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«A DICTIONARY OF LOCKSMITHING By KEITH MAYERS Keith A. Mayers San Diego, CA A Dictionary of Locksmithing ii. NOTE: The user will find information ...»

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TEMPERING – A manufacturing process of controlled heating and cooling whereby metal loses some of the brittleness it gained and gains back some the toughness it lost when hardened.

TEMPLATE – A detailed pattern from which to prepare a door or frame for its hardware.

TENSION SPRING – A spring which stores energy when its ends are stretched apart, as opposed to a compression spring which stores energy when its ends are squeezed together.

TENSION WRENCH – An L-shaped tool made of spring steel strip, used in picking locks to apply pressure to the cylinder plug while manipulating the pins to the shear line. Also called a turning wrench.

THICKNESS – See bit thickness.

THIMBLE – Another name for a plug holder. Also, a rotating socket joined to an escutcheon in which the end of the knob shank turns. Also, that part of a key micrometer which is turned with the fingers to adjust the spindle toward or away from the anvil in measuring a key cut. The key micrometer thimble has a scale graduated in thousandths of an inch. See also anvil, sleeve, spindle.

THREAD – The projecting rib of a screw or bolt which is cut into a piece of rod in a spiral. Also called a screw thread. Many machined parts have threads to fasten them together.

THREAD ESCUTCHEON – A keyhole escutcheon fitted into a wood keyhole flush with the front so that a narrow band outlines the keyhole; in effect, a keyhole liner.

THRESHOLD – A piece of wood or stone which lies directly under the bottom edge of a closed door. Also called a sill.

THROAT – The space between the shoulder of a bit key and the nearest edge of the bit. A throat is left on the key to allow the bit to clear the cover of the lock case.

THROAT CUT – The rectangular key cut, closest to the bow of a A Dictionary of Locksmithing flat key, which allows the key to clear the cover of a lever lock when turned.

THROW – The total travel distance of a bolt. The length of a bolt outside its lock when fully extended, measured from the face plate to the end of the bolt. Throw is often called shoot when it refers to a springbolt.

THRUST KEY – Another name for a push key. THUMB BIT - See thumbpiece.

THUMBPIECE – That part of a mortise door handle lockset which is depressed by the thumb to retract the springlatch. Also called a thumb bit.

THUMB TURN – A small T-shaped handle for locking and unlocking a bolt or latch. Also called a turn knob or turnpiece.

TIME LOCK – A special lock used on large safes and bank vaults with a heavy bolt which blocks the main bolts of the safe or vault.

When the time lock is on guard (that is, when it is locked), no one can open the door, even with the correct combinations and keys, short of destroying the door, until the specified time set on the lock has elapsed. Time locks usually have at least two clock mechanisms to prevent lockout in case one of them should break down.

TIP – The end of the key opposite the bow.

TOE – The end of a padlock shackle which separates from the case when the padlock is opened.

TOE-LOCKING PADLOCK – A padlock with a shackle held locked by a bolt at the free, or toe, end.

TOLERANCE – The maximum allowable deviation, larger or smaller, from the specified size of a machined part.

TONGUE – Another name for the cam of a cylinder plug.

TOP FLY – The combination lock fly closest to the drive cam, with an enlarged lug to engage the lug on the drive cam.

TOP LEVEL MASTER KEY – The most universal master key in a large master key system which operates all the locks keyed to the system.

A Dictionary of Locksmithing 71 TOP MASTER BITTING – The bitting combination from which a given master key system is derived.

TOP PIN – An upper pin in a pin tumbler cylinder which crosses the shear line to prevent the plug from turning until raised by the correct key. A top pin is usually flat on both ends with a slight chamfer along each diameter. Also called driver or upper pin.

TOP PIN SEATER – A pair of pin tumbler tweezers with an Lshaped piece of wire positioned above the dual hollows near the tips of each prong for pushing pin tumblers, especially top pins, into place in their chambers.

TRAILING FACE – The side of a door from which the hinge knuckles can be seen when the door is shut. See also leading face.

TRAP LEVER – A lever in a changeable lever tumbler safe deposit lock which blocks entrance of the change key when the renter’s key is withdrawn. Also, a lever which blocks entrance of the change key in some combination padlocks.

TRAP TUMBLER – A special type of safe deposit lock lever tumbler with a vertical slot above the gate to block the change key unless raised by a matching key cut on the renter’s key, the guard key or the neutral key. The trap tumbler is placed first on the curb post so that it is closest to the change key hole. See also guard tumbler and combination tumbler.

TRAVELING LEVER – A lever tumbler which is attached to a post on a lock bolt and which moves with the bolt. The fence in a lock with traveling levers is fixed to the lock case. Also called an enclosed tumbler or a closed tumbler.

TRIM – Another name for an escutcheon. Also, any lock fittings, either ornamental or protective.

TRUNNION – A swivel keyway in a safe deposit lock machined to fit in the horn and to support the key without interfering with the action of the levers. Also sometimes called a driver.





TRYOUT KEYS – Sets of keys, cut to various combinations for automobile locks, with depths between the standard bitting increments A Dictionary of Locksmithing so that by trying a limited number of pre-cut keys and manipulating them in a lock’s keyway, the lock can be opened.

TUBE – A part of some safe combination locks which surrounds the spindle to keep the safe insulation out and to connect the dial ring to the inner mechanism.

TUBE HORN – A horn on certain safe combination locks on which a tube is mounted to coordinate the dial ring with the case and the lock’s inner workings.

TUBULAR DEADLOCK – See auxiliary cylindrical lock.

TUBULAR KEY – A key for an ACE lock, shaped as a cylinder, with semi-circular key cuts drilled in a circle along the circumference of the face, with their depths perpendicular to the face.

TUBULAR LOCK – A name sometimes inappropriately given to the auxiliary cylindrical lock and, also, to the ACE lock because of its tubular key.

TUMBLER – A movable obstruction in a lock cylinder which keeps the plug from turning until it and its mates are lined up at the shear line or fence by the key during locking and unlocking.

TUMBLER FLY – See fly.

TUMBLER GAGE – See decoder gage.

TUMBLER WHEEL – See wheel.

TUMBLER SPRING – A small spring, either flat or coiled, for putting pressure on lock tumblers to maintain a lock’s security.

TURNING WRENCH – Another name for a tension wrench.

TURN KNOB – Another name for a thumb turn.

TURNPIECE – Another name for a thumb turn.

TWO SIDE KEY – A key for a two side lock, often with either a collar or an eccentricity to prevent the bit from being pushed through to the other side of the door.

TWO SIDE LOCK – A rim or mortise lock with a keyhole in both the case and the cap, for locking and unlocking from both sides of a door.

A Dictionary of Locksmithing 73 UNASSOCIATED CHANGE KEY – A key set for use with unassociated master keys in a specially designed master key system, but not controlled by the system’s regular master keys.

UNASSOCIATED MASTER KEY – A special master key in a specially designed multi-level master key system which is set to operate locks anywhere in the system without cross-keying. An unassociated master key can have special changes connected with it which are independent of the rest of the system. Akin to selective master keys.

UNCONTROLLED CROSS-KEYING – Two or more change keys under different master keys to operate one cylinder, greatly reducing the number of changes available to the system and increasing the number of master pins (which mean less security).

UNIT-DESIGN LOCK – A lock which needs no disassembly for proper installation in a cutout in a door.

UNIVERSAL DEVICE – A lock, door closer or other fitting which fits either left-hand or right-hand doors.

UNSHAVED BLADE – A key blade with a flat bottom edge which forms a ninety degree angle with the sides. Most replacement key blanks have unshaved blades. See also shaved blade.

UPPER PIN – See top pin.

UPRIGHT LOCK – A lock mounted so that its largest dimension is vertical and so that the handle and the keyhole are in the same vertical line.

UTILITY LOCK – A small cylinder lock, usually used on metal cabinets, chests and drawers, with a cam in the rear to act directly as a bolt and with a flat area on at least one side of the housing to keep the cylinder from turning in its mounting hole.

VACANT BOX KEY – Another name for a safe deposit lock neutral key.

VAULT – A room made of heavy armored steel plate and concrete with a massive steel door controlled by precision combination locks, A Dictionary of Locksmithing and, usually, a time lock, used mostly in banks for holding large sums of money and valuables. Most bank vaults include a group of safe deposit boxes for customers to store their valuables in. Called a strong room in England.

VAULT ATTENDANT – A bonded bank employee in charge of safe deposit boxes and their guard keys. Also called a custodian.

VAULT LOCK WHEEL PACK – A set of wheels, flies, tension washers and a wheel bridge, which allows for right-hand (RH), left-hand (LH), and locked-on-by-combination (LOBC) combination changes for a vault combination lock. See wheel pack.

VENEERED FRONT – A decorative plate permanently fixed over a primary front plate of a lock of usually inferior material.

VERNIER SCALE – A short scale, named after the sixteenth century French mathematician Pierre Vernier, designed to slide along the divisions of a graduated instrument, such as a caliper, so that parts of the division are determined by observing which line of the short scale coincides with a line of the larger scale.

WAFER – A wafer tumbler. Also, a name sometimes given to master pins and to control pins because of their usual short length.

WAFER TUMBLER – One of the eight special disc tumblers used in the plug of a popular cylindrical lockset made by the Schlage Lock Co. There are three series wafers, four combination wafers and one master wafer in each such lock, under normal conditions. The series and the combination wafers can be changed to any of fourteen positions in seven slots for different combinations. See also combination wafer, master wafer and series wafer. The name, wafer tumbler, is sometimes used indiscriminately to refer to the disc tumbler in general.

WARD – An obstruction or projecting ridge of metal in a lock case or keyhole which guards against entry of all but keys with matching grooves. See also bridge ward, collar ward, fine ward, hook ward, nib ward, peg ward, sash ward, solid ward and wheel ward.

A Dictionary of Locksmithing 75 WARD CUT – A key cut in the end of a bit key made to bypass the wards of the lock. The clearance key cut for a ward.

WARD CUTTER – A special key machine cutting wheel which can be used on some key machines to make ward cuts in the ends of the bits of bit keys.

WARDED KEY – A bit key with grooves cut to bypass obstructions in the keyway of a warded lock.

WARDED LOCK – A lock with wards.

WARDED PADLOCK – A laminated padlock in which some of the laminations, called ward plates, form obstructions against improper keys.

WARDING FILE – A thin, rectangular file, with a taper toward the point, used for making the ward cuts in keys.

WARD PLATE – One of the laminations of a laminated, warded padlock with a slot cut into it to allow a key of the correct dimensions to pass but which prevents the key from turning to open the lock unless it has key cuts corresponding to the position of the ward plate in the lock body.

WHEEL – One of the circular, notched tumblers on a combination lock. There are two basic types of wheels, the key change wheel and the hand change wheel.

WHEEL ARM – Another name for a lever on a key change combination lock tumbler wheel.

WHEEL CURB – A circular metal guard surrounding the wheels of combination locks in some safes which makes forced entry more difficult.

WHEEL PACK – A set of wheels, fliers, spacers and washers which control the combination of a combination lock. See also vault lock wheel pack.

WHEEL POST – The post on which the wheels of a combination lock turn.

WHEEL WARD – A type of ward fixed to the lock case of a barrel key lock and made of sheet metal bent into a circle so that key cuts A Dictionary of Locksmithing parallel to the post of the key are needed to permit the key to turn.

WIDTH – See bit width.

WIDTH OF CUT – The distance between the two points where the slopes of a key cut meet the top edge of the key blade.

WING – Another name for the bit of a bit key. Also, one of two projections on a metal plate attached to a night latch thumb turn which serves to retract the latch when the thumb turn is turned. Also, one of two projections on a metal plate which transfers the motion of the connecting bar through the night latch back plate to retract the latch when the key is turned. Wings are similar in function to the horns of a hub.

WING KEY – Another name for a bit key.

WROUGHT CASE PADLOCK – A padlock with a body formed by rolling, hammering or drawing a sheet of metal.

YOKE – That part of a mortise lockset which connects the knob to the latchbolt. Also, a part in certain mortise locksets which enables a single set screw to secure either two cylinders or one cylinder and a thumb turn at the same time.



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