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Making keys for old lever padlocks

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candado3

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Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2016 2:28 pm

Location: Ontario, Canada

Post Sat Mar 21, 2020 3:21 pm

Making keys for old lever padlocks

I have been trying to make keys for some old lever padlocks that I have acquired over the past number of years that use flat steel keys.
I am trying to make the key blanks from flat plate material.
I have tried to impression some keys from various materials including brass plate, stainless steel, heavy brick strapping and various other steel but all have proven to be unsatisfactory as they bend or break too easily.
I need help in obtaining material that is strong enough to withstand the twisting and jiggling when I try to impression the blank.
Do any of you have any suggestions as to the best material to use and a source for this.
I live in Canada so a Canadian source would be preferable but any source will do.
Thanks in advance.
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MartinHewitt

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Location: Germany

Post Sat Mar 21, 2020 3:35 pm

Re: Making keys for old lever padlocks

You should try diamond sheets.

Earnestly, if you find stainless steel to soft and break it then it is not the material, which is the problem.
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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safecracker33

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Post Sun Mar 22, 2020 12:37 am

Re: Making keys for old lever padlocks

Are you smoking the keyblanks with a candle or lighter flame or trying to get them to mark just on the blank themselves, you shouldn't need any real force marking a smoked blank.
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SafecrackinSammmy

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Location: Virginia USA

Post Sun Mar 22, 2020 11:35 am

Re: Making keys for old lever padlocks

When impressioning, you will normally get the best results when your blank material is equal or slightly softer in hardness than the tumblers. This allows the tumblers to mark the blank versus the blank mark the tumblers. As has been said, smoke the blank or mark it with a sharpie frequently to enhance the marks. Use much less force and take your time.

Try different types of lighting and magnification to see what makes the marks easiest to see.
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candado3

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Posts: 36

Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2016 2:28 pm

Location: Ontario, Canada

Post Sun Mar 22, 2020 3:15 pm

Re: Making keys for old lever padlocks

Thanks for the replies.
I have been using a sharpie, a good light source, and magnification but still have a problem esp in the narrower neck area which tends to bend when I try to jiggle the homemade key blank.
Maybe it's just that my eyes are not as good as they used to be and I'm using too much force to try to compensate.
The blanks are definitely much softer than the original keys that I have for other locks.

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