When I first came across the SOVILOCK name I had to chuckle since I struggled with the name. I hadn't actually seen the product when a friend of mine gave me the nod that it deserved attention. I wasn't sure if it was a Polish name, a Russian name or some exotic dish served in a restaurant.
After seeing pictures of it, I knew I wanted to get my hands on one. When I received the stainless steel security pins/cups and held it in my hand, I knew this was a winner for the locksmith and the consumer.
The Sovilok parts are cast from 316 Stainless Steel, which enables high shear strength with complete non-corrosion. The Sovilok products are manufactured at the Milwaukee Precision Casting Corporation plant, formerly Chicago Vacuum Casting, an industry leader in precision casting for over 50 years.
The casting process used is called the “lost wax” process. Each part is cast molded in specialized wax to the finest detail required. Each wax model is then attached to a “tree” of wax by means of gates or sprues made from rods of wax, and a venting system is made the same way to convey air and other gasses out of the model once it is completed and filled with hot metal.
The tree is attached to a “pour-cup” which will channel the molten metal during casting. The size of our product allows for upwards of 50 parts to be attached to each tree. Once attached, this “wax tree” is dipped into a silicaceous slurry solution that covers the wax model and dries to a “ceramic shell”.
Repeated layers of this ceramic solution are applied, allowing for drying between each application. The outermost layers use a coarser aggregate until a sufficient thickness has built up so the model will hold together during the process that “burns out” the wax and then the administration of molten metal.
Once the wax has been burned out and replaced with the liquid molten metal, the tree is cooled and the ceramic coating is broken away revealing the stainless steel parts. They reproduce every detail of the original wax parts. The gates and vents are cut off and the parts are “tumbled” to smooth out and polish the finish.
This precision process not only allows for the closest tolerances in the industry, but also completely eliminates any porosity in the final product. This is of utmost concern to Sovilok Manufacturing, since the product demands exact dimensions, and cannot fail. A good example of the detailed precision of the product is verified on the front lip of the round female pin used on the hinge side of a residential door.
If you have further interest in the “lost wax” process, or would like to see how quality products are made in America, visit Milwaukee Precision’s website at www.milwaukeeprec.com. You will understand why Sovilock Manufacturing feels they are the best in the business and why the Sovilock Frame Reinforcement kits quality is first class!
Tom Lynch, CRL