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Old 03-03-2016, 09:14 PM   #29
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We frequent Ace quite a bit. It all started because the local store did a lot for customers. If you needed something that they did not have it got ordered, even if they never carried it in normal inventory. When I purchased my grill, the store manager delivered it. But they really hit a home run when I found RV stuff on the shelf. Other stores have it too, but we like our Ace. Pat
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Old 03-04-2016, 09:30 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by idroba View Post
"True Value, True Quality
So I took my key blanks over to Ace this afternoon, very friendly folk."

My friend who owns an Ace hardware store would be upset that you use True Value Hardware and Ace Hardware as interchangeable stores.

Each thinks they are superior to the other! I think they are both good, and hope my Ace friend does not see this...lol.
Yeah, well.....D'oh!!!
I was thinking it was a True Value hardware for some strange reason. At first, I had put True Value in the comments, then changed it to Ace. I completely forgot about changing the title of the post.

I've used both and appreciate them both being available. There are truly hardware stores like I remember from many years ago.

Please forgive my flub.
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Old 08-01-2016, 10:53 AM   #31
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Another reason some locksmiths will not use a customer-supplied blank is that there are some complex master-keyed systems where the scope of operation of a master key is limited by the blank it is cut on. As a result, if a nefarious person holds a master key for, say, one building on a campus, they might try to get the same code cut on a different blank thereby producing a key that will work in another building or perhaps the whole campus.

Locksmithing isn't the money making business it used to be as more locks become electronic: cars, hotels, etc. I have found that it has become more difficult than in past years to find competent locksmiths who are willing to deal with jobs smaller than, say, re-keying a whole office building.
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Old 08-01-2016, 11:57 AM   #32
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Another reason some locksmiths will not use a customer-supplied blank is that there are some complex master-keyed systems where the scope of operation of a master key is limited by the blank it is cut on. As a result, if a nefarious person holds a master key for, say, one building on a campus, they might try to get the same code cut on a different blank thereby producing a key that will work in another building or perhaps the whole campus.

Locksmithing isn't the money making business it used to be as more locks become electronic: cars, hotels, etc. I have found that it has become more difficult than in past years to find competent locksmiths who are willing to deal with jobs smaller than, say, re-keying a whole office building.

Hotels and motels were a great place for the stolen key blanks. The property manager had a key that opened every door, maintenance and head housekeeper had nearly every door access, maids had a key to open a group of rooms (their station) and then room keys, which only worked the one room, and usually the exterior doors. A clever person could decipher the master pattern from just a few keys.


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Old 08-02-2016, 10:28 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by Jammer View Post
Another reason some locksmiths will not use a customer-supplied blank is that there are some complex master-keyed systems where the scope of operation of a master key is limited by the blank it is cut on. As a result, if a nefarious person holds a master key for, say, one building on a campus, they might try to get the same code cut on a different blank thereby producing a key that will work in another building or perhaps the whole campus.

Locksmithing isn't the money making business it used to be as more locks become electronic: cars, hotels, etc. I have found that it has become more difficult than in past years to find competent locksmiths who are willing to deal with jobs smaller than, say, re-keying a whole office building.
I would hope that a locksmith would know the difference in the blanks, whether or not it's for a master key. He wasn't very nice about it, which is my primary issue. "Don't even take it out of your pocket" he said, no explanation why. He did have a storefront, but now that I know hardware stores can do the same thing (and with my blanks), that's where I'll go.

I understand his reluctance, but he sold me his own blank which didn't work. He's a locksmith. It should work. At the True Value/Ace they took the original and the locksmith's cut keys, tried cutting on their machine and it didn't work either. Both sets True Value/Ace cut from my blanks worked.

At the hardware store they said that they will use a customer's blanks but accept no responsibility. If the blank is cut and doesn't work, tough. I can understand that. I've had keys cut from a store's blank that didn't work, they threw it away and cut another, no charge.

If I would have gone back to the locksmith with that key I'm sure he would have cut another but it was 15 miles through heavy traffic. The hardware store was 4 miles in the other direction, I should have gone there first. Lesson learned.
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Old 08-02-2016, 10:57 AM   #34
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I would hope that a locksmith would know the difference in the blanks, whether or not it's for a master key.
It can be surprisingly difficult, and there are grey areas.

The differences between a master blank and a non-master blank are often subtle. It can be just a 5 thousands of an inch difference in the width of one of the cuts. Keys in large, complex systems sometimes aren't marked with the blank identifier, to make it more difficult to discern how the system is organized. Even if they are marked, the markings on a customer's blank may not match because aftermarket blanks use different identifiers, and it may not be at all obvious whether something nefarious is going on or not.

There are also grey areas. Some aftermarket hardware-store key blank suppliers will only make the "master" blanks for some systems because they will produce workable keys with minimal fuss, which actually makes sense when buildings are "downcycled" into a use where security isn't a big deal any more. Locksmiths who are involved more deeply in the industry aren't allowed to do that, though, because one of the foundation principals they're taught is that they can't sell keys that will open locks other than the ones that a customer actually has.

Quote:
He wasn't very nice about it, which is my primary issue. "Don't even take it out of your pocket" he said, no explanation why.
Yep. At the risk of overgeneralizing, it isn't an industry that's good at customer service.

Back to the matter of Airstreams, in dealing with locksmiths, I've found it useful to point out that I'm bringing in a key that is cut on a very unusual blank, and that it's for a lock where there's a long history of problems with keys on similar-looking (but not identical) blanks not working. Which is all true with the Trimark locks, and certainly not limited to them.

Usually that will win over even the old grumps.
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Old 08-03-2016, 03:47 PM   #35
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Order the blanks from Airstream for the main door as similar designs are usually not available.
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Old 08-05-2016, 02:04 PM   #36
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Not long ago, I broke off the only key in my Bargman L100 -- a lock that is no longer made, and is quite expensive to purchase second-hand (if you can find one at all). I was tired after a 6-hour drive and was anxious to get camp set up ... my fault for only having one key, and for twisting it hard before it was fully seated in the lock. Strike one.

When I got back home, I ordered four blanks from Vintage Trailer Supply, took the lockset off the door, and took it to a local locksmith. Somewhere along the way, I lost the broken pieces of the old key. Strike two.

Thankfully, the manager was understanding and took it as a personal challenge to solve the puzzle using the blanks I brought ... Total cost: $40, and I now have four keys instead of one. I don't have a lot of cause to frequent locksmiths, but he definitely earned any repeat business that may crop up.

(I won't mention the time I had to call a mobile locksmith out to a campsite because my wife locked the keys in the trailer ... He managed to gain access quickly and even discovered the reason the door locked: the previous owner had installed the lock upside down. The cost of that lesson was about $75, if I recall correctly. Good times.)
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Old 08-05-2016, 04:41 PM   #37
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I had a full service, dedicated locksmith cut a copy with my factory ordered Trimark blanks, as they were too new for him to order. When I went back months later for a third copy, he said he could no longer help me, as the metal in the blank was too hard, and was damaging to his key cutting machine. Apparently I wasn't the only customer with this type of key.


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