Introduction to Locksmithing
10:10PM Jul 30, 2020
Here we get deeper into bidding cuts, everything related to a key follows extensive specifications and where cuts are centered on the key to the depth of each cut a root depth is a measure from the deepest portion of the cut to the underside of the blade. Essentially the root depth is the amount of material remaining after cut has been made, the root depth is measured in thousandths of an inch. As you can see on the right there is 10 root cups specified one corresponding to each pin available for use with this vendor. A small root depth measurement indicates a deep cut to accommodate a longer pin or larger root depth measurement indicates a shallow cut to accommodate a shorter pen. Actually the root depth is how a pin number for a given pin position is determined. Once all the route steps have been measured sequentially from bow to tip and converted to pin numbers, you now have what is known as the key code. On the left, are all the pin legs specified with various pin numbers pins get longer as the number increases. Again, the pins are measured in thousandths of an inch. Obviously, no one has a ruler or a tape measure graduated in thousandths of an inch, that'd be really hard to say. The measure route steps for the pins themselves, you're getting a set of calipers, you can get calipers is either analog with a dial such as this picture or digital. The key is pinched perpendicularly within the jaws of the caliper taking care not to skew it off at some screwy angle, top center bits picture you will see one and two Mark borders or 100 thousands the two markets for 200 thousands, and then you go to the die when you find 31, the root depth measurement at this pin position is 231,000. There's a lot going on here. Let's start at the leftmost column here we have all the pin numbers. The next column over lists out all the root depths for these pin numbers using the 231,000 measurements from the prior slide, we can see this corresponds most closely to the root depth for pin number seven. Granted, raw thousandths of an inch, is a key cut correctly with a caliper zeroed. Who cares, it's within the tolerance and chasing down this type of ambiguity is pointless because this is the type of ambiguity you need for lockpicking to even be possible going one more column to the right we have pin blanks. Notice if you were to add the root f to the pin length, all the numbers total up to the same value 500 thousands. That means the shear line is 500,000th of one half an inch above the underside of the Keyblade. It is also worth noting that the delta between each pin size and root depth is always 15 thousandths of an inch for this vendor to an internal consistency beginning to develop to this, this behavior is consistent across all locks, but the measurements for the root depths in the pin legs varies between manufacturers. schlage and Kwikset lock, do not have the same number of pin size choices. schlaich has 10 pins whereas quickset has seven. Additionally quickset use an increment of 20 3000s, versus sledges 15,000.
So another option that we have for decoding keys is a vendor specific key age. These are basically pieces of sheet metal that have been stamped with a sort of staircase pattern, each step of the staircase corresponds to a root depth on the key. And the key code numbers will be printed above or below the corresponding step. These are vendor specific. They are sold by third parties, as well as the original manufacturer. There's some third party key gauges to support multiple vendors lab company for example, so it's one that has Schlag Quick Set master padlock and a couple others on the same one. One downside of using a key gauge is that worn out, or poorly duplicated keys will be nearly impossible to read sometimes. And since key gauges are only useful for certain vendors. As soon as you find something weird, you're probably going to be reaching for your calipers anyway
just review key codes recorded by the pin number. The key code is written left to right, corresponds to the positions running from the boat to the tip. I'm gonna go ahead and decode this, I'm going to first do this with the key gauge and then I'm going to sanity check two measurements with the calipers. We're going to be working from the bow towards the tip. This is a 65149. Go ahead and record that as 65149. And then we'll sanity check with the calipers, we're going to first do the position closest to the bow. Got a measurement of 245. If we look at our route depths here, we can see that measurement aligns with a pin six.
Go ahead and do the tip and
we know this is a nine, and I've got a measurement of 200 thousands. We refer back to our measurements here, 200,000 equates to a nine. So we can confirm that the key gauge and the calibers are both usable ways to decode this one final option we can look at is since we have an original key, this actually does come with the original code stamped on it. If you happen to have your key ring on you pull your key ring out, take a look at the keys, see if you can find any key codes already present.
Now on two parts of a repeating kit.
This is the world's cheapest penning man, that does keep the pins from rolling away. It makes pins easier to see brass on light, and it keeps graphite or grease from getting everywhere. pinning kits include key pins driver pins springs key gauge cylinder cap removal tool, plug follower spare cylinder caps and spare tail pieces improvised pinning kits is a small parts tray. Nine key pins, three driver pins springs and various tools. Here you see two different types of plug followers, a key depth gauge. An example of good pin tweezers which are very small, allow you to get into the housing awful pin tweezers, which are too large for you to really do anything useful with, and they cylinder cap removal tool, and a fine point Sharpie to write down your key pinning to build your own Kit proximately $28 on Amazon, you get 50 driver in key pins, you get a plug follower key gauge, and the wrong cylinder tool for chalet springs about $5 on CLK supplies, calm cylinder cap removal tools about $13 on Amazon, pending twice so it's about $12 on CLK supplies, calm. Also notice the cup profile at the tip for actually grabbing the pins. Official vendor kits about $120 on Amazon, and does not include pinning tweezers. Universal repainting kit is about $50 on lockpicks. COMM includes pins for Quick Set wiser and slag no cylinder cap removal tools no plug followers no key gauges and no tweezers calibers 10 to $40 on Amazon. Also don't discount analog calipers the batteries can run out on those.
Now we're going to take a look at cylinder disassembly and the infamous plug follower. So if you've seen a lock cylinder. Typically the place you've seen this is in lockpicking villages and lockpicking villages the tail piece is usually removed and there's obviously no latch attached to the tail piece. so they'll kind of just spin for ever 360 degrees for a lock that's actually going to be installed somewhere the tail pieces will intersect the latch here. And that's what's actually going to throw the bolt in and out or your latch as the case may be. And obviously you can't spin this one 360 degrees when it's installed it kind of just gets the set, left and right. Usually around 180 degrees. Now let's take this apart real quick.
As you can see I'm very fast.
Just a note, the bulk of what we're going to be dealing with is this leg, key and knob type cylinder with a screw cap. But I would like to illustrate here that the Quick Sets style has this sort of circlip on here. So there's nothing to unscrew when you're trying to take it apart. You just kind of pry it off with a screwdriver or tweezers or something. Now, in my experience, the circlip is the least common denominator of this lock it's the most common failure point we'll get tired after a while and just split apart, which drops the tail piece out separates the plug from the locking mechanism. Both sides are pretty similar to each other as you can see, here's the other one. It's about the same. And, of course, this is the front of the cylinder.
Here we have two different locks, featuring two different examples of tail pieces, the lock on the left is a mortise lock with a cam attached the plug is retained into the housing by a tail piece held on the two screws on the right side of the of the cylinder, much like what we're going to be demonstrating with the tail pieces held on with a cylinder cap and that's cylinder cap is held in place by little retention pen. One other note about the lock on the right, the cylinder is held on to the body of the lock with a set screw. This is referred to as a key and knob type cylinder. It's a pretty standardized type of form factor that is modularized for lock cylinders, the entire lock cylinder can be pulled out and replaced with a different keyway if you want. As you can see the same form factor cylinder is available for multiple vendor key ways, schlaich seargent el quickset Russell and whatever it is you want conceivably if you had a really nice ornate door with a forged brass handle or something like that. And it was set up for Yale, and you had schlage locks on the rest of the house in order to rekey those that would include the process of actually changing the keyway. This is the type of part you would look at to replace the keyway. These are the cylinders that we're going to be demonstrating a Riki with, they are gms schlaich see keywords Wei Qi and knob type cylinders. The cylinder cap and the plug are threaded together just like a machine screw and a nut. You can't unscrew that cylinder cap though because it is held in place by a pin. There's a little pin that fits into that sort of scallop bits around the interior of the cylinder cap and locks it in place that pin is spring loaded so you have to depress that before you can unscrew it, there's a number of ways you can do that you can depress that with just about anything paperclip a lockpick a center punch whatever you've got alternately if you want to spend the money for it. You get a solar cap removal tool that tool there has little ridges around the end of it that are going to fit into those scallops and it's going to allow you to depress the pin and unscrew the cap simultaneously, the tool itself is hollow, so the tail piece will fit up inside it while you're working. Once you've just assembled it, that is the tail piece off, that is the cylinder cap and you can see the little retention pin spring, you're not going to want to lose any of these items. Using a plug follow is a lot like the dilemma Indiana Jones finds himself in here you're going to have to very rapidly remove one item and replace it with the other or chaos ensues. So once you've taken the cylinder cap off the plug the plug is essentially being held in place by just the pins in the springs that are in there. If you put your key in there and you get your key pins up to that shear line, nothing's holding it together anymore. At that point, the whole thing can fall apart. And that's not what we want to have happen. What we're going to do is we're going to take a plug follower. Plug follower is a cylinder the same diameter of the plug. You have to put it in direct contact with the plug at the tip end where you remove the cylinder cap from. And then you're going to withdraw the plug and simultaneously. Push the follower in behind it, leaving no space optimally The goal here is to keep the driver pins and the springs retained in the Bible, your plug comes out your key pins are going to be in the plug. This is opposed photo it doesn't look quite like this when you when you go to the process, yourself, but as you can see with that cutaway cylinder there. You can see that that plug is in direct contact with the plug follower, and you want to keep all those driver pins and keys retained up in that Bible.
Best case scenario, this is what it looks like when you're done.
And here we have the plug removed and the plug follower in its place all the driver pins and springs remain in the Bible. The key pins row and the plug showing you a nice even shear line. One thing you may notice immediately is that there's an empty position at the end of that plug this key knob cylinder is interesting in that it is made to be utilized with either a five pin SC one or a six pin SC four type key. It's just a matter of whether or not you actually install driver pins and springs and key pins in that last position. So the one thing you got to take into consideration when taking this one apart, is if you put the key in and you just withdrew the plug straight back. The driver pin in position five would drop down into the hole in plug position six on the way out. So, what you have to do is put that key in offset at, say 45 degrees, so that the only thing up against the key pins is going to be either the even metal plug service, or the plug follower, nothing for it to fall into. I'm going to go ahead and demonstrate the best case scenario for using a plug follower. This is how it should go. Put your key in turn it. Get your plug follower, push this through, nice and smooth. All good. You will feel like you need four hands The first time you try this.
You will screw this up and explode your lock on the first try. So let's just concede that event, and we'll show you how to recover from such a state. So this is the worst case scenario chaos reigns all as loss. The dems walk the earth and feast upon the living. So you want to organize everything, use your tweezers. Organize Your springs together your key pins and your driver pins. It keeps him are going to be varying sizes your driver pins will be all the same size. And they're flat on both ends, your key pin is flat on one hand, and sort of pointy on the other. Now you'll want to put the plug back together. So you're going to put the key back in the plug. You have the key code. The largest pin numbers the longest pin, put whatever looks correct in that position, do the same thing with the smallest pin number work through all the pins, the pins should create an even surface across the plug.
Then you want to put the bottom pins back in the plug.
Now you want to reinstall the driver pins. This is the tedious part. Insert the plug follower slotted in first via the tip or the tail end of the cylinder advance forward such that the slot is over top of the bow and shaft but the Bible. Insert a spring inserted driver pin. Use the plug. The driver. The driver pin down into the Bible compressing the spring advance the plug follower forward.
Alright so this is probably closer to how things are going to actually go when you first use a plug follower. Every time we've tried to teach somebody this they pretty much always mess up the first time. It's inevitable at this, so we might as well intentionally screwed up and show you how to recover from this. This will also tell you how easy it is for the lock to just fall apart when you aren't so careful. So, right now this is fine. It's not going to fall apart, even though the cylinder cap is removed. The lock is held together by the pins and the springs inside. But if you were to put a key in like xo. At this point you are in the danger zone, the whole thing can kind of just come apart on you. That's not going to come apart because I'm trying to demo it but. Come on. There we go. Okay, so here's our worst case scenario. We've got our parts all over the place we've disappointed our family, we failed the calculus test income taxes are due, it's basically just a summary of the year, 2020 To be honest, we can start to put some order to this chaos by just sorting things out. So we'll see if we can move the springs to one pile, or here, that one should be five of each because it was a five pin lock. I got five springs. Now we'll move the driver pins over here, the driver pins are all the same size they don't have that little pebble on them. And then that's fine with those. So we'll move the key pins over and we'll we'll arrange them by biggest to smallest I guess that's a little bit hard to see this. I mean, it's hard to see on camera but it's also hard to see in real life, but we'll just kind of approximate don't have to make it perfect. So, now we can basically guess. By order of elimination, which ones go where because we do have the key and we have the key code, which I wrote down here. So, let's take a look at this and put the key in just so we can check our work. And then we know that the nine is going to be the longest. And this pin here it looks to be the longest so I'm going to put that in position five. And the shortest is a one so I'll put that in chamber three. Now, I guess these three are pretty much the same size, but this one looks to be the shortest. So I'm going to assume that's four and dropping into chamber for the next smallest is five so I'm going to drop that into chamber two, and then we've only got one pin left so that belongs in chamber, one. You can see they all line up on the key, I think we're in good shape here. See that, and naturally the six pin is missing because this is only five pins. All right, this is awful and tedious part of locksmithing. This isn't reinstalling the spring and driver pin in the top. I'm just going to install one of them for now. This is what the groove portion of the plug follower is actually for you want to line it up with the chamber.
We're going to line it up with that first location,
dropping this spring, usually just drops in. We got to take the driver pin, put it in there. And you want to rotate it till it's basically lined right up. And then you can just push it down.
There we go. Get in the hole, little pressure and advance the plug follower.
Put the first pin in the
We're gonna drop that in chamber one.
And then we can insert the plug.
You gotta pinch this with your thumb to remove the key, otherwise it's just gonna fall down.
And let's put the spring
in there, that's the really small spring. And then the pin.
Throw on the tail piece.
And then we'll put on the cylinder cap
and grab the cylinder cap removal tool, spin it on.
And there we go. Now we have the one pin lock, just like what you'd find out a lockpick village. You could do this with two pins three pins four pins or you could actually fill in all of five or six pins.
Changing key pins, decode a new key. Use a key gauge, or calipers to decode a new key. Write down the key code left to right, vote to remove the plug with existing working key and dump the key pens. Put the new key into the block. Insert appropriate pins and appropriate positions. Pinch to form an even smooth surface. Then you want to reinstall the repin plug. Replace the plug follower with the plug. Remove the key. Reinstall the cylinder retention pin and spring. Reinstall the tailpiece. Reinstall the cylinder cap. Test the key if it feels tight when turning back off the cylinder cap a little. If it doesn't turn at all. You screwed up and need to pick it open.
All right, well we're gonna do here is rekey this lock. So right now, the key code for this lock is 65149, and we're going to be using this other key, and that number is 72756. The first thing we've got to do is disassemble the lock. We'll take the tail piece out. Use the cylinder cap removal tool, put the key in, and then put in the plug follower, we don't have to worry about the top pins they're going to stay the same.
So just dump the key pins puts a new key in.
Grab a seven
from the painting kit.
Grab it to
one to seven.
And this is where painting tweezers come in really handy. Grab a five.
And there we go.
So you've got all those pins in there. And that's it.
We'll put the spring in, and the back pin
and put in the tail piece, and the retaining cap.
And we'll screw it back on with a cylinder cap tool.
And we now have a repent lock is working with this new key, which is 72756. And the original 165149 no longer works on this lock.
And that's all there is to it.
We managed to come up five minutes short on content so we're going to attempt to speed teach key origination. We're going to revisit this diagram from the beginning of the presentation. The first time we looked at this, we were concerned with the route depth measurements. This time around, we're concerned with the spacing. As you can see, at all of these positions, there is a measurement indicating where the cut is centered in reference to the shoulder of the key position one is centered at 230 1000s off the shoulder of the key each subsequent cut, I believe, is 150 6000s further along than the prior one key origination also known as cutting by code is the process of creating a key essentially directly from the key code. Most people are probably familiar with copying a key, in which case there is an original, and the bidding cuts are traced off of that key on to a blank. Those duplicating it. In this case there is no original key. What you need is a machine capable of making controlled cuts at specific spaces at specific depths to replicate a key code. Just as with the root depth how they vary per vendor, the spacing is another characteristic that is going to vary per vendor. This is a fremen two key origination machine. This is a lot like a milling machine in that you've got kind of xy controls on it. One of those would be a spacing control which you see on the right, the depth control is in the bottom center. Both of these dials are graduated and thousandths of an inch. There is a vise that holds your key bank in place, and then between these two dials you're going to control what depth is cut at what location. We're going to do here is we have a key that opens this and we're simply going to use the key code off of this original key as a guideline for what we're going to cut on the fremen to, and our key code is 65756. And we have written down the root depths associated with that key code that is going to be the basis for guiding us through these cuts. The first step to using this machine is Ziering up the spacing block.
So this thing gets run until the vise is all the way over to the left.
And there we have our zero. What we're going to do now is each rotation is 50 thousands, and we're going to spin this up until we get to 231,000, which again is the measurement for centering the first cut off the shoulder. Here's our 231. This spacing block is now moved so that the first tick mark there lines up to the tick mark on the spacing guide that hexagonal block there has graduations tick marks every hundred and 56,000. It might be hard to see but that's that that hexagonal block has different faces on it, each face of that is set up for a different vendor spacing, we ever key in the vise we did a little, little check there on the shoulder to make sure it was lined up, and now we are proceeding to dialing up the first root depth.
Turn on our machine, this blue handle here will drive the key into the cutting wheel. And this operation here is essentially depth stopped based on whatever we dialed up on the, the depth dial. Here we advanced the spacing. Once you've set the first one to 231,000, you don't have to continue to measure. All you do is you crank this thing to the next tick mark on that hexagonal block.
You definitely always want to remember to actually go through the process of advancing the spacing. After making a cut. If you forget to advance the spacing. You can potentially cut the same position twice, thus ruining your kitty.
Yeah, I've never done that.
Should I didn't record audience you could hear all the hideous screeching noises at this max
lever coming up on our last cut here, we have cut from the bow to the tip.
When operation not shown is, once this key has been cut has to be buffed off the. There are metal burrs on the edges where those cuts are.
And now we have a new key cut to code the porks that lock
all the material that was presented here today was adapted from a live workshop that we ran a grand total of once prior to the shutdown. Hopefully in the future we can run this live again, there's obviously more key machines here than just the fremen. There's a lot more to learn. And there's much greater value in doing this hands on versus just doing it as a demonstration.
Alright, that concludes our introduction to locksmithing presentation. This has been the 703 log export crew
got a couple of quick shout outs over here, as per usual,
and will now be hoping for question answers. So if anybody's got any questions just shove them down in the comment section or chat box or whatever they got here.
We're back with whoa 2020.
Thank you to the seminar three o'clock sport crew your presentation was excellent. Really nice job guys. We have with us hypu and Michael Say hi guys.
Hey, well I'm glad that you're able to be with us we have some great questions from the matrix QA, and I'll get right into it. Our first question is what is the best cylinder cap removal alternative. If you don't have one.
If you don't have a cylinder cap and movable tool, you can improvise with a number of things, all you really have to do is be able to depress that retention pen down a little bit so you can manually unscrew the cylinder cap. You do that with a paperclip a center punch or a lock pack, just about anything will work.
Thank you. All right. Our next question.
Have you ever come across an electronic lock that isn't hilariously insecure.
so, electronic locks. This is hypu electronic locks are pretty notorious for their fundamental flaw of. You have to interact the electronic mechanism with a physical mechanism which requires basically a solenoid or a motor or something that relies on magnets. The cool thing about magnets is they're not restricted by the government or anything you can buy them. So, and nobody seems to bother shielding their locks properly so I haven't personally come across any inner law, electronic lock that isn't hilariously insecure. That doesn't mean it's impossible, but I just haven't seen it so.
Thank you. Our next question is we'll give that to Michael any downside to buying a key originator used.
Yes, you can conceivably get a machine that's out of spec which actually did happen to us we bought an HPC Blitz off of eBay. And when we went to use it we originated keys that just would not work. We were able to salvage that situation now since we have a known good machine, we're able to cut a depth and spacing keyset, which we then transferred over to the HPC Blitz. And I will turn it over to my colleague to describe how that process went.
Yeah, yeah so that process was not exactly graceful. We, we got we cut a depth and spacing key set, which is basically 10 keys, we're, we're calibrating using slag because it's handy. So we had 10 keys bidding zero through nine, and basically all six positions were cut to that respective key code. We cut that on another machine that we had a known good calibration on or good enough. And then we basically measured where the cutting wheel would be if it was pushed up against that key, and we made a mark, and we made our own card. So we didn't actually calibrate the machine because the the the calibration kit that we purchased. Basically we went we went through the little flowchart or whatever, and the calibration recommendation for our specific situation was send it back to the manufacturer and pay a couple grand or something. So, that's not what we do here. So we just made it with a pencil and a piece of paper and it's good enough. So you can run into things like that maybe you could have a saving grace like us, maybe you won't. And maybe it's worn out maybe there's a reason you found it on eBay for a couple hundred bucks. When it's $1,000 machine. So, just, just kind of be careful and know that you might make a mistake and that's probably okay.
Good. All right, thank you.
When you get a key copy did it ends up not working, what specifically went wrong. Usually,
I think Michael is the expert on that.
I don't know if I'd be the expert but I'll go ahead and try it I mean there could be a number of problems, one of the, one of the common issues is the key you're starting with your original could be a copy that's generations away from the original, it could be worn out. There could also be calibration issues with the machine. So you could either be copying a bad source, or you could have issues in the process of copying, it's hard to say.
All right. Our next question is, do you have a similar cutting guide to dimple locks.
I do not, that is a radically different set of keys and I will let my, my colleague describe that to you.
Yeah, so, dimple keys look really complicated and fancy. There, that's basically just the novelty, they're not actually fancy. It's just a pin tumbler lock turned on its side, the pins are going instead of into the, what do you perceive as the top of the key, it goes into the sight of the key. So usually they have inherently higher tolerances. Because there's less material there for you to cut into. So to get 10 spaces, you got to get all the spaces much closer you're not looking at 15,000 between each you're looking at, like, I don't know seven or eight though between each. That's what multi lock does. We don't have a guide for that at this time we might look into that in the future. Dental cutting equipment is not cheap and it's not prevalent in the US. So that's, that's not an easy thing to do but it's definitely on on my list of things that I might want to do in the future.
Let's see. Are there any restrictions about importing machines from other countries.
It can actually be easier to import machines, than to convince someone domestically to sell something to you. But there's no real, tangible restrictions on that the only restrictions you'll end up with are contractual. So if you for example if you were trying to buy a multi lock fancy code cut machine for their mt five plus or something. And they had some, you know, contractual obligation that if the locksmith goes out of business they have to return the machine or they have to do something to it to make it useless. And then it went on eBay and you bought it. It's not really receiving stolen goods, but it is kind of, I don't know what would happen. So, that there could be problems there, especially when you're with the higher end stuff, especially with newer stuff that's likely to still be in design patent. But as for blanket international regulations no you can't buy this, there's nothing. At least that I'm aware of. I'm not a lawyer.
It does make sense. And let me see if we have any more questions. Um, no, I think that's all the questions we have right now, which we're about out of time. Also, there's some, some way that everybody can get ahold of you
to reach you or contact you.
That would have made sense for us to develop But no,
this talk was kind of thrown together on a whim.
Yeah, we got nothing.
All right. Well, on behalf of all the whole 2020 attendees and presenters and the volunteers. Want to thank you very much for sharing all of your great work with us today.
Thank you very much.
Pleasure to be here.
Thank you very much. All right, we'll come back at the top of the next hour and we're going to have some new bumps in between, and, take it away ground Control.
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