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How DO you make the masters?


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#1 PhreeX

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Posted 10 July 2007 - 05:53 PM

I am not trying to steal the secret sauce or anything, so you won't see me opening up a website selling my own bump keys ... but how do you "machine cut" a master key?

Do you use a regular key cutter and then use a depth-key (like the sets you can get from locksmiths, you get a set of 10, numbered 0 to 9) - the problem I see is you can really only find sets of these for a few of the most common locks (Kwikset, Schlage, etc..)

Do you use a legit key to find the exact points to make the cut and manually cut it?

Do you use the spacing guides out there that contain the cutting spaces for every key on the market, measure, then cut?

Or do you use one of those fancy digital automotive type cutters where you just entire the depth code (99999), select the type of key, and hit "go" ...

I really am curious how you make the masters ... again, not to steal the concept as I can barely afford rent, let alone even a basic key cutting machine, but I am really curious how you make the PERFECTLY CUT masters?

//p

'err. I am guessing something like his:

http://www.discountk...sp?id=47&cat=12 (well over $1,300) would do the job nicely....

Am I right in that assumption? Is it something like that?

//p

#2 Customer Support

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Posted 11 July 2007 - 12:00 AM

1 of the machines we've got here is an Ilco Universal II. And it works well.

Essentially it's got different key cards (space \ depth cards) for each type of key make. You then manually turn to the desired depth \ spacing for each key.

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#3 theopratr

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Posted 11 July 2007 - 10:11 PM

I have experimented in the past in an attempt to develop the poor man's solution to getting a perfect "master" bump key for a specific lock:

Get a lock of the desired variety, several blanks, and a pin set for it. You also need a file to fabricate the key, and an original key for the lock in question for spacing.

It helps to put both keys in a vice grip for the file process, side by side so you know you're getting the spacing just right. It decreases the amount of time you spend filing to carefully file all the grooves on your blank to the lowest depth on your existing key first. Empty the cylinder of all pins. Replace the first pin in the lock with the largest pin from your set. Keep filing your key until you can get the lock to open, thus indicating that your key is a perfect "9", or whatever the deepest cut for that lock is. Repeat this process for the remaining pins in the lock. Once you're done, clean your key up by matching the angle of your grooves with those on the existing key, and you have a perfect copy. :)

#4 PhreeX

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Posted 15 July 2007 - 09:38 PM

I was looking at all the Ilco machines but most seem to be out of my price range ... the Universal II is a damn nice machine but the $1,899 price tag (that is the cheapest I have seen that model for) is a bit out of my range given I am not running a business where I would ever be able to make the money to pay off such a machine ..

I was looking around online and the HPC 1200PCH Code Punch Machine looks like an inexpensive means of cutting based on code cards, and their duplicator - the "Mini Speedex Duplicator" seems like an inexpensive means of making duplicate keys, again, I know it is a light-weight machine but I am not running a business that would justify needing something fancier ..

Being un-familiar with the hand-cutters (the hand-held "Plier Handle" type "Key Clipper" you put a key-blank in and then make the cut) I am guessing, from the picture, and limited description I saw on another companies web page, I wont post any links to avoid breaking any rules, that you would use those for, say, cutting a blank key when you impression a lock (I use a file when I have to impression a lock to make a key when the original have been lost as with most locks it is the fastest way to make a key) ... is that right or can you use a code card or somehow use the known measurements with one of those "Key Clippers"?

I have been keeping an eye out on the various auction sites, equipment and tool surplus sites, and other online outlets for used key cutters or duplicators but it seems I am only finding the heavy duty machines from hardware store closings and such (the big machines that retailed USED for still over $1,500) ..

Any thoughts would be appreciated!

Thanks guys!

//p

#5 PhreeX

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Posted 16 July 2007 - 12:43 AM

I couldn't find the "Edit" button to edit my post as right after I made this I found even the HPC 1200PCH Code Punch Machine goes for around $1,500 - might as well spend a little extra for an electric code cutter ..

The little "Speedex Replicator" is priced for a moderate $365 - that is a fair price, though reviews say that if you are doing anything high-volume you really should opt for something a little better ..

So, I have decided, and I will post my photos of my progress along the way, to make me own cut cutting machine... I don't know if I will be able to work in any system for "code cutting" other then I can include a movable ruler that is measured out in the small increments (.001" by .001" .. I will probably have to print this out on some sticker paper and then affixing it to metal as I have may have a hard time finding a ruler that measures to those fine of increments, but I may find something online from a machine supply shop) .. I have already found in-expensive "replacement motor" for Ilco cutters (compared to the cost of the entire machine, the motor is surprisingly inexpensive, this could be a sign that building my own will be harder then I anticipate) .. of course there are plenty of people also selling replacement cutting wheels ..

Right now this is just an idea, and it's building complicated electronic things I have more experience in - but I have some good machining abilities, and am very comfortable working with metal, motors, etc...

I will post a new thread with photos once I get this going, or perhaps done... it wont be pretty, there will be no "automatic" setting, but it should work!

I was looking at all the Ilco machines but most seem to be out of my price range ... the Universal II is a damn nice machine but the $1,899 price tag (that is the cheapest I have seen that model for) is a bit out of my range given I am not running a business where I would ever be able to make the money to pay off such a machine ..

I was looking around online and the HPC 1200PCH Code Punch Machine looks like an inexpensive means of cutting based on code cards, and their duplicator - the "Mini Speedex Duplicator" seems like an inexpensive means of making duplicate keys, again, I know it is a light-weight machine but I am not running a business that would justify needing something fancier ..

Being un-familiar with the hand-cutters (the hand-held "Plier Handle" type "Key Clipper" you put a key-blank in and then make the cut) I am guessing, from the picture, and limited description I saw on another companies web page, I wont post any links to avoid breaking any rules, that you would use those for, say, cutting a blank key when you impression a lock (I use a file when I have to impression a lock to make a key when the original have been lost as with most locks it is the fastest way to make a key) ... is that right or can you use a code card or somehow use the known measurements with one of those "Key Clippers"?

I have been keeping an eye out on the various auction sites, equipment and tool surplus sites, and other online outlets for used key cutters or duplicators but it seems I am only finding the heavy duty machines from hardware store closings and such (the big machines that retailed USED for still over $1,500) ..

Any thoughts would be appreciated!

Thanks guys!

//p



#6 Customer Support

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Posted 16 July 2007 - 02:23 PM

This sounds like a big project!!

While the punches do make great keys, If I remember correctly the HPC punch machines are KEY SPECIFIC. Meaning you have to buy different parts to cut different keys. Different cutter for Kwikset and Schlage making the machine MUCH more expensive.

trying to make a code cutting machine could be a very tedious project since keys need to be cut to EXACT measurements. Even if you're off by a few mil's it is going to make a big difference. I wish you good luck!!

Pictures would definitely be something of interest - we'd like to see how the progress goes.

As for the 'edit' button not being there we decided to limit users from making edits to their posts after 5 mins. The reason for this is it prevents people from screwing up or deleting posts. This ensures that the message chain \ log is accurate and later messages in the thread make sense.

James K. - Lead Support
For Order specific questions please use the 'contact us' link at the top of our store.


#7 PhreeX

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Posted 17 July 2007 - 02:41 AM

This sounds like a big project!!
While the punches do make great keys, If I remember correctly the HPC punch machines are KEY SPECIFIC. Meaning you have to buy different parts to cut different keys. Different cutter for Kwikset and Schlage making the machine MUCH more expensive.


Yes, they have a Schlage and Kwikset specific punches, but they have the 1200PCH - a hand-operated machine that they say you only need to swap out the cards to cut other types of keys - the bad news, for such a simple looking machine that isn't even electric, the best price I found online (as other sites have it cheaper then HPC) was $1,550 - a little out of my price range given I would call myself a "hobbiest" at best ...

trying to make a code cutting machine could be a very tedious project since keys need to be cut to EXACT measurements. Even if you're off by a few mil's it is going to make a big difference. I wish you good luck!!

Pictures would definitely be something of interest - we'd like to see how the progress goes.


Yeah, I forgot just how small .001" really is, so getting something that can make accurate work at increments that small could be tough, but I have been taking measurements from some of the keys I received from the website (that I know to work) and have been comparing them with the table that has the measurements on it for spacing (I know what the spacing for a KW1 should be, and knowing my KW1 I got from bumpkey.us works I have been using some digital calipers to take measurements to see what kind of variance can be tolerated ..) the digital calipers I have actually seem to be the best means for this undertaking as they give me a digital read out down to .001", but I mean, there is no way I will be able to get a motorized machine to be able to be specific down to .001" in any cuts - but that is what I plan to use for my measuring ..

I have background as a jeweler, working with precious metals (specifically gold and platinum - anyone want a platinum bumpkey?) and I have a lot of time playing with motors and building stuff in the same ballpark as this, so I feel fairly confident I will be able to construct SOMETHING ... like I said, it wont be pretty, but it should get the job done!

I am thinking about downgrading from the replacement Ilco motor to sometihng lighter for easier control .. now this is turning into a project I would go forward with more to see how good a machine I can make more then something out of necessity .. of course I will post pictures when I get started!

//p

#8 BLK

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Posted 17 July 2007 - 08:38 PM

http://www.foley-bel...-SkillPaks.html

Foley-Belsaw has a small code cutting machine that is fairly inexpensive. The link above is to their locksmith course and has a picture of the machine. You might be able to find one online for sale used. The machine has 2 micrometers; 1 for spacing and 1 for depth. This is probably your 2nd cheapest option. The least expensive option, of course, is to buy a no.2 cut file and make your own.
Bump it to the next level.

#9 PhreeX

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Posted 19 July 2007 - 03:55 PM

http://www.foley-bel...-SkillPaks.html

Foley-Belsaw has a small code cutting machine that is fairly inexpensive. The link above is to their locksmith course and has a picture of the machine. You might be able to find one online for sale used. The machine has 2 micrometers; 1 for spacing and 1 for depth. This is probably your 2nd cheapest option. The least expensive option, of course, is to buy a no.2 cut file and make your own.


Thanks!

I am the master of a file... give me a key for a lock and I can make a bump-key in about 5-minutes that works good as anything for sale ... the problem is I have to have a key for a lock, and having picked through about half a dozen hardware store scrap key bins, it seems all I can really find is Schlage, Kwikset, maybe another odd-ball key, but nothing that I already have not ordered from your site...

As for my homemade key-cutter, I have a friend that is a master of AutoCad so once I get the finished plans I will post those...

I am an accomplished metalworker, I have orders some parts, and I really think that, while I wont be able to cut a key to .001", I will be able to cut it so it will work - and it should duplicate keys just fine....

Amazingly this may end up costing less then I imagined, and if I can easily make a prototype, hell, why not refine it and make3 cut cutters and duplicator machines for those that would want to pay maybe $400-$600 for someone that would cost about $1,000+ anywhere else ...

I was going to mount it all on a piece of plywood on a base made of 2"x4", but I am now planning to make the entire case from sheet metal and it might not look like something totally 8th-grade science fair protect material...

Watch out Ilco, soon MY MACHINES will DOMINATE! Muhahahah!

//p

#10 skip 2 my lou

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Posted 20 July 2007 - 09:05 PM

I was wondering if anyone could answer a reasonably simple question. What makes the master locks so easy to bump? Is it simply the fact that it is a pad lock verses a deadbolt?
Bump first and ask questions later.

#11 Customer Support

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Posted 20 July 2007 - 10:23 PM

A master lock is a 4 pin lock. 1 (or maybe 2) fewer pins.

James K. - Lead Support
For Order specific questions please use the 'contact us' link at the top of our store.