30×26 Day 5

First day back on my normal work schedule. Got up a wee bit early to document that magical Bogota rake I talked about yesterday. I’m not kidding about wee bit. Or magical. Here’s a 31 second video of a 3 second 6 pin pick:

Since my goal is to learn the ins and outs and whys and hows of picking, I started reading my way through the MIT Guide to Lock Picking. Practiced my way through Chapter 8. It’s pretty basic stuff that I was already starting to do on my own, but it’s good to make sure I haven’t missed any fundamentals.

Randomly picked up my practice locks and felt my way through the pins to identify them. Aaron said it was too easy. It was today, but it’s not something I could have done with any degree of accuracy on Day 1.

My repinnable lock arrived today. I set the pins, then decided I’d be jumping too far ahead just trying to pick it. Going to work through the rest of the MIT Guide first.

Here’s my first custom set:

Pin Your Own Lock

Yes, of course it’s in order.

30×26 Day 4

Started the day watching Schuyler Towne’s YouTube lessons on “Locks: Basic operation and manipulation”. It was excellent. I got a much better understanding of how to visualize what’s going on when I pick a lock, as well as how to use different picks.

Spent a ton of time feeling out the individual pins in my padlock. I still haven’t been able to pick it since I accidentally did so the first day. Using the half diamond I was able to get a better feel for each pin, as well as the spacing between pins. I even have a good idea of the order in which the pins bind now, but I think I’m being too heavy handed and binding the key pin.

Inspired by the videos from earlier in the day, I finished off the day playing with the Bogota rake. It’s like magic on the TOOOL practice locks.

Also came across this list of references. Added to the list of things to study.

30×26 Day 3

I picked my file cabinet last night after reading about wafer locks. Documented it for y’all this morning:

Didn’t have much time at home so I wasn’t able to do much more than that. Need to watch some videos and/or read some more tomorrow.

30×26 Day 2

Did a LOT of reading today. Breezed through a bunch of pages on this site, then a couple slide decks from the TOOOL site, followed by the Locksport International Guide. The Locksport page on “possible pin states” was particularly informative.

I started in on the MIT Guide to Lock Picking as well. It’s very detailed, and really good. I plan to read this one carefully.

Key takeaways from today’s reading:

1. The amount of pressure on the tensioner is really important. Overdoing it causes binding.
2. Raking with a snake is inelegant but effective for beginners who can’t feel their way around with a hook.

I gave my TOOOL practice locks a go with those two keys* in mind. That went waaay faster:

I also learned today that possession of lock picking tools in Nevada is considered prima facie evidence of burglarious intent**, so there will be no picking for me while I am there later this month. This will push 30×26 into February, which I suppose is okay since February isn’t long enough to support a 30 Days on its own anyway.

* I couldn’t resist!

** Burglarious intent. I need to sneak this phrase into a conversation sometime.

30×26 Day 1

Kicked things off with a read through this page, then picked my way through practice locks 1 through 6. It took about 10 minutes, like the page said. They definitely got harder as I progressed, and I think the later locks were opened mostly through persistence.

Moved on to a 4 pin Master Lock padlock I’ve had for about 10 years now. Opened it on the 3rd try. I then decided to make a video of me opening that lock and never managed to open it again.

So instead, here’s a video of me opening the 6 pin practice lock. I had to practice a few more times before making this video. This is probably the smoothest open of the day in that I go from back to front without having to go back to fix missed pins.

Tomorrow, 6 pin practice lock for speed and familiarity, and more quality time with the Master Lock.

30×26 Begin

Happy New Year! I finally got a set of training locks for Christmas to go with the lock pick set I got for Christmas three years ago. This has paved the way for 30×26: Lock picking!

The locks:

Training Locks


Lock Picks

The locks progress from 1 to 6 pins, so I’ll work my way through those and figure out what to do next along the way. If things go well there will be a real world lock or three thrown in, and maybe even a re-pinnable lock for the practice collection.

Let’s pick!