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total 100% noob trying to open a S&G safe lock HELP !

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tyrebyter

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Post Thu Nov 15, 2018 1:11 pm

total 100% noob trying to open a S&G safe lock HELP !

1stXattemptXgraphX1.png
I posted some other info in the intro section.

Here are some pics and charts as requested after I posted my introduction. Sorry they are not presented in the order I was hoping for.

One thing I am very puzzled by is a distinct click at exactly zero (0) give or take an 8th or 2. It occurs regardless which direction I come from and I believe even if a fly happens to be at that spot. Is this normal ? The wheels all seem to turn freely. I can definitely feel the difference from no wheel to one wheel to after picking up the second wheel and still heavier again after picking up the third wheel. There doesn't appear to be any damage anywhere on the safe or on the knob.

Agreed I maybe somewhat ham-handed when it comes to feeling where the contact point is L or R but the knob sometimes turns against me. I think it's the lever spring pushing the nose against the slant of the contact point and causes the rotation.

This safe came from a now closed down tricycle rental shop owned by the same company I work for as a mechanic. When the safe arrived nobody knew the combination to open it. It has sat around for over a year now. Recently, some rental money got put into it inadvertantly and my shop manager has asked me to open the safe "by whatever means necessary" !

Instead of simply grinding away somewhere/anywhere on the safe I thought maybe I can get it open and so a very steep learning curve has presented itself to me. Also it seems a shame to ruin a perfectly good safe even though I believe I can weld a patch over whatever holes I manage to put into it in order to gain access and then make the safe usable again.

The safe manufacturer has sent me info on how to get the original combination and the paperwork for that is being searched for in old files at the head office of the tricycle rental company I work for. Meanwhile I am hoping I can get it open without having to deal with all the red tape the manufacturer has specified. Also I am told the combination could have been changed at some point and all the the red tape would end up being a complete waste of time, if that is the case.

Plus I think it would be very cool indeed if I can actually manipulate the lock and figure out the combination. I will probably never do this again and I am not seeking a new career in safe-cracking ... in case anyone is wondering.
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MartinHewitt

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Post Thu Nov 15, 2018 4:07 pm

Re: total 100% noob trying to open a S&G safe lock HELP !

A R6730 doesn't need a pointer. The difference is halve a number, which is large enough to read directly from the dial. Maybe you have a better hand at getting a reliable contact point without that wire.
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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L4R3L2

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Post Thu Nov 15, 2018 8:20 pm

Re: total 100% noob trying to open a S&G safe lock HELP !

You're going to have to do a LOT of spinning on the dial, and that pointer is just in the way. Also, the way you have it attached allows for enough movement that your readings will be inconsistent any way. Like MH said, the pointer is screwing with your readings, not helping. The mass of it will dampen any feel you have. I strongly suggest taking it off.

The dial can usually be read to the 1/8th using the index line on the dial ring itself. You can say, "When the right edge of the number line is in the middle of the index line, that is 1/8. When the right edge of the number line is lined up with the left edge of the index line, that is 1/4,"....etc. If the lines are of a thickness that dividing in this way is problematical, sometimes a pin can be taped over the index line, the point of the pin hanging just to the edge of the dial and acting as a more precise index.

1/2 graduation drop at the gates is nice, but a good portion of the drops I see on my R6730s are 3/16 to 1/4. Being able to read to the 1/8 helps a lot.

Once you get that pointer off, play with the feel. Each lock is different, so there is no one description of the feel or technique to use. On the right contact point, especially, you don't want the nose to ride up on the drive cam gate at all, if possible. Slowly and lightly roll back and forth from the LCP (left contact point) and the RCP, feeling where the dial wants to stop. If you go too fast, inertia will push the nose onto the drive cam. If you go too slowly, you may not get a feel for it due to friction on the dial and drive cam. Play with it, and carefully observe so you can develop a consistent reading and feel.

This is just my input. Many here are WAY more experienced, so take my advice with a grain of salt (except for getting rid of that pointer doohickey!).
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MHM

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Post Thu Nov 15, 2018 9:06 pm

Re: total 100% noob trying to open a S&G safe lock HELP !

This is turning into a really interesting thread. Honestly, get rid of that pointer and just use a magnifier - you'll see 8ths fine with that and like other folks have said, it'll simply be a pain in the arse. I love the little x's on your graph, that's very cool.

Dunno about anyone else on here but if the RCP readings on the AWL graph are accurate, I'd be amplifying that spot around 75 myself.

Edit - herp derp - just saw that alst graph showing you already did that.
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tyrebyter

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Post Fri Nov 16, 2018 5:24 am

Re: total 100% noob trying to open a S&G safe lock HELP !

I revisited 73 and it seems barren. 95 though may be a possible.

Ok I removed the pointer and microphone and gave it a try solely by feel. I think I'm ending up in the same places. I think I still have the same problem deciding what to name the positions where I find contact points. With no scale to go by I have a very difficult time deciphering slightly more than 1/8 for instance from slightly less than 2/8s. Do you guys always round up ? Down ?

Also I keep finding myself putting the dot (X in my graphs) in the wrong spot. Maybe 1/4 of the times. I am considering the taped on straight pin index mark suggestion. I am not sure however if that will help me decide what to call it, if it appears exactly between 8ths.

To be honest I believe I was feeling the contact points well enough with the wire pointer taped onto the knob but since I am getting nowhere right now, who am I to say ? I suppose if i keep running through the graphs over and over again, something will happen or at least I'll get better at keeping an accurate accounting of each contact point.

I tried to work in 1/4s using the edge on the lines on the dial as seperators. Then it dawned on me that I have the same problem. Do I round up or down when exactly half way? I can do fake quarters easily enough if the line on the dial lines up exactly with the index line, it's a whole number. Off just a tiny amount it's 1/4 or 3/4. 2/4 is when the index mark is between the lines on the dial with no overlap. Does this make any sense and if so, does it seem like it would provide enough accuracy ? Small enough detail for this lock ?

I'm using 3X reading glasses AND a 3X magnifying glass at this point so it's very easy to see where the dial is. I was considering taking a series of photographs and then stringing them together in a short video to observe the movement of the contact point as I run through the dial. I very quickly realized that would take an extraordinary amount of time.

I'm beginning to like the laser pointer idea and going out to a scale with 1/16s seperated by about a quarter inch.
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L4R3L2

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Post Fri Nov 16, 2018 6:26 am

Re: total 100% noob trying to open a S&G safe lock HELP !

O.K. I hope this helps. Thicknesses of lines vary lock to lock. Some index lines are pointed. You just have to come up with a visual system to subdivide to eighths, and stick with it consistently for the lock you're working on. Even if what you decide to call 1/8 is not really precisely 1/8, as long as you are consistent and graph accordingly, that is what counts.

Like I said, locks differ, but here is an example of one dial and index subdivision.

1/8: index centered over right edge of number line
Image

1/4: left edge of index lined up with right edge of number line
Image

3/8: index just barely off center to left, but not enough to call 1/4
Image

1/2: index centered
Image

5/8: index just barely off center to right, but not enough to call 3/4
Image

3/4: right edge of index lined up with left edge of number line
Image

7/8: index centered over left edge of number line
Image
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L4R3L2

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Post Fri Nov 16, 2018 6:31 am

Re: total 100% noob trying to open a S&G safe lock HELP !

And, yes. If I feel I see a strong 3/4, weak 7/8, I will plot my point somewhere between the 3/4 and 7/8 lines on my graph (13/16, if you will).

For example, in the photo above for 3/8, I would say that is hedging really close to 1/4, and would actually plot it as 3/16.

All of this is out the window, though, if one is not able to feel consistent contact points. Sometimes when a precise contact point is difficult to feel, you have to call an average. Like we say in competitive marksmanship, "Consistency is King".

Have you studied this thread yet? Just my opinion, but that thread should really be a sticky in the "Safes, Strongboxes & Combination Locks" subforum.
https://www.keypicking.com/viewtopic.php?f=100&t=7432
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madsamurai

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Post Sat Nov 17, 2018 9:46 pm

Re: total 100% noob trying to open a S&G safe lock HELP !

One note from what you said in the top post about the dial turning back on you: you're correct, that is the spring pushing the nose down on the ramp and is a good indication you're pushing a little too hard on that contact point. You want the point where the nose just touches the ramp, but doesn't climb up. When I first started, I would try the contact points a few times for each reading, practicing rolling it as softly up against that point as I could... a very light touch will give you the most consistent readings. Try just using a single finger on the dial, and give it a 2-3 light taps against the contact point before you commit to a reading.
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MartinHewitt

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Post Sat Nov 17, 2018 10:37 pm

Re: total 100% noob trying to open a S&G safe lock HELP !

madsamurai wrote:You want the point where the nose just touches the ramp, but doesn't climb up.

Not necessarily. It is also possible to put a constant torque to the dial to get a constant climbing to get a constant reading.
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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madsamurai

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Post Sun Nov 18, 2018 4:50 am

Re: total 100% noob trying to open a S&G safe lock HELP !

MartinHewitt wrote:
madsamurai wrote:You want the point where the nose just touches the ramp, but doesn't climb up.

Not necessarily. It is also possible to put a constant torque to the dial to get a constant climbing to get a constant reading.

I won't argue with that, but I think it requires a lot more practice to develop that kind of control whereas feeling the touch point is a bit easier for a beginner... just my 2 cents, of course, and maybe that could work better for our new friend...

A quick exercise that might help, spend a few minutes or so just going back and forth between the contact points without moving any wheels, just read right and left and repeat until you're getting the same reading each time. Take your time and really feel it, maybe close your eyes and imagine what's happening inside the lock. You can try both ways, just touching or climbing a little and see which is more consistent for you. You should be able to get a feel for the right amount of pressure fairly quickly, then try again with your graphs. I do this whenever I start with a new lock, rather than just diving right into spinning, as sort of a calibration routine for my fingers... don't know if that's a common practice or not, but it helps me...
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L4R3L2

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Post Sun Nov 18, 2018 6:25 am

Re: total 100% noob trying to open a S&G safe lock HELP !

I know I'm pretty new to this, but I've noticed what both of you are saying. Each locks seems to respond best to a different approach/feel. Heck, even my primary practice lock completely changed feel when I went through to do a cleaning and lube (graphite on flies, and grease on drive wheel bearing, post and bolt). Some are easy to feel the moment of touch, others get a good feel when riding the cam to a stop. And then, there's the difference in feel between the left contact and the right contact. Sometimes the left contact indicates better than the right. Just what I've noticed.

One method that seems to give me very consistent results is to approach the left contact point to a tap to set the drive cam, then roll to a second light tap to take the reading. The left contact point often does not require as much finesse as the right contact point. Then, I roll over near the right contact point and close my eyes. I continue to roll into the right contact point three times, approaching shorter, slower and lighter each time, until the third is just touching lightly. Then I open my eyes and take the reading. This has been really effective for consistent readings for me.

I had found that if I keep my eyes open while feeling a point, I tended to "make" the dial stop where I thought it should, introducing inconsistency. Closing my eyes eliminated that bit of psychology from the equation and keeps everything fair and square. If the left contact point is light, I'll close my eyes for that one too. But, mainly I read the left contact point as a prelude for the right contact reading. If I "think" I see a change in the left, the right reading usually proves it out as either a gate, or as just a new rising or falling in the wheel's contour.
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MartinHewitt

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Post Sun Nov 18, 2018 10:11 am

Re: total 100% noob trying to open a S&G safe lock HELP !

L4R3L2 wrote:Each locks seems to respond best to a different approach/feel. Heck, even my primary practice lock completely changed feel when I went through to do a cleaning and lube (graphite on flies, and grease on drive wheel bearing, post and bolt).

Yup. And I don't know how his lock behaves.

L4R3L2 wrote:Closing my eyes eliminated that bit of psychology

I do this also on locks where the contact points are faint.
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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L4R3L2

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Post Tue Nov 20, 2018 6:46 am

Re: total 100% noob trying to open a S&G safe lock HELP !

So, tyrebyter, how's it coming? Is any of this helpful to you?

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