As of March 2nd, 2019 the official slogon of Lock Alchemy, LLC is “In, on, around a door we do it” the slogon is copyrighted. This phrase is copyrighted with our without punctuation of any kind (Including, but but limited to commas and hyphens).

“In, on, around a door we do it”

© 2019 Lock Alchemy, LLC All Rights Reserved

We are often called out to rekey locks after someone moves into a new home. This was a newer home and had the original door hardware. The entire job took about an hour which included getting to chat with my lovely customers.

This house was my favorite kind of rekey. The house had three knobs and three deadbolts. Pretty standard. However, the deadbolts were an older style. Modern deadbolts require a 2 1/8 bore, the hole in the door. These deadbolts were 1 5/8.

Moving into a new home is expensive. Rekeying their locks allowed them to maintain security while saving the cost of replacing all of the locks.

This Sargent mortise lock is over 90 years old. It was installed when the house was built over 90 years ago in Cleveland Heights. The buttons were stuck and giving the home owner a lot of problems.

Working with these locks is a pleasure and a privilege. However, repairing them is not always an easy task.

When removing the case for the lock care must be taken to make sure no parts drop off or springs go flying. As soon as the case is open you should take a picture of the lock. In case anything happens you can use the picture as a guide to reassmble the lock. If you remove any items you sound take another picture.

Often times cleaning these locks can be accomplished with lubricants. The same amount of care sound be taken when reassembling the lock.

Typically, reinserting the lock into the door is normally completed without incident. The lock sounds be thoroughly tested before calling the job “done.”

There are many reasons why a company would want to hire a locksmith / security consultant.

A company may be interested in knowing what they can do to increase their physical and cyber security but may not have the time it resources to schedule on those needs right away. A consultant can develop a plan, set a timeline, and propose accurate cost estimates.

Risk assessment. Be it from internal theft, external theft, fire, cyber security: knowing what the risks and goes to correct them is half the battle.

They may want to check the validity of information they are receiving from another locksmith or security company installing electonic access control, CCTV cameras, locks and doors. They may already be “in too deep” to switch companies but want to make sure the process is going correctly.

Penetration testing. A security consultant can pretend to be a “bad guy” trying to enter a building physically, through the network, or social engineering.

A company may have in house staff capable of installing and maintaining systems with some guidance and training. Here at Lock Alchemy, we frequently provide keyed alike and master keyed locks to businesses for their maitenance workers to install. We also provide guidance on ordering the correct hardware and can supply it.

A Service Call is fee is a bill for the expense associated with the time and travel to diagnose, inspect, and provide expert recommendations by a technician. This is sometimes also referred to as a trip free.

Most blue collar trades like plumbing, HVAC, electricians etc. bill for a service call.

What are they charging for? Why does it vary do much? Why can it be so high?

What are they charging for?

People understand they need to pair for a service but why pay for someone to drive out? Time is money and you’re buying time? The company or technician has to set aside time in their day to visit you at your home or business. They can’t go to other money making jobs during this time. There are also real costs associated with driving: gas, wear and trear on a vehicle, and paying the technician.

Why do they vary do much?

Firstly, it depends on the trade. A handyman might have a very low service call or trip free where a licensed plumber may have a higher fee. Secondly, some companies include some work in the price if a service call like 30 minutes or an hour of labor?

Why can it be so high?

Let’s examine what you get with any real service call, labor excluded because that may vary.

  • The technician or dispatcher took a call interupting what they were doing
  • The service was scheduled
  • The technician arrived within a given time frame
  • Gas was used to drive there, time to find the place, and park
  • A professional with skills and knowledge will examine your issues arrived.
  • They have a stocked vehicle with tools, equipment, supplies, and merchandise
  • They then have paperwork to complete related to the call such as entering customer info, writing an invoice, book keeping, ordering parts, taking items out of an inventory system
  • Additionally there are costs of running a business. Storefront/stock, phone bill, insurance, workman’s compensation, professional organizations, continuing education, tools and machines, paying bookkeepers and accounts, legal fees, advertising costs, payroll, time taken to network, paying for business software etc

The reality is that most service calls help a company payn for these things, maybe make a little bit of money but mostly likely they’re breaking even. So an $85 service call and $100 of parts and labor, which ends up costing you $185 may yield a lot less for the technician. After paying for parts, even at cost and credit card original fees they make a fraction of what you pay.

We hope this explains why we charge a service call even for close locations like University Heights, Cleveland Heights, South Euclid, Shaker Heights, Lyndhurst, and others.

Unfortunately, little in life is free. That includes hiring any worthwhile service company. Every service company wants to tell you this, not because they need to justify their prices, but because they want you to know it’s actually fair.

This very popular lock is durable and secure. We sell a variety of keyless mechanical locks but this is my preferred lock. The biggest advantage the lock offers is the ability to quickly change the combination with minimal tools and just a few seconds.

In order to change the combination you have to know the combination. Retrieving an unknown combination to use our change the current one is a little complicated. It requires disassembling the lock, reading the side of the combination chamber, then properly reassembling the lock.

Easy if you interested what your doing pretty difficult if you don’t.

If you’re considering a keyless entry option contact is before you buy something that may or may not be the best fit for you.

We just hit the second quarter of 2019! So far we’ve accomplished many of or goals for the year. We’ve expanded our service area, offerings, and services. Let’s explain a little more about what we’ve been up to.

Social Media + Networking

We continue to post almost daily on Instagram and Facebook to allow customers to see examples of our work. We don’t like stock photography! Lock Alchemy provides services that people can see so we want to show them photos. 2019 is offering a lot of networking events. Hopefully we’ll see you at the next event!


Continued investment in our inventory has allowed us to provide same day service for unusual lock and key needs. We stock hundreds of different key blanks, locks in different finishes and key ways, and commercial lock and door hardware.


This year we started provided Safe Deposit Box services. Our experience in different locks has made this an easy addition. We look foreword to networking and services more banks, credit unions, hotels and other buildings with secure storage.

Service Area

The biggest thing we’ve done in 2019 (so far!) has been adding a new service location. We are proud to have a branch in Lakewood, OH. This branch allows us to service the far West Side of Cuyahoga County and the Eastern portion of Lorain County. It also allows us to more easily service Cleveland proper.

Lock Alchemy is licensed by GMS to be this areas provider of MX12 restricted locks, cylinders, and keys. The closest locksmith with access to these keys and locks are in McKinley New York.

“DO NOT DUPLICATE” stamped on keys is becoming increasingly irrelevant if not deceiving. There is nothing illegal to stop anyone from duplicating a key stamped “do not duplicate.” Most hardware stores will duplicate these keys without ever examining them. The presence of DIY key machines in grocery stores allows people to simply place the key in the machine and produce copies. There are now even apps that allow copies of keys to be made by picture, thereby removing the need for a key to be taken off the premises of a building. Lastly, unscrupulous locksmiths will duplicate many “high security” keys for a quick dollar.

Our MX Restricted Key System controls things from the source. A contract and initial purchase are necessary to have access to these keys and locks. Additionally, they are geographically restricted. Each key blank box is also factory labeled identifying the locksmith it was shipped to.

This key system also allows for the flexibility to be master keyed and used in various types of door and lock hardware. Incredible versatility, durability, and affordability. Unlike other restricted key systems like Medeco, Mul-T-Lock, and ASSA – MX is very affordable for small businesses that don’t want to skimp on security but don’t want to pay high dollar for brand names.



Per our contract with GMS and our suppliers we must stamp all keys with a company identifier. We stamp keys with “ALCH” to represent our company. The second number designates the number your key system has been assigned. The third number represents the individual number assigned to each key. Even if multiples of a key is made each key will have it’s own identifying number. Each key is tracked within our system reducing the cost of lockouts and key duplication. In many cases, we can simply ship keys to authorized personnel.






Contact us today to learn more about how we can implement MX at your business or home. We can provide an in person demonstration and quote at no cost to you.

Lock Alchemy Locksmiths offers a range of high security key systems and master key system options. We walk customers through selecting a system, implemention, and any ongoing maintenance.

We have several systems in place to help businesses manager their keys. Our high security keys are stamped for identification. We also provide stamping services for master key systems.

Our professional software allows us to safely store and manage your master key system to provent issues with lost keys, changing locks, hardware upgraded, security changes, room use changes and the like.

Our combination of offline computer software and paper systems offer redundancy, security, and peace of mind to customers.

Our system ensures that unauthorized individuals will not be able to duplicate keys from us.

We also provide solutions for businesses, management companies, and HR departments to track keys and user access.

This article is a continuation in a series about our high security and master key system product offerings.

Do Not Duplicate, Copy Right, All Rights Reserved.

We’ve seen these phrases everywhere yet people still copy keys, pirate software, and share music illegally.

Do you want to ensure no one is able to copy your keys to your home or business? Enter “key control.”

Key Control is the idea that only certain individuals have access to certain types of keys. They can be restricted to locksmiths, distributors, geographical areas, and end-users.

Locksmiths that have accounts with certain distributors are able to purchase lock cylinders and key blanks distributor limited keyway. While this adds a layer of complication to getting a copy it’s far from full proof. These blanks are often available online from many dealers. There are some locksmiths that will over look securing appropriate documentation before duplicating these types of keys.

Real restricted key systems require a locksmith to buy in to a product line. This ensures that only locksmiths who’ve spent large sums of money are able to make key copies.