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Is it common to have wafers made of different metals?

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USApicker

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Posts: 68

Joined: Fri Jun 20, 2008 10:14 pm

Location: USA

Post Sat Nov 08, 2008 4:55 pm

Is it common to have wafers made of different metals?

I found a wafer lock that I think had wafers made of three different metals; copper, brass, and steel (judging by the color). Is this common?
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MBI

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Posts: 1544

Joined: Fri Apr 04, 2008 3:25 am

Location: Utah, USA

Post Sun Nov 09, 2008 1:13 am

Re: Is it common to have wafers made of different metals?

I've seen some locks where there is no rhyme or reason for different colored wafers. It just seems like they put different finishes on different batches for some random purpose. It's likely that they are all brass, but some are left unplated, some are copper plated, and others are either nickel or zinc plated.

On some brands of wafer locks it's deliberate, and that's how they differentiate the different wafer sizes (cut depths). On other brands, they stamp a number somewhere on the wafer. Some don't mark them in any way at all.

I find rekeying wafer locks to be one of the more enjoyable locksmithing tasks. I don't know why but it helps me chill out. Very zen. Over the years I've started accumulating more and more wafer lock rekeying kits of different types. I guess we all have our eccentricities. That's one of mine.
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GutterClown

Post Sun Nov 09, 2008 4:58 am

Re: Is it common to have wafers made of different metals?

Spot on. It's to identify different coded wafers. You'll find in most cases, the original manufacturer will have just brass wafers, but rekeying kits will be colored. The colors help a great deal when decoding a lock by reading through the keyhole.

It's done for the same reason pins are colored in LAB kits and so on. Just for identification by the person working on it, no performance \ picking resistance.

I've seen brass, silver, red and black colors.

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