Friday, June 24, 2011

EDC Saves the Day!

So I was tinkering with my watch’s bracelet (Father’s day Present, very nice  Seiko Orange Monster) using my Leatherman   Charge when my wife asks me to help her with the kids and the baby stroller.
I leave the Leatherman on the table, hurry to help her through the door with the stroller, she mentions something about liking my watch and blam, she shuts the door right as we go through it in a moment of distraction. I see her keys in her hand… but what about mine?… “Please tell me you have my keys…” . No, she doesn’t.

My keys were on the inside, in the keyhole needed to open the door… at a 45º angle. The main lock of the security door wasn’t locked but the secondary one (right below the doorknob) is enough problem, especially when combined with the armored door that has metal sheaths sandwich-welded to a metal frame structure.

With these pallet brass keys we use here, even a slight angle makes it impossible to just push another key in from the other side.  Suddenly I remember my multitool, useless sitting next to my father’s day present.

All I had was the rest of what I always carry in my pockets. Even my keychain, with the wonderful little Victorinox Minichamp and the small tools that would have help where on the other side of the door, just a couple inches away. With the armored door in between, it might as well be at the bottom of the ocean for all practical purposes. With my flashlight I take a look and see the key is stuck at an angle and if I wanted a chance to push it out from the other side, it had to be realigned with the keyhole. All I had with me in terms of tools was my folding knife. I’ve liked the previously reviewed  Spyderco Resilience so much that I’ve been carrying it sometimes instead of my usual Cold Steel Vaquero.

Using the tip of the blade of the Resilience, I placed it on the side of the brass pallet key and slightly taped so as to sink the tip in a bit, making a small notch on the area of the key that was exposed from the outside. Next came the tricky part where a quality tool makes all the difference: Applying a bit of pressure so as to keep the point of the blade locked with the key, I lift the blade for leverage against the keyhole and rotate the key. I don’t know if a lesser knife would have withstood the leverage to the tip like that, all I know was that I was glad I had a good tool when the key snapped into horizontal position, aligned once again with the keyhole. Again using the tip of the knife to keep the key aligned with the keyhole and holding the LED with my mouth I push with my wife’s key and (oh, such a nice noise!) My keychain drops on the other side.

It may not sound like much but it could have been a problem getting inside. Most of all when you consider the armored security door and what a locksmith would have charged, not to mentioned finding one that was willing to go to your home.
The flashlight came in handy, so did the knife, showing yet again how these two daily carry items make themselves useful on numerous occasions.
Take care everyone,

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Loyalist said...

Way to resolve the situation!

Ed from Europe said...

I've had this same problem once.... I called a locksmith, who sent a 16 yr old guy who messed up the lock. The locksmith himself had to come to pick open the door with special stuff we'll never carry in our EDC.

Next time I'd just wait for my parents to show up with the reserve keys I gave them :-)