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Picking tips for Kromer Novum?

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Jaakko Fagerlund

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Posts: 345

Joined: Mon Jan 06, 2014 3:55 pm

Location: Finland

Post Wed Aug 15, 2018 8:53 am

Picking tips for Kromer Novum?

Hey

Just recently got a brand new RB Locktools 2-in-1 pick for Kromer Novum locks and would like to hear if someone has good tips & tricks to picking the lock. It should be doable, but a PITA as the levers settle fine to (false) gates nearing the end of the picking, but then you have to move one lever that is binding, the bolt stump rises and the levers more or less all move with that one lever you are trying to set, as there is nothing stopping them from moving. Got any wild ideas?

One idea I had in mind was to somehow reduce friction in the lever pack, but synthetic PTFE lubricant didn't give any luck. Would something else work better?
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Visitor

Familiar Face

Posts: 57

Joined: Sat Sep 16, 2017 11:48 am

Post Wed Aug 15, 2018 10:53 am

Re: Picking tips for Kromer Novum?

Your on a looser if you start pumping stuff into a lever lock, in most cases you'll make it unopenable even with the key, i hate the calls to safes that some dick has pumped grease into the keyhole to stop it rusting.
When picking safe locks (well any lever lock really) you initially pick to decode not to open.
You may find putting a pointer on your pick easier to read the levers.
Once you have an idea of where the true gates are you pick the lock by lifting levers over known false gates.
If the same lever gives you trouble on each attempt you have the binding order wrong, try overlifting that lever.
Which way around you're picking the lock can also affect how a safe lock picks, bolt down will always be the hardest.
It's all about perfecting your touch.
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Jaakko Fagerlund

Active Member

Posts: 345

Joined: Mon Jan 06, 2014 3:55 pm

Location: Finland

Post Wed Aug 15, 2018 11:20 am

Re: Picking tips for Kromer Novum?

Visitor wrote:Your on a looser if you start pumping stuff into a lever lock, in most cases you'll make it unopenable even with the key, i hate the calls to safes that some dick has pumped grease into the keyhole to stop it rusting.
When picking safe locks (well any lever lock really) you initially pick to decode not to open.
You may find putting a pointer on your pick easier to read the levers.
Once you have an idea of where the true gates are you pick the lock by lifting levers over known false gates.
If the same lever gives you trouble on each attempt you have the binding order wrong, try overlifting that lever.
Which way around you're picking the lock can also affect how a safe lock picks, bolt down will always be the hardest.
It's all about perfecting your touch.

Thanks for the great info, I do know that safe locks (pretty much any lock) works best in its normal life without anything in it to attract moisture and dirt, but desperate times call for desperate measures when trying to get the son-of-a-diddly open. In the past these things have been just drilled, but drilling otherwise working lock/safe in my opinion is just stupid and waste of everyones money/time.

I'll try out with the pointer and plot some paper with a known good lock to get me a reference. I can already discover which way the real gate should be from the false gates for each lever, but the whole lever pack slipping once in a while really eats a guy.

The reason for picking to open is that I do not have a make up key for this lock and no means of cutting a key, so decoding only helps so much at this point. But yeah, levers aren't my forte, been picking/decoding Boda/Juwel locks, I'm more of a disc detainer / manipulator type. But, slowly trying to learn new things to get on with the jobs :)
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MartinHewitt

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Location: Germany

Post Wed Aug 15, 2018 2:37 pm

Re: Picking tips for Kromer Novum?

Does it have brass or steel levers? Brass is easier to pick than steel. The brass levers have false gates relative to the true gate, the steel levers have all the same heights. Keeping track of lever positions is for me a necessity. Other people might be able to memorize that. I use a plastic square with degree units which i stick to a safe with a magnet. You can also use a sheet of paper which is taped to the door. Or a fancy air plain protractor. Depending on the lock encoding and pick it can be necessary to pick on the rear side of the key opening, but it is also possible to over or under lift one problem lever, pick the rest and then set the problem lever last to open the lock. With each new lock(type) it is necessary to become acquainted. If possible examine an open lock. Not knowing anything about the lock makes it very time consuming to open it.
In case you wonder ... Martin Hewitt is a fictional detective in stories by Arthur Morrison:
Martin Hewitt, Investigator Chronicles of Martin Hewitt
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Visitor

Familiar Face

Posts: 57

Joined: Sat Sep 16, 2017 11:48 am

Post Thu Aug 16, 2018 5:50 am

Re: Picking tips for Kromer Novum?

Jaakko Fagerlund wrote:
The reason for picking to open is that I do not have a make up key for this lock and no means of cutting a key, so decoding only helps so much at this point.


So sorry I meant decode the lock as in knowing where the sets are on each lever.

Basically, you move through the pack trying to set levers in any set, when you get a lever to set you determine if it's a true gate or not (various ways depending on the lock) if it's a false set, reset the lock and lift that lever higher than you did before. You slacken the tension slightly as you feel it bounce over the opening to the false set, put more tension back on and lift until it sets again and re-test it, once you find the true gate you then know how far that lever needs to move to get to its true gate. With practice this gets easier. Repeat the process testing each lever as to where the true gate is.
You now make sure you reset the lock then carefully find the binding order, you can vary the tension if more than one lever moves at a time until you find the first and only lever to move, through either memory or a chart you've been filling in you know how high to lift it. Once in its true gate you look for the next binding lever and so on.
You may find some locks need the tension slowly backing off as you set more levers.

The secret is learning the difference in 2 levers that may seem to be freely lifting to the layman but to you one has a very very slight dragging feeling.
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Jaakko Fagerlund

Active Member

Posts: 345

Joined: Mon Jan 06, 2014 3:55 pm

Location: Finland

Post Thu Aug 16, 2018 6:41 am

Re: Picking tips for Kromer Novum?

Visitor wrote:
Jaakko Fagerlund wrote:
The reason for picking to open is that I do not have a make up key for this lock and no means of cutting a key, so decoding only helps so much at this point.


So sorry I meant decode the lock as in knowing where the sets are on each lever.

Ah, gotcha. I just played a couple of hours last night with this, 3D printed a quick pointer and drew the 7 correct lines on the face of a lock I have while lining the gates and then tried picking it like before. Yes, makes a hell of a lot easier as I can see which number it is, make a note of the lever and thus easily recheck if it moved and return it where it was.

Feeling for false/real gates is easy, these seem to behave very much like Abloy locks when picking, the only difference being the moving levers.
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ratlock

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Location: Scotland

Post Wed Aug 22, 2018 7:05 pm

Re: Picking tips for Kromer Novum?

Hi. The only tip I can give you, is this.
Once you have went through the levers using your pointer and compass to find the gates, and your pretty sure you are there. There is always that one thats moved a fraction and hanging up and no more, just outside the gate. Go back and check.

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