempts being necessary to finally get the safe open–which can lead to complete frustration–especially when one PRECISION dialing of the combination would have been all that was required, and would have done the trick all along.

For example in a three wheel safe–left-right-left, then SLOWLY right, back to the opening index, where you will ‘feel’ the fence drop into the aligned gates of the wheels might go something like this:

Let us assume the combination is 30-80-50, with an opening index of 10 ticks, when the fence falls in at 15 and pulls the bolt back at 5.

1. Turning left, pass the number 30 3X, landing on it the 4th time.

2. Turning slowly back to the right, pass the number 80, two times, landing on it the third time.

3. Turning slowly back to the left, pass the number 50 ONCE, then land on it the second time.

4. Now turn slowly to the right, and make sure you feel the slight ‘click’ of the fence dropping into the wheel gates at around the number 15, and continue until it stops at about the number 5.  You should be able to now turn the handle and open the safe.

NOTE–if the misdialing problem still persists, and is consistent, then there actually might really be something wrong with the combination lock–either the mechanics are dirty, or are in severe need of lubrication (these two usually go hand-in-hand), or the brass wheels are severely worn.  Older safes usually have these problems.

Fortunately, replacement locks for dial safes are relatively inexpensive, typically ranging form $150-$300 (sometimes more)–this compared to a new safe itself which can sometimes range into the thousands of dollars.  This also depends on the size and type of safe as well.

These new locks usually come with explicit instructions for their installation, but if you are not at all mechanically inclined, than price compare what a good locksmith specializing in safe work charges.  Get a three prices if possible so that you can establish a benchmark for your safe-servicing decision process.

Hopefully tomorrow, my assessment of a safe combination change (it has been over three years for this safe), along with a brief training session of the operators will be all that this safe requires.  I’ll keep you all posted!

Jeff Brown Locksmith

Hello everyone.  I have been a certified Locksmith in my small town, which is near a military base, for 25 years.  Over that time, I have done many residential deadbolt and entry lock installations and rekeys too numerous to count, so I have just a little bit of experience doing it.  I am here to assist you, the visitor, by helping you select what type of lock you would like to install on your home, and hopefully to answer any questions you might have, and finally to help point you in the right direction when making that first initial purchase