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Hello from lockdown UK

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cloud kicker

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Post Thu Mar 25, 2021 9:03 am

Hello from lockdown UK

Hi I am based in Wales,

I have been picking locks since childhood, my dad was a magician so he was able to get me a lock picking set and book through the magic circle at a very young age before any were available to the public, Since lockdown I have been looking to add non destructive safe opening to the interests.

This I am a complete newbie at and would appreciate any advice or guidance members have.

I have heard to look for a S&G model 6730 is a good place for beginners to start with, While I can find them online, I cannot find any mounting boards to hold them.

Any and all help is humbly appreciated. :-)
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MartinHewitt

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Post Thu Mar 25, 2021 8:17 pm

Re: Hello from lockdown UK

Hi! Nice to have you here. Locks and safes are a really great hobby for a nice pandemic. The standard lock is the S&G 6730. Also suitable is the S&G 6741, which is a cheap version of the 6730. Easier than these is the Big Red CDL3. If you are looking for a challenge you can get a La Gard 3330. There are more suitable locks, but most are so uncommon that it is not worth to mention them.

I would be interested in the UK lockdown. Can you show me a website, where the measures are described? I would also like to know the hardest measures the UK had so far, which where probably at the peak, I guess.
In case you wonder ... Martin Hewitt is a fictional detective in stories by Arthur Morrison:
Martin Hewitt, Investigator Chronicles of Martin Hewitt
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cloud kicker

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Post Sun Mar 28, 2021 2:18 pm

Re: Hello from lockdown UK

Thanks for the information I will be looking into these.

the government website has most of the information on the lockdown https://www.gov.uk/guidance/national-lo ... ay-at-home.
there is also information on the BBC websites.https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/explainers-52530518
although many feel the BBC is just the governments propaganda machine.
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MartinHewitt

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Post Sun Mar 28, 2021 3:02 pm

Re: Hello from lockdown UK

Thanks! In Germany I prefer to read the laws than some stuff extracted by the media, but the English laws are quite difficult to read.
In case you wonder ... Martin Hewitt is a fictional detective in stories by Arthur Morrison:
Martin Hewitt, Investigator Chronicles of Martin Hewitt
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madsamurai

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Post Thu Apr 01, 2021 1:27 am

Re: Hello from lockdown UK

So your commercial options for mounting boards are fairly slim and generally kinda garbage, from what I've found. I don't know much about what's available in the UK, but her we have MBA and Lockmasters which offer a practice stand that's made of plastic and fairly thin... they'll do the job, but they're a bit flexible and not very pretty, and because they're so thin you'll have to cut your dial spindle pretty short and will need to replace the dial if you decide later to remount on something thicker.
Most of us make our own mounting boards. Really, any good flat board will do, I prefer something around 3/4" (~19 mm) thick. If you buy the lock new it will come with a sheet detailing the mounting holes layout, which you can use to measure. It can be as easy as drilling a hole for the spindle and just using wood screws to secure the lock to the back and the dial to the front, but you'll need to adjust the spacing to get the feel just right... my first board was just a scrap piece I had laying around, and I just used paper as shims, but thin washers work well, too. You can, of course, get as fancy as you like if you're handy... Oldfast has some really nice mounts pictured in his 'Chronicles' posts, and I recently mounted my collection on some red oak boards with brass threaded inserts on the back and laser-engraved model numbers with a nice oil finish:
Image
The threaded inserts are kind of a pain in oak (drill bigger than they recommend, take my word for it), but they're nice because you can leave them proud and adjust them perfectly flat and to just the right thickness for a smooth action by turning them in/out slightly, and they'll allow you to use the proper mounting screws. I'm totally obsessed, so I used an indicator on a flat piece of granite, turned them until they were close and then flattened them further on 800 grit emery paper to get them perfect. Not entirely necessary, I suppose, but they turn like butter :)
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femurat

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Post Thu Apr 01, 2021 5:48 am

Re: Hello from lockdown UK

madsamurai wrote:I used an indicator on a flat piece of granite, turned them until they were close and then flattened them further on 800 grit emery paper to get them perfect.


I'm not sure this is the right thread to ask, sorry for the off topic.
How did you make sure the surfaces are parallel? I mean the oak front and back where you mount the dial and the lock.
I get the flat inserts part but I'm missing how you keep them parallel.

Back on topic, having a correctly installed lock is very important to be able to manipulate it.

Thanks :)
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madsamurai

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Post Thu Apr 01, 2021 8:25 pm

Re: Hello from lockdown UK

femurat wrote:
madsamurai wrote:I used an indicator on a flat piece of granite, turned them until they were close and then flattened them further on 800 grit emery paper to get them perfect.


I'm not sure this is the right thread to ask, sorry for the off topic.
How did you make sure the surfaces are parallel? I mean the oak front and back where you mount the dial and the lock.
I get the flat inserts part but I'm missing how you keep them parallel.

I may post a short tutorial when I have more time, seems like how to mount locks is a common enough question here... this pic should clear it up:
Image
I used a large diameter flat washer as a stop when I screw in the inserts so they all end up relatively close and something around 2mm proud, then lay it face down on the granite and measure each insert and turn them in/out to match as close as I can get them, then flip it over and rub it on a piece of 800 grit paper to flatten it all out (sometimes they don't go in perfectly straight, or there will be a burr from the driver, etc), then measure and repeat, pressing a little harder on the higher ones until it's all level. At that point I'll mount the lock and screw the dial all the way in until it stops against the board -- not tight, just to where it stops and stays. Looking at the drive cam, then, I want the key slot on the spindle to end up just about midway between RH and VD (closer to RH for more friction, closer to VD gets looser and sloppier). So I look at where it stops and then unmount and continue sanding to get to that point (or you can unscrew the inserts a little if you're far off and want to save a little time)... The threads are 40tpi, so sanding down .006" equals a quarter turn, so I can touch the tops of the inserts and set to zero and calculate how much I need to take off to get there. Sand and measure until it's close to your target and all equal, then mount and check, rinse and repeat until it feels good with the key locked in. It sounds like a long process, but really goes fairly quickly.

And again, let me emphasize for the OP, this is totally overkill for a practice mount and you can accomplish a perfectly good practice board just using wood screws to attach the lock to the back of the board and shim it out with layers of paper to get a good fit. You want a nice smooth turn that will be as friction-free as possible so it doesn't wear out your hand, but tight enough it doesn't wobble around and muss your readings. You should be able to get most locks to where you can spin the dial 360 degrees with just a finger.

Hope this helps :)
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MartinHewitt

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Post Thu Apr 01, 2021 9:33 pm

Re: Hello from lockdown UK

I make my mounts from beech wood (former kitchen top), drill the holes and then directly tap these holes them with a standard tap if I have the original screws. If I don't have them I use use wood screws and no tapping. I prefer screws which are slightly to small, so I can move around lock and/or dial ring to align them. Wooden parts can be glued together with wood glue. Normally I attach two triangular legs, but a U formed from three parts to mount locks with long spindles is also possible. Finish with linseed oil. In case I need a board that is of a different thickness than what I have it cut strips of halve the desired thickness and glue together two diagonally oriented layers.
In case you wonder ... Martin Hewitt is a fictional detective in stories by Arthur Morrison:
Martin Hewitt, Investigator Chronicles of Martin Hewitt
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femurat

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Post Fri Apr 02, 2021 9:56 am

Re: Hello from lockdown UK

WOW madsamurai I'm impressed by the care you take setting up the lock mounting boards! Just the picture was enough to make me understand how you do it, thank you!
I wish you were the locksmith that set up the safe I had to manipulate last week. Bent spindle and stiff like hell. It was very difficult to turn even after trying to center the dial ring with a hammer and giving it a good wd40 spray. I had to firmly grip the dial with two fingers and apply some force to rotate it.

Cloud kicker, just to give you an idea of what to expect from a real world experience, opposed to your ideal workshop situation.
I usually mount my locks on some plywood with wood screws. I try to keep the wood boards straight when I glue them together, but nothing like madsamurai setup! It works like a charm anyway.

Good luck :)
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cloud kicker

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Post Mon Apr 05, 2021 9:40 pm

Re: Hello from lockdown UK

Wow thanks for all the advice, some very impressive set ups there.
I did end up finding mba and ordering a dial cutaway to try, think it’s a laguard
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Post Thu Apr 15, 2021 8:46 am

Re: Hello from lockdown UK

As a UK lockie I can get any lock if you're really struggling but to be honest likely not your cheapest option, places like duffells or sks might sell you a one off without being trade, if you look online there are various companies selling them without needing to be in the trade or any decent local safe engineer should happily sell you new or used locks to play with or local ads might prove successful in finding free to good home Safes if your willing to remove said lump, keep the door or just the lock and scrap the rest and you can go to any hardware store and buy some wood to mount it. B&q sell plywood if your not bothered on looks although sanded and stained ply has its own appeal and as said multiple bits can be wood glued together for thickness. I go to a local wood shop and buy off cuts that are few inches thick of whatever they have next to the scrap bin, oak being the common one. If you buy a floor board as an example you'll have enough wood to make multiple mounts. There's no need to go to the lengths of using a dti, although admirable going to those lengths it's way over the top, I don't even plane/thickness my mounts I just bolt/screw them on and away I go, locks in doors are not normally set so precise so for me it's pointless doing so on practice ones.
Whenever I get a different spare/used/scrap lock I just mount it and add it to the practice cupboard.

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