My first day back on the job.

After leaving my locksmithing position sometime back to deal with some very strained and frustrating family problems, and then to deal with a very difficult and frustrating divorce and all of the frustrating and obnoxious difficulties resulting from that business, I was then free to return to my trade.

Yesterday was my first day back after 2 1/2 years.

I even went back to the same shop that I left to deal with all of the grief mentioned in the first paragraph.

What is my very first task? A motorcycle. OK no big deal right?

I go to remove the seat lock, and the head of the screw is stripping out.

I have to get a torch to melt the lock-tite on the screw.

The previous shop guy had a nifty little torch. He died and all of his stuff went with him. The shop has an oxy acetylene rig, but it is hidden behind a voluminous pile of stuff in the garage. My boss is the kind of a guy that does not like to pass up a bargain so the path I need to travel with the torch cart is lined with large safes, and this means I have to often stop and muscle the cart sideways to get by.

Finally, I have the screw removed and... the lock is screaming hot.

I finally have the lock on the bench and proceed to decode.

I only had about 5 interruptions and finally have step one done.

I progress, and find that it does not work in the ignition.

I call the customer, and he is sure the bike has but one key.

I start over, and the key works everything else.

I surmise that this bike has opposing wafers in the ignition and that the rest of the locks do not. I cut the other side of the key. I measure and find the key is cut correctly.

I am running low on magic words.

I surmise that the ignition has more wear and perhaps if I recur the key a bit higher and work it down that might be the ticket.

The lock gods are not smiling on me today.

As those of you that deal with the cheap Japanese motorcycle locks have probably found out the hard way, a gentle hand is required to coax these locks into speaking to a guy with a gobbet in hand.

I am using magic words from foreign languages now.

I am the one that does not fail. There is a reason here, but I am not seeing it. Perhaps another set of eyes can see what I am not.

Alan is consulted, he sees nothing either.

In frustration I sometime germ animated and as I am demonstrating as I say "see, it works the helmet lock, and the seat lock but it will nor even try to move the ignition". Click, the lock turns. Curiously, the key works one way but not the other.

The lock gods on mount shimstock are snickering.

I rely on my middle aged and presbiopic, but calibrated eyes to tell me that the key is cut correctly, I measure and this reconfirms my faith.

I notice an impression on the milling of the key where none should be.

Ah hah! I got you now. The milling on the keyblank was botched at the factory and this was the problem. they did not mill the blank back far enough. Kiss Kiss on the grinder and I have working keys.

X103 was the culprit. When compared to the picture in the catalog, the picture shows the correct length of the millings, and as I have not had this problem with this blank in the past, I think we got a bum batch of blanks.

So guys, I hope this story gives you reason to sally forth when the lock gods pick you to test and taunt.

Reply to
Roger Shoaf
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The shop has an oxy acetylene rig, but it is hidden

Get one of those little micro torches with the pinpoint flame that are refillable from bulk butane. A lot easier for that kind of thing.

Reply to

Yes I am aware of those, I have used them in the past and I have a small propane rig. The first day I just showed up without having all of my tools so I was down to improvising a bit.

I have never needed to take a torch to a motorcycle before, I guess the guy that assembled it was a bit more conscientious than most.

Reply to
Roger Shoaf

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