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Key pins still leaving mark when they shouldn't.

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Gregted

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Post Fri Jan 17, 2014 2:16 pm

Key pins still leaving mark when they shouldn't.

Got my LW4 blanks today and immediately started on my first impression.
Blanks LW4.jpg


I thought I would cheat a little and try to impression a lock I had a key for to compare how my filing was going and also to have a key to compare with during the process.

The lock is from a sliding door and is a Whitco.
Whitco lock and key.jpg



About 2o minutes into the job I compared my blank against the original key and on the second last groove I can see that my blank is already filed below the original key but there is still a definite mark which tells me to keep filing.

The groove I am concerned about is the highest bidding on the key and is second from right in the photo.

I have been marking the top of the blank with a red permanent marker after each file to see the marks better and this has worked well until now.

Not sure how to proceed so I hope someone here can shed some light on why I am still getting a mark on my blank. Unfortunately, my phone camera won't focus that small to show the mark but it is one of the most defined marks so far.
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TheAdvancedNoob

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Post Fri Jan 17, 2014 2:36 pm

Re: Key pins still leaving mark when they shouldn't.

Gregted wrote:Unfortunately, my phone camera won't focus that small to show the mark but it is one of the most defined marks so far.

you may be able to use a magnifying glass to focus in a little bit more. I use a jewlers loupe and it seems to help get close up pictures.
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Farmerfreak

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Post Fri Jan 17, 2014 3:12 pm

Re: Key pins still leaving mark when they shouldn't.

If you go too deep the pin will be binding and mark the key.

Either
A. you filed right past the correct depth by taking off too much at a time.
Or
B. you mistook what wasn't really an impressioning mark at the correct depth and filed it down to the next depth.

Keep practicing, there is no substitute for experience which can only be acquired through practice. Lots of practice.
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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 Fri Jan 17, 2014 6:21 pm

Re: Key pins still leaving mark when they shouldn't.

I can relate! At least you realized it soon. I usually don't know until I've damn near cut the key in half. lol

Unfortunately, the only thing you can do now is to start with a fresh blank. Keep a close eye on your marks.
You may have to take fewer or lighter strokes with your file this time so you don't file passed the correct depth.
Just like Farmer said, the pin will mark until it reaches the shear line. Pass the shear and it will begin marking again.

Think of it this way; When you start with a blank, the pinstack (keypin & driver) are above the shear line. The keypin
is binding and will leave marks. As you continue filing, it allows the stack to slowly come down. Eventually, the top of
the keypin will meet the shear line and the markings subside. However, if you miss that perfect depth, the pinstack
will begin marking again, indefinitely. The only difference is that the driver is now binding rather than the keypin.

You'll also find some locks much more forgiving than others in regards to this. Laminated Masters are a good start.

Exciting stuff! Keep us updated :D
" Enjoy the journey AS MUCH as the destination."
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youluckyfox

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Post Fri Jan 17, 2014 7:04 pm

Re: Key pins still leaving mark when they shouldn't.

I'm sure we've all had this happen. Like everyone said, be careful only to file when you are sure a mark is from impressioning, the key moving back in forth in the key way can make a subtle line all down the length of the blank and it's easy to mistake parts of this for marks. Also, I recommend progressive impressioning when you start out. Take all but two sets of pins out of the lock and make sure they have one pin chamber between them. This will help you learn exactly what you're looking for and help you identify false marks because you'll see a mark for chamber 5 and say "wait, there are no pins in chamber 5! That must not be a true impressioning mark." Then add chambers one or two at a time. Finally, when in doubt with an unknown lock, you can file to within one or two depths of the previous blank and that way you're not completely starting from the beginning (or use the failed blank as a reference to see where you did right and wrong and start fresh.)
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MrWizard

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Post Fri Jan 17, 2014 10:12 pm

Re: Key pins still leaving mark when they shouldn't.

As already been said if you file too deep the pin will continue to mark sometimes even better than before it was filed too deep. I would suggest to stop using a marker to see the pin marks as no matter what it will rub off even when a pin isn't binding. Best to learn to see the marks without using any. If you use a 5x or 10X jewelers loupe you will see the pins that are binding will leave a mark similar to what you would see if you smack a satin or polished piece of metal with a ball peen hammer. Even pins that are not binding will leave a rub mark especially on a blank that you used a marker pen on. Using a marker would be ok to get the spacing where the pins are located but that is all. Another thing is to bind and bump the blank against the pins then release the blank from binding and bind again this lets the pins fall back down all the way. Also you should be using a real #4 swiss pattern impressioning file it leaves a perfect satin surface to see the marks easily.

Richard
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Kurt Vonnegut
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GWiens2001

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Post Fri Jan 17, 2014 10:35 pm

Re: Key pins still leaving mark when they shouldn't.

You can also rebuild the filed area with solder to above where you think it should be. The solder will take impressions very easily. You can probably make impressioning marks with your bare hands to hold the key blank instead of with a handle or vice grips.

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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GringoLocksmith

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Post Sat Jan 18, 2014 4:18 am

Re: Key pins still leaving mark when they shouldn't.

Some locks are such a drag to impression. I get to this point where I'm not certain of any of the marks I'm filing away at, and I feel like I'm lost in the woods and I must have overfiled a cut half the key ago. And just when I'm at the height of my despair, the bow of the key gives a bit. Sometimes it's because I've twisted the damned thing off, but more often than I've found the road.
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GWiens2001

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Lock-Goblin-Gordon
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Post Sat Jan 18, 2014 4:32 am

Re: Key pins still leaving mark when they shouldn't.

GringoLocksmith wrote:Some locks are such a drag to impression... ...Sometimes it's because I've twisted the damned thing off, but more often than I've found the road.


ROFLMAO! Been there, done that!

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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Shifty1

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Post Sat Nov 14, 2015 2:55 am

Re: Key pins still leaving mark when they shouldn't.

If you think you have overfilled at a particular spacing use a hammer and a sharp center punch to raise the material at the base of the space in question. This has help me from time to time. :cool:
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ratlock

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Post Sun Jun 19, 2016 6:03 pm

Re: Key pins still leaving mark when they shouldn't.

Once you file past the shear line, it will continue to mark the key, and have you filing half way through the key, we have all done it. Choose a lock with easy key bitting and go from there. Keep at it.

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