Anyone here into Locksport or Locksmithing?

Thread Starter

Yaakov

Joined Jan 27, 2019
1,612
I have recently gotten a bit more serious about building my lockpicking and locksmithing skills, dropping some cash on some better picks and a few practice locks (American 1100s and a could of Abus).

Anyone here interested in locks, manipulation, theory, and repair?
 

shortbus

Joined Sep 30, 2009
7,685
I was slightly. I bought some picks and a pick gun, and made some shims to open Master padlocks. But the guy selling the picks was way better than I could ever dream of being at it. The guy was amazing made it look so easy.

The picks and things are only good if you want it to look like there wasn't a break in though. With the advent of cordless drill a standard keyed lock is no problem to any one that wants in and fast. Drill the keyway out and the tumblers with it and your in.:)
 

Thread Starter

Yaakov

Joined Jan 27, 2019
1,612
Well, non-destructive entry is very helpful. I have picked many locks on equipment cabinets when the keys were "missing". There is also the satisfaction of learning about the theory and practice.

Right now I am working on pin tumbler locks but I will move on to disk detainers, lever locks, and others when my skill is good enough to pick a 6-pin with security pins in some reasonable amount of time. It's fun, engaging, and brain work solving the puzzles inside the keyway you can't see.
 

nsaspook

Joined Aug 27, 2009
7,294
I seen a guy build a key gun out of a Electric Toothbrush, he proceeded to pick 3 locks that were supposed to be impenetrable.


kv
Monte-Carlo problem solving at the finest. Randomness finds the ground energy state on the pins opposing the force rotating the lock mechanism.
 

Zeeus

Joined Apr 17, 2019
548
I have recently gotten a bit more serious about building my lockpicking and locksmithing skills, dropping some cash on some better picks and a few practice locks (American 1100s and a could of Abus).

Anyone here interested in locks, manipulation, theory, and repair?
I have recently gotten a bit more serious about building my lockpicking and locksmithing skills, dropping some cash on some better picks and a few practice locks (American 1100s and a could of Abus).

Anyone here interested in locks, manipulation, theory, and repair?
Lockheed Martin? yes one interested
 

narkeleptk

Joined Mar 11, 2019
461
Anyone here interested in locks, manipulation, theory, and repair?
I am a locksmith of over 20 years so you could say I have dabbled in it a little. I am fairly experienced in residential and light commercial but I only focus on advanced automotive stuff these days, Everything else I usually just refer out to my old apprentices since they always send me so much of their harder auto stuff.

My favorite pick is the half diamond. Its about all I ever use. Its good for raking or single pin picking.
 
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jgessling

Joined Jul 31, 2009
82
Interested to hear of some interest in this area. Some years ago while I was working for a major semiconductor company I would pass my time by signing up for various publications and associations. Those workstream systems were humming along smoothly don’t you know.

I had signed up for lots of different security things and eventualy started getting magazines and catalogues from lock companies and cop equipment. Locks and picks and all kinds of stuff. I did get a book on regular home lock opening and bought some stuff. I found it quit fun but as a landlord it works out better just to call the tenant.

A couple of times it was convenient though.
 

Thread Starter

Yaakov

Joined Jan 27, 2019
1,612
I am a locksmith of over 20 years so you could say I have dabbled in it a little. I am fairly experienced in residential and light commercial but I only focus on advanced automotive stuff these days, Everything else I usually just refer out to my old apprentices since they always send me so much of their harder auto stuff.

My favorite pick is the half diamond. Its about all I ever use. Its good for raking or single pin picking.
I have a couple of sets of Chinese-made picks of middling quality, and I’ve learned a bit with them but I invested in some Petersen picks and turning tools, and some very nice picks from TOOOL (The Open Organization of Lockpickers, a locksport group).

These include a set of really clever rakes based on a bunch of research. The have cycloid and sinusoidal shapes settled on after a lot of math and science was applied.

The better tools are really better. The Petersen picks are made of 420 SS, which is very unusual for picks but it makes them quite strong, even in the .018 and .015 thicknesses.

My goal is to learn, and have fun. I can get into most locks I’d have a casual reason to want opened (cabinets, equipment, padlocks, etc.) but I want to be more skilled. A couple of my sons are also interested.
 

Thread Starter

Yaakov

Joined Jan 27, 2019
1,612
Interested to hear of some interest in this area. Some years ago while I was working for a major semiconductor company I would pass my time by signing up for various publications and associations. Those workstream systems were humming along smoothly don’t you know.

I had signed up for lots of different security things and eventualy started getting magazines and catalogues from lock companies and cop equipment. Locks and picks and all kinds of stuff. I did get a book on regular home lock opening and bought some stuff. I found it quit fun but as a landlord it works out better just to call the tenant.

A couple of times it was convenient though.
A modest investment plus regular practice should raise my skill level pretty dramatically in a short time. I bought some American Lock 1100 padlocks which are very inexpensive (~$10) considering they have removable cylinders and security pinning, with challenging key ways making them excellent practice locks.

But, the good old 4-pin Master padlocks, still help me feel that I am not a complete lockpicking loser.

By the way, there is hardly a reason to trust Master padlocks to secure anything. They are so easily bypassed it’s faster and easier to pick or shim them then to cut them off.

Anyone buying a padlock they hope will actually protect anything really needs to research the vulnerabilities of the locks to various attacks. Almost none you casually come across in the store, no matter how formidable in appearance, or bombastic in their claims, are “secure”.
 

Thread Starter

Yaakov

Joined Jan 27, 2019
1,612
Of course, he's a staple. He's an exceptional picker and spends so much time at it I wonder if he is still practicing law.

Of course SPP (Single Pin Picking) is the purist thing, but as you know, as good as he is at it, and he is very, very good, he also uses any method of compromise he can work out up to and including brute force.

It's like a game, compromise a lock however you can, work out a defense against that compromise. Sometimes the locks most secure against SPP will fall to simple raking with a Bogota or city rake. It's fascinating to think about how to add strengths without creating weaknesses.

So is bumping "cheating", I would say not being SPP doesn't make something cheating. Still I want to get better at the SPP, as an art.
 

atferrari

Joined Jan 6, 2004
3,962
Years ago, in a freighter carrying severals cars, cargo inside a tween deck shifted during voyage due to bad weather. When calling port, it was required to move them to the other side of the space so cargo could be restowed and secured again.

Cars were locked and Chief Officer had not their keys. A locksmith came on board carrying several long metalic rulers(?) with "marks" according brand and even model. Based on those marks did some bending before inserting them.

Opened all of them in no time. The man seemed quite used to it.
 

Thread Starter

Yaakov

Joined Jan 27, 2019
1,612
Years ago, in a freighter carrying severals cars, cargo inside a tween deck shifted during voyage due to bad weather. When calling port, it was required to move them to the other side of the space so cargo could be restowed and secured again.

Cars were locked and Chief Officer had not their keys. A locksmith came on board carrying several long metalic rulers(?) with "marks" according brand and even model. Based on those marks did some bending before inserting them.

Opened all of them in no time. The man seemed quite used to it.
Those are “slim Jim” bypass tools. They operate either the door or lock mechanism by manipulating the linkages or actuators.
 

jpanhalt

Joined Jan 18, 2008
9,413
Those are “slim Jim” bypass tools. They operate either the door or lock mechanism by manipulating the linkages or actuators.
Had a funny experience with those. Got locked out of our VW beetle in Washington DC, A police officer was just going to break a side window, but his service gun just bounced off. Then another officer stopped and had a slim jim. (I don't think it was department issue.) He had us in in no time. No damage at all.

In some areas, thieves just use screwdrivers to pry/spring the door enough so a cloths hanger can get to the door latch. Modern cars are more resistant to that. I have also been told that slim jims can be a problem if the car has side airbags.
 

atferrari

Joined Jan 6, 2004
3,962
Had a funny experience with those. Got locked out of our VW beetle in Washington DC, A police officer was just going to break a side window, but his service gun just bounced off. Then another officer stopped and had a slim jim. (I don't think it was department issue.) He had us in in no time. No damage at all.

In some areas, thieves just use screwdrivers to pry/spring the door enough so a cloths hanger can get to the door latch. Modern cars are more resistant to that. I have also been told that slim jims can be a problem if the car has side airbags.
One of my Ford Fiesta, had a metalic protection all around the door opening system that made quite difficult the standard "handling". Not sure if others have a similar thing.
 

jpanhalt

Joined Jan 18, 2008
9,413
I think all modern cars are much more resistant to thieves than my 1966 VW was. However, maybe making cars more theft resistant may have the unintended consequence of increasing hijackings. At some point, one needs to balance the value of life versus a car.

I didn't find yearly incidence of all thefts easily, but this news article points out a startling increase in hijackings in Baltimore over the past few years (https://www.baltimoresun.com/news/crime/bs-md-ci-cr-carjackings-rise-in-baltimore-20191009-tfj4xqx4sjhuhikxxxqp5re6im-story.html ). Obviously, other factors are probably involved too.
 

Thread Starter

Yaakov

Joined Jan 27, 2019
1,612
I think all modern cars are much more resistant to thieves than my 1966 VW was. However, maybe making cars more theft resistant may have the unintended consequence of increasing hijackings. At some point, one needs to balance the value of life versus a car.

I didn't find yearly incidence of all thefts easily, but this news article points out a startling increase in hijackings in Baltimore over the past few years (https://www.baltimoresun.com/news/crime/bs-md-ci-cr-carjackings-rise-in-baltimore-20191009-tfj4xqx4sjhuhikxxxqp5re6im-story.html ). Obviously, other factors are probably involved too.
Breaking into a car is one thing, but today car theft is usually a matter of burglary or robbery because they need the key. Gone are the days when a dent puller and/or screwdriver is all you need to start a car. The key must be present, so a car thief either steals the car with the key in it (carjacking, opportunistic discovery) or steals the key first in a home invasion/burglary/holdup, then the car.
 

Thread Starter

Yaakov

Joined Jan 27, 2019
1,612
A side note: it is actually pretty easy to pick car locks with the domain specific picks, rakes, jigglers, and turning tools available, but bypass tools are simpler where they will work because you just need one or two basic tools for a bunch of cars.

Neither method, though, will START a car, so in the absence of the proper key, cars can't practically be stolen by driving them away, so... use a tow truck!
 
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