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serrated v. spool

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Spinster

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Post Wed Nov 19, 2008 2:34 am

serrated v. spool

All,

I posted something on this on the buy/sell board, but I'm also posting here as it seems more appropriate on this board. So apologies for the double post.

After spending a week on two Americans 1100's and a 1205, I finally got them figured out. In the end, it's what the pros here have been saying all along - very light tension from the top of the keyway.

Because these are Americans, there are a lot of serrated pins, and it took me a while to get used to them. I know (only because I took it apart) that the 1205 also has a few spool pins. But here's what I found interesting - when I pick the locks, it's not always clear which pin is a spool and which is serrated. I thought they would feel completely different.

Of course, when I get a false set with the 1205, it's pretty easy then to figure out which pins are spool pins. But sometimes it picks without a false set, and to be honest, lifting a serrated pin doesn't always feel different than lifting a spool pin. So, in the three locks, there are some pins I know are spool, a few more I know are serrated, and the rest I really can't tell. For the 1100's I never got a false set, so I think all the pins are serrated, but you never know.

Finally, I have to say what a great site this is - on my own I don't think I would have opened the locks nearly as quickly as I did. I followed Hallis and Awol's advice, watched some of the videos, and read LockyLew's security pin guide. And with a little practice, that did the trick.

Now I gotta get more locks.
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awol70

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Mentor - 1st Class / Research & Development Kingpin / Prolific Videomeister / Global Moderator / The Guy You Wish You Were
Mentor - 1st Class / Research & Development Kingpin / Prolific Videomeister /  Global Moderator / The Guy You Wish You Were

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Post Wed Nov 19, 2008 3:47 am

Re: serrated v. spool

good job,man..well done! =)
sounds like you learned a lot in a very short time.
" I Love the smell of napalm in the morning!....."

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HallisChalmers

Lord Emeritus of Keypicking HallisChalmers

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Joined: Mon Apr 28, 2008 8:46 pm

Location: Hell

Post Wed Nov 19, 2008 5:19 am

Re: serrated v. spool

Spinster, I was in the same boat when I first started. I really couldn't tell the difference between the two. Even now, it can still be a challenge.

Here's what I do:

When attacking a pin, feel it slide up & down inside the pin cylinder within the bible. Concentrate on the subtle feedback you get from your pick as that pin slides up & down. Remember - you are pushing on a key pin and gauging the feedback from the driver pin (spool) - as it slides past the sheer line in the plug. Your brain is trying to process extremely subtle feedback your finger tips, nerves, muscles, neurons, corpuscles, etc.

For me, it feels like regular spools have a smooth slide - and then it drops off. Visualize a barbell.When I really concentrate and visualize that pin, it feels like it falls off a ledge when it goes past the sheerline. That is the top of the pin sliding into the sheerline. In other words, one end of the the "barbell" fell into the sheerline.

Then, you continue to add additional pressure to get past the thin portion of the barbell - and now you are trying to get over the other end of the barbell and fall into the sheerline again - without going past it.

Serrated pins feel kind of bumpy as they slide past the sheerline. They'll feel bumpy all along their length. Like a corn cob. Your job is to feel all of those bumps from one end to the other - until you reach the end and slip into that sheerline again.

Spool hybrids - or spoorated pins were probably invented by a crazed menopausal woman who could not make up her mind what she wanted to do. It looks like a barbell bred with a corncob and begat a spoorated pin.

But what gives them away, is that drop off the ledge - or edge of the barbell.

I would advise that you study the pictures and VISUALIZE…
Sheerline.jpg
Bible.jpg
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Wozzlock

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Location: Liverpool UK

Post Wed Nov 19, 2008 5:45 pm

Re: serrated v. spool

Bloody great advice there Hallis! (woohoo)
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HallisChalmers

Lord Emeritus of Keypicking HallisChalmers

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Location: Hell

Post Wed Nov 19, 2008 6:00 pm

Re: serrated v. spool

Wozzlock wrote:Bloody great advice there Hallis! (woohoo)


Thanks man. American Locks were my biggest kryptonite for a long, long, time. But I kept at it until I got to the point that I didn't cross my legs like a little girl standing outside an outhouse.
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nozza36

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Post Thu Nov 20, 2008 12:59 am

Re: serrated v. spool

Thanks Hallis , those pics really spell it out !
Open Sez Me !
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Spinster

Newbie

Posts: 14

Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2008 1:51 am

Post Sun Nov 23, 2008 11:17 pm

Re: serrated v. spool

Thanks Hallis - those pictures and the accompanying text give me something to think about. Getting the visualization down is taking it the next level and is going to take some effort.

And Wiz - thanks for the compliment, but I was just working the same three locks over and over. I don't know how I'll do when I get my next American right out of the box. I like to think it will only take a minute or two to open it, but who knows - I've learned not be surprised if it only takes a minute and not to be surprised even if it takes a couple of hours.

For the next month or two, it's back to basics for me. I've got a bunch of cylinders that I want to get through: schlage, yale, sargent, and a brand called Alarm Lock. The only ones that have security pins are the schlage with their spool pins, and they're not particularly tough. The ones that I'm having a hard time with though are the Alarm Lock cylinders. This suprises me because as there's nothing special about them. I think they have an are all 6 pin and have an Arrow keyway. Something about them just makes them tough. But it gives me something to focus on.
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Slimpickens

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Posts: 17

Joined: Fri Sep 13, 2013 5:24 am

Location: Dena MD

Post Sun Oct 06, 2013 10:38 pm

Re: serrated v. spool

Hey guys, I'm recently back into the hobby, new member, can kill a Kwikset, but never knew what a security pin was, until recently reading about them. I've felt false sets but my style is that of very light tension. I never knew what was inside a lock before... Thank you key picking.com. Anyway, I digress. Now that I've seen these things I want some. But it's 6:30 sun eve, so I just made these, please tell me what you think.I'm not sure if they'll even work. PS, I don't own a lathe, so excuse the crudeness, of my design.
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GWiens2001

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Lock-Goblin-Gordon
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Post Mon Oct 07, 2013 12:48 am

Re: serrated v. spool

They should work well, and they look great!

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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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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Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2011 3:16 pm

Location: Michigan

Post Mon Oct 07, 2013 1:29 am

Re: serrated v. spool

:agree:
" Enjoy the journey AS MUCH as the destination."
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xeo

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Post Mon Oct 07, 2013 11:46 am

Re: serrated v. spool

Those are some nightmarish looking security pins. How do they pick?
Image
The code is hidden in the tumblers. One position opens the lock, another position opens one of these doors...
http://www.youtube.com/xeotech1

(ノಠ益ಠ)ノ彡┻━┻

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Slimpickens

Newbie

Posts: 17

Joined: Fri Sep 13, 2013 5:24 am

Location: Dena MD

Post Mon Oct 07, 2013 8:38 pm

Re: serrated v. spool

Not bad, really just added false set to the old Kwikset knock off, and a little crunchiness. Very light tension, n they added maybe 2, 3 mins to my typical 1, min pick time. I'm really an amateur, but watching, n reading on here, I guess I've developed pretty decent technique, although still untraditional according to you pros.. I'll try to get a better pic of these on here, almost sa.wed all the way through one of em... Just noticed all you can see is their profile

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