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What have you Impressioned today

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Oldfast

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OldddffAASSTT the Spin Master Extraordinaire and American Lock Slayer
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Post Mon Jun 04, 2018 3:41 am

Re: What have you Impressioned today

adi_picker wrote:Hey jfw,

Nice work on those Schlage's mate, I also find the larger pin tumblers with more pins are more difficult to impression than smaller locks, or wafers. My guess here is that there is just more resistance due to the increased number of pins, stopping the bound pin from making a deeper, more noticeable mark. That, and it also seems to depend on the quality of the lock. Cheaper locks that have sloppier tolerances and leave more room for the key to wiggle, tighter, better locks just have less give. Case in point is the Lockwood padlocks I posted above, by far the hardest impression I have done yet, very tight locks.

Like yourself, when I first started to attempt impressioning, I also broke a lot of blanks. Slowly, as I have gotten better are identifying the marks left, I have been able to use less and less pressure, and now can complete the job with a single blank, most of the time. I found that it was my turning tension, not my wiggle that was too high, and decreasing this has helped a lot in this regard. I also now try and use the least pressure I can when wiggling, and if I cant find a mark, only then will I try the impression again with a little more pressure. In my experience, its only sometimes you need the extra pressure, so obviously using it only when required also cuts down on the wear and tear on the blank.

Great to see others here practising this skill! Its quite a rare, unique talent from what I can gather, something that even a lot of locksmiths cant perform, or cant perform well. When I impressioned the Jackson above, I made contact with the manufacturer in order to get the blanks I required for it. When he realised what I was doing with them, he offered me some paid work doing this for himself and other clients, all around Australia, as he couldn't find someone who knew how to, or was willing to do it. I look forward to the first lock coming in to me, get to practice more, and get paid!

Hope you or somebody finds my 2c helpful!

adi_pickrer

How exciting! Nice.
" Enjoy the journey AS MUCH as the destination."
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jfw

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Post Tue Jun 05, 2018 2:16 am

Re: What have you Impressioned today

Thanks adi_picker your reply was worth a hell of a lot more then two cents. Hope you get plenty of work and practice on future locks.
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MrPharmer2012

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Post Fri Jun 08, 2018 1:37 am

Re: What have you Impressioned today

Hi all I have never impressioned a lock before really want to give it a go I watched on old locksmith film the other day filing for dollars and he made it look like cake
Can anyone point me to some files etc that you recomend and beginner advice
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MrPharmer2012

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Post Fri Jun 08, 2018 1:45 am

Re: What have you Impressioned today

Will a set of vise grips and harbor freight files work or should I get a certain brand and what are you all using to magnify markings?
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adi_picker

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Post Fri Jun 08, 2018 3:31 am

Re: What have you Impressioned today

Hey Mr. Pharmer,

Impressioning is definitely not cake, but it is a great skill once you have got the hang of it. The key to doing it well is to practice, practice, practice, practice, practice, and practice a little more! ;)

Any old vice grips will get the job done, as long as they work, and can clamp something to the point where it doesn't move, having the blank moving about makes it very difficult to determine how much force you apply to the blank. As for a file, just about anything will work, but you will want one that leaves a matte finish on the blank, otherwise you will struggle to see the marks. The Swiss cut system is a grading system for files, with the lower numbers being coarser and the higher number finer. Most people recommend a Swiss number #4 cut in a round or pippin shape, but I personally use a Swiss #2, which removes more material quicker, but leaves a less matte, more shiny finish. I get around this by sanding the cuts with a 300 or so grit sandpaper after filing, which returns a nice matte and is the best finish I have found to see marks. I think any grade of file could be used with this method myself, so cant hurt to try some cheap HF files. Lastly, to magnify the blanks, I use a cheap jewellers loupe, one with 2 lenses of different magnification that flip out from under a metal cover, like this one, but with 2.

GWien's is a true master of impressioning, and he has created an awesome guide, which you can find here. This is the guide I used when doing my first impressions, and still something I refer too and re-read whenever I am about to impression a new style of lock. Thanks GWien's! As for me, other than what I have said in this comment, I have also posted my tips on pressure usage just a few posts back in this thread.

Best of luck mate, stick at it, and you will have a skill you not only enjoy, but is really useful! And as a bonus, you will be able to buy collectible or rare locks much cheaper on eBay, because you will be able to make use of and repair the ones that don't have a key! :D

adi_picker
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adi_picker

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Post Fri Jun 08, 2018 3:35 am

Re: What have you Impressioned today

Thanks Oldfast!

Haven't had the first lock come in to me yet, but I look forward to it. I am proud that I have taught myself a skill that is in demand.

All the best,

adi_picker
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MrPharmer2012

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Post Fri Jun 08, 2018 6:12 am

Re: What have you Impressioned today

adi_picker wrote:Hey Mr. Pharmer,

Impressioning is definitely not cake, but it is a great skill once you have got the hang of it. The key to doing it well is to practice, practice, practice, practice, practice, and practice a little more! ;)

Any old vice grips will get the job done, as long as they work, and can clamp something to the point where it doesn't move, having the blank moving about makes it very difficult to determine how much force you apply to the blank. As for a file, just about anything will work, but you will want one that leaves a matte finish on the blank, otherwise you will struggle to see the marks. The Swiss cut system is a grading system for files, with the lower numbers being coarser and the higher number finer. Most people recommend a Swiss number #4 cut in a round or pippin shape, but I personally use a Swiss #2, which removes more material quicker, but leaves a less matte, more shiny finish. I get around this by sanding the cuts with a 300 or so grit sandpaper after filing, which returns a nice matte and is the best finish I have found to see marks. I think any grade of file could be used with this method myself, so cant hurt to try some cheap HF files. Lastly, to magnify the blanks, I use a cheap jewellers loupe, one with 2 lenses of different magnification that flip out from under a metal cover, like this one, but with 2.

GWien's is a true master of impressioning, and he has created an awesome guide, which you can find here. This is the guide I used when doing my first impressions, and still something I refer too and re-read whenever I am about to impression a new style of lock. Thanks GWien's! As for me, other than what I have said in this comment, I have also posted my tips on pressure usage just a few posts back in this thread.

Best of luck mate, stick at it, and you will have a skill you not only enjoy, but is really useful! And as a bonus, you will be able to buy collectible or rare locks much cheaper on eBay, because you will be able to make use of and repair the ones that don't have a key! :D

adi_picker


Thank you Adi picker for taking the time to do the write uo gonna hopefully pickup some tools and practice this weekend if time allows
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jeffmoss26

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Post Fri Jun 08, 2018 10:52 pm

Re: What have you Impressioned today

where did you find the Filing for dollars video? I have been looking for that for years.
Innerpicked: The more keys you carry, the more important you look
GWiens2001: Great video! Learned a lot about what fun can be had with a forklift and a chainsaw.
pmaxey83: but i first have to submit the proper forms for a new hobby to my wife
xeo: i root for the kernel
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MrPharmer2012

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Post Sat Jun 09, 2018 12:39 am

Re: What have you Impressioned today

jeffmoss26 wrote:where did you find the Filing for dollars video? I have been looking for that for years.

I bought it years ago from locksmith army,
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jeffmoss26

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Post Sat Jun 09, 2018 12:48 am

Re: What have you Impressioned today

is it a digital copy by chance?
Innerpicked: The more keys you carry, the more important you look
GWiens2001: Great video! Learned a lot about what fun can be had with a forklift and a chainsaw.
pmaxey83: but i first have to submit the proper forms for a new hobby to my wife
xeo: i root for the kernel
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jfw

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Post Thu Jun 14, 2018 4:32 am

Re: What have you Impressioned today

Did this SC1 key in knob egg tonight. Nasty biting. Got it in TWO blanks.

DSCN1464.JPG
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jfw

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Post Wed Jul 18, 2018 9:06 pm

Re: What have you Impressioned today

DSCN1472.JPG


Georgian satin SC1 KIK. TWO blanks later.
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jfw

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Post Sun Sep 02, 2018 11:54 pm

Re: What have you Impressioned today

DSCN1475.JPG


This one gave me hell.. First time I tried it I lost count of the blanks I used and FAILED. Last night I tried and FAILED after a half dozen or so blanks. I got it today after closer scrutiny, careful mark following, and maybe FOUR blanks. It was a learning experience.
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Papa Gleb

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Post Tue Sep 04, 2018 7:49 pm

Re: What have you Impressioned today

Hey JFW, great work on all those Schlages and keep at it. This skill is truly wonderful to master and has come in handy more times than I can remember. I have impressioned a few locks myself during my most active days so if I may threw in a suggestion, all of the blanks you have shown are breaking at the same point which is due from too much force during giggling. In reality you hardly need much force to have the pins leave marks especially on new locks like the Schlage whos pins are all nice and pointy. Kwikset has dull pins out the factory so those may be a bit harder or if dealing with a lock 60 years old used daily outside then you may increase the force. If the marks arent visible, that may very well be because of lighting or the magnifier you are using. Now that isnt to say you need more lighting, actually a lot of direct light will over expose the shine on the key so you wont see any marks at all. Not sure what you are using now but maybe try a different light.
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adi_picker

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Post Mon Sep 17, 2018 4:54 am

Re: What have you Impressioned today

Hey JFW, this one should cheer you up, took me 5 or 6 blanks!?

Squire Laminated Padlock - Commonwealth of Australia

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Key is actually a VI84 for a Viro padlock, but the profile is identical. Had to trim a little off the shoulder to clear the outer lamination as well, and even then the marks were oh so faint, I guess that's probably related to the lock being nearly 60 years old! Used the Blitz for speed, but also to keep my depths consistent, and also had to sand the cuts before each wriggling to get a surface more conducive to the marking. Felt like the first time I had impressioned a lock when it opened.

adi_picker
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