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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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DUMMY LEVER – A stationary, gated lever in a safe deposit lock with neither spring nor lift radius.

DUMMY PLATE – One of the laminations of a laminated padlock which has a clearance hole for the key to pass through and which serves to fill out the body of the padlock.

DUMMY TRIM – Lock fittings without the lock, used on the inactive door of a pair of doors to create balance.

DUPLICATE – A key made by copying an existing key.

DUPLICATOR – Another name for a key machine.

DUST CAP – A keyhole cover with a spring-loaded shutter, used frequently on automobile door and trunk locks.

DUTCH DOOR – A door split into upper and lower halves, usually with the primary lock in the lower half and a surface bolt mounted vertically in the upper half to lock the two halves together.

EAR – Another, less common, name for the shoulder of a key.

EASY ACTION – The British term for easy spring.

EASY SPRING – The arrangement of springs in a lock, especially in a lock with the unbalanced weight of a lever handle, to insure that A Dictionary of Locksmithing a minimum of effort will open the lock.

ELECTRIC STRIKE – A strike which retracts automatically when activated electrically from a distant point to allow a door to open without turning the knob.

EMERGENCY KEY – A top level master key which will open all locks at all times, even if they are locked from the inside. Emergency keys are used primarily with hotel locks which have a lockout feature, called shutout, for blocking entry by all other keys.

ENCLOSED TUMBLER – See traveling lever.

END CAP – A piece of metal, wood or plastic used to finish off a door with a recessed top or bottom edge.

ENGINEER’S KEY – Key symbol ENG. A selective master key, designed into a master key system and set to open locks also controlled by various other master keys, without cross-keying, thereby permitting maintenance people to enter areas they must enter without giving them the use of high level master keys.

ENTRANCE WARD – The first ward in the keyway of a lever lock which corresponds to the throat cut in the key.

EQUIVALENT – The reference number, from zero to nine or, sometimes, from one (through nine) to zero, which stands for the depth of key cut for a particular key cut for the lock of a given manufacturer. Also called equivalent bitting depth. Equivalents are found in code charts. When zero stands for no key cut, the depth of key cut which the equivalent represents is found by multiplying the bitting increment by the equivalent number.

EQUIVALENT BITTING DEPTH – See equivalent.

ESCUTCHEON – A protective or ornamental plate, fixed to a door, drawer or cabinet, with cutouts for knob, handle and cylinder. Also called the escutcheon plate. See also drop escutcheon, keyhole escutcheon and thread escutcheon.

ESPAGNOLETTE BOLT – A full length door or window bolt with a hook at each end. The hooks engage locking plates attached to the frame when they are turned by the bolt handle. The bolt handle locks A Dictionary of Locksmithing 25 into its own fastener.

EXIT ALARM LOCK – A lock which, even when locked on the outside, opens freely from the inside for emergency exit at the push of a handle, but which will sound an alarm when opened.

EXIT DEVICE – Another name for a panic bolt.

EXPANSION DRILL BIT – A drill bit used with a brace which can be adjusted to various diameters.

EXPLORATORY CUT – A cut made in a key to a trial depth in an effort to determine, by elimination, the combination of a master key.

EXTENSION FLUSH BOLT – A flush bolt with a rod connecting the bolt head to its control mechanism by a hole through the thickness of the door.

EXTRACTOR – See key extractor, screw extractor.

EXTRUDED PADLOCK – A padlock in which the case is formed from some material, usually metal, forced through dies under pressure while in a heat-softened state.

EXTRUSION – The process whereby a material, such as metal, in a plastic state, is forced through a hole in a die and keeps the shape of the hole if cooled at once.

EZY-OUT – See screw extractor.

FACE – The front surface of a lock cylinder perpendicular to the keyway at the point where the key enters the lock.

FACE CAP – A cover on the cylinder plugs of some locks. On automobile locks, face caps are usually chrome-plated. On other locks, face caps may have a variety of finishes, depending on the decorating scheme of the area in which the lock is used.

FACE PLATE – The part of a door lock through which the bolts extend and by which the whole lock, in the case of a mortise lock, or the latch, in the case of cylindrical lock, is fastened to the door. Also called a front, and, in England, a forend or selvedge.

FAST PIN HINGE – A hinge with a non-removable pin.

A Dictionary of Locksmithing FEATHER SPRING – A V-shaped spring with an eye fashioned at the bottom of the V to fit over a stump in a lock.

FEELER GAGE – A measuring instrument either of specified thickness or with fixed openings for judging whether or not an object has a dimension within a specified tolerance.

FENCE – An upright metal pin attached to the bolt of a lever lock, or to the bolt of a combination lock, which passes through the gates in the levers when the correct key aligns the lever gates, or into the gates in the tumblers of a combination lock.





FILE – A hardened steel tool with ridges, called teeth, cut by a chisel across its surfaces, used for grinding away or smoothing various materials, such as metals.

FILE CARD – A special, short wire brush, with bristles set in a flat piece of wood, for cleaning metal chips from file teeth.

FILE CUTTER – See rotary file cutter.

FILE TEETH – The angular projections, or ridges, on the surface of a file, cut in various patterns into the steel of the file by a chisel before the steel is hardened. The edges of the file teeth are the cutting edges of the file.

FINE WARD – A type of bridge ward made out of sheet metal.

FIRST GENERATION DUPLICATE – A duplicate key made by copying an original key directly. Also called simply a duplicate. See also second generation duplicate.

FILLER PLATE – A blank plate for closing off mortised cutouts in doors.

FITTING A FIRST KEY – The technique of cutting a key to an existing combination in a pin tumbler lock when there is no matching key to duplicate. The locksmith removes the plug from the lock and then files each of the key cuts until he can see, by testing the key in the plug, that the top surfaces of the bottom pins line up with the circumference of the plug.

FIXED PIN HAND CHANGE WHEEL – A combination lock hand change wheel in which a pin is moved from hole to hole in A Dictionary of Locksmithing 27 the wheel to change the combination. The screw change wheel is one type of fixed pin wheel.

FIXED TUMBLER – A safe deposit lock lever tumbler with an unchangeable setting. Also called a fixed lever or a non-changeable lever. While combination tumblers may or may not be fixed tumblers, guard tumblers and trap tumblers are always fixed tumblers.

FLAT KEY – A key, usually punched out of flat steel sheet and used in lever tumbler locks, without grooves on its blade and with spacings for key cuts measured from the tip rather than from the shoulder as in most cylinder keys.

FLAT PIN – A pin that is flat on top instead of being rounded. Most pin tumblers are flat pins with a slight chamfer around the circumference of the flat surface..

FLAT SLOTTER – See slotter.

FLAT SPRING – A spring fashioned from flat spring steel, brass or bronze and bent into various shapes depending on use and location.

FLOOR MASTER KEY – A master key which operates most of the locks on a given floor of a building.

FLOOR SOCKET – See socket.

FLUSH BOLT – A locking bolt which, when installed on a door, is flush with the surface of the door.

FLY – A small ring with a lug projecting up from it, installed, together with a tumbler wheel, in a combination lock to engage a matching lug either on the adjacent tumbler or on the drive wheel.

Also called a tumbler fly. See also fly stop and top fly.

FLY BOLT – See Nettlefolds lock.

FLY STOP – Either end of an arc-shaped slot in a combination lock tumbler wheel which limits the travel of the fly.

FLY TALON – A part on some lever locks mounted on a pivot below the keyhole and extending into the bolt talon to increase the throw of a bolt activated by a small key. The key passes through the center of the fly talon. See also talon.

FOCUSING LIGHT – See illuminated magnifier scope.

A Dictionary of Locksmithing FOLDING KEY – A key which can be folded in half at a joint between the handle and the shank.

FOLLOWER – A plug follower. Also, a name used in England for a hub.

FOLLOWING TOOL – Another name for a plug follower.

FOOT BOLT – A bolt attached near the bottom of a door which locks into a hole mortised in the floor, is released by foot and held open by a spring.

FORGING – The process of shaping hot metal by hammering.

FOREND – The English name for the face plate.

FRENCH DOOR – One of a pair of full length doors with small panes of glass from top to bottom. Also called A French window.

FRENCH SHANK – An ornamental knob shank.

FRENCH SPRING – A flat-wire, coiled spring used in French door locks to hold the lever handle horizontal. Also called a gun spring.

FRENCH WINDOW – Another name for a French door.

FRICTION CATCH – A mechanical fastener with a spring-loaded ball inside a round mortise case to hold a door closed. Also called a ball catch. Friction catches are used mostly on cabinet doors.

FRONT – Another name for a face plate.

FRONT DOOR LATCH – A mortise lock for entrance doors; with deadbolt, latch and stop buttons.

FUNCTION – See lock function.

FURNITURE – Any lock or hardware fittings, either ornamental or protective. Also called trim.

GAGE – Any of a number of non-adjustable devices for measuring various specified dimensions, as a key depth gage.

GAGE FORK – Another name for a key machine shoulder guide.

GATE – The opening in a lever tumbler which allows the fence to pass and the bolt to retract when lifted by the correct key so that it lines up with the fence. The position of the gate on the lever determines the bitting of the key. Also called the gating or the gateway.

A Dictionary of Locksmithing 29 GATEWAY - See gate.

GATING – See gate.

GRAND MASTER KEY – Key symbol GM. A master key opening all the locks in a master key system, or in a sub-system, which is itself divided into two or more groups of locks, each group operated by a different master key. Sometimes grand master key means specifically a level six master key.

GRAPHITE – Powdered carbon crystals used to lubricate small lock parts.

GRAPHITE GUN – A dispenser for injecting powdered graphite into lock parts.

GREAT GRAND MASTER KEY – Key symbol GGM. A master key which opens all the locks in a large master key system divided into two or more groups of locks, each group operated by a different grand master key and further subdivided into other groups operated by different master keys.

GROOVE – One of several milled or stamped indentations running the length of the key blade of a cylinder key to clear the keyway wards of a lock.

GROOVED KEY – See paracentric key.

GUARD BAR – One of a series of cross bars for protecting glass or screen in a door.

GUARD KEY – The key used by a safe deposit box guard to prepare the safe deposit lock mechanism for opening when the renter of the box subsequently inserts his key. — GUARD TUMBLER – A special type of lever tumbler used in safe deposit locks to prevent opening without use of a guard key with matching combination. In single horn safe deposit locks there are usually two guard tumblers mounted on the same curb post as the other tumblers. In double horn safe deposit locks there are usually five or six guard tumblers mounted on a separate curb post with key access through the second horn. The guard tumbler is also called the preparatory tumbler. See also trap tumbler, combination tumbler.

A Dictionary of Locksmithing GUIDE KEY – Another name for a depth and spacing key.

GUN SPRING – See French spring.

HAND CHANGE COMBINATION LOCK – A combination lock which does not use a change key but which requires disassembly to change its combination. See also combination lock and hand change wheel.

HAND CHANGE WHEEL – A combination lock tumbler wheel in which the combination is changed by hand without use of a change key. There are three types of hand change wheels: the mesh change wheel, the hole change wheel and the screw change wheel.

HANDING OF COMBINATION LOCKS – The direction in which the bolt of a combination lock points, determined by the position of the spindle spline in relation to the bolt. There are four possible hands: right-hand horizontal (RH), left-hand horizontal (LH), vertical up (VU) and vertical down (VD).

HANDING OF DOORS – The direction in which a door opens, viewed from the outside as either left-hand or right-hand, depending on whether the hinges are on the left (left-hand) or on the right (righthand). With left-hand reverse handing or right-hand reverse handing the door opens outward instead of the more common inward opening. The handing of a lock depends on the handing of the door. With many locks, the locksmith can change the handing to match the door.

HARDENING – A process whereby certain steels are heated to a precise temperature and rapidly cooled in order to cause a permanent rearrangement of their molecules and the resulting increase in resistance to penetration.

HASP – A two-piece fastener, consisting of a U-shaped link, sometimes called a staple, and a hinge with a slot in the longer portion cut to fit over the link.

HEAD – The front portion of a lock cylinder, including the face, which has a slightly larger diameter than the main body of the cylinA Dictionary of Locksmithing 31 der so that it forms a rim under which a cylinder ring is placed to prevent the face of the cylinder from slipping into its hole in a door.

Also, a bolt head. Also, another name for a header.

HEADER – The top cross member of a door frame.



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