little 4-pin KIK

I took this pic a week ago and and I think I forgot to post it:


It’s a little 4-pin Key  in Knob style core in the batch I got from Moofalo.

picked for orange belt: Master lock 150

The 150 is a 5-pin lock, and all 5 drivers at least are reported to be security pins.  I could definitely feel counter-rotation in there when picking on spool pins.

I was watching a video on the lock on YT at the time;  you can see it in the background.   This is my first raked lock.  I prefer single pin picking but the video said it was vulnerable to raking.

Also first pick in the vise.  Much easier on the left hand, and I think also makes for more direct feedback.  Probably because the hand isn’t damping the vibrations and sounds.

next steps

the green belt locks I own are the Master 410 LOTO (lockout/tagout) and the 911, and only video is accepted as proof.  The 410 is not guttable (nondestructively) so if I pick that one I’ll have to gut (disassemble) the 911 on video.  If the 911 is picked then I would continue to gut that one.

For some reason the 911 makes me happy.  I hope that’s the one I pick first for green.  I’m not very good so this will likely take a while…

I have my old generic gopro set up for when I can consistently pick and record the proof.

Picked: Fulton hitch lock


This is a weird, beat up lock I picked up for a buck or two at the thrift store in La Grande.    After opening the plug is rotated many turns to unscrew the hasp.  No problem if you have the key, but it would have to be picked many times in a row in an actual attack.  Every time the plug rotated the pins would unset themselves.  A plug spinner might help, but those are really made to get past the setpoint once.

After I SPP’ed it (single pin picked) I did some googling and it appears to be a trailer hitch lock.

Here is BosnianBill raking/picking a similar lock:



lockpicking progress

master #3

The Master #3 is notoriously easy to open.  I struggled with it for about 20mins, longer than normal for a beginner. I was in a park, lugging water to the van from a spigot.  I sat in the grass with Muffin and fought the lock in between trips.  Road noise and screaming feral children meant I couldn’t hear the lock, which might have contributed to the long pick time.


It’s got a weird feel and I have opened better locks faster, so I guess I just need more practice on it.  I did get lock lubricant in today which improved Continue reading “lockpicking progress”

bricking a lock

Bricking in technical parlance means to unintentionally destroy something while working on it.   This typically involves unauthorized operation, firmware flashing, etc.    It’s called bricking because it turns the sometimes-pricey object into a useless mass, a brick.  A doorstop.  A boat anchor.

There are many odd things about how locks work, and one of them is that  Continue reading “bricking a lock”

“don’t pick at it”

I’ve been watching videos from The Lockpicking Lawyer for the past couple of years.  I like watching him work on interesting old (and new!) gear and enjoy his descriptions of what he’s doing.

Here’s an example:

It scratches several itches, including a long-standing interest in how locks work.   Finally earlier this week I order a set of picks and some practice gear.  Good clean,  compact, cheap fun that will fit well in this 76ft^2 space.

While the stuff collects at the mail forwarder I’ve been reading up on the topic.  Hopefully I can have the aggregated package collected at the Baker City post office around the time I have my VA video appt.

After I figure out the basics I’ll start looking for used locks in thrift stores and the like.  Treasure hunt + puzzle!