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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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CONTROL SHEAR LINE – The secondary shear line of certain interchangeable cores which controls the sleeve and its locking lug and thereby the removal of the core from its cylinder. The control shear line is the gap between the sleeve and the cylinder housing. A special key, called the control key, lifts the pins so that the control pins line up at the control shear line and permit the sleeve to turn and the locking lug to retract. See also operating shear line.

A Dictionary of Locksmithing CONTROLLED CROSS-KEYING – Two or more keys under the same master key to operate one cylinder.

CONVERSION CODE – Another name for a derivative code.

CORE – Another name for a cylinder lock plug. Also, an interchangeable core or a removable core.

CORRUGATED KEY – A steel key with ridges and valleys stamped along the blade, parallel to the edges, to match a keyway.

COVER – A removable lid of a lock case. Also called a cap or, in a safe deposit lock, the horn plate.

COVER ARM – A part of a combination lock which raises the lever during combination changing so that the drive wheel can turn.

COVERED ESCUTCHEON – A keyhole escutcheon with a cover.

Also called a drop escutcheon.

CRANK – A part of some mortise locksets which pivots on a post and transmits turning motion from the hub of the lock to the bolt.

CREMONE BOLT – A full length two-piece sliding bolt, operated by a central handle, which locks a door or window into its frame at both the top and the bottom.

CROSS-KEYING – The keying of locks so that two or more different change keys will operate one lock. Cross-keying is usually found in master key systems. Called cross suiting or interpassing in England.

CROSS SUITING – A British name for cross-keying.

CURB POST – A post, or stump, attached to the case of a safe deposit lock and on which the tumblers pivot.

CUSTODIAN – Another name for a vault attendant.

CUSTOMER’S KEY – An alternate name for a safe deposit box renter’s key.

CUT – See key cut.

CUTTER – Another name for a key machine cutting whee1.

CUTTING WHEEL – The circular cutting tool for a key machine.

Also called a cutter. See also milling cutter, rotary file cutter, slotting cutter, side milling cutter.

A Dictionary of Locksmithing 17 CYLINDER – The housing, plug and tumblers in certain pin and disc tumbler locks. Also, the cylinder housing itself. Cylinders are generally circular in shape but not necessarily perfectly round.

CYLINDER COLLAR – A decorative plate used between the head of a cylinder and a door. Also called a cylinder ring, a spacing collar and, simply, a collar.

CYLINDER GUARD – A plate installed in front of a cylinder to help prevent the wrenching of the cylinder from a door.


CYLINDER KEY – A key which fits a cylinder lock. See also paracentric key.

CYLINDER KEY FILE – A special diamond-shaped file with two of its four angles formed to the included angle of a standard cylinder key keycut. Also called a keymaker’s file.

CYLINDER LOCK – A lock for which the bolt is controlled by a cylinder.

CYLINDER RING – A decorative and sometimes tamper-proof, tapered collar which fits between the face of a cylinder and the door.

Sometimes called a cylinder rose. See also cylinder collar.

CYLINDER ROSE – See cylinder ring.

CYLINDER SCAR PLATE – A plate used to cover oversized, chipped, cracked or scarred cylinder holes.

CYLINDER SET SCREW – The screw which holds a cylinder in place in its lock (usually a threaded cylinder in a mortise lockset).

CYLINDRICAL LATCH – See cylindrical lockset.

CYLINDRICAL LOCKSET – A lockset with the plug, the tumblers and the housing contained in the knob. Also called a key-inthe-knob lock, a lock-in-the-knob or, sometimes, a cylindrical latch.

See also lock function.

DEADBOLT – A lock bolt without spring action, operated by a key or by a thumb turn.

DEADLATCH – See deadlocking latch.

A Dictionary of Locksmithing DEAD LIFT LEVER – A lever tumbler with a gate cut as high as possible through the bar so that in its rest position the gate is in line with the fence. Any lifting of a dead lift lever will block the bolt.

DEADLOCK – A lock with a deadbolt but with no other bolt or latch.

DEADLOCKING LATCH – A latch or springbolt with a small antithrust bar mounted alongside, parallel to the main latch, which resists forcing. Also called an anti-shim springbolt, a deadlatch or, occasionally, an anti-pick latch.

DECODER GAGE – A gage used in reading the combinations of certain locks. Also called a tumbler gage. See also reading.

DECODING – Any of a number of techniques for determining the combination of a key, such as 1) searching through a code listing when a code number is known, 2) reading the size of the key cuts by micrometer, 3) reading the size of the key cuts with a depth gage, 4) reading the lock.

DEPARTMENT MASTER KEY – A master key which allows one department of an organization to open all locks to which it should have access, no matter where the locks are located.

DEPTH AND SPACING GUIDE CHART – A chart which shows the number of increments a manufacturer uses, the size of each increment, the spacing between each key cut and the spacing between the shoulder of the key and the first key cut. Depth and spacing guide charts list manufactuers’ specifications for most popular locks.

DEPTH GAGE – See key depth gage.

DEPTH GUIDE – Another name for the key guide on a key machine. DEPTH KEY - One of a series of keys precut to the spacing and increment specifications of a given lock manufacturer to aid in cutting keys by code. Also called depth and spacer keys or guide keys, or depth and spacing keys.

DEPTH OF KEY CUT – The distance between the top edge of an uncut key blade and the root of the key cut.

DERIVATIVE CODE – A code series which uses the same list of A Dictionary of Locksmithing 19 combinations as some other code series and for which the individual codes are obtained by adding or subtracting a fixed number from the other code series. Also called a conversion code. See also code and direct reading code.

DETECTOR LEVER – See detector lock.

DETECTOR LOCK – A lever lock with a special lever tumbler, called a detector lever, which, when lifted by a false key or by a lock pick, will catch in its lifted position and prevent the bolt from moving so that the owner can tell that someone has tampered with the lock.

DETENT – The upper lever of a safe deposit lock changeable tumbler, with teeth which separate from matching teeth in the lower lever, called the sweep, when the change key is turned. When the detent and the sweep are separated, the sweep can move to a new setting for a different renter’s key.

DIAL – A combination lock part, calibrated by number, which is turned in a set sequence to a certain combination of numbers to open a combination lock.

DIAL CALIPER – A caliper on which fine gradations of size are read on a dial instead of on a straight line vernier scale.

DIAL RING – The safe combination lock part which encircles the dial and on which the various indexes are stamped. See also opening index, changing index and L.O.B.C. index.

DIE – The larger of two matched cutting tools which supports material to be cut while the smaller tool, called the punch, shears the material and discards the scrap through a similarly shaped hole in the die. Also, a cutting tool with internal cutting threads for cutting external threads on round shafts. Also, a form for making castings.

DIECASTING – A form of casting in which molten metal is poured into a die to give it shape.

DIE STAMPS – Hardened steel stamps shaped as letters and figures, used by locksmiths to impress codes onto the bows of keys.

Locksmiths also use special stamps for master keying, “Do Not DuA Dictionary of Locksmithing plicate” and “Master.” DIFFER – The British name for bitting.

DIRECT DIGIT CODE – Another name for a direct reading code.

DIRECT READING CODE – A special code in which a lock’s combination is apparent in the numbers selected for the code. Special instructions are usually needed to decipher the combination from the code. For example, a direct reading code may contain the combination of key cuts in reverse order.

DISC TUMBLER – One of a number of spring-loaded flat plates positioned in slots in a cylinder plug. The disc tumblers project across a shear line until retracted by a properly cut key which overcomes spring pressure and allows the plug to turn in its housing.

Disc tumbler gates are either rectangular punchings in the centers of the discs or notches in the sides.

DISPLAY KEY – A key which permits the occupant of a room to lock the door from the outside against the use of all other keys except an emergency key; used in hotels.

DIVIDED BOLT – A two-piece deadbolt in a communicating door lock. One half of a divided bolt can be worked from one side of the door only, the other half of the bolt from the other side of the door only.

DOG – A lock part which holds another part in place in some locks or prevents its movement. See locking dog.

DOGGING KEY – A wrench with a hexagonally shaped cross section on its business end, used to release a retracted panic bolt. Also called a dog key.

DOOR BEVEL – The inside-to-outside angle of the lock edge of a door. The common bevel for heavy doors—one-eighth of an inch for every two inches—is needed so that the leading edge of the door will clear the frame in a close fit. See also lock bevel.

DOOR CHECK – Another name for a door closer. Also, a device used along with spring hinges to prevent the slamming of a door.

DOOR CLOSER – A device used to automatically complete the A Dictionary of Locksmithing 21 closing of a hinged door once the door has been pushed by hand.

Usually a strong spring enclosed in a cylinder pulls the door closed while a piston pushing oil through a vent hole retards the closing to prevent slamming.

DORMITORY FUNCTION LOCK – A lockset in which inside knob works both latchbolt and deadbolt and unlocks outside knob at all times; outside knob works latchbolt except when locked by outside key; both inside turnpiece and outside key work deadbolt.

DOUBLE ACTING DOOR – A door with a pivot hinge which swings ninety degrees in either direction.

DOUBLE ACTING TUMBLER – The common lever tumbler with a gate connecting two pockets. If the lever tumbler is either too high or too low, the fence cannot pass through the gate and the bolt will not open. See also single acting tumbler.

DOUBLE BEVELED EDGE – A door edge beveled to the center from each edge.

DOUBLE-BITTED CYLINDER – A cylinder with a series of disc tumblers, held together in a pack, which follow the wave pattern of the cylinder’s key in order to clear the shear line of the lock.

DOUBLE-BITTED KEY – A key with key cuts along both edges of its blade. Also called a double-sided key. See also single-bitted key.

DOUBLE BOLT LOCK – A lock with two bolts, usually deadbolts.

DOUBLE CUSTODY LOCK – A safe deposit lock which opens only when two different renter’s keys are used in sequence.

DOUBLE CUT – Two adjacent key cuts of the same depth, often with a closer spacing than the other key cuts of the key, without an obstruction to divide the two key cuts.

DOUBLE D PUNCH AND DIE SET – A punch and die set for cutting holes to accept cam locks which are round except for two flat areas opposite one another. See also single D punch and die set.

DOUBLE HORN LOCK – A lever tumbler safe deposit lock with two keyway tubes, called horns, projecting out of the front of the A Dictionary of Locksmithing lock, one for the renter’s key and one for the guard’s key.

DOUBLE-SIDED KEY – A key with key cuts along both edges, sometimes to work two sets of tumblers but often so that the key will work a single set of tumblers no matter which edge is up. Also called a double-bitted key.

DOUBLE THROW LOCK – A lock which needs two revolutions of its key to extend its bolt completely and two revolutions to retract the fully extended bolt.

DOUBLE WING KEY – A wing, or bit, key with two bits, often on opposite sides of the post.

DRAWBACK LOCK – A rim lock with a sliding handle, called a drawback handle, to retract the springbolt.

DRAWING – A process whereby a cold metal bar takes its size and shape from the opening in a die through which it is pulled. Also called cold drawing. Wire is usually cold drawn.

DRIFT PUNCH – A round tool with a blunt point for driving nails and pins when struck with a hammer. See pin punch.

DRILL BIT – A cutting tool with an edged or pointed end which makes holes when turned at the correct speed into a piece of material, such as wood or metal. The main types of drill bits are twist drills, spade bits and auger bits.

DRILL PIN – Another name for a barrel post.

DRIVE CAM – Another name for the drive wheel.

DRIVER – Another name for a top pin. Also, another name for the trunnion of a safe deposit lock. Also, another name for the drive wheel of a combination lock.

DRIVER PIN – The lug on the drive wheel of a combination lock which engages the tumblers as the combination is dialed. Also, another name for the top pin in a pin tumbler lock.

DRIVE WHEEL – The small wheel in a combination lock, connected directly to the tumbler post, which engages the tumbler wheels by means of a lug, called a driver pin, as the combination is dialed. The drive wheel is also called a driver.

A Dictionary of Locksmithing 23 DROP ARM – Another name for the lever of a combination lock to which the fence is attached.

DROP BOTTOM COMBINATION LOCK – A combination lock in which the lever nose is pushed into the notch of the drive cam from the bottom of the lock by a counterweight, when the notch and the nose are lined up.

DROP ESCUTCHEON – A key plate with a pivoted keyhole covering.

DUCE’S SPINDLE – A square door spindle threaded at one end and used with a Mace’s rose.

DUMMY CYLINDER – A cylinder with no working parts, used for appearance, such as to make a lock installation symmetrical on a pair of double doors or to hide the removal of a lock by a previous tenant of an apartment.

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