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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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BOX STRIKE – A strike which is installed on the exterior of a door frame and which completely houses a lock’s bolt.

BRACE – A hand drill, made of steel rod with wood handles, curved like the outline of a top hat, used with auger and expansion bits for drilling large holes in wood and other soft materials. Electric drills have replaced braces for most commercial uses. Also, the steel bar of a brace lock.

BRACE LOCK – A door lock in which a cylinder and lock body mounted on a door controls a long steel bar, called a brace, which is anchored in a stee1 plate secured to the floor.

BRASS – A yellow-colored alloy of copper and zinc, usually two parts copper to one part zinc. Brass is harder and stronger than copper but still malleable and ductile.

BRIDGE – The plate which supports the wards in some two side locks.

BRIDGE WARD – A type of ward used in two side locks, with a plate, called the bridge, fixed in the center of the lock on cheeks for support.

BROACH – The pin in a lock which enters the barrel of a barrel key.

Also, that part of the stem, or post, of a bit key which enters a socket to support the key as it turns.

BROACHING – A process of shaping an interior hole or slot in metal by pulling through the hole a toothed tool which scrapes away excess material. Broaching with locks is used primarily to form keyways.

BRONZE – An alloy of copper and tin. Usually ninety percent copper, bronze can be rolled and drawn. It is a common finish material on locks.

BUILDING MASTER KEY – A master key which opens most of A Dictionary of Locksmithing 9 the locks in a building.

BULLET – A side groove on the bit of a bit key, parallel to the post, cut into the key to clear a keyhole ward.

BULL NOSE EDGE – A door edge with a radius.

BURGLAR-PROOF – A description which means that entry into a secure area is virtually impossible without either explosives or unlimited time.

BURGLAR-PROOF GUARD RING - A ring of hardened steel installed around the head of a cylinder to prevent prying of the cylinder.

Also called a shield ring.

BURGLAR-PROOF SPINDLE - A tapered or shouldered spindle on a combination lock, either hardened or with hardened pin inserts to prevent punching, pulling or drilling.

BUTT HINGE – A rectangular hinge, one half of which is mortised into the edge of a door, the other half into the door jamb, so that both halves touch when the door is closed. Also called a butt.

CABINET LOCK – A small lock with pin or disc tumblers contained in a horn which is mounted through a hole in a cabinet or other piece of furniture. Cabinet locks are often also semi-mortise locks.

CALIPER – A precision instrument used to measure outside and inside dimensions of small objects, such as key cuts; available with either a vernier scale or a dial scale.

CAM – A piece of metal attached to the rear of a cylinder plug which rotates about the central axis as the correct key turns the plug, and moves the bolt or latch. Sometimes called a tongue.

CAM LOCK – A small cylinder lock, usually with disc tumblers, threaded on the outside circumference of its housing to accept a matching nut for fastening to a case or drawer, with a relatively large cam which acts as its bolt. The housing of a cam lock often has a flat to keep the lock from twisting as the key turns if its nut is loose.

CAP – The removable lid of a lock case, more commonly called the A Dictionary of Locksmithing cover. Also, a formed sheet metal cover, often plated, for the face of a cylinder, especially on certain automobile locks.

CARBIDE TIP DRILL BIT – A drill bit with a tip made of an especially hard material, called carbide, to penetrate especially hard alloys of steel or of steel which has been hardened by heat treatment. CARD ACCESS - A method of opening a lock by inserting a magnetic-coded, wallet-sized card into a slot in place of the traditional key in the keyhole. In some systems the card activates an electrical mechanism which retracts the bolt.

CASE – The housing for a locking mechanism.

CASEMENT DOOR – A hinged door which is mostly glass.

CASEMENT WINDOW – A window with its sash hinged at the side or at the top.

CASE WARD – A ward which is an inseparable part of the case of a warded lock.

CASTING – A method of making objects of a required shape by pouring molten metal into a mold and letting it cool until hard.

CAST PADLOCK – An inexpensive type of padlock in which the case is cast in a mold instead of being extruded, laminated or pressed out of sheet metal.

CATCH – Any of a number of small fasteners.

CATCH BUTTON – The button of a rim night latch which holds the latchbolt in a retracted position.

CHAIN LOCK – A door lock with a length of chain which bolts into a horizontal slot to permit the door to be opened part way for screening visitors.

CHAIN PADLOCK – A padlock with a chain permanently fixed to its case.

CHAMBER – One of a series of holes in either a cylinder plug or a cylinder shell which holds the cylinder’s tumblers and springs. The chambers in the shell are called upper chambers, those in the plug, lower chambers.

CHAMFER – A beveled edge, usually at a 45 degree angle.

A Dictionary of Locksmithing 11 CHANGE – Each different combination which can be set to operate a given type of lock.

CHANGEABLE LEVER – See changeable tumbler.

CHANGEABLE TUMBLER – A combination tumbler used in safe deposit locks in which two geared parts, called the detent and the sweep, can move in relation to one another to change the tumbler setting when released by the change key.

CHANGE KEY – A key which opens and closes only one lock or a group of locks keyed alike, that is, with the same bittings. Also, a special key used to release the inner ring of a key change combination lock when setting the combination. Also, a special key, inserted from the rear, used to release the detents from the sweeps in a changeable tumbler safe deposit lock when changing the combination.

CHANGE KEY PROGRESSION CHART – A chart used to lay out all the combinations possible for the master key system with a given progression sequence. The combinations of bittings for the change keys and the master keys in the system are selected from among the possibilities listed in the change key progression chart. See also progression, progression formula, progression formula chart and progression sequence.

CHANGING INDEX – The index to which a combination is dialed when changing the combination of a combination lock. See opening index.

CHEEK – A support or guide for some moving member of a lock.

CLASSROOM FUNCTION LOCK - A lockset in which inside knob works latchbolt at all times; outside knob works latchbolt except when locked by key.

CLEAN OPENING – A skillful entry into a locked area.

CLEARANCE – The planned space between adjacent parts to allow for inaccuracies, called tolerances, in their manufacture.

CLEVIS – A U-shaped metal link with many uses, one of which is the fixing of a chain to a padlock.

A Dictionary of Locksmithing CLIPPER – Another name for a code cutter.

CLOSED TUMBLER – See traveling lever.

CLOSET FUNCTION LOCK – A lockset in which both knobs work latchbolt; outside key works deadbolt.

CLOSET SPINDLE – A spindle with a turnpiece securely fixed to one end and room for a door knob at the opposite end, for use on the inside of closet doors.

CODE – A series of numbers or letters, representing a particular combination of key cuts, for making a new key for a lock without an existing key to copy. Also called a code number. Code can also mean a listing of code numbers for a particular group of locks, printed in a code book. See also derivative code and direct reading code.

CODE BOOK – A published listing of code numbers and their corresponding combination of key cuts for the locks of various manufacturers to enable a locksmith to cut a key for a coded lock without an existing key to copy and without taking the lock apart.

CODE CUTTER – A hand-operated key machine which cuts keys by punching out the key cuts according to a number of different preset spacings and depths which vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. Also called a clipper.

CODE MACHINE – A motorized key machine designed so that an operator can cut a key for any lock which has a code, without duplicating an existing key. One type of universal key machine uses sets of discs to set up the spacings and depths for the various types of locks. Another type of machine, which can also be used easily to duplicate existing keys, has micrometer settings for both key cut spacing and key cut depth.

CODE NUMBER – See code.

COIL SPRING – A wire spring wound into a helix. A coil spring may be either a compression spring (used in locks as a bolt spring, a pin tumbler spring, etc.) or a tension spring (used in locks to assist various parts to return to their rest positions).

COLD CHISEL – A chisel made of tool steel, an especially hard alA Dictionary of Locksmithing 13 loy, suitable for chipping and cutting cold metals as well as concrete.

Cold chisels are especially helpful in safe work.

COLD DRAWING – See drawing.

COLLAR – See cylinder collar. Also, that portion of a T-handle or an L-handle cabinet lock which is attached to the door and in which the handle pivots and locks (see locking handle). Also, the shoulder of a bit key.

COLLAR WARD – The ward which encircles the round part of a keyhole in a bit key lock and helps support the post of the key. Also, the ward cut on a bit key which corresponds to the collar ward of the lock.

COLOR CODING – Bottom pins and master pins for pin tumbler locks are color-coded for ease of handling. Pin makers color their pins in order of length, repeating their chosen sequence of colors if the number of increments for a given type of lock is greater than the number of colors they are using to dye the pins.

COLORED PIN – See color coding.

COMBINATE – To set tumblers in a lock to match a given series of key cuts; that is, to set a given combination.

COMBINATING – The act of setting the tumblers in a lock to match a given series of key cuts.

COMBINATION – A series of key cuts and a matching series of tumblers set in a lock to permit opening only with the use of a key cut to match the series. Also, the sequence of numbers to which the dial of a combination lock must be turned as a result of the setting of its tumbler wheels.

COMBINATION LOCK – A keyless lock in which notched wheels are turned in a given sequence so that their notches will line up and allow the lock’s bolt to move.



COMBINATION TUMBLER – One of a group of six to eight safe deposit lock lever tumblers which determine the combination of the A Dictionary of Locksmithing renter’s key and part of the combination of the guard key. A combination tumbler may be either a fixed tumbler or a changeable tumbler. See also guard tumbler, trap tumbler; changeable tumbler, fixed tumbler.

COMBINATION WAFER – One of the three types of wafer tumblers of a popular cylindrical lock made by the Schlage Lock Co., designed so that the combination wafer stem falls within the circumference of the plug when there is either no key in the keyway or a key in the keyway which matches the combination set in the plug.

There are four combination wafers used in the lock. See also master wafer, series wafer and wafer tumbler.

COMMUNICATING FUNCTION LOCK – A lockset without key in which both knobs work latchbolt; inside turnpiece works half of split deadbolt; outside turnpiece works other half of split deadbolt.

COMPARATIVE LISTING – A list of the key blank numbers of one manufacturer which shows the corresponding key blank numbers for the same key blanks made by another key blank manufacturer. A number of such listings are usually found in the back of key blank catalogs as an aid to the locksmith in identifying key blanks.

COMPOSITE METAL FACE DOOR – A door with a solid core bonded to a metal facing.

COMPOUND LEVER – A lever tumbler with two lift radii to permit master keying.

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

CONNECTING BAR – Another name for a tailpiece.

CONSTANT – One of the bittings in the locks of a master key system which is the same for every lock in the system. In a well designed master key system at least two of the key cut bittings are constants.

CONSTRUCTION BREAKOUT KEY – A special key, cut for the sole purpose of driving the construction master pins in a series of A Dictionary of Locksmithing 15 locks into side holes, permanently out of the regular pin chambers, so that the construction master keys will no longer work the locks. It insures the new owner against any loss of key control which might have occurred during construction of a building.

CONSTRUCTION MASTER KEY – A key which operates designated cylinders for a temporary period during construction and is rendered inoperative after the first use of the regular change key or of the construction breakout key. Either the regular change key or the construction breakout key will drive the construction master pin into its permanent place in a side hole.

CONSTRUCTION MASTER PIN – A special master pin which permits use of the construction master key during the construction of a building but which slips into a permanent side hole after the first use in the lock of the regular change key or of the construction breakout key.

CONTROL BUTTON – One of two buttons mounted flush with the face plate of a mortise lock for locking and unlocking the outside knob. Pushing in one button pushes out the other and prevents the outside knob or handle from retracting the latch. Pushing in the other button reverses the action of the first button. See stop.

CONTROL KEY – A key which operates the sleeve of an interchangeable core cylinder permitting the core to be withdrawn from the cylinder housing. See also removal key.

CONTROL PIN – A special pin tumbler used in certain interchangeable core cylinders to permit use of a secondary shear line called the control shear line.

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