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Need advice on a practice lock

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fingernails4cash

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Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2022 7:38 pm

Post Sun Aug 21, 2022 8:52 pm

Need advice on a practice lock

I have a tri-circle 264 lock that i have picked many times. It opens inconsistently and i always struggle with the last pin. Today i found out that this lock have mushroom driver pin(s). I can pick this lock, but only because i know which pin might be the mushroom pin. There is no way that i could pick any other lock with mushroom driver pins in any reasonable time.

I have been thinking of getting a padlock or a core that i can pin myself and then dance around with mushroom pins, and perhaps also serrated pins. Standard pintumbler cores, no acrylics.

I do need some help with this.

Do you guys recommend any particular "set" that i can get off ebay? Any general advice?
Are key & driver pins generally interchangeable between locks?
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Visitor

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Joined: Sat Sep 16, 2017 11:48 am

Post Mon Aug 22, 2022 8:13 am

Re: Need advice on a practice lock

Pin diameters vary between locks unfortunately.
Where in the world are you?
Some of the locks you say you picked in your first post would normally have some security pins so maybe you're better than you thought.
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fingernails4cash

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Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2022 7:38 pm

Post Tue Aug 23, 2022 8:11 am

Re: Need advice on a practice lock

I am in helsinki finland. Yes some of those locks have spools as far as i know, but i can't tell for sure. That's the problem.
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MartinHewitt

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Location: Germany

Post Tue Aug 23, 2022 11:54 am

Re: Need advice on a practice lock

If you search on YT with "pick spool pins" you will find lots of videos about how spool pins work and how they are picked. A video is in this case much better than a lengthy description.
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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WRWhizard

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Joined: Thu Aug 25, 2022 12:28 am

Post Thu Aug 25, 2022 12:52 am

Re: Need advice on a practice lock

OK. I got one for you. Doubt you will outgrow it anytime soon. Not particularly cheap, about $70 but cheaper than an Abloy. And since it comes with a LOT of pins and springs. It has value and requires no gutting skills to repin.
Here is the link. https://learnlockpicking.com/our-7-pin- ... es-t-pins/
I have this and so far so good. They have two other easier and cheaper locks but you might as well go for the gold. It has an SC1 key way which adds a bit to the difficulty. One or both of the smaller locks don't. You can pin it anywhere from 1 to 7 pins, plain or security. Might want to make sure you have top of the key way tension wrenches in your kit. Sparrows has nice ones.
The other suggestion is, you buy a plug follower kit. They are sort of cheap. Then get a generic lock and pin it up yourself from scratch. Do a search on Amazon. Watch Bosnian Bill gut a lock, or someone else on YouTube. It's a fun skill to learn how to repin things yourself.
Once you have all those pins that come with the practice lock, you can use them in just about any other lock. As for pin kits you find out there. They run $70 average. They come for various brands of locks. Understand this, the only difference is each brand uses a different step between one pin and the next. If you aren't trying to make a working key, pins are pins.
Hope this helps. I am also a newbie but I learn fast.
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Visitor

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Post Thu Aug 25, 2022 4:25 am

Re: Need advice on a practice lock

In my opinion that is extremely over priced but I am a locksmith.
Visit your local locksmith and see if he will let you have any old locks laying around, I used to take mine to the scrap yard once a year and for around 1000 locks I only got around £20!! Now they go straight in the bin when I get home, I would be far happier giving them to a hobby picker knocking on my door.

Repinning locks for practice is OK when you very first start but after you've picked one or two locks it becomes more of a hinderence because you know exactly where and what security pins are in there along with the bitting.
Always picking the same keyway isn't particularly helpful either.
Repinning the same lock over and over again makes for a better impressioning practice lock more than picking but if it is the only way forward just buy some used door cylinders from ebay and strip them down.

If its legal in your country check out skips at house renovations or ask the owners if you can take the locks out of any scrapped doors, ask around door and window installers for any scrap locks etc.

A word of warning about buying sparrow picks is that although it seems many like them I've had a very bad experience with them in that some ordered items for testing never arrived and refunds were refused. After a lengthy period of emails back and forth my credit card company were contacted and their fraud department paid me back. Sparrows didn't care less. Also be very wary of import duties on stuff from the us. The one item I did get from sparrows was absolute crap and cost me 3x as much by the time it was in my hands, I gave it away in the end, lesson learnt.
There are sellers of better stuff (in my opinion) a lot closer to Finland and at better prices but you can't beat making your own picks from hacksaw blades and tension wrenches from wiper blade inserts. Buy yourself a bench grinder instead of ordering hyped up picks from halfway around the world.
If you must order pick sets there's nothing wrong with the stuff on banggood or aliexpress, it's cheap but just as good, it's the user that picks locks not the tools.

Only my opinions though.

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