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Really stuck on DD locks.

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Eazy123

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Post Mon Sep 09, 2019 4:06 pm

Really stuck on DD locks.

I can do standard, dimple, lever...but I'm having a ridiculously hard time getting the hang of these. I know how they work and read Solomon's guide, but am still somewhat confused. I have one of Hux's silver bullets and a plastic see-thru lock and can get that one open with no problem, I know what to feel for etc.

However, when I get to one of these cheapo FJM or Ace Hardware DD locks, I feel nothing at all. I don't get the clicks that people seem to get on every disc, and most discs turn pretty freely so I don't know what I'm doing wrong.

In addition, I have two questions:

How do you know if a lock tensions in front or back?

Is there any type of progressive disc detainer lock, where you can add one disc at a time? I'd imagine not, since removing discs would leave a lot of empty space in the core...maybe I'm wrong.
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MartinHewitt

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Post Mon Sep 09, 2019 5:48 pm

Re: Really stuck on DD locks.

I would say you know it is a front tension lock if you tension it in the front and can feel one or some discs binding, and a back tension lock if you tension it in the back and can feel one or some discs binding.
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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Eazy123

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Post Mon Sep 09, 2019 9:15 pm

Re: Really stuck on DD locks.

MartinHewitt wrote:I would say you know it is a front tension lock if you tension it in the front and can feel one or some discs binding, and a back tension lock if you tension it in the back and can feel one or some discs binding.

Thank you! It seems most videos on YouTube don't cover that.
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MartinHewitt

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Post Mon Sep 09, 2019 10:00 pm

Re: Really stuck on DD locks.

Another possibility is to research on the internet what other people do for tensioning.

Here is a video with an ACE lock: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tpsiBlglM5Q

That is front tensioning. I guess it is one of the cheap Chinese locks where you can remove the key way ring with a screwdriver. These are all front tensioning and they are a good start for picking. Tension only the first disc. Get a feeling for maneuvering through the lock internals and find a binding disc.

If you have this standard Chinese tool, then you probably need to modify it to fit, because the tips are to big for most locks. You get here a few tips: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oiNNoHlA4Vc
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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Eazy123

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Posts: 23

Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2017 5:35 pm

Location: Illinois

Post Tue Sep 10, 2019 12:24 am

Re: Really stuck on DD locks.

MartinHewitt wrote:Another possibility is to research on the internet what other people do for tensioning.

Here is a video with an ACE lock: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tpsiBlglM5Q

That is front tensioning. I guess it is one of the cheap Chinese locks where you can remove the key way ring with a screwdriver. These are all front tensioning and they are a good start for picking. Tension only the first disc. Get a feeling for maneuvering through the lock internals and find a binding disc.

If you have this standard Chinese tool, then you probably need to modify it to fit, because the tips are to big for most locks. You get here a few tips: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oiNNoHlA4Vc


I have that same ace lock and have seen that video countless times (it was what made me hunt for that lock in the first place). It never seems to bind for me. I guess I just need to practice.

I did modify my pick but the tip came off so I invested in huxleypig's creation. Wonderful little tool but I just need to practice.

I also have a bike lock that's a DD. it has a spinning disc in front. Do I just ignore that and tension the first binding disc?
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MartinHewitt

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Post Tue Sep 10, 2019 7:40 am

Re: Really stuck on DD locks.

Yeah, that tip is just friction fit. I hard soldered it to the wire.

The free spinning disc is not the first locking disc. You should ignore it.

Binding at the beginning means often just "a bit more scratchy than the others". Binding discs are more clear, when you put more torque on the tensioner, but it must also not be to much to destroy the pick. So just feel for the most scratchy disc and move it to a less scratchy position.
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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Eazy123

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Location: Illinois

Post Tue Sep 10, 2019 12:54 pm

Re: Really stuck on DD locks.

MartinHewitt wrote:Yeah, that tip is just friction fit. I hard soldered it to the wire.

The free spinning disc is not the first locking disc. You should ignore it.

Binding at the beginning means often just "a bit more scratchy than the others". Binding discs are more clear, when you put more torque on the tensioner, but it must also not be to much to destroy the pick. So just feel for the most scratchy disc and move it to a less scratchy position.


Thanks, I'll work with that.
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Eazy123

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Post Wed Sep 11, 2019 3:58 am

Re: Really stuck on DD locks.

I got an $8 lock from China in the mail today and picked it open twice tonight using your advice. I will practice on that from now on to get a better feel and move up to the ace lock. Thank you for your help!
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MartinHewitt

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Post Wed Sep 11, 2019 5:29 am

Re: Really stuck on DD locks.

Great! The beginning is the hardest.
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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