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Running a lockpicking intro night




Posts: 8

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2016 8:45 am

Location: Helsinki, Finland

Post Sun Feb 14, 2016 11:13 am

Running a lockpicking intro night

After it came public knowledge that I had started picking locks, it seems there is some interest among my friends in the subject.

A few have already approached me about running an intro night of sorts.

I'm not entirely sure if what is wanted is an "introduction to a cool unusual subject", or "an introduction to lockpicking so you can get in the hobby". Either would probably serve the purposes of the other at least somewhat, but they're not identical.

Aside from my qualms of doing this as a rank beginner (which I'm going to ignore - but state out loud to the participants), I'm struggling with the question of how to structure and what to include.

I have enough experience with teaching in other contexts that I know how easy it is to cause an information overload. I would also like to give people a good positive experience of having a lock pop open without making it too much of a gimme.

Finally I'm wondering about if I should charge a small fee so everyone could go home with a small hook, tensioner, and an easy lock.

Does anyone here have experience about running or attending events like this? Or just plain common sense suggestions or caveats?

(x-posted to lockpicking101)


Familiar Face

Posts: 75

Joined: Thu Dec 26, 2013 3:34 am

Location: Toronto,Ontario

Post Sun Feb 14, 2016 12:50 pm

Re: Running a lockpicking intro night

There is great resources for doing exactly this on the TOOOL website. Go to the resources tab and there are slide shows that anyone can use that very easily guide you through instruction on this. I do this monthly with our Toronto Toool group and its a lot of fun and really rewarding. I just watched a couple YouTube videos of Toool running classes at Maker faires and had a talk to follow the slides down really quickly.
Just be aware that the tools and locks you use for teaching people are going to get broken in ways you didn't know possible and some will disappear.


Familiar Face

Posts: 25

Joined: Tue Dec 17, 2013 3:18 pm

Location: Boston, MA.

Post Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:59 pm

Re: Running a lockpicking intro night

We (TOOOL Boston Chapter) run these events fairly regularly for various organisations.

    Definiately start with the slide deck from the TOOOL.US website. You can then just talk through the slides.
    You'll want to pick up some easy locks for people to practice on - Typically we use the TOOOL Basic Progressive Lock Set so that folks can start with a single pin and work their way up to a 3 or 4 pin lock. Once they have the hang of it we give them the Master 3's that we also take along. These are cheap, plentiful, and easy to pick.
    We also have the TOOOL Tremendous Twelve Toolkit available for purchase if people want to take a set home with them.

Hope this helps!

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