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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Posts
    4
    Country: United States

    Default Unique Vault mechanism

    Hello, is anyone aware of this locking mechanism itís very interesting. If so does anyone know the name and have any info about it? Maybe itís made by Chubb?

    Please see attached photos
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails B2BD4D29-E171-4A51-9F32-003815E6D9C0.jpeg   79C87EF8-0F1F-4D58-8EA5-A4CD04CEA547.jpeg  

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    137
    Country: Germany

    Default

    It is called: Lafette. It has been used a lot in Germany with Kromer Protector locks maybe until the 90s. IMHO it is mainly a convenience feature as it does only improve the security again attacks by explosives, but makes other attacks easier.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    1,547
    Country: Wales

    Default

    The Lafette's specialty is its ability to operate a very thick door with a very short key.
    It eliminates the need for long extended safe keys or detachable bits as a door a metre or more thick can be unlocked by a key just a few inches long.

    Ive never considered the Kromer Protector version as giving any protection against explosives or manipulation as the ones I've seen the entire Lafette shaft can be removed from the outside simply by a small screw, revealing the shaft sized hole through the entire door over the locks. The big Tann RDV's I used to work on had massive glass plates and remote live and dead relockers in defence.

    Bode Panzer and Garny also used their own variations of the Lafette, of which the Bode Panzer Tangential is arguably the ultimate example.
    Huw

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Aberdeenshire
    Posts
    490
    Country: Great Britain

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Cepasaccus View Post
    It is called: Lafette. It has been used a lot in Germany with Kromer Protector locks maybe until the 90s. IMHO it is mainly a convenience feature as it does only improve the security again attacks by explosives, but makes other attacks easier.

    I attach a more descriptive photograph.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Kromer with Lafette.JPG 
Views:	15 
Size:	29.8 KB 
ID:	21484 I first came across this feature in my first weeks as a trainee safe mechanic. We were called to the offices of what had been the German Consulate in Glasgow in 1948 and which was now occupied by the brand new NHS.

    The safe, a Bode Panzer from memory, had already been x-rayed by the Ministry. It had two Kromer KC dials for which I believe the combinations were known but they failed to release the boltwork. It was then and only by chance that my foreman discovered that the top dial was a dummy and a search was then made for the key bit, the discovery of which finally allowed the safe to be opened.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    137
    Country: Germany

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Huw Eastwood View Post
    Ive never considered the Kromer Protector version as giving any protection against explosives
    If you are referring to my posting: The protection against explosives is a feature of the Lafette as it closes the key hole, not the Protector (the key lock).

    Quote Originally Posted by Huw Eastwood View Post
    the entire Lafette shaft can be removed from the outside simply by a small screw, revealing the shaft sized hole through the entire door over the locks.
    That is why I think it is mainly a convenience feature.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    1,547
    Country: Wales

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Cepasaccus View Post
    If you are referring to my posting: The protection against explosives is a feature of the Lafette as it closes the key hole, not the Protector (the key lock).
    Yes, I was referring to the Lafettes used specifically on the Kromer Protectors.
    While the Lafette shaft does indeed close the keyhole like you say, my point is that it offers zero protection against explosives because it can easily be removed from the door- nothing to do with the Kromer Protector lock whatsoever.

    Once removed, it gives even more 'access room' over the locks for manipulation or explosives attack than a normal keyhole would.

    Older Lafette versions and those by Bode Panzer and Garny might well be assembled or fastened from the inside of the door preventing removal- it would make far more sense. The Lafette shaft might also be locked or 'checked' by the secondary lock preventing its operation when the unit is locked. This would make a big difference.
    Huw

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    137
    Country: Germany

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Huw Eastwood View Post
    While the Lafette shaft does indeed close the keyhole like you say, my point is that it offers zero protection against explosives because it can easily be removed from the door ...
    ... The Lafette shaft might also be locked or 'checked' by the secondary lock preventing its operation when the unit is locked. This would make a big difference.
    All versions I have seen or heard about are Lafettes which can only be pulled out when the combination lock is unlocked. So when a burglar comes to a safe all holes are closed and he can't remove the Lafette. As soon as a burglar can overcome the combination lock all security benefits go down the drain.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Aberdeenshire
    Posts
    490
    Country: Great Britain

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Cepasaccus View Post
    All versions I have seen or heard about are Lafettes which can only be pulled out when the combination lock is unlocked. So when a burglar comes to a safe all holes are closed and he can't remove the Lafette. As soon as a burglar can overcome the combination lock all security benefits go down the drain.




    • In addition, once the other lock has unlocked the Lafitte, the dial on the latter has to be turned to 50 before it can be withdrawn.
    • Are there any KC lock manipulators employing their skills illegally who are unknown to the authorities?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    1,547
    Country: Wales

    Default

    I'd forgotten about that video of Brian demonstrating the Tangential.
    I've got a one-off around somewhere I made from a Peake safe I'd heavily modified over to glass and Mersey locks in the 90s. I'll see if I can dig it out and post some pics.
    Made the main shaft in brass with separate key cradle machined from6061 alloy to similar design like what safeman posted, ie not folding like the bode Panzer.Getting the key to balance in the cradle with so much of the business end projecting to clear the steel mountings and glass was the tricky bit, Had to make heavier bows for the keys in order to get them to remain balanced when the shaft was pulled in and out of the door- users are often pretty rough with them. The Tanns I used to see regularly with the Kromers certainly had a hard life.
    The older Bode Panzer hinged design looks better simply in that there's no fiddling with fingertips to get the key out!!
    Huw

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    137
    Country: Germany

    Default

    That is a Protector key which has been used in a Lafette.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails key.jpg  

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