Been a while since my last post. However we have been busy and keeping up to date with are picking and decoding skills. It is a dying art not practised by many. The rotary pick or the drill is used sadly. Then the locks replaced and hole filled with filler etc. This frustrates me especially when perfectly fine locks are damaged, when they could be picked open, re-keyed or re-levered. If the original keys were lost.
I carry a pinning kit that covers many of the current locks. So if a customer looses their key to their cylinder (yale) lock then I can pick the cylinder open then break it down replace the pins and supply a new keys. So the old key will no longer work. People will argue well its cheaper, quicker and easier to replace with a new one. When you have the ability to re-pin locks its handy as if your on a job and a customer has a a few yale cylinders you can offer keying alike, so that there able to use one key on multiple locks. Now I can do it there and then. Where as the next person who doesn’t offer this service has to contact supplier, order whats needed then re-attend a day or two later. So getting into habit of re-pinning pays off
Same with deadlocks. I attend many evictions where the landlord or agent want to spend the minimum on locks. So we can re-pin a cylinder and then if they have a deadlock we can re-lever in the same way. For saying sake we find they have a Legge branded deadlock. The lever pattern reads 24131 we can re-arrange the lock using the same levers for saying sake 43121. All it would cost me is the price of 2 or 3 key blanks. If I was to carry lever packs your talking about anything from £15+vat upwards from supplier. Or I have to carry large selection of deadlocks of various brands, sizes and finishes the same with sash locks. So instead of carrying 30+ variants I carry one decoder per branded lock. Which weighs around the weight of one deadlock. So i’m not dragging around dead weight. So I’m always saving money. The initial purchase of decoder is high. Though over a year others may spend 2-2.5K on deadlocks and sash locks alone. My decoders may of cost around the same. However year two, I won’t have to buy deadlocks or sash locks still. So potentially the next guy will have to spend 2-2.5k on deadlocks still, more on fuel, still carry lever packs etc.
Not only does it keep running costs low, it maximises profit and you can keep competitive for your customers and keep their costs low. Your be surprised the repeat business you get. Also the good thing is if i get a lock that I don’t stock. I can re-arrange levers cut keys and fit old lock. I don’t have to adjust mortice pocket, key hole and keeps. No need then to fill holes and and make things look good. As old lock will fit perfect.

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