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Open a bottle of ice-cold Topo Chico as we go through the post of the week, comment of the week, and Q&A with Phil from Framon. But before that, check out our April hat. This is our van life hat, which you get for free on any order over $380.
POST OF THE WEEK
Last Sunday, my dad had pulled up to my house, and when I looked out my front door, this is what I saw. There he is inside the Baja bug; he's been talking about this Baja bug that he's been building, and it's finally done. He had the whole thing restored. It even took me a little spin right after this photo here. So, how cool is that if you guys get a kick out of that with his little bug?
The next post comes from artgnarfunkel. He made this custom cylinder holder, which is cool to see people creating little tools and products that they find useful. So, thank you for sharing and sending that in.
Next is from Mark H, a winner from a few weeks ago. He got the arrow key software. I see one of the mullets sitting down there and a sticker. That's pretty cool. Mark, thank you for sending that in.
COMMENT OF THE WEEK
And let's move on to the comment of the week here. So in the comments of the week, we have from BStrickler,
You're in luck because not only do I have Phil on standby, we're going to be talking to him here in just a few minutes. But we actually have some battles coming up where we're putting the KX-1 up against some other machines, so you kind of get a feel for the differences, the similarities, why you maybe want to use one in certain situations and one in the other. So I'm going to bring Phil on here, and we're going to have to let him answer this question and talk about some things. So without further ado here, let me hold you up here. Phil, thanks for joining us.
QUESTION AND ANSWER WITH PHIL FROM FRAMON
Phil: Thanks for having me, PJ.
PJ: Man, I'm really happy to have you back. And now you have a Topo Chico over there, don't you? The hard Topo Chico is good stuff. Cheers.
Phil: I'm going to stay off the can because it's an alcoholic drink until I'm done here. So.
PJ: You know, most of the time, people want to drink them before they go on. Right.
Phil: As I told you, I went to four different stores. And that's all I could find in El Pino. So apparently, it must be selling out everywhere. So.
PJ: yes, yeah, it's hard to find. I mean, this is the normal stuff here. It's hard to find right now. So, as you know, and as we've talked about, I, you know, we recently came out with a video of the KX-1 machine, kind of going over its basic functions, cutting a best SFI C key. And we have some different videos about the machine that will be coming out in the coming weeks. And I just wanted to take the opportunity to have you talk a little bit about the machine. But before we do, let's answer this. Can I get you to answer this question here?
Phil: Sure. So a pretty drastic difference between the two machines. If you were an end-user, say in a college or something like that, all you did was Schlage, primus, or best A2 to the KX1. One would kind of be your go-to machine. It's what I would call kind of an extra toy or luxury machine for a locksmith who's doing a lot of whether you do interchangeable core or Schlag or Quickset, you still need your basic code machine that can do cat Mickey's automotive keys, you know, pretty much anything you run into the k x one is not capable of that it's designed for a locksmith that does two or three or four different systems whether it's ASA, Dorma, you know, Sergeant, something like that. So, for somebody just in regular commercial blacksmithing, it's or, you know, just regular locksmith business kind of a catch-all you have to have a number two type machine, or a code machined up to do everything. And then the KX-1 would be can be your extra toy once you get established.
PJ: Absolutely. Yeah. So thanks for answering that. I'm, now I want to ask you a question. And I want to ask. I don't know the answer. And I want to guess before you say something, okay. Go ahead. And that is what does the KX-1, which is the part number, what does it stand for? And I have again said, Okay, so I guess now I'm going to bribe you just I only went to public school here. Okay. So it'd be a pretty kind of a low bar. But does it stand for key Express?
Phil: It does. That was the first machine they let me the name—the shop after I was there for five years. And I, yeah, not proud of that name. But that's what I came up with. So I thought it would be snappy, but thank God we shortened it up to KXY.
PJ: I love that.
PJ: I love that name. I think it's awesome. I mean, would you be opposed? If we call that the key Express on like, some, like advertising or webpage or something?
Phil: Not. Call it whatever you want?
PJ: Sweet. All right.
Phil: I can't believe you figured that out. So
PJ: Awesome. That's good, you know. I mean, this whole time, when I was creating the first video and doing this stuff, I'm like, what does it stand for? It was like, You know what, I'd rather ask them live and guess. So that's good.
Phil: I wish it were something a little bit better. But anyway, that's what it is. And that's what it's been for 25 years. So.
PJ: Yeah, I think it's a great name. I think it's great. So, if you have to take us back in time, you said you're 25 years old and that this machine has been out. Why did Freeman create this machine?
Phil: So this goes back to 1988. When ASA first came into the country with their twin system, they needed this as long as they weren't part of us, I have a boy and all the different groupings, and you know the buyouts, but they needed a key machine. And so they came to a little old Alpena, Michigan, flew the staff in and showed us, my dad, all the keys, you know what they needed to be able to cut. And basically, my dad took a number two code machine and edited campus to do it. And it would only cut us up. And I think they named it up PS 6000 T. At that time, we for, you know, nine years made that machine for ASA. And they still sell the KX1; I think they still call it a PS 6000 T. But so you'll see, especially out in your neck in the woods, because Utah area, there was a lot of that twin system of assets. So there's a lot of those out there, the old machine, but it looks like a number two with plates on it instead of dials. So then, along about 95, or 96, Tom Demont he owns or runs the key machine Museum in Pennsylvania, he was our rep, and he said, hey, you need to make this thing got A2 two, a three and a four as well. So we came up with some different cams, and the machine was able to cut that, and then from there, it was difficult to adjust; you couldn't go from Best a to Asa. We were getting a lot of other requests from other manufacturers. And so we can be the idea of doing it on the number two chassis and came up with the one you have behind you.
PJ: Okay, interesting. So, when it comes to the ASA stuff, like so this is like their kind of factory key machine, so to speak for their QA essentially,
Phil: Yeah, the end-users, that's what they would be, you know, I mean, I think in the asset tech manual, they may list and ITL is well and a couple of other machines, but this is the one that they kind of they assign their part number to it, so,
PJ: Interesting. You know, when it comes to like the interchangeability of it, I was, you know, on this one here, you know, I switched, I switched it over to Schlage for a video, and it's one of those things that it's just so simple by undoing that Allen's for the depth in the space of screwing the new ones in and then, of course, changing the cutter if it's not the right cutter on it. And it works just perfectly. So you know, and the funny part of Phil is how we even got on this subject of the KX-1 is your number, I don't know. It was a year ago. And as like, as Phil was like if there's a way we could take like the frame into and turn it into more like a punch style machine. That would be amazing. And you're like PJ; we already have that.
Phil: Conversation. Yes.
PJ: You remember that? And yeah, and that's just, it's a great machine. Now, you can interchange a quick refresher for us. All you can interchange it between SFIC Schlage, Sargent, Medeco, right, like by axle, and three Quickset.
Phil: Pretty much anything that's out there. And if it's not out there, we can always custom make it. Can we? That's one thing we've always done a lot of is custom work. Somebody calls up and has kind of a special application. Most of the time, there are not a lot of extra charges, as long as we can run it when we're doing other parts. But yeah, I mean, we do all the new Corbin. I mean, anything you can imagine that's a cylinder key we pretty much cover. So I think we just added the Hager the other day. Hager has got a restricted candidate escapes me at the moment what the name of it is. But I think that just uses a mix of a Schlage cam, a space cam, and a two-depth cam. But yeah, any of that stuff that's out there, we can pretty much take care of soy, and you know, it is nice, you don't have to adjust anything when going between one and the other. So.
PJ: Yes, yeah. And just the ease of use. And that's something I want to point out because it's probably the best jaw I've ever seen for SFIC, which is your job. No matter what keyway it is. It just clamps it perfectly. And I mean, that's something I mean, I know I've done a video on it. I've talked a lot about it. But I'd say like every time I use it. Every single key machine in existence that cuts the best keys needs to be using that job, right?
Phil: Yep, yeah. And that one also came from a factory visit, and the best came up one time and wanted us to make a machine for them. And that was what we developed for the job. The machine idea never really went anywhere because they're so committed to their punches. But yeah, that just came out of that trip. So yeah, that's served us all over the years.
PJ: Awesome. Good stuff. So one last question for And you hinted at it at the beginning, which was when we, you know when I was reading through the comments, and you know, kind of talking about it. The question is, is like, When should I buy this over just buying the like a frame and two or even an electronic machine like Where? Where does it fit? Now I know it's the very beginning, you kind of alluded to it a little bit, but I just want to make sure we can be clear on that. So from Freeman's perspective, from your perspective as also a locksmith, what type of situation or scenario would you recommend someone getting the punch like this to cut best or Schlage, something like that?
Phil: Sure, you know, and I think you would probably agree; you know, as a locksmith, as a beginner, your first machine is typically a duplicator. Your second machine is normally a code machine for standard-type keys at that point, and not everybody does that. Some guys just go straight to the automatic machine if they're going to do automotive, but so you start with the duplicator, go to the code machine, and start feeling your way into what you want to do might be a safe deposit. So now you're going to buy a flat steel key duplicator. But if you're a guy who is going to get into residential and commercial master key systems, you know, cut, whether it's a, you know, a blitz machine, or our machine or any other machine, you know, cut to 250 or 300, change keys and a Master Key System on a manual machine and do that a couple of times, and then this machine shines. So you know, when you can cut a key in 10 or 15 seconds compared to 30? You know, you know, you're cutting your time in half. So, plus just a lot easier. Then, you know, the operation of the machine is very quick. So it's, you know, it's a nice, nice add-on to the, to the bench.
PJ: Yeah, you know, I think they are a good point, you know, something like the punch machines, right? They don't require electricity. And they're great. There are a lot of applications that they are perfect for, but the one thing is that the first time you have to cut 234 100 keys, like your hand your elbow, right, from constantly going down, it can wear on you a little bit. Yeah, and you only have to do that one time before you're wishing while you're punching them that you had an electronic machine to help you.
Phil: Yeah, you know, we've got the, you know, we've got several customers that I've got one, in particular, all they do is Quickset. And they've got, I think, four or five of these in their shop. I mean, that's all they do is cut QuickSight master key systems for apartment buildings. And you know, a couple of other guys that, you know, there's three or four of these things in their shop, just to do, you know, dedicated work like that. Several distributors have them for cutting them, you know, their master key systems up and things like that. So yeah, it's a great machine. Again, not the first thing you buy unless you're just going to do you maintain a Master Key System in a hospital or something like that. But something you put on the bench. And you know, in our shop, we've got a dedicated machine, just a medical commercial. And I know that's old and probably sounds funny to a lot of guys because it's long been out of patent, but in Alpena, Michigan, it works out great for us, But we just have one set up for that. So when somebody brings one in, we don't have to change a machine over or anything like that. It's ready to go; you throw it in there. And away they go in a couple of minutes. So
PJ: Absolutely. You know, and like I was telling you right before we went live here, my dad, in a couple of the battles we did, was in, and you know, he's pretty cheap, right? He's pretty cheap. And after he used that machine, he had never used it before. He was immediately like. I want one of those machines. What do you plan to do with that one? And that's how I knew it was good, right? That's, that's what I knew. I was like, okay, like, it takes a lot to get him impressed. And it impressed him.
Phil: Will take care of your dad, I promise. So, but yeah, you know, just, I mean, one more plug on the machine, I don't believe there's a faster machine out there manually that can cut a key, I don't know that there's an automatic machine that can cut a key that fast. So you know, it's a workhorse it's built, like all of our other machines, you know, very accurate and this one is extremely easy to use for anybody.
PJ: Yeah. We have Phil coming up here, so I know that you have some new products that you guys have been working on. I'm excited for those to get announced, and we'll have to have you back on when those hit the market. And you know, I just wanted to say when you when we look at our customers' feedback from buying a Framon machine, whether it's the two or the KX1 or even some of your other just tools and parts that you guys sell. This has great customer service, and you build such a nice product. I just really want to say thank you, that you guys are in the business and that you're making the machines, and it's just a pleasure for, I know, our customers and ourselves to do business. With Framon, it's a lost art nowadays in the manufacturing world for them to care about anything.
Phil: Well, you know, our, our machines are well built, they're, you know, designed well, we don't have a lot of warranty work, we don't have a lot of people on the other end of the phone complaining because they got a machine and it was out of whack when they got it, you know, we don't run into that, you know, the last time we had a new machine come in for repair. Honestly, I couldn't tell you my memories are not good. But it's been a long time. You know, we see machines come back in after 20 years, that guy just wants us to go over, and you know, a couple 100 bucks, and they're back out the door and work on like a brand new machine. So it's again, there's nothing on our machines that wear out, aside from a belt occasionally and a cutter and you know, so it's just not, there's not a lot of customer support to our key machines because of what they are. So I mean, we're happy to take care of anything, but we just don't get that many. We just don't get that many calls. So, you know, I appreciate all the support from you guys on, you know, your customer base.
PJ: Yeah. Yeah, It's been great. As I said, I mean, it's so nice on the distribution side to have a manufacturer like yourselves that is really helpful to the customers when they have a question here or a question there. And so yeah, it's, it's great. And I appreciate you coming on.
Phil: Absolutely. Thanks for having me. I'm going to crack this here probably, and I will fit you all a good, good evening. I'm on. We're on Eastern time. So.
PJ: Yeah. Good stuff. Well, hey, thank you. Thank you, once again, for coming on. And we'll be in contact. Oh, I don't want her to bring up also that some of the gifts tonight are actually provided by Framon. So thank you, you know, for I mean, not only all you do for us and good customer service but the support that you continually give to the lockbox community here. So I appreciate that. And I know all they do as well.
Phil: Yeah, I love the videos. And it's, I sit around at home and watch them occasionally. So I know a couple of our other guys love watching them. So they always pick something up. So thanks for having me, and enjoy the evening, everyone.
PJ: Yes, sounds good. Thanks, pal.
Phil: Thanks, take care.
PJ: All right. So there you have it, everybody. How great is that? It was great having Phil on and the KX1. It's a cool machine.
I look forward to seeing you same place, at the same time, next week. I hope you all have a great day. We'll see you soon.