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Impressioning with soot

PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2016 5:41 pm
by nine4t4
I set myself up last night to try impressioning. A couple of blanks that fit an old Corbin and nothing else to do. I set up the vise and all the gear and couldn't find a magnifyer, so I went 'old school' sooting up the key. I stopped when it look like I had the proper depth for 2 pins. I'm buying a magnifying glass today, and finishing it later.

I don't know how bad a key covered in soot is for a lock, but WOW can you see the marks. The little scratches in the key look like brass colored LED lights against a black velvet background. Unfortunately, its a real PITA.

Soot the key
Slowly insert key
Jiggle key
Inspect Key
Run file over shiny parts
Test key
Resoot key
Repeat until madness sets in or lock opens.

I think the magnifying glass will speed things up.


Theortically, I'm only putting a small amount of soot on the key pins (and then only the point). But the soot is actually greasy and I don't know how damaging it would be. It's a crappy practice lock, just curious if this is worse for the lock than I would think.

Re: Impressioning with soot

PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2016 5:44 pm
by ratlock
Hi. Ive used a candle to soot and impression mortice keys, but never pin tumbler keys. what your looking for, and the marks that are left are different on both types of keys.
I think if you soot a pin tumbler you will leave marks in the soot every time, and have you filing half way through the key.
See the following 2 pictures showing the marks you are looking for in a mortice, and pin tumbler key. Both very differant.

Re: Impressioning with soot

PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2016 5:50 pm
by ratlock
sorry It wouldnt let me upload the second picture. If you want it message me and I will email you the picks showing the faint marks on the key and where to look.

Re: Impressioning with soot

PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2016 8:07 pm
by Papa Gleb
Soot is probably the same as using a sharpie / black marker which does work great.

Re: Impressioning with soot

PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2016 11:28 pm
by MartinHewitt
With my little experience I prefer soot to a sharpie, because it is less disturbed by inserting and removing the key from the lock.