on all orders over $150*
on all orders over $150*
PJ: Hey, everybody! What is up? We have a jam-packed show today. We're going to start the show by bringing on Wes with Lock Caddy. So let me go ahead and bring him on here. I'm excited to have him on. Wes, thanks for joining.
Wes: Thanks for having me, PJ. Appreciate it.
PJ: Yes, you know, I'm excited for you. I think it was about a year ago, actually, at the last ALOA show that we had met. We had booths right next to each other, and we always talked about having you come on live. And after your video this past week, I'm like, 'Hey, what a great time to have you come and hang out on live with us.'
Wes: Great, you know, I've been doing this for about 40 years. And I'm telling you, I don't necessarily want to call myself a big mouth, but I've always appreciated communications with people and learning what their needs are and learning myself on locksmithing or, you know, whatever the topic is. So what I kind of want to show you today and the people that are online here is where Lock Caddy came from, and how it kind of evolved, and really how diligent you have to be to bring out a product line. And I'm going to say, number one, I'm proud to say that everything I sell is all American-made. Okay? We have a facility in Evanston, Illinois. Right beside Northwestern University; Go Wildcats. Everything's American-made, you know, quality control. And frankly, if you see any of my tools, you will probably say first thing, 'Boy, a lot of thought went into this tool.' Okay, so what I kind of first want to show you are and I apologize, I'm a storyteller. You asked me what time it is; I tell you how to build a watch. So, I apologize for that. Here is, you know, I'll see if I get it in here. Here is the original Lock Caddy. Okay, if you can kind of see the profile. This is from a door casing from my brother-in-law's renovation in his kitchen. Okay, and I was making these things out of wood on a table saw in his garage. Okay, so you can kind of see where I was making grooves. You can kind of see circles and different markings of what I eventually wanted to do. So, this is the original. Hopefully, going into a museum at some point in time. Lock Caddy that I was using to do small format, the best type of key system. I do a fair amount of that for the folks in the Chicago marketplace. Okay, so this was the original Lock Caddy.
PJ: No, Wes, sorry to interrupt you here for a second. But I just want to say that, anyone who is watching and has a question for Wes, go ahead, and pop it in the chat. And then at that point, I have Megan watching or Julio, and she will text them to me and I'll ask. What I'm going to do here, too, is I'm going to pull myself off the screen. So you have a little wider area where you can show your tools. Okay?
Wes: Cool. So again, this is the original Lock Caddy. You can kind of see some of the original markings over here where I wanted to put in certain tools, tweezers. So it's just not a holding fixture, there are locations for tools, parts, and pieces. So this is the original one. Now, we probably had nine versions before we had something sellable. And what I wanted to show you, here is one of the versions of Lock Caddies that came apart. Okay, we kind of thought that you could build your Lock Caddy. Boy, you're going to get this right, I'll probably get somebody seasick here. But this is the original or one of the original Lock Caddies that we put pins in. So you could order some of these and some of those and build your Lock Caddy type of thing. So that came out of our archives, as far as being one of the second or third-generation Lock Caddy that never actually came to the marketplace. But I thought that would be interesting to show you. Now, if you will, a little bit of this, and I apologize. Here is the current version, Lock Caddy as we know it today. It's 3d printed. It's quality material, it's probably close to 90% fill rate. This means there's 90% of the ABS material is printed through here for strength. And frankly, for this type of tool, 3d printing is the perfect format. I went through the time to check this out to be made on a CNC machine, whether it be aluminum, hardwood, or something, and frankly, those tools would have been $1,000 to manufacture. So in today's marketplace, $69.95 is a great dealer price for this lock caddy, and we always made rolling changes where we made steel pins instead of the plastic pin so that they're stackable. So this is the current Lock Caddy as we know it today. Now, through diligence, frankly, on my wife. What we ended up doing was applying for a patent. And here it is, this is brand new to about six months ago. This took about a year and a half. And a lot of that had to do with COVID that the tax or the patent examiners were working at home and had different workloads. So here is the actual patent that for $7,000 they tell you, here's what you get for your money but here's the actual patent. Here are the drawings and this is each one of these locations, they call them stations. So there are 23 stations on the conventional, and there are all kinds of drawings that have to happen and artwork as far as so that when you know they're looking at your patent application. They know exactly what you're talking about. So to be perfectly honest, in the last eight months, I've had to defend a Lock Caddy patent three times. Two were in the US and one was in the UK. People were copying my products and there's way too much time involved for me to ignore that.
PJ: I'm kind of a little curious about that, I mean, you can say as much as you want or an as little bit, is that like you saw someone else making your design type of thing, and then you had to send them a cease-and-desist type of thing?
Wes: Yeah, many customers were calling me saying, 'Hey, you should look at your competition.' I said, 'Excuse me?' And I went online, and something a little bit different but they were Lock Caddies. So I called the lawyer and said, 'Go get them.' So two letters were sent to two younger locksmiths who had 3d printing capabilities. But if they could do this without any harm, letters are sent. They were stopped. The lock shop in the UK, London was a little more difficult because trying to get over to Europe to honor the US patent is a little more formidable. But they honored it, and they stopped making it. So that's all that happened.
PJ: Okay, gotcha. Yeah. And I know patents aren't cheap so good for you to go through and get all of that. That's great. So we have some questions coming in here, Wes, if you don't mind me sending them to you. This one's from Pouncer Minned.
Wes: Yeah. One feature that I did put in today's video is for the cradle, which is a single-station lock caddy. In the conventional version, most key knob and lever owners are what I call Captain Pins, kind of like a sled if you press the pin and unscrew the cap type of thing. But there are a lot of people who make knob Saunders who have like either a C clip, or an E clip holding the barrel and housing together. And this is a great feature to hold that knob cylinder without getting the C clip off. Something like a Kwikset tool or something without breaking the C clip or bending it. So I just kind of learned that today, as far as a feature is that nobody would know about it other than my big mouth telling you that. Yeah, you can do that right away, but many people are getting their hands on my tools and they're using them for a lot of different cylinders. The only cylinder I have not been able to include in the Lock Caddy would be a Corbin Master Ring cylinder, which is a really big diameter cylinder. So great question. But, just by that alone, if you're trying to take off that C-clip or E-clip knob cylinder. Again, to go from where you're working to a vise or something, my tools prevent that from happening. You can stay at your workbench or stay in your truck and take the C-clip without it flying off onto the floor and you don't know where it goes. Good question.
PJ: Now, Wes, I know this has come up a few times and it'd be fun just to kind of talk about it for a moment but some people are going to push back that they are 3d printed. Have you found at all of that being, I know you hit it on it earlier that it's partly due to price. But have you found any of those types of criticisms about it being 3d printed to be true? Or do you think that 3d printing has been holding up fine since you started?
Wes: Well, the only concern, and it depends upon who is the 3d printer. The people that work for me and do this, do hundreds and hundreds of pieces every day; 3d-wise. Now, what we do for quality control, which you guys would not see, would be that there is a time when you heat the 3d material and it comes out kind of like a main age type of thing, and it goes back and forth. There can be a warpage, meaning there would be a bow on that. So what happens is, when the printer is done, here's a secret, we take a bag of sand, and we lay it on top of the lock caddy. So as it's cooling, it lies flat on the steel plate. So it takes away any kind of warpage, racking, or whatever. So I'm going to say to you that quality-wise, 3d printing is plenty adequate. Especially, if I made this tool and it cost $1,000, the everyday locksmith dealer probably wouldn't buy it. So if you looked at, you know, not to pick on the Allegiance and the Assa Abloy and Kaaba best people, if you look at their tools that do only half of mine do, they're probably every bit of eight to nine hundred dollars. Who wants to pay that kind of money for those features when this is right there ready to go for $69.95?
PJ: Yeah, and the material is ABS, right?
Wes: Great question.
PJ: Wes, very cool. Well, hey, I appreciate you coming on. I'm excited to be shooting some videos and releasing some videos of one of your newest tools that you have out. I appreciate you making the tools and our relationship and you coming on live today.
Wes: Great. Glad to take time with you guys. Appreciate it. And I'm telling you, CLKsupplies, a great company has inventory. You know, take advantage of that.
POSTS OF THE WEEK
"Thank you CLK for the #LOCKBOSS swag and fruit snack!" - Matt K.
Matt, thank you for sending that in. Hopefully you'll be able to put that tank top and koozie to good use before it starts getting cold unless you're in a place. If it's warm, then all the better.
To answer it, it would depend on what type of work am I doing? There's always that tool or two that you need depending on what you're doing. But here are the answers from our lockbosses.
"All systems go" - @summitlockandkey
PJ: I definitely see it. But I tell you what, I agree the bloopers on that video were worth the payroll cost. But no, I tell you what, I love bloopers that make me laugh and those ones definitely. Especially, the key in the ignition. I know Megan's watching so good job. Those videos are fun.
That sums out our week! Thank you, and we’ll see you next time!