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A Phoenix Locksmith Blog

The Life of a Locksmith, this blog follows the owner and locksmith of Andrews Lock and Key around the Phoenix metro area servicing Mesa, Scottsdale, Tempe, Gilbert, and Chandler 24 hour a day 7 days a week with scheduled calls and emergency calls.Check us out every Sunday on Independent Talk 1100 KFNX at 11:00 AM on 1100 AM radio.  

Laser Cut Keys and Automotive Locksmithing Mesa AZ

We have been real busy lately and I have been learning a ton. Every week Andrew has me running more and more jobs on my own. Most have gone off with out a hitch, with the exception of one or two call backs. Every day I am reminded how important attention to even the smallest detail is in this line of work.

One thing that I have been doing more of is making keys for vehicles. Automotive Locksmithing in Mesa, Az is a very competitive field and it has been important to Andrew that I get up to speed in that area. Recently I cut my first laser cut transponder key on the Keyline Ninja Laser key cutting machine. Andrew caught some video of it and it will probably be on this blog post shortly.

Cutting these keys is pretty stressful because they are so expensive and a lot is riding on my shoulders in getting it right. Luckily I haven't made any huge mistakes that Andrew couldn't fix on the spot. I have learned a lot about Automotive Locksmithing and I am excited to continue to learn more. Hopefully soon I will get the chance to reprogram some BMW keys.

Forbes: Former KGB Covert Entry Expert Speaks

    So at times I need a small reminder of the impact the field I got in to can have on the world. Andrews pointed this article out to me and said I should check it out. I love history, especially the history of technology and tools. To see where we have come from and where we are heading is something I love studying.

    The cold war is a topic I enjoy reading about. It must have been a pretty intense time to be alive. Living in constant fear that the other side might launch an attack at any given moment. I know I would lose a little sleep over it. So when I read the article title "A Former KGB Covert Entry Expert Speaks" I was immediately interested. I mean, this is why I became a locksmith.

     I wanted to be able to crack safes and get in to secure areas no one else could get to. Not for any nefarious means, but just simply because I could do it when no one else could. The article covers some of the entry tactics that were used. They even have a short video showcasing one of the tools used.

    The ex covert ops agent is named simply Nicolai B. in the article. Whether or not that is his real name, your guess is as good as mine. He was a senior KGB operative during the cold war. He was stationed in Riga, Latvia. He found him self out of a job in 1991 after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

    During his tenure as a KGB agent he was tasked mainly with conducting sensitive intrusion in to homes, businesses, and other facilities to gain sensitive information for the Soviet Union. Now he never goes in to specifics, but in reading the article you get a feeling that this guy has done some pretty interesting things. He is quoted a few times as saying the Russians have developed a lot of the common lock manipulation tools we use today. Hinting that technology hasn't really gone that far when it comes to locks.

    If you have a free minutes or two you should check out the article. It is an interesting read and gives you a small window in to some of the history of the locksmith industry. It is always a good idea to look back at where we come from. It helps us avoid making the same mistakes as our ancestors and possibly improve the world for future generations.

Source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/marcwebertobias/2011/05/19/a-former-kgb-covert-entry-expert-speaks/

Authorities say a local locksmith saved a childs life.

     As locksmiths we sometimes find our selves in interesting and potentially dangerous situations. One locksmith in Hall County, GA found him self in that situation. A mother tied her infant sons feet, hands, and mouth with packing tape and tossed him in the back seat on the floor board of her car. Why she did this is unclear.

     The car was at the end of a road by a lake. She said she didn't know the child was back there and that she had gone to the lake to sit and think. After realizing she locked her keys in the car she started going door to door in a near by neighborhood. She was asking to borrow a phone to call a locksmith.

     No one answered the door but one person did call a locksmith and 911 to report a suspicious person on the secluded road by the lake. The locksmith arrived before police to open the car. Authorities say he probably saved the child's life. After opening the car and reaching in to grab the keys the locksmith heard the child crying in the back seat.

     More details on this situation as well as the entire article are linked below. As locksmiths we rarely know what we are getting in to when we get a call. I have talked to several experienced locksmiths and they all say the same thing "You always get some amount of butterflies in your gut when you're heading to a job. That never changes.". After hearing that and reading this article I now understand better why I always get a little nervous before heading out to a job.

Source: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/toddler-bound-packing-tape-locked-car

Big re-key needing a locksmith in Chandler.

     Today was a pretty slammed day. We got tons of calls from people needing a locksmith in Chandler. One of these jobs came from an associate of Andrews that owns another lock company in town. He needed us to go re-key a house in Chandler and take a look at a safe the customer lost the keys to. He was stuck on another job on the other side of town and needed this customer taken care of.

     Andrew sent me out on my own ahead of him to get some info on the safe and start the re-key. He planned on meeting up with me later. The customer was very nice and gave me the back story on the house. I guess her father owned it and recently passed away. He never told anyone where the keys were to the safe and the customer had no idea who all had keys to the house.

     So I took come pictures of the safe and sent them to Andrew. Then I walked the property getting a count on how many locks I needed to re-key. Total count was 17 locks. This was going to take me a while, even longer once I found out the customer didn't have keys to all of the locks. Of course the locks she didn't have keys for were the Schlage locks that require a key to get the lock cylinder out, or you have to pick them open and then take them out.

     After I started pulling locks I realized that some of the locks (two to be exact) were not the Schlage key way but were the Kwikset key way. The customer didn't want to replace any locks so I let her know she would have two different keys. She didn't have a problem with that so I went back to pulling locks. Luckily Andrews associate has a shop that was right around the corner so I was able to pull all of the locks and head in to his shop to work on getting them re-keyed. It makes life easier that is for sure.

Electronic Strike Installed in Phoenix, AZ

     So this week started off with us getting a call from a Jim Anderson over at Copperstate Lock and Security. He needed  a little help covering a job this week. Jim only works with the best and most professional Locksmith in Phoenix so it is always a complement when he asks us for help. His schedule was slammed and he needed some assistance covering this job.

     He let us know the customer needed an electronic strike installed. We figured this would be a normal commercial property and scheduled the job for a Tuesday. When we showed up we found out that this is a residential house that was being used to house a few commercial suites. The unit we were working on was for a new tenant wanting to control access from foot traffic passing by an exterior door.

     We also found out that the contractor hired to do the renovations was the one that hired us to install the strike. He led us to the door and after Andrew got his first look at the door he noticed a few problems from the start. This property was old, nearly 100 years old and this door looked like one of the original doors that was on the house when it was built. The door and the door jam had been previously modified to fit different door hardware and had been patched and re-patched a few times.

     Andrews main concern was that the door jam didn't have enough material for the strike hardware to install to. Since the main purpose of this door was to restrict access and was going to be locked the majority of the time; it is important the hardware is mounted correctly and to a solid surface that can withstand being pulled on. We let the customer know we would need to bring in someone else, a colleague of Andrews named Vinnie.

     Vinnie is a general contractor that Andrew calls from time to time for special projects like this. Andrew wanted to modify the door jam and beef it up some so it could handle the new hardware. We let the customer know we had someone coming in to give us a consultation on the job and we would let him know what needed to happen after we spoke with him. Vinnie showed up and took a look at the door jam. He let us know that he would need to cut out the weak part of the door jam and make a custom piece to house the electronic strike and then mount it in to the current door jam.

     Andrew spoke with the customer and let him know the issues with the door jam and what we could do to solve the problem. He let the customer know this would need to be done before the electronic strike could be installed. After some more discussion Andrew scheduled us to come back out the next day with the custom made piece and install the strike. Vinnie went back to our shop along with some measurements as well as pictures of the door jam and got to work making the custom piece the strike would mount to.

     The next day we went back to the house and got to work installing everything. Vinnie cut out a section of the door jam and installed the custom piece he made. It is kind of complicated to try and explain everything Vinnie did in a blog post. The pictures I took at the job site are below and show what was done with better detail. After Vinnie was done Andrew and I got to work installing the strike. Because Vinnie built everything custom to house the strike that part went very smoothly.

     This job was a big learning experience for me. We saved the customer a ton of money by being able to salvage their current door jam and door. We were able to get the electronic strike they purchased installed so that it would line up with a 100 year old door and door jam that were never meant to work with an electronic strike. This is where a professional and experienced locksmith shows why he is needed.



Andrews Lock and Key - A 24-Hour Phoenix Locksmith


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Locksmith Reviews & Testimonials

Work better than the original keys...

5-stars out of 5 stars

Very professional and fast service. They made two keys for me that work better than the original keys I was given for my house and the price was unbeatable!

Note from Owner:

We code cut your keys back to the factory specifications for you. Sometimes keys get worn out and can't be copied. So we decode the key and cut back to the factory specs.

Andrew Flores of Scottsdale, via Google+Originally posted on google plus