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Making S&G Environmental Lock Keys

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GWiens2001

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Lock-Goblin-Gordon
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Post Wed Jun 05, 2013 8:02 pm

Making S&G Environmental Lock Keys

Making keys for S&G Environmental Locks
 
Let me start by saying that this does NOT replace Bosnian Bill's excellent video on making these keys.  This is just how I did it.  Will be making some references to his work, as well.  My thanks to him, and to the others here who have posted information on these locks and keys.

Have decided to make a full set of the 27 possible key permutations.  Yes, I know that most of the possible codes are not used, but there are at least three numbers that are used, but I do not know which cuts they are.  Can not really remove pull-out keys from the possibilies, because 112, which is used, is a pull-out.  Also, you never know if an eBay purchase will have been taken apart and rekeyed by somebody else using a non-numbered key.

Here is the first Enviro key I made.  It is a 107.  Rough looking, but it works very well.  

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The remaining keys will be made along the same lines.  Here are the measurements I use:

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The blank is cut straight across, or 0 degrees, which (copying another member's names for the cuts) we will call an "A".  "B" is cut a further 45 degrees, and a "C" cut is cut to 90 degrees.  I include a picture to make myself clear.  If the below drawing is not understood, look at the first picture.  It has all three cuts.

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With 3 discs, each having three possible positions, that gives us 27 possible key permutations.  Most are not used.  The key is supposed to be key retaining (no pull-out keys), but since a 112 is a pull-out, I won't assume that the ones I don't know the numbers for are not pull-outs either.

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Now, the metal stock I am using is 8mm.  The "A" cuts are cut straight across, meaning that it will be 4mm, or half the width of the stock.  Since I am making many keys, wanted a consistent way of cutting the depth with my primitive tools and very primitive intelligence. :-)  A #3 Phillips screwdriver in my tool box is also 8mm thick.  Placed it in a vice and used a micrometer to make sure the depth is correct all the way across.

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Now any metal stock I lay on top of the screwdriver can be cut and filed flush with the top of the vice, and it will be 4mm.  :-D

To consistently make the keys with the same bitting area and length, I "rednecked" it.  Masking tape with the two lengths marked on it.  Lay tape along the marked lengths, align the top of the metal rod with the top of the tape, and wrap the tape around the rod.  Voila... it is easily measured to the correct lengths.  I then use a Sharpie (marker) to draw a line at the tape.

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Remove the tape, and the rod is marked.  With the tape off, put an arrow to indicate to what edge you cut and file.

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Now lay the rod into the vice, clamp it in place with locking pliers (use cloth to keep from marring the surface), cut and file the flat part.  This is hard steel (cheaper than brass, especially since I already had it laying around.)  But it would take way too long to file all that metal away, so I cheated.  Cut-off wheel on an angle grinder to get it close:

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Then a file to finish the cuts to the correct depth.

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Then I cut off the rod at the next mark.  Plenty more blanks to make, but rather than make you wait for all of them to be made... Rotate the rod to 45 degrees, clamp it down, and file the 45 degree cuts.

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Then rotate the rod to 90 degrees, and file the 90 degree cuts.  Cut a slot in the bow end, insert a flat washer, solder it in place, wire wheel the sharp edges on the key, and write the key number (if known) on the bow.  If I can find my metal stamps, I will stamp the numbers on the bow.

As Porky Pig would say...  "Th-Th-Th-Th-That's All, Folks!"

Gordon

P.S.  If you know any key numbers for cuts not listed above, please post them here. 

P.P.S.  For my personal information, if you know to which railroads any of the key numbers are assigned, please PM them to me.  They would be for my 'collector knowledge' only.
Just when you think you've learned it all, that is when you find you haven't learned anything yet.
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GWiens2001

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Lock-Goblin-Gordon
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Post Wed Jun 05, 2013 8:08 pm

Re: Making S&G Environmental Lock Keys

Here are the key numbers for which I know the cuts.

Image

Gordon
Just when you think you've learned it all, that is when you find you haven't learned anything yet.
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PhoneMan

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I've gone and said something stupid, haven't I?
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Post Wed Jun 05, 2013 10:54 pm

Re: Making S&G Environmental Lock Keys

Very cool Gordon! When you mentioned this to me I was looking forward to seeing it! Other than the lock I sent, do you have any other enviros?
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GWiens2001

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Lock-Goblin-Gordon
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Post Thu Jun 06, 2013 1:09 am

Re: Making S&G Environmental Lock Keys

Yes, I have the 105 with chain I got from you, and a 107 (the key for which is posted in this writeup) without a chain that I bought from MacGNG. Both received without a key, both of which now have home-made keys.

The 107 key pictured is not the one being made in this writeup. The one being made in this writeup is the 105, for the lock I got from you. :mrgreen: Still have to put a bow on the 105, but am more worried about making all the blanks first. That is why I didn't show pictures of cutting the groove for and adding the bow in this writeup. I did not take pictures when I made the 107. Will add pictures of adding the bows when I get to that point with all of the keys.

Gordon.
Just when you think you've learned it all, that is when you find you haven't learned anything yet.
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escher7

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Post Thu Jun 06, 2013 5:52 am

Re: Making S&G Environmental Lock Keys

Your vice setup combined with a protractor wheel and a stop mechanism to isolate each cut, may have an application for Abloy Classic keys. I am trying to find a local locksmith to cut a couple of my Abloy blanks as step keys and I may work on such a process. (For some reason only a couple of local guys have the machines as the others are into Protec locks and the one guy willing to cut them wants $15 a key, even if I supply the blanks. I may have to break down and pay if no one else will do it.)

For Abloy, the vice jaws would have to be more accurate - perhaps a V-cut jig that holds the rod with exactly the correct amount exposed and moveable pegs to progress from cut to cut. Just a thought.
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Oldfast

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OldddffAASSTT the Spin Master Extraordinaire and American Lock Slayer
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Post Thu Jun 06, 2013 12:37 pm

Re: Making S&G Environmental Lock Keys

Killer work! Thanks for documenting it.
" Enjoy the journey AS MUCH as the destination."
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plugspin

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Post Fri Jun 07, 2013 2:42 pm

Re: Making S&G Environmental Lock Keys

Very nice work, thanks for documenting it.
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GWiens2001

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Post Thu Aug 22, 2013 12:41 am

Re: Making S&G Environmental Lock Keys

Been quite deliquent on finishing the full set of keys. Finally finished them today. But though adding a few things learned since this writeup would be in order.

The steel I used just did not want to solder, and don't know how to weld. What is the best option? I found JB Weld (metal epoxy) to be an excellent alternative. However, do not set up all the bows and leave them on the bench at work, or some moron will toss a rag onto them, knocking a lot of them off, and leaving the rest severely skewed. :evil: Note - it is a pain in the rump to get all the JB Weld out of the grove for the bow. Especially when you don't know it happened until you come back to work a couple of days later. :?

Used a thin screwdriver to spread a little epoxy into the slot for the key bow, and insert the washer. The bow will not want to stay in place, nor will the JB Weld, but we will come to that shortly. Do not try to fill the gap with epoxy yet.

Punch holes into the top of a cardboard box to hold your key shafts. The full set, inserted, will look like this:

Image

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You can see that some of the bows are not straight, yet. After about an hour and a half to two hours, the epoxy will stiffen, but still be able to be moved. This is when to adjust the bows to make them straight. After a total of 3 to 4 hours of set time, the bows will be somewhat firmly in place. Now, you add more epoxy to fill the gap. Over fill it. It won't matter if it looks terrible at this time. Trust me, you can use plenty if you like.

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Now let the keys sit overnight (at least 15 hours) for the epoxy to fully harden. Now the keys look terrible, but they are solidly assembled.

Now use a wire wheel on a grinder to buff off the excess epoxy.

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When you are done cleaning off the hardened epoxy, the keys look pretty decent.

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But is the epoxy strong enough for use??? Well, the key in the above picture was caught by the wire wheel and thrown through the metal buffing wheel shield and onto the floor, shall we say... forcefully. Twice. Yet you can see that the bow is still firmly attached. This was the first key I buffed the epoxy out of, and had to learn the right angles to hold the key and get the epoxy out of the corners, yet not be grabbed by the wheel. And yes, I always use safety glasses!

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The full set:

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And the keys for which I know the numbers:

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Tested the two for which I have locks, and they work great. :mrgreen:

Fin!!!

Gordon
Just when you think you've learned it all, that is when you find you haven't learned anything yet.
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MBI

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Post Thu Aug 22, 2013 3:31 am

Re: Making S&G Environmental Lock Keys

Fantastic! Thanks for posting this update.

Are you rekeying an environmental to test these different permutations, or is there enough room for error in the tolerances in these that it won't matter if an angle is off by a tiny bit?
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GWiens2001

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Lock-Goblin-Gordon
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Post Thu Aug 22, 2013 4:11 am

Re: Making S&G Environmental Lock Keys

I am a bit picky about work I do. Almost a prick about making sure the angles are correct. But it does not seem like the tolerances are all that difficult. Each key I have made for the three locks that I have had acces to have worked fine. If you can estimate angles, it ain't difficult getting the angles right. If I had another two or three of these locks, I could ether them up and test all the keys. Hoping I end up with enough of the to do exactly that. Then make one into a cutaway.

Gordon
Just when you think you've learned it all, that is when you find you haven't learned anything yet.
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rai

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Post Thu Aug 22, 2013 1:34 pm

Re: Making S&G Environmental Lock Keys

Now if someone would take one of these locks apart and do some internal modifications on them,

theres room on the key for more tumblers in the space of one cut, you could have two or three, Brass can be cut with a jewelers saw on a benchpin with a cutout for the support of the brass,

You could have your own environmental lock made to fit a more secure key. not really hard to do, get some practice making cut out coins first and it will be a breeze.

Ive done cutout coins years ago, you need only learn to lift and pull the saw very uniformly straight up and down, its actually easy, you only break blades when you fail to go straight up and down.

you could do modifications on one of these like abloy has done on its classic to produce the varients.
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rai

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Post Thu Aug 22, 2013 1:38 pm

Re: Making S&G Environmental Lock Keys

another mod, you could make a punch and die that would snap out a number of tumblers on every punch, then sell them to people who want to modify the locks.
I think such a thing would pay for itself pretty soon on a forum like this one. Talk to a machinist about it.
these locks are big and probably not a difficult thing to customize like people do their black rifles, theres room for a small industry in modifying these big things.
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Oldfast

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OldddffAASSTT the Spin Master Extraordinaire and American Lock Slayer
OldddffAASSTT the Spin Master Extraordinaire and American Lock Slayer

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Post Fri Aug 23, 2013 6:17 am

Re: Making S&G Environmental Lock Keys

Holy SHIT Gordon!!! That's really something! You've been busy. VERY NICE

And..... oooooooOOOOHHH NOOOOOO :freakout:
GWiens2001 wrote:....However, do not set up all the bows and leave them on the bench at work, or some moron will toss a rag onto them, knocking a lot of them off, and leaving the rest severely skewed. :evil: Note - it is a pain in the rump to get all the JB Weld out of the grove for the bow. Especially when you don't know it happened until you come back to work a couple of days later. :?
Man, did I ever cringe and feel your pain when I read this (and I'm not even the one who invested the time!)
" Enjoy the journey AS MUCH as the destination."
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rai

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Post Sat Aug 24, 2013 1:31 pm

Re: Making S&G Environmental Lock Keys

have you had time to open that package I sent? I would love to hear your critique, suggestions for how it could be done better or if you think its a dead end, let me know.
Last edited by rai on Sun Aug 25, 2013 1:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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macgng

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Post Sun Aug 25, 2013 3:29 am

Re: Making S&G Environmental Lock Keys

damn really nice!!!! great job!
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