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  • Lock pick blank

    I have several strips of 1/2" X .020 & 025 feeler gauge. I'd like to mill them to make lock pick "blanks". I'll need to remove approx 150" from the each side of each strip of feeler gauge for a length of approx 1.250". The length of the material is 5". My goal is to mill several at the same time by stacking them next to each other and clamping the stack together. Im seeking advice on how to best set up 20 pieces for milling AND the best way to do the opposite side once I have one side milles.
    Thanks
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  • #2
    I would prepare 2 pieces of steel stock approximately .250 x .5 x 5", preferebely ground on .250 dimension. Sandwich all your strips between these 2 pieces. It would be best if you can drill 2 pin holes somewhere in the handle and install pins. Then you can mill the whole thing in a vise.

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    • #3
      That will be tough without getting a lot of flex in the material. I would shoot for a method that either encapsulates the feeler blades as described above or glue them together with something you can melt out or otherwise de-bond later.

      Alternatively you could just grind the extra stock out with a bench grinder. On something that thin it will go quick. I made a set of picks from steel banding and just used the grinder.

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      • #4
        Cant you just buy these? This seems like trying to make a wood screw or a nail. Maybe they are a special size or you are in a remote location or you are locked in a machine shop and trying to escape? Edwin Dirnbeck

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        • #5
          Some people make things for the enjoyment of it. Personally I enjoy making my own tools. And generally I can often make better quality tools than what I can buy for a reasonable price.

          For instance, on the picks I was able to make the exact thickness and geometry I wanted, and harden them to the exact hardness I wanted. So I got a nice thin, flexible pick that would not easily bend.

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          • #6
            When you make the 20 piece sandwich, put a thick sacrificial piece on the outsides to minimize shifting and "fluttering" of the thinner pieces. I spent a while making a thin emergency key for my wallet only to snap it in half on the very last operation because it was not supported.

            At the end of the project, there is a profound difference between spare parts and left over parts.

            Location: SF East Bay.

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            • #7

              Since you are making lock picking tools, maybe make them like these.

              https://www.youtube.com/results?sear...kpicking+lishi

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              • #8
                I ended up grinding the stack and ditched the milling idea.
                Now I have 14 pick blanks.
                Making these myself took about an hour. Three pick blanks cost 11.00 so I saved plenty of money.
                I'm also going to do/make my own stuff whenever I can. I'm not ever going to stop this.

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                • #9
                  This is obviously a US thread

                  Up here in Canada it is a chargeable Federal offense to be found in possession of lock picking or "jimmy" tools if one is not a licensed locksmith or at their job as a properly accredited tow truck driver.

                  Nothing else to add but thought you might find this interesting.
                  Chilliwack BC, Canada

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by challenger View Post
                    I have several strips of 1/2" X .020 & 025 feeler gauge. .....
                    ...
                    Thanks
                    "...&amp..." ??? What's that?

                    I would think feeler gauges would be a bit hard for milling. But what do I know....?
                    Last edited by lynnl; 01-13-2022, 06:36 PM.
                    Lynn (Huntsville, AL)

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                    • #11
                      I would contract these out to a waterjet cutter shop in a heartbeat.
                      Too much fussing around.

                      -D
                      DZER

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by BCRider View Post
                        This is obviously a US thread

                        Up here in Canada it is a chargeable Federal offense to be found in possession of lock picking or "jimmy" tools if one is not a licensed locksmith or at their job as a properly accredited tow truck driver.

                        Nothing else to add but thought you might find this interesting.
                        What do they do to you if you are in possession of a paper clip and a windshield wiper blade. Those two items will open many locks in skilled hands.

                        I have opened cars that have electric locks with the radio antenna (years ago when antennae were 3 feet long) and an older pickup with a pair of small screwdrivers.

                        Legislation isn't the answer.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by RMinMN View Post

                          What do they do to you if you are in possession of a paper clip and a windshield wiper blade. Those two items will open many locks in skilled hands.

                          I have opened cars that have electric locks with the radio antenna (years ago when antennae were 3 feet long) and an older pickup with a pair of small screwdrivers.

                          Legislation isn't the answer.
                          "...Legislation isn't the answer..." Tell that to the legislators! (Or rather to those who send them to legislate).
                          Lynn (Huntsville, AL)

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                          • #14
                            In my firefighting days a old butter knife was our go to for a lock out. If things got serious the ax and haligan bar would open almost any door in seconds. Lock picking is not hard if know what you are trying to do. I played around with some picks when a fellow fire fighter took a locksmith class. We just had too many easier ways to break in.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by RMinMN View Post
                              Since you are making lock picking tools, maybe make them like these.

                              https://www.youtube.com/results?sear...kpicking+lishi
                              Just saw those the other day. They look pretty interesting but a bit more involved to make.

                              JL............

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