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Oldfast: Safe Chronicles

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Oldfast

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OldddffAASSTT the Spin Master Extraordinaire and American Lock Slayer
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Post Thu Dec 20, 2012 4:16 pm

Re: Oldfast: Safe Chronicles

femurat wrote:.... 3) I may have parked wheel 1 at the center of the low area you found on graph 1 (15) ....

OF COURSE!! .....Geez..... sometimes the most obvious solutions elude me. lol
So, taking your advice, I played it out. Parking w1 @ 15 allowed a nice clean reading of w2.
" Enjoy the journey AS MUCH as the destination."
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Oldfast

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Post Sun Dec 30, 2012 11:37 pm

Re: Oldfast: Safe Chronicles

Manipulation #2

SARGENT AND GREENLEAF R6700 Series
(standard ... Group 2 ... 3 wheel ... key change ... spring loaded fence)

Same lock..... different unknown combination..... different approach.


Although this helps illustrate a different technique, it's mainly a lead up to some questions I have in regards to this method.

ImageImage

There's a video I BELIEVE is in the public domain; "Mark Bates on Manipulation". Run-time: approximately 11 1/2 minutes.
I wanted to post a link so we're all on the same page, but cannot find it. If anyone is able to post a link, I'd appreciate it.

In it, he describes his preferred method of manipulation. This is his first approach to a given lock.
If it does not work, he's wasted only a few minutes and will revert back to the more traditional
method of running the entire wheel pack together (as I did in Manipulation #1).

With the majority of these locks, w3 will read FIRST... then w2... then w1. Without going into too much
detail as to exactly why this is, I'll just say - this is due to the angle of the fence and how it rests upon the wheel pack.
"70-80 percent" of locks will read in this manner. Given this knowledge, he aims to save time by immediately focusing on w3.

He parks wheels 1 and 2 in the middle of the forbidden zone and runs w3 starting at 20..... 1+2 park R10 / 3 LA.
If he finds a gate on w3, he moves on to w2, this time parking w1 at zero.... 1 park L0 / 2 RA / 3 @ L(known gate)
Then it's just a matter of pluggin' in numbers on w1 while placing w2 & 3 on their known gates until the lock opens.


I like this method, and have had a great deal of success with it. But rather than posting one of my manipulations
that went as smoothly as I've described above... I thought I'd share one that presented some problems along the way.

Image

:???: - :???: - L32.5

Now if I were following Mark, my next step would be to park w1 at zero and run w2.
So why did I park w1 at 10? Classic example of leaving your work, then coming back to it. lol

Image

As you can see, this graph produced nothing worth pursuing. Ah well, no matter. The fact is, parking w1 at zero
revealed nothing more. Nor did running both w1 & w2 together. In all cases, w1 was masking the gate of w2.

Now, if a lock reads like this (wheel 3-2-1), it normally does so rather easily with no hickups.
This is only one of a small handful of times I've run into this scenario. But it does happen.
My question is.......... what would you do at this point?

Image

I parked w1 at the same number I found the gate to be on for w3. This allowed w2 to be profiled. But why did I do this?
My decision was based soley on the fact that this worked for me the other three times I ran into this same scenario.
HOWEVER, there's absolutely no logical reasoning that this would allow a reading of w2. It just happened to work.

In reality, I have no information to make an informed decision as to where to park w1 after I was unsuccesful with it at zero.
Normally, you'd refer to the last graph to find a low point to park at. For example, when we start a manipulation with AWR,
we're left with an overall profile view of the entire wheel pack. By running only w3 from the start, we don't have this info.

:???: - R51.5 - L32.5

I now run w1 every two increments, each time placing wheels 2 & 3 on their known gates until the lock opens.



OPEN: L88 - R51.5 - L32.5
Actual combo: 87 - 51 - 33



. . . . . . . . . CONCLUSIONS . . . . . . . . .

(1) There were some issues that needed to be addressed with my "official comb-change girl". lol
The only stipulations I've given her are:
-The numbers must be at least five increments apart....
-and the last number cannot lie within the forbidden zone.
You see, she's very smart and loves math (makes me sick). And I happen to know she also loves
ODD numbers! So much so that the likelihood of her choosing an EVEN number is slim to none.
And if she did choose an even number, it most certainly would not end with a zero. LOL!
I told her, "you need to cut that shit out. And you best start lovin' ALL numbers!" haha!!!

(2) You'll notice I've started to utilize only the right contact point.
This is the more gradually sloped side of the drive cam gate and will yield the most variations.
I still include the left contact point when I return to an area to amplify it though. This helps to
confirm the presence of a gate, and allows for more accuracy when determining its' true center.

(3) I do like this approach, and it seems worth a bit of my start time to see if a lock is susceptible to read this way.
As with everything, there's ups & downs to it. You gain some advantages on one end & lose them on the other.
But when a lock does read in this manner, it can be (just like Mark says) "...very fast and very certain".


. . . . . . . . . . . . QUESTIONS . . . . . . . . . . . .

In additon to my initial question during this manipulation...
I'd just love to hear any general thoughts you have on this method?
" Enjoy the journey AS MUCH as the destination."
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Oldfast

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Post Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:28 pm

Re: Oldfast: Safe Chronicles

Manipulation #3

YALE



....my first authentic opening out in the wild.


ImageImage

This safe had not been opened in over a decade. John (we'll call him) had used it for a number of years after
inheriting it from his father. Over all those years of using it he never committed the combination to memory!
It was on a piece of paper which he kept in his wallet. When the paper went missing, so too did the combination.


As I examined it, I noticed a number of things...

1. Initially, I could only detect one contact point... which got me thinking gear-driven fence.
However, the other contact point revealed itself after I had worked the dial a bit. Age maybe?

2. When trying to determine the number of wheels, I could not feel or hear any of them being
picked up. Given the age of the lock along with what John told me... I felt it safe to assume it
was a 3-wheel lock. But not being able to confirm that all the drive-pins were intact and doing
their job was still concering.

3. Dial movement was rough... including vibrations and sticking points. As luck would have it -
these sticky areas just happened to be on or near the contact points lol. In hindsight, I wish I
had spent some time tapping the dial ring to see if I could alleviate some of this and get the
dial running a bit smoother prior to manipulation. Ah well.... live and learn I guess.

4. The lines on the dial were much wider than I'm accustom to. And given that my eyes are not
all too 'seasoned' at this point, I knew it was going to be difficult for me to divide an increment
into eighths. To rememdy this, I shaped a pin to wrap around the edge of the dial ring. It gave
me pin-point accuracy and proved to be tremendously useful throughout the manipulation.


Image

You'll notice we start with graph #3. My first lengthy session with this safe left me with 3 things:
a) two graphs containing insane variations that made absolutely no sense.
b) a bit of discourgement... having not found a single gate.
... and c) one very NUMB ASS. lol

By this time some kids had returned home and naturally were quite curious :/ lol. I had some fun with 'em
as we all "listened for clicks and shit"... and I kept telling them, "you've almost got it!!". But my progress
had come to an end (not that I was making any in the first place. lol) I called it a day and decided to
come back Sunday (while everyone would be preoccupied watching the football game).

Round 2:
I returned with a vengeance, prepared for a lengthy battle. Hell bent on an opening.
I thought to myself, "fuck it... I'll take a reading at EVERY increment. LOL.... why not?!"

Image

Turns out, a reading at every inc wasn't neccesary. This time around, the lock seemed to react normally!
And I'm really not sure why. Maybe all the spinning in the first session worked some debris lose from the
components?? I dunno. Nevertheless, I had myself a gate and my hi/low tests placed it on wheel 3.

Image
:???: - :???: - R75.5

I then graphed wheels 1 and 2 together while placing w3 on its' known gate.

Image

Results were nil. One of the two remaining wheels was masking the other. I run into this scenario often.
The solution is to park one of the wheels in a low area in hopes of being able to read the other.

In an attempt to profile w2, I parked w1 at the same number I found the gate to be on for w3.
(refer to manipulation#2 for my reasoning (or maybe lack of) for choosing to park here)

Image
:???: - L93 - R75.5

I now have two out of three pieces to the puzzle. I run w1 around every 2 incs,
each time- placing wheels 2 and 3 on their known gates until the lock opens.
What a rush when the fence solidly drops in! Whoooo!


OPEN: R30 - L93 - R75.5

Image

What all was in the safe and underneath the top tray? I COULD CARE LESS! Nor was it any of my business. lol

My interest was now with the lock-- tearing it apart-- seein' what I'd been dealing with-- and learning from it.
" Enjoy the journey AS MUCH as the destination."
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Oldfast

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Post Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:28 pm

Re: Oldfast: Safe Chronicles

Manipulation #3 ..... continued

YALE ..... breakdown/servicing



I broke this lock down with several goals in mind:

1) First and foremost, my aim is to draw as much knowledge/experience as possible from each and every manipulation.
2) I was VERY curious as to what, if anything... caused the lock to respond so erratically during my first two graphs.
3) I hoped to get this lock running as smoothly and reliably as I possibly could before John put it back into use.
4) Due to the number of people that were in and out of that house during the manipulation (not to mention
the number of people there during the opening) John and I thought it best to change the combination.

Some of my observations are propably quite basic, as this was my first encounter with this type of lock

Image

ImageImage

Image

First notable difference was the square spindle. Rather than being solidly connected to
the drive cam via threads and spline key... it seats losely in the square hole of the cam.

This design also allows for a quick combination change without having to disassemble the
wheel pack and adjust each wheels' drive pin washer. By simply changing the orientation of
the cam and spindle (4-sided square), you can choose from four different combinations.
After finding one combo, you can mathematically figure what your other 3 options will be.

The peep hole in the lock cover allows a view of the fence and wheels when servicing.
When changing the combination via the drive pin washers, this peep hole comes in handy...
since you don't know exactly what numbers you've changed it to until the lock is reassembled.

ImageImage

With this lock, the wheel pack is mounted on the back side of the lock cover.
Also interesting, was my first encounter with this type of wheel... hole change.

The drive pin washers not only allow for a way in which to change the combination, but also act as a drive pin
for each wheel. Additionally, they serve as a rotational surface as they butt up against the spacing washers.

Image Image

PROBLEM: Using the peep hole while diailing, I realized that wheel 3 had some drag to it!
In other words; I would align the final wheel, but when I switched directions to go to the
drop-in area.... the wheel would be dragged back in that direction and out of alignment.
This occurred sporadically. Usually about 2 out of every 10 times I dialed the combintation.

Both the drive pin washers and spacing washers seemed to have maintained their width over all those years.
In fact, all the parts looked to be in fair condition with very little wear. The only other thing I thought might
account for the drag on w3 was the surprising amount of debris within the lock and/or the lack of lubrication.

I throroughly degreased and rinsed each part, then left everything overnight to dry. I also fished out a 1/4 inch
hairball from between the dial and dial ring lol. Prior to reassembly, I lightly lubricated certain parts with
Tri-Flow -- the wheel post, spacing washers, drive pin washers, and the base of the dial/spindle.

The wheels ran smooth and independently from the others. The dial no longer had any vibrations or sticking points.
It was a beautiful thing. John was extremely grateful... but I still feel like I was at the better end of this deal :)

Image

All in all, this was wonderfully exciting for me... as well as an opportunity for some exprerience!


. . . . . . . . . CONCLUSIONS . . . . . . . . .

(1) Being my first experience with fixed drive pins, I was curious as to just how much variation they would
incur when dialing to a gate from two different directions. The differences were surprisingly large.

For example... a combination dialed from both directions:
-with a LEFT RIGHT LEFT rotation..... 49 28 97
-with a RIGHT LEFT RIGHT rotation... 64 38 02
The incremental differences in this case turn out to be 15, 10, and 5 respectively.

The differences grow exponentially as each wheel is picked up. If we're turning the entire wheel pack in
order to place w1... the difference will be 4 drive pin widths collectively (15 incs). On the other hand,
if we're turning only w3... then there's only two drive pins involved - a difference of 5 increments.

This was good for me to take a look at... and easy enough to determine with the peep hole. HOWEVER,
I have yet to thoroughly understand exactly how to determine and utilize this info from the outside of a safe.


(2) As to the factors I mentioned earlier: Just how much did they contribute to my difficulties?
-The slight amount of play between the spindle and drive cam.
-The age of the lock & the large amount of debris within it.
-The sticking points and vibrations with the dial.
-And most of all.... the drag on wheel 3.

Honestly, it's difficult to say just how much of a role any of these things played.
It's quite possible that my initial difficulties were largely due to my lack of skill.

Wheel 3 being dragged out of alignment: Given the low occurrence of this (20-30 percent), it's unlikely this
would keep me from an opening. If I kept at it, I was bound to eventually get 1 or 2 graphs with true readings.

Age of lock & debris in it: I've little experience with older locks, but so far my experience is this....
the more I work the dial, the smoother things seem to get, and the feedback becomes more pronounced.

Rough dial movement near the contact area: Overcoming this may have attributed to the majority of my grief.



. . . . . . . . . . . . QUESTIONS . . . . . . . . . . . .

(1) Servicing the lock... how'd I do?
My choice of lubricant (Tri-Flow) as well as the areas/parts I chose to lubricate?

(2) per conclusion #1... Converting rotational directions.
I don't think this will be all too complicated. The fact is, I've just not taken the time to sit down and focus
on this yet. But I will be soon... and any advice you may have always helps to shorten my learning curve.

(3) I've heard/read of safe techs lubricating PRIOR to attempting manipulation.
In order for a lubricant to be effective, I'm assuming you'd have to apply it deep enough
under the dial (at least to the base of the spindle?). If so, how exactly is this achieved?

As ALWAYS... I welcome & appreciate ANY comments, corrections, advice, etc. on manipulation.
" Enjoy the journey AS MUCH as the destination."
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Riyame

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Post Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:50 pm

Re: Oldfast: Safe Chronicles

Very cool stuff! That safe is quite intriguing.
PhoneMan: I always knew I'd say something stupid and it would be someone's sig
macgng: i am an equal opportunity pervert
macgng: aww fuck thats goin in someone sig :-(

If life gives you melons, you might be dyslexic.
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MBI

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Post Fri Jan 04, 2013 12:29 am

Re: Oldfast: Safe Chronicles

Riyame wrote:Very cool stuff! That safe is quite intriguing.

Indeed.
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GWiens2001

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Post Fri Jan 04, 2013 12:54 am

Re: Oldfast: Safe Chronicles

Oldfast,

Thank you for your updates. Currently working with a S&G 6730 and the NLGM. (For those who do not know, the NLGM is the National Locksmith Guide to Manipulation.). Don't have any other safe locks yet, so have limited my studies to the spring fence locks for the time being. Your updates give me fodder on other types of safe locks. I really look forward to receiving and adding to the manipulation kit when it comes my way.

Thank you again,

Gordon
Just when you think you've learned it all, that is when you find you haven't learned anything yet.
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femurat

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Post Fri Jan 04, 2013 6:38 am

Re: Oldfast: Safe Chronicles

Cool story. I imagine how excited you were during all this experience.

There's nothing worse than a hard and sticky dial.
Why didn't you trust (and investigated) the gate indication at 96 in graph 4? You had both contact points indicating that.

Cheers :-)
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Oldfast

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OldddffAASSTT the Spin Master Extraordinaire and American Lock Slayer
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Post Fri Jan 04, 2013 11:58 am

Re: Oldfast: Safe Chronicles

MBI wrote:
Riyame wrote:Very cool stuff! That safe is quite intriguing.

Indeed.
I agree, I really liked this chest- and let him know it too lol.
I don't think he'll ever sell it, but if he does... I'll be the first to know. And I would use it!
That old thing is better than the couple modern day 'shitboxes' I currently use in my house. lol


GWiens2001 wrote:....Thank you for your updates. Currently working with a S&G 6730 and the NLGM. (For those who do not know, the NLGM is the National Locksmith Guide to Manipulation). Don't have any other safe locks yet, so have limited my studies to the spring fence locks for the time being. Your updates give me fodder on other types of safe locks. I really look forward to receiving and adding to the manipulation kit when it comes my way....
Thank you Gordon... and I really do appreciate your enthusiasm-- as I'm finding it difficult to befriend some fellow safecrackers lol (beginners OR experts)
I suppose this will happen with time and I must be patient. So it's nice to have you onboard and look forward to learning from each other!


femurat wrote:....Why didn't you trust (and investigated) the gate indication at 96 in graph 4? You had both contact points indicating that....
How true! And had trusted it... sweet victory would have arrived a bit sooner! Sometimes I think I still doubt myself too much.
I suppose I also still have that beginners hang-up of wanting the reassurence of seeing that classic grand canyon signature. lol

A brief but very interesting interview with Mark Bates.
http://www.safeventures.com/news.php?id=16
One of the things he mentions is the variety of signatures that are not always so pronounced.

Thank you again! I ALWAYS look forward to hearing your thoughts. It means alot!
" Enjoy the journey AS MUCH as the destination."
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mdc5150

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Post Fri Jan 04, 2013 12:37 pm

Re: Oldfast: Safe Chronicles

I love reading your work, you are doing a hell of a job! I can't wait to finally get a permanent home for my son and I so I can dive into this stuff. You've given me the bug!
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magician59

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Post Fri Jan 04, 2013 3:29 pm

Re: Oldfast: Safe Chronicles

Well done, Oldfast! That Yale (and its prodigy) are THE toughest little locks to manipulate. They're notoriously sloppy and give inconsistent readings. In the field, we drill them more often than not!
Nemo Malus Felix
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Oldfast

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OldddffAASSTT the Spin Master Extraordinaire and American Lock Slayer
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Post Sat Jan 05, 2013 4:23 am

Re: Oldfast: Safe Chronicles

mdchurchill wrote:I love reading your work, you are doing a hell of a job! I can't wait to finally get a permanent home for my son and I so I can dive into this stuff. You've given me the bug!
That's great to hear Matt!! And I really hope you & your son find a wonderful place to settle in.


magician59 wrote:Well done, Oldfast! That Yale (and its prodigy) are THE toughest little locks to manipulate. They're notoriously sloppy and give inconsistent readings. In the field, we drill them more often than not!
Wow... nice to know my difficulties were'nt entirely my fault. lol
And you've certainly given me small confidence boost :) Thanks
" Enjoy the journey AS MUCH as the destination."
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Oldfast

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OldddffAASSTT the Spin Master Extraordinaire and American Lock Slayer
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Post Sat Jan 05, 2013 11:53 pm

Re: Oldfast: Safe Chronicles

True to form (as an x addict/alcoholic) LOL I've been spending an INSANE amount of
time in front of a dial. Fairly soon I'm gonna have to let up just a bit as I can feel my
life getting disorganized... (something I must keep a constant and watchful eye on).


In terms of technique, my overall aim currently is to experiment & experience as much
as I can expose myself to. Only with time will I come to adopt my own style of efficiency.
But during this ititial phase of my learning I feel it's crucial for me to keep an open mind.

One of my recent changes was the decision to ditch my paper & pencil (but not entirely or permanently by any means).
I'm sure there's probably some sort of technical name for this, but in my mind I guess I've come to call this 'free-spinning'.
We simply take mental notes rather than plotting them on paper. I commit to memory any numbers or questionable areas,
along with any low areas that may need to be utilized later in the manipulation. I wasn't sure if I was ready for such a leap,
but figured it's never to soon to at least begin acclimating myself to this approach. The results have been quite surprising!

Admittedly, my first free-spin attempts left me reaping exactly what I had sown... haha!... numerous dead end roads,
confusion, frustration, and LOTS of time. However, as I continued to push my limits, my minds' eye began to adapt and
some amazing things started to happen. Without the commitment of a graph, I began to let go of bounderies that I had
apparently created for myself. Both the dial and my mind began to spin freely and efficiently.... a sort of flow I guess.

All of sudden, it felt ok to briefly explore a different path, and I would know rather quickly if it was going to pan out.
And if not, it was easy enough to simply jump back to my original course of action. I've since had some manipulations
lasting only 20-30 minutes. I've had some that were just shy of and hour... and others just over an hour. For me these
are staggering times-- considering ALL of my manipulations up until now could be measured in HOURS... not minutes!!

I'd be doing myself a huge disservice if I were to drop my pencil though. There's an ENORMOUS amount that can be
learned thru graphing (both during and after a manipulation). So here's what I've started doing for the manipulations
to follow: First, I free-spin. Regardless of whether I'm successful, I then rework the entire manipulation while graphing.
This way I continue bettering my free-spin, while at the same time, gaining the benefits of graphing. Not to mention...
if I want to share certain manipulations here on this thread... I need the graphs anyway.
" Enjoy the journey AS MUCH as the destination."
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Oldfast

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OldddffAASSTT the Spin Master Extraordinaire and American Lock Slayer
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Post Sun Jan 06, 2013 8:55 pm

Re: Oldfast: Safe Chronicles

Manipulation #4

SARGENT AND GREENLEAF R6700 Series
(standard ... Group 2 ... 3 wheel ... key change ... spring loaded fence)

It occurred to me as I was running out of locks to crack,
that I was so intent on making this into a cut-away
viewtopic.php?p=64130#p64130
I had never even attempted to manipulate it. lol

After some paper & tape around the lock case, it passed through the hands of the lovely combo-change-girl :D



As I prepared for this manipulation, there was a couple things worth noting:

This lock was heavily used. The drive cam had significant wear. Left contact point was detectable, but very faint.
In fact, if you take a look at where the lever nose rests on the drive cam in this picture... that's damn near how
far you'd pass the gate before feeling the left contact point! Maybe a little exagerated, but you get the idea.

The dial runs smoothly with no sticking points... but the weight and/or design of it just seemed to create for
some drag (for lack of better words) that made it somewhat difficult to lightly approach the contact points.

Image Image



An all wheels left rotation revealed two promising areas at 12 and 84

Image

High/low tests for 84 were inconclusive (which kinda surprised me).

Tests for 12 showed w1... but not all too convincingly (VERY minute variation).
I felt like I needed just a little more prompting to assume 12 was indeed on w1.
-the graph shows slightly exagerated raises on either side of the gate.
-It's unlikely 12 would be on w3, placing it within the forbidden zone.
-And although it does happen, it's rare that w2 reads first in a lock.
Good enough for me...
L12 - :???: - :???:

*At this point, I had not entirely detached myself from that very pretty picture of 84. lol
I briefly ran with the idea that I might have found the first two numbers... 12 - 84 - X.
But after taking some readings spaced out around the dial, I opted to get back on track.


I placed wheel 1 and ran 2 & 3 together....

Image

Two areas showed up. I did not perform high/low tests on either. Instead, I positioned w2 @ 47.
When I did this (12-47-X), the 'feel' of my contact points (namely the LCP) assured me I was on track.

L12 - R47 - :???:

I always love the anticipation at this phase as I run the last wheel around... just waiting for it...

OPEN: L12 - R47 - L74



. . . . . . . . . CONCLUSIONS . . . . . . . . .

(1) First off, it was SO refreshing to FINALLY encounter a lock with a different binding order other than 3,2,1.

(2) The very faint left contact point I took note of intitially, actually turned out to be rather helpful in the end.
Beacuase it was so faint at first, it stuck out like a sore thumb as the lever began to drop into the wheel pack.
So it acted sort of like a 'tell-tale marker for progress', saving me time towards the end (especially with 47).

(3) I'm use to seeing rather large variations (1/4 of an increment or more). With this lock, the readings only varied by
1/8, and sometimes slightly less. The fact that my eyes caught this (free-spinning nonetheless!) certainly felt good.



. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . QUESTIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

By far, the most prevalent order in which the wheels read is 3,2,1. And with good reason.
Coming in second place, but not nearly as often, is the occurrence of 1,2,3.
And lastly, the rare instances where wheel 2 will read first.

Just how often have you encountered a lock where w2 was the first to read?
How'd it play out? Did wheel 3 read afterwards, then wheel 1?


As ALWAYS... I thoroughly welcome & appreciate ANY comments, corrections, advice, etc. on manipulation!
" Enjoy the journey AS MUCH as the destination."
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GWiens2001

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Post Sun Jan 06, 2013 10:39 pm

Re: Oldfast: Safe Chronicles

Oldfast,

Do you feel that the drag was intentionally designed as a minipulation-hindering device on this lock?

Gordon
Just when you think you've learned it all, that is when you find you haven't learned anything yet.
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