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The Feeler Gauge Tool Thread

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Lauren

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Location: United States

Post Tue Jun 13, 2017 11:44 pm

The Feeler Gauge Tool Thread

There are two materials I would be lost without, and that is piano wire and feeler gauge material. I decide to create a new thread dedicated to feeler gauges. I encourage everyone to post their tool making skill accomplishments using this material. To start the thread, I am posting my latest version of my tool for decoding MASTER's 1590d combination padlock. I made a youtube video way back, just to have the video hijacked by someone else who tried to steal credit for my invention (that's how it felt at the time), and that's why I don't do youtube videos anymore.

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My tool was made from a .016" inch thick feeler gauge. I made the finger of the tool .127" wide and used a 1/4 inch drill bit to make the curve on the finger. The tool is designed to snag on the bottom tumbler (representing the first number in the combination). The bottom tumbler contains four vertical posts. These posts are separated by a unique distance apart when treated as pairs. The objective is to position the tool randomly within the lock (second picture) and rotate the dial clockwise. When the dial stops, record the letter or number. Then, remove the tool out of the lock's drain hole about half way (enough to allow movement of the dial clockwise). When the finger clears the post on the tumbler, insert the tool fully into the lock (second picture). Note the next stop point on the combination dial. If the next stop point changes by four clicks, then the first number of the combination is the number first recorded. For example, if the dial stopped at "H" and then stopped again (after manipulating the tool out and inl) at "9". The the first character of the combination is "H". This technique works because the spacing of the posts of each pair is unique and is consistent with all 1590d padlocks. At this point, the tool can be removed.The remaining two characters of the combination are determined by trying every combination past "H" (passing the number once and then landing on it, counterclockwise) and then merely rotating the dial clockwise testing each number with light shackle tension.
Last edited by Lauren on Sat Jul 08, 2017 6:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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MBI

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Post Wed Jun 14, 2017 6:26 pm

Re: The Feeler Gauge Tool Thread

That is slick as heck, thanks for sharing a clever decoding tool and technique like that.
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Lauren

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Location: United States

Post Thu Jun 15, 2017 2:33 am

Re: The Feeler Gauge Tool Thread

We all know the banter about by-passing Master padlocks (why do it, right?). And, yet Peterson continues to sell his Silver Bullets. His tools only displaces one of the locking dogs on the number 5. My design does both, and now, I have a much less expensive way of making these tools. In the past, I had to grind down a hex key screwdriver to produce the wire tool. I now use a .047" inch diameter wire. The wire tool is rotated within the key way, totally different from the Bullet method. Once again, a feeler gauge is used (.035 inch thick), and it acts as a plunger to displace one of the locking dogs.

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Master Lock No. 5 By-pass tools.
Last edited by Lauren on Sat Jul 08, 2017 6:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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dontlook

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Post Thu Jun 15, 2017 2:39 pm

Re: The Feeler Gauge Tool Thread

Awesome. I have been working with a tool created by a user named bandi over on LP101 for decoding the Master 175/176. It is out of .002 in feeler gauge stock. This works to feel for the gates and flats on the flywheels.

Side so you can see the bend:
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From above:
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Very cool about the Silver Bullets. I can never get those to work reliably, they sit fairly unused in my bigger kit. They look too weapon like for me to carry in my regular kit(because planes), and sigh when people ask me about getting them to work.
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Lauren

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Location: United States

Post Thu Jun 15, 2017 3:25 pm

Re: The Feeler Gauge Tool Thread

I had a feel gauge for the Master 1175D. I plan to re-make it and post the results. I really don't like these padlocks; the wheels are harder to use and the mechanism is sticky. I occasionly have to bang one of these locks on the ground that I use daily, even with a known combination. These padlocks can be manipulated open also; something to do with pressure displacement of the wheels as I recall.
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dontlook

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Post Fri Jun 16, 2017 12:26 am

Re: The Feeler Gauge Tool Thread

The 1175D is a different mechanism, I have seen folks talk about using feeler gauge or coke can to decode them, but since tensioning the shackle(as you mentioned) can be used, ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ I never bothered.

The are not a smooth as I would like operating, but I don't use any regularly.
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Lauren

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Posts: 333

Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2012 4:29 am

Location: United States

Post Sun Jul 02, 2017 4:54 pm

Re: The Feeler Gauge Tool Thread

The PETERSON knife works well for decoding 1175D MASTER combination padlocks. I used a .006 inch feeler gauge to make my tool. The finger measures .110 inch wide and .280 inch long. Decoding occurs at the right side of each wheel, in the center. The gauge will displace into the three-sided grove of the internal wheel at the "correct" position. Simply subtract five positions of the wheel to determine the combination for each "correct" displacement of the gauge at center. The shackle of these padlocks must be pulled with reasonable force to open.


Image

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Incorrect position of gauge.

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Correct position of gauge.
Last edited by Lauren on Sat Jul 08, 2017 6:22 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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dontlook

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Post Sun Jul 02, 2017 5:23 pm

Re: The Feeler Gauge Tool Thread

Wow, how are you cutting that so nicely? I take it not scissors or an exacto knife.

Those cuts are so smooth and clean looking.

Also nicely shaped.
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Lauren

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Posts: 333

Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2012 4:29 am

Location: United States

Post Sun Jul 02, 2017 5:47 pm

Re: The Feeler Gauge Tool Thread

I trace the geometry using a dial caliper and scribe. I perform my cutting with 4 1/2 inch hand held grinder with a thin metal cutting disc.
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Lauren

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Posts: 333

Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2012 4:29 am

Location: United States

Post Sat Jul 08, 2017 6:00 pm

Re: The Feeler Gauge Tool Thread

My tool can also be used to decode this Master padlock, which now seems to be sold more in the UK than in the US. I probed between the wheels of this lock for quite a while before I discovered the feature that would ultimately lead to a decoded lock. Normally, the proper letters must be perfectly centered with the black lines embedded on each side of the wheel block in order to slide the shackle open. However, to decode the lock, the V-shaped dents located between letters must be aligned with the black lines instead. Probing with the tool begins on the right side of each wheel, but ultimately the left side may only work (depending on the lock). You will notice the tool will sink in slightly deeper on multiple dents at a 20 degree angle, except two per wheel. Applying pressure to the wheel from the rear of the lock will provide more space to probe with the feeler gauge. When the gauge fails to sink at the same angle, you are hitting a narrow finger that is carried by the wheel. Only one of these fingers needs to be discovered (even though there is two per wheel) on each wheel. These fingered positions must be recorded as the letters of the wheel (an example will be given for better clarity). This single letter code can be placed into a matrix to determine the working combination within 16 trials with some additional subtraction.

Here's the process:

On my lock, the feeler gauge hit a road block when the notches of each wheel where aligned with the black lines of the wheel block. Just above the notches, spelled
T T R R. This code was recorded and then properly centered to the normal rest position between the two black lines.

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Next, I subtracted three letter positions from the code, T T R R, moving each dial upward toward the shackle. This spelled, B A L L. This code is very important and was recorded. Each wheel was turned back to the original code, T T R R. Each wheel was then rotated upward eight positions. This spelled, R Y E K . This code is very important and was recorded as well. By the way if you move this code downward three position, the lock spells M I A E. This code will cause the feeler gauge to hit the fingers as well when all the v-notched groves are aligned with the black lines on each side of the wheel block.

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The codes, R Y E K and B A L L were assigned a value. All letters in the set, R Y E K were equal to 0 (zero). All letters in the set, B A L L were equal to 1 (one). These numeric values were then placed into a matrix. These numbers translate to exact letter positions, providing 16 codes, but only one coded will operate the lock.

The matrix: 0000,0001,0010,0011,0100,0101,0110,0111,1000,1001,1010,1011,1100,1101,1110,1111

The set: RYEK,RYEL,RYLK,RYLL,RAEK,RAEL,RALK,RALL,BYEK,BYEL,BYLK,BYL,BAEK,BAEL,BALK,BALL

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So, after all this, can the shackle be tensioned and the lock manipulated open? The answer is yes. I've done it, but it's not reliable or easy.

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