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Struggling with aggressive bitting and security pins.

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morthawt

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Post Thu Feb 16, 2017 6:45 pm

Struggling with aggressive bitting and security pins.

Hello.

I have one or two locks that have a low cut pin in the front and other ones further inside that are higher. I have managed to pick once as a fluke and never reproduced it. Even knowing the bitting from looking at the key is of limited help. How can I detect such a "difficult" bitting and deal with it? Or is it not about detecting "Ah this is crazy bitting... let me just instead do..." or is it just a protocol of lock picking that results in high chance of success regardless of even bitting or steep variation?

Also, I have a Master Lock 140 which bosnianbill said has 1 or 2 security pins in it, only has 4 pins but I have not been able to SPP it yet. I have tried hard torque, gentle torque but I just cannot seem to get it open which is strange considering I have picked several Abus 30mm and 40mm padlocks which also have security pins and more pins per lock than this master 140. What could be my problem? Can you offer any info on how to approach the above crazy bitting and then how to approach security pins?

I think if I can learn to deal with crazy bitting successfully first, then going specifically to practice security pins should likely help me to improve my picking success.

Thanks
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Oldfast

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OldddffAASSTT the Spin Master Extraordinaire and American Lock Slayer
OldddffAASSTT the Spin Master Extraordinaire and American Lock Slayer

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Post Thu Feb 16, 2017 7:36 pm

Re: Struggling with aggressive bitting and security pins.

A big welcome to you sir! How long ya been pickin'?

(If you're not already), placing your tensioner at the top of the keyway (TOK, same side as the pins)
will help free up space for the pick, reducing the chance of inadvertently oversetting pins with the shaft.
Overset pins can sometimes be dropped too. Lighten up on your tension just enough to drop some, but
not all pins. Sometimes you can maintain the set pins beyond that deep one that's messin' with ya.
Other than that, I'd say experiment with some different picks. Some deep hooks or a deforrest maybe.

As to your 140. HERE'S the guts to satisfy your curiosity.
They're silly little creatures kinda, lol. It's almost like the bad quality/sloppiness
work against you sometimes. I have similar troubles with ACE's brass #'s too.
(previously set pins sometimes have to be 're-tickled' just before it opens too).
" Enjoy the journey AS MUCH as the destination."
http://www.youtube.com/Oldfast911
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morthawt

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Post Thu Feb 16, 2017 7:46 pm

Re: Struggling with aggressive bitting and security pins.

I have been back-handedly picking for many years and with no real practice either, just on occasion messing around. It is only in the last 6-12 months I have renewed my interest by actually buying more locks, more picks etc. I have 2 SouthOrd sets C810 C2010 and a Sparrows Tuxedo with additional high reach, as well as a couple sets of TOK wrenches including a nice set from madbob. Hopefully I should have enough tools for now. My tuxedo is my EDC kit that goes into my Maxpedition Mini Pocket Organiser along with some other EDC tools and a lock.

I do not have a deforest half diamond in my EDC kit, do you think I should replace my high reach for one? I was watching schyler picking and he seems to really love that deforest and he's really good...

I think my primary issues are accurate sensory acuity as to what I am doing and what is going on, basic technique/protocols and knowing what is a pin and what is the space between pins. I regularly am pressing on the space between trying to set something that isn't there, or am too far back into the lock pressing against who knows what but it ain't a pin..

I had not considered using TOK to help prevent over-setting, I just figured it was a general making room to pick thing. Very good to know thanks.

Seems on uklockpickers there is no deforest half diamond pick :( Oh well. Unless there's another UK-based source I could get a thin (in terms of handle and all [for EDC] but not thin thin like 0.015") deforest half diamond?
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morthawt

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Post Thu Feb 16, 2017 8:01 pm

Re: Struggling with aggressive bitting and security pins.

By the way, I rarely ever ever feel counter-rotation. I know there are 1 or 2 spools in this Master 140 but I have not a clue where they are.
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Oldfast

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OldddffAASSTT the Spin Master Extraordinaire and American Lock Slayer
OldddffAASSTT the Spin Master Extraordinaire and American Lock Slayer

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Post Thu Feb 16, 2017 8:10 pm

Re: Struggling with aggressive bitting and security pins.

morthawt wrote:.....I do not have a deforest half diamond in my EDC kit, do you think I should replace my high reach for one? I was watching schyler picking and he seems to really love that deforest and he's really good...

I wouldn't go 'replacing' anything with it, no. But it's certainly worth trying one out and maybe 'adding' one to your set.
One of my favorite picks for a long time was a homemade off-set half ball. Some people like 'em... some not so much.
A lot comes down to personal preference. I wouldn't bend over backwards to tryn' get one thinking it's gonna be magic.

You say you have the SouthOrd C2010 set... I thought that included an off-set half diamond & off-set half ball. No?
" Enjoy the journey AS MUCH as the destination."
http://www.youtube.com/Oldfast911
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morthawt

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Post Thu Feb 16, 2017 8:13 pm

Re: Struggling with aggressive bitting and security pins.

Yes I have one or two deforest but not nice slender thin ones for EDC. My others are at least 3 times thicker due to the thick metal handle. When I try and SPP this with my off-set hybrid or what ever it's called from the Tuxedo set, I get zero counter roataion, full unsuccess :( However sometimes I can get it to unlock by fully inserting the pick and seesawing. So, while I can get it open it's not teaching me anything about improving my SPP. Shouldn't I be feeling counter-rotation to let me know to deal with a spool?
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MHM

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Post Thu Feb 16, 2017 10:23 pm

Re: Struggling with aggressive bitting and security pins.

morthawt wrote: Shouldn't I be feeling counter-rotation to let me know to deal with a spool?


Yep Morthawt, indeed you should. Gonna post you a more detailed reply shortly, standby.
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madsamurai

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Post Thu Feb 16, 2017 11:22 pm

Re: Struggling with aggressive bitting and security pins.

been a while since I've picked my 140... just tried it again to remember what it feels like. I use soft to medium tension, and pretty light pressure on the pick. You may not get any or much feedback from the spools in these; mine doesn't feel like it has spools. Master tends to just randomly throw them in there, and a lot of times they put them on pins that are tall enough that the gap in the spool is already above the shear line, so they don't actually come into play. If you do hit a spool, you should get what's called a 'false set' where the plug will rotate a bit more than normal... you'll get counter-rotation from spool pins at that point. Keep just enough pressure on your wrench to keep pins from falling, and press slightly on each one, and one of them should tell you. If you still don't feel it, try reducing your wrench pressure a little more as you press on the pins and watch for your wrench to move in response. It won't be a strong counter-rotation, just a slight lifting of the wrench. Once you get the hang of what to feel for, it'll start to become obvious and get a lot easier.

Btw, if you ever need to get one of these open, a worm rake will open these in a swipe or two... I actually go for my rake if it's nearby instead of digging out the keys for this one because it's quicker. :)
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MHM

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Post Thu Feb 16, 2017 11:24 pm

Re: Struggling with aggressive bitting and security pins.

OK, firstly, welcome to the group. Secondly, everything that Oldfast has said is 100% correct; he's great at explaining stuff and what follows is to add to his replies, not replace anything.

Thirdly:

1. You may well need two different hooks to pick your lock with the unfriendly bitting. Your standard one (whatever it is, doesn't much matter really) plus a steeper one to scoop under the low cut pins to the higher ones in back. Oldfast has suggested several which might work.
2. TOK tension to give yourself more room is a great idea.
3. If you're not hitting a false set then you're probably not even getting to the point where you've set all the standard pins. By far the two most likely reasons for this are that your tension is too heavy to feel what's binding and what's not, and/or one of the high cut pins at the back of the lock is a standard and you're not able to set it with your current choice of pick, so you go round in circles wondering why nothing else seems to bind and why you haven't got to the point where the spools need to be picked. (I'm not sure whether the bitting issue lock has spools as well as the other one. Whatever, doesn't much matter.)
4. The feeling of a high cut pin at the back not setting because a lower cut one in front of it has already been set is unmistakeable once you've been picking locks for a while and I think maybe this lock might be teaching you this. If so, bravo, you're going through a learning curve that we've all been through.
5. In general: If the binding pin you're working on doesn't give you whatever feedback the particular lock you're working on gives to indicate a set, and the next pin doesn't bind, YOU HAVEN'T SET THAT PIN YET. If you were raising the pin and it just stopped moving before it set, chances are that the pick shaft is banging into a lower cut pin and thus a steeper hook is called for.
6. I did a tutorial on this a week ago - have a watch of this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3eipw-ffrP4

Post some pictures of your locks and picks, I'd love so see how you're doing.

Michael.
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morthawt

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Post Fri Feb 17, 2017 4:26 pm

Re: Struggling with aggressive bitting and security pins.

MHM wrote:OK, firstly, welcome to the group. Secondly, everything that Oldfast has said is 100% correct; he's great at explaining stuff and what follows is to add to his replies, not replace anything.

Thirdly:

1. You may well need two different hooks to pick your lock with the unfriendly bitting. Your standard one (whatever it is, doesn't much matter really) plus a steeper one to scoop under the low cut pins to the higher ones in back. Oldfast has suggested several which might work.
2. TOK tension to give yourself more room is a great idea.
3. If you're not hitting a false set then you're probably not even getting to the point where you've set all the standard pins. By far the two most likely reasons for this are that your tension is too heavy to feel what's binding and what's not, and/or one of the high cut pins at the back of the lock is a standard and you're not able to set it with your current choice of pick, so you go round in circles wondering why nothing else seems to bind and why you haven't got to the point where the spools need to be picked. (I'm not sure whether the bitting issue lock has spools as well as the other one. Whatever, doesn't much matter.)
4. The feeling of a high cut pin at the back not setting because a lower cut one in front of it has already been set is unmistakeable once you've been picking locks for a while and I think maybe this lock might be teaching you this. If so, bravo, you're going through a learning curve that we've all been through.
5. In general: If the binding pin you're working on doesn't give you whatever feedback the particular lock you're working on gives to indicate a set, and the next pin doesn't bind, YOU HAVEN'T SET THAT PIN YET. If you were raising the pin and it just stopped moving before it set, chances are that the pick shaft is banging into a lower cut pin and thus a steeper hook is called for.
6. I did a tutorial on this a week ago - have a watch of this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3eipw-ffrP4

Post some pictures of your locks and picks, I'd love so see how you're doing.

Michael.


Here is my collection of picks and locks. The only ones missing are 2 little 2-piece bogota pick sets one being stainless steel from ukbumpkeys (that I hacksawed part of the handles off to make them smaller) and one from oscardelta which is made of titanium.

http://imgur.com/a/TmI9c

The above link has descriptions per image on the album. But I will put them here also for people who want to just scroll through them:


Image

Image

Image

Image
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morthawt

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Post Fri Feb 17, 2017 6:09 pm

Re: Struggling with aggressive bitting and security pins.

I just made a video depicting me picking the aluminium master 140 and failing with the brass one I have been talking about. I show the keys for both and me taking 2 or 3 seconds to get the brass one, the bane of my life, with a simple seesaw of a hook, not even attemping to actually hook anything, just rocking the shaft up and down. Yet I cannot SPP it?!!? stay tuned, I am uploading the video now. I will post when I have it done.
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morthawt

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Post Fri Feb 17, 2017 6:47 pm

Re: Struggling with aggressive bitting and security pins.

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morthawt

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Post Sat Feb 18, 2017 8:02 pm

Re: Struggling with aggressive bitting and security pins.

I don't get it. I don't GET it. I am far from being a skilled picker, but I have picked loads of abus locks in the 54, 64 range, draper with mushroom pins, even 2 other master locks including the aluminium version 140. This brass Master lock 140 will NOT single pin pick. I don't get it at all. It makes zero sense. It is super easy to get into if you do not care about SPP all you do is stick the tension wrench in, stick a pick in, light tension and tilt the pick up towards the top of the keyway and boom, it opens. No picking required...

Easy.

But that does not help me improve my SPP capability. How can this be so difficult when I have picked so many of the other locks? Out of the collection of locks you see, plus a couple others not shown, I have picked most of them on multiple occasions. Sure, not every time I sit down to pick a particular lock but, almost every lock with maybe 3 or 4 exceptions out of my entire collection of locks I have been able to pick them within 3 minutes. Why am I struggling with zero success after multiple days, multiple hours of trying to pick it? Light tension, medium tension, hard tension, feather almost non existent tension, top of keyway, different TOK wrenches, bottom of keyway, different bottom of keyway wrenches, shallow hooks, medium hooks, steep hooks, deforest diamonds, bogota. NOTHING is getting this thing open at all, not even raking it. The only thing I can do in the 4 or 5 days I have had this lock and the multiple hours and hours I have spent trying, is stick the tensioner in, stick a pick in to the back, light pressure on the tension and push the pick to tilt it towards the top of the front of the keyway and it opens. If it does not open, I repeat 2 or 3 times and then it opens. This makes no sense. This is more frustrating than the insane bitting Yale euro cylinder I have had zero success with and a Yale shrouded padlock. I can understand those two because they have really crazy bitting and they likely have security pins. So I am satisfied to leave those as "the next level" to improve my ability. But this master 140? really? REALLY? Why can I pick it's aluminium predecessor and not this bog standard rubbish boring bitting brass 140?

If anyone has any words of wisdom I would be extremely interested because this is really beginning to make me doubt that I have any ability at all at this point. A **^&$%^%&*&^%+++ masterlock................. of all things.
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droshi

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Post Sat Feb 18, 2017 9:10 pm

Re: Struggling with aggressive bitting and security pins.

My suggestion: try to find the actual binding order. It sounds simple, however in practice many locks can open outside that sequence.

Example:
Let's say the binding order is 52341 without any spools.

Many times you can set other pins than 5 first, often 2 or 3 will be able to be set. But if you go in the exact binding order, other pins are much less likely to over set or drop as you are manipulating the lock.

Here's the key: run your pick through the lock bumping over them, feel which is bound up the most. Many people call this the "speed bump" method, and it's a quick way to gauge the binding order.

A deep hook or Gem shaped pick really helps me if they fit.

Goodluck!
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morthawt

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Post Sat Feb 18, 2017 9:23 pm

Re: Struggling with aggressive bitting and security pins.

Ok, not satisfied with my failures, I decided to mess around and get into my IT "figure this out" "what dots can I connect?" brain. Ok, so I knew that the seesaw technique was so ridiculously basic and yet workes reliably. So why? Why would such a simple technique work? So I was experimenting with tension and I wondered why I would always overset pins. I am used to systematically pushing pins up. The seesaw of the pick is not hitting much in the way of pins. So I used higher tension that I have ever used before and was able to go through and notice some of the further pins on from the first were pretty stuck. Then I came back and picked the first one high and it opened... So, I think I have forgotten that pins can be shallow as hell. The first pin is about as high as it can possibly be and the others need tickling only. So a combination of tension variation than my normal and picking to lesser severity is what I needed to learn from this. I think I need to specifically vary my tension and picking to full degree of my average and picking only tiny amounts when I am met with failure. If I keep doing my usual, I am unlikely to get anything different. This is the best thing I have learned in a long time because this lock has been whooping me for hours and days and yet I now now the other pins need tiny movements.

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