Home High Security and Challenge Locks (1199) How Master Keys Work (Sparrows Kit)

(1199) How Master Keys Work (Sparrows Kit)


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My vises are made by Panavise, a U.S. Company.  The one with the wide jaws is the model 350.  The smaller one is the model 301. Both have the 312 Base mount – www.panavise.com



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  2. I Love these Progressive locks. I really like the fact that we can keep changing them as we progress picking, and I find that I’m not the only one that suggested they make interchangeable key ways for them also. That way as we get better picking the different pins in them, we can then change the key way. Making them even more progressive. I know I would get that upgrade set.

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  4. Does Sparrow’s have a discount code that can be used for current orders ? Thanks for the great videos Bill !

    Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year to all !

  5. I want to throw something out here on a side note, I have that Sparrows Progressive lock set Bill used here, and I love it. They are made really well and I have re-pinned them several times already. I would recommend them.

  6. Thank you for the great intro into master keying! Could you do a video getting into the math of master keying? Either way, thanks for all of the great videos!

  7. Just occured to me, as this is a very common setup in public and commercial service buildings, old hotels, apartment buildings etc; Won't each tier make a lock a minimum of twice as "easy" / likely to pick? Ie., each tier if more than one, requires a minimum of one wafer. Each wafer adds another shearline, and if picking, any combination of shear lines will do…? Or am I thinking about it all wrong? If this is the case, I guess the need for security pins etc would also rise greatly, for the buildings' locks to offer some resemblance of pick protection…

    1. I believe you are correct when it comes to picking. as long as you get the shear line it should work. At least on this type of set up. I know there are high security locks that wont let that happen.

  8. I was lucky to win Mr Noob's giveaway with some other goodies. Can't wait to try it out. Master keying has the potential to be hugely tricky to manage in large complexes.🍺✌

  9. I just finished working through my 104-page master keying book for 3rd year locksmithing. In one of the exercises, I created a 256-code matrix for 3 40-room motels, requiring a GGMK for all hotels, a GMK for each individual hotel, Maid's keys for rooms 1-10, 11-20 etc. in each hotel, plus the individual keys for each room.

    In locksmithing, the terms are a bit different to the terms you've given, that might be regional though. But the system you demonstrated, to me, would be a 3 tier system, with a GMK, 2 MKs, and 2 CKs under each MK. If I was designing this system for a customer, you allow +50% capacity for expansion. So I would do a simple 16 key matrix. The amount of keys will always be a power of 4. 4 keys is the least amount of keys and wouldn't allow for expansion, next up (4 x 4) is 16 keys.

    On top of all this, there are several parameters, or rules, you have to try and stick to to ensure all the codes you create are usable, without losing integrity or too many codes. You can not have a 9 next to a 0, for example. Or when you select your main permutation, alternate between odd and even cuts.

    These days it's mostly done on computers, but I'm one of the last generations to be taught how to code manually. Something satisfying about not having a computer do it for you.

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