When it comes to safes and locks there are so many untruths it makes me laugh at times. Long ago I worked with a locksmith who is no longer alive. I was fascinated with how much knowledge his years of experience had given him. So one day I said " you probably know it all". He said" no one knows it all and anyone who says they do has got a lot to learn." Pretty wise words.
So with that said, I do not know it all and never will but here are some examples of myths and misconceptions surrounding the locksmith trade that I have heard.
Did you know that you can use a stethoscope to open a safe? Just listen for the clicks.
Picking locks is easy. I saw it on tv. Police, post offices and banks have master keys. Drilling safe deposit lock mount screws unscrew themselves leaving minimal repair, Not true! Vault door locks work on aligning lugs allowing it to open. I'm not sure what that guy was trying to say but he sounded like he knew..
One locksmith I met once was 50 years old. He had been a mechanic for 20 years. A geologist for 20 years. A locksmith for 20 years. Blah. blah, blah.
Safes are funny. The old cartoons would have Bugs Bunny push a safe off of a cliff onto Yosemite Sam. Another locksmith I used to know would draw cartoons and a famous one was a patron about to receive a drop safe. On the head.
Back in the wild west days a band of thieves would ride into town and rob the local bank, forcing the employees into the vault and locking it. I don't know if any of these things are true but they seem to grab peoples attention.
Beware of such wild stories and rely on your own experience and gut instinct. Obviously if it were easy to open a safe or pick open a lock then there would be no use for them.
I guess it is the fascination of breaking the odds that makes for an interesting story.
Loving the blog. I thought it would be interesting to write one seeing how I have always enjoyed writing.
At this time in my life I certainly have no shortage of stories and trying to choose one is the quandary today. Maybe I'll explain how I got here and where I am going.
I took metallurgy and machining in college. Worked in steel shops and fabricated a plate steel safe. I also built dune buggies and structural steel. This is when I really started to think about owning my own business one day.
In 1992 the steel shop closed and that was when I decided to learn about locks. That safe I built needed a lock and I wanted to put a safe dial combination lock on it. Took a correspondence course and got a part time job at a lock shop. Finally got that safe up and running, went full time at banks, locks and safes. Quit that. Thought about the business idea but then was hired by another lock shop.
I guess I just wasn't ready and this new company ended up being a great place to work. The idea of starting my own business became tougher and tougher. I had a great job and it is hard to leave a great job.
Eventually my self guilt and selfishness took over. Thanks to some friends and mentors, I had to do it.
Registered a business name in October 2015 and put it on a shelf. The new year was going to be a big change. Announced my retirement in January 2016 and by late February I finally became one with myself. Life is too short and adventures await.
The direction I am heading seems to be continued lock and safe work under my own supervision. However, I now have the ability to learn about new products and applications and try some new jobs, stretch my horizons and help other people.
Part of my new stretching exercises will be this blog. I will try to keep it interesting and relevant to the locksmith trade although my thoughts may wander from time to time. Maybe a couple of pictures here and there will keep some people entertained as well.
The bottom line here is I don't know unless I give it a try. So if you have read this blog up to this point maybe it is worth it and I will try and get back here again soon.
For now I don't know of a word that rhymes with safe but a catch phrase we have developed is Be Sure Keep it Secure.
Hi there. My name is Mark Johnson and I am in my 26th year of locksmithing. Every day brings new adventures.