Locksmith Bob Steffen says he still enjoys the challenge of
unlocking doors and rekeying homes and businesses. He adds
that it is a profession where the opportunities for learning
OCONOMOWOC - What are the keys to being happy?
to get into your home, car or business with ease never
hurts. To that end, Bob Steffen of Bobís TV Lock & Key helps
people get back into those places when they find that they
have been locked out.
always meeting different people,Ē he said. ďAnd they seem to
be very gracious; Iíve had people thank me three or four
times for helping them out.Ē
business, located at N58 W39957 on Highway 16, started as a
TV and electronics repair enterprise, but expanded into
locks and keys as the demand for TV repair waned.
addition to helping people whoíve been locked out, he works
to change locks in homes, businesses and factories.
up to the Enterprise about the locksmith business Tuesday.
ENTERPRISE: How did you learn how to be a
had an older brother who was a locksmith when I was a
teenager. I would help him.
ago, I picked it up again when I enrolled in Penn Fosterís
four- to five-month locksmithing program. They would send
locks through the mail that I had to unlock, along with
having to do a written component.
ENTERPRISE: Are there any misconceptions the
public seems to have about your profession?
When you watch a TV show, there is always some guy with a
pocketknife or bobby pin who can get the lock in no time.
Thatís not true at all.
locksmith, Bob Steffen has seen all kinds of locks. He says
it hurts his ego if there is one he canít unlock easily.
ENTERPRISE: Whatís the strangest situation
youíve been put in as a locksmith?
Last summer, a guy called me at 1 a.m. saying he had locked
himself out of his truck while hunting in a cornfield north
of Oconomowoc. It proved legitimate. At the time, I had been
a bit worried about who would be out in a cornfield at that
time of night.
ENTERPRISE: How do people react to being
Some of them are not too worried, just a little mad. Others
are in a total panic state. They canít even speak. You ask
them their name and they have to stop and think about it.
ENTERPRISE: How long does it take to pick a
lock? Are there any that stymied you? And what keeps you
Some of them I can do under a minute, others take under 10
minutes. There are some that take hours. It hurts my ego if
I canít pick it. There are some where I might try longer
than I should.
one lock that I was trying to get in the frigid cold. I
tried for 20 minutes before drilling the sheer line out.
There was another one where a maintenance man had taken
apart a lock on an expensive home. There were missing
pieces, but I managed to put it back together.
locks is like a puzzle - every lock is different. I could
keep learning about locks for the rest of my life. Iím
learning how to do medical locks now.