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SLAYMAKER

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Oldfast

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OldddffAASSTT the Spin Master Extraordinaire and American Lock Slayer
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Post Sun Jan 25, 2015 11:35 am

SLAYMAKER

Slaymaker Combination Padlocks
A definitive guide to manipulation


Image

A good ol' company founded back in 1888 by Samuel R. Slaymaker.

From a historical aspect I know next to nothing about Slaymaker. I have no idea what models
are from what era, which ones are collectible, or what value some of them may hold, etc. What
I do know is how to open them fast. And the objective of this article is just that; to enable you to
become thoroughly familiar with the inner workings of these and how to manipulate them open.

The language of Slaymaker is a bit more simplistic than most, given that there are no false gates.
I've had a number of these pass through my hands over the years. And although I've managed to
open them all -- let me tell ya, it wasn't always fast & elegant, lol! So I've taken the past couple of
weeks to 'finalize' my thoughts on these. I've gathered & recorded specs from a variety of models.
I've also logically ordered my various techniques for crackin' 'em into a more systematic approach.

If you're not all too into this at the moment... I'd be surprised if you scrolled even half way down. lol
But if this happens to be something you're thoroughly interested in - you're in a hell of a good place!

If you really plan to tackle this, I have some suggestions: Take your time with each section. Do your
best to fully digest each one before moving on to the next. I've done my best to create a progressive
structure of building blocks. However, it's not perfect. There's times I'll introduce things that we have
not yet discussed. So if you just cannot make sense of something, move on! Often times it will 'click'
for you later on. And if not, you can always revisit any problem areas again after finishing the article.

Also, keep a lock close by! I'm a hands-on type of learner. So naturally my approach (or attempt, lol)
to teaching relies heavily on the use of examples in order to illustrate points. Be sure to spin with me.
After each example, it helps to come up with another couple examples of your own to work through.
And don't be intimidated by the volume of words here. Still a simple topic. Just requires a lot of talk.

CLICK to a section:

Wheel Pack & Interaction
Rotational Differences
Parking & Isolating
Tolerances

Manipulation - part I
-Locking bar
-Feedback
-True Center
Manipulation - part II
-Movements
-Tagging a gate
-'Whole' numbers
-Exhaustive search

Examples
I ... II ... III ... IV ... V
Terminology

RIGHT - clockwise . . . . . . . . . . . . . . LEFT - counterclockwise

Think in terms of direction;
If you turn right... the TOP OF THE DIAL moves right.
If you turn left... the TOP OF THE DIAL moves left.

Think numerically (ascending/descending)
Assume the dial is @ 50 and you turn....
right... you'll approach 60
left... you'll approach 40


AWR.... all wheels right
AWL.... all wheels left
AR.... around right
AL.... around left

TC - True Center (in reference to a gate - the middle of)
ST - Shackle Tension: Apply consistent pressure by pulling up on the shackle
BF - Brute Force/Exhaustive search: systematic approach whereby all possibilities are tested.
Last edited by Oldfast on Sun Jan 25, 2015 12:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
" Enjoy the journey AS MUCH as the destination."
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Oldfast

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OldddffAASSTT the Spin Master Extraordinaire and American Lock Slayer
OldddffAASSTT the Spin Master Extraordinaire and American Lock Slayer

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Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2011 3:16 pm

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Post Sun Jan 25, 2015 11:36 am

Re: SLAYMAKER

Wheel Pack

Obviously we want to know why & how the lock can be coaxed into revealing some or all of its' combination.
But just as crucial is being able to visualize the parts and how they move in relation to each other.
This knowledge allows our minds' eye to take over as we work the dial from the outside.
Without this solid foundation we're in for plenty of struggles and frustration later.

I've drilled the back off of this one so we can take our first look inside. Yes, this is my first time too. I do realize
this photo in itself isn't going to convey what we're trying to grasp. Instead it just looks like a bunch of pieces.
But bare with me. In a moment we'll simplify it much more through the use of my unbelievable art skills. lol

Image

The lock consists of 3 wheels and 2 spacers. So why do you see only 2 wheels setting on the table?
The 3rd wheel (aka: the drive cam) is still in the lock. It's connected to the dial and cannot be removed.

If we were to put this back together, the spacer setting closest to the lock would be the first to go back in.
Set it on top of the drive cam. Then, a wheel atop that, followed by another spacer. And then the last wheel.
After placing the back plate on, the wheel post would run through the wheel pack providing the rotational axis.
And notice the spring. It insures proper function by applying constant force to sandwich the wheels and spacers.

Interaction

So how do the wheels interact with each other? Small protrusions on the sides of each wheel called drive pins
allow movement to be transferred from one wheel to the next. When a wheel's drive pin makes contact with
the drive pin of an adjacent wheel, that wheel is then "picked up" and begins rotating along with the other.
The pic below gives us a nice close-up view of these drive pins (along with a decent amount of rust). lol

Image

Take a moment to think about this. The entire design is quite beautiful really. Simplistic brilliance!
Each wheel cannot move without the aid of the others. And yet if we follow a very specific pattern
each wheel can still be individually positioned precisely where it needs to be. Granted, this pattern
is sensitive to both the number of rotations we take as well as the direction that we take them in

Image

Stripped down to the most simplistic image I can conjure up. I've exaggerated both the size of the wheels and
drive pins, as well as the space between them. And excluded the spacers. The wheels are labeled 1, 2, and 3.

Wheel 3 is directly connected to the dial. They move as one unit. Wheel 3 is also referred to as the drive cam.
Appropriately named I'd say, as it 'drives' the other wheels. ALL movement originates from w3 and is translated
to the other wheels. We have a tendency to wanna call this w1. But ultimately, this'd be confusing in the long run.

W1 is farthest from the dial. It's the 1st wheel to be positioned & corresponds with the 1st digit of a combo.
W2, naturally is the 2nd wheel to be positioned and corresponds with the 2nd digit of our combination.
W3 is closest to the dial. It is the final wheel to be positioned and corresponds with the last digit.

W3 picks up W2, which in turn picks up W1. The entire wheel pack would then be rotating as one.
**Take note: W1 (furthest from the dial) is the last to be picked up, but the first to be positioned!
We progressively work the wheels starting with the furthest from us & ending with closest.



Let's further explore movement through an example - dialing in a known combination.
Many of us have followed these instructions to open a lock, but have no idea why.
We'll examine each line and the state of the lock as the process is carried out.

3 - 7 - 4

Image

Turn knob RIGHT at least two whole turns. Stop at 3
In school we're told to "clear the dial" by taking several rotations prior to stopping at the 1st number. Why?
Recall w1 is furthest from the dial. We cannot very well position it at its' gate (3) if we haven't picked it up.
A minimum of two rotations is required in order to pick up all three wheels. Then we can place w1 @ 3.
At this point all three wheels have been positioned at RIGHT 3.

Turn LEFT one whole turn PAST 3, and stop at 7
After stopping @ RIGHT 3, we're now told to switch directions and go LEFT. During this turn the drive cam
is the only wheel moving - wheels 1&2 remain at R3 where we parked 'em. But as the dial comes around
and approaches 3 once again, the cam picks up w2 (leaving w1 undisturbed). We bring w2 to LEFT 7.
At this point wheel 1 is @ R3. Wheels 2&3 are @ L7

Turn RIGHT and stop at 4. Pull shackle to open.
After bringing wheels 2&3 LEFT to 7, we need only switch directions one last time.
Always remember - w3 is directly connected to the dial. So movement of the dial
means movement of w3. Going RIGHT to 4 brings w3 (drive cam) into position.
All gates are now aligned.
Last edited by Oldfast on Sun Jan 25, 2015 11:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
" Enjoy the journey AS MUCH as the destination."
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Oldfast

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OldddffAASSTT the Spin Master Extraordinaire and American Lock Slayer
OldddffAASSTT the Spin Master Extraordinaire and American Lock Slayer

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Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2011 3:16 pm

Location: Michigan

Post Sun Jan 25, 2015 11:36 am

Re: SLAYMAKER

Rotational Differences

Although traditional dialing for these locks is of a R-L-R configuration, a L-R-L can also be used to open the lock.
You can align a gate under the pawl from either direction, but the number on the dial is going to be quite different.

RLR.... 5 - 45 - 25
LRL... 19 - 38 - 25

Dialing the combination with opposite rotations introduces significant variations. Why?
The width of the drive pins creates these differences. And it varies from wheel to wheel.

W1 varies by approximately 14 increments. 5 + 14 = 19
W2 varies by approximately 7 increments. 45 - 7 = 38
W3 does not vary. You should know why by now! lol

Each drive pin is roughly 3.5 increments wide.
More drive pins involved means more variation.

W1 will have the largest difference (all wheels are being moved in order to position it).
This involves all the drive pins - four of them. So 4 pins, each 3.5 incs wide = 14
W2's movement requires only two drive pins though. This means 2 x 3.5 = 7

If you park all wheels, then pick them up one at a time...
you can note the difference that will occur for each wheel.
I'm sure you have a lock in your hand by now! Give it a try:

Turn RIGHT (clockwise) 2 times. Stop @ NOON
Now turn LEFT once. You should feel w2 pick up @ 7.
Continue around LEFT once more. Feel w1 pick up @ 14?


Let's look once more at our example of converting a RLR combo of 5 - 45 - 25, into a LRL combo.
As you probably seen, you can figure the conversion by adding 14 to w1 & subtracting 7 from w2.
But that's far too much for my little pea-brain when I get to spinnin' all sorts of directions and shit!
There's no need to complicate it. Instead, there's a very simple way to view this. Here's the rules:

RLR.... 5 - 45 - 25
LRL... 19 - 38 - 25

Always stop PRIOR to reaching the original number by the appropriate amount (14 or 7 incs)

If you're positioning w1, stop 14 incs BEFORE reaching the original number.
In this case the original number was 5. Stopping 14 before it leaves us at 19.

If you're positioning w2, stop short of the original number by 7 increments.
Our second digit was originally LEFT 45. This will now be RIGHT 38.

It's just that simple -- stop prior to.


Now maybe the lock you're currently holding is a bit different?
Rather than 1 - 60, it's numbered 1 - 12. Absolutely no difference.
Just for the sake of it, let's roll out one more example for one like this.

Original combo dialed in the traditional manner of RLR.... 2 - 10 - 6
Converting to the opposite dialing of LRL brings us to... 4.4 - 8.3 - 6

Again, stop short by 14 incs for w1. RIGHT 2 becomes LEFT 4.4
And we stop short by 7 incs for w2. LEFT 10 is now RIGHT 8.3
And for the sake of everything that is holy!
Please do not ask why 6...... is still 6!

:axeem:
Last edited by Oldfast on Sun Jan 25, 2015 11:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
" Enjoy the journey AS MUCH as the destination."
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Oldfast

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OldddffAASSTT the Spin Master Extraordinaire and American Lock Slayer
OldddffAASSTT the Spin Master Extraordinaire and American Lock Slayer

Posts: 4360

Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2011 3:16 pm

Location: Michigan

Post Sun Jan 25, 2015 11:37 am

Re: SLAYMAKER

Parking Wheels

A major player in the game of opening Slaymakers. We must be familiar with it. But...
the concept of parking wheels is sometimes misunderstood. I hope to clear this up now.

The confusion maybe starts with the term itself, "parking". We might better say "positioning".
Parking makes it sound like some kind of specialized maneuver or something. It's really not.
In fact, if you've dialed in a combo to open one of these locks then you have parked wheels!

Recall the combination 3 - 7 - 4 we dissected turn-by-turn in the "Movement" section.
By following the dialing procedure, we were essentially parking wheels..... were we not?
W3 (drive cam) cannot be parked per say, considering its' constant movement with the dial.
You could say we parked the other wheels though. W1 we parked @ R3. And wheel 2 @ L7.

Parking is simply positioning a wheel, then leaving it undisturbed while working the other wheels.

So why do we park wheels? The objective is to position a wheel(s) in such a way that it allows us
to detect the gate of another wheel. For example, if I were to position wheels 1&2 in a low area,
I'd be more apt to feel the gate of w3. If this doesn't make since to you, don't sweat it! We'll be
covering this more in later sections too. Right now, the 'how' is more important than the 'why'.

Let's try some parking now. Since there's really only a couple variations to choose from, there's not
an enormous amount we have to learn here. For the most part, we're going to do one of two things:

a) Park 1&2 together and run 3 . . . OR . . . b) Park 1 and run 2&3 together

An example for option a.
1+2 park L60 .... 3 AR

TWO turns LEFT ensures all wheels are picked up. Stop @ 60.
Now apply ST and turn RIGHT approximately one revolution.
During this one revolution we're moving & feeling ONLY w3.

That's all there is to it. We just parked wheels 1&2 @ left 60...
and then ran w3 by itself around right while feeling for a gate.

Now an example for option b.
1 park L60 .... 2+3 AR

Again, a minimum of TWO turns LEFT ensures all wheels have been picked up. Stop @ 60.
Turn RIGHT ONCE (w3 has now picked up w2). Apply ST and continue RIGHT once more.
In the final revolution: we're moving wheels 2+3 together as we feel for a gate using ST.


Isolating Wheels

I want to take a moment to talk about isolation - very closely associated with parking.
The two go hand-in-hand. To discuss one is to discuss the other. In fact, during the
previous two parking examples we just did you were isolating wheels. So in a way,
there's not much left to say about it really. Just a number of things I wanna clarify.

Isolate - to be singled out; to set apart from the others. To run only one wheel on its' own.
However, unlike the lock on a safe, our movements are rather limited with these padlocks.

Wheel 3 (drive cam) is the only wheel we can TRULY isolate (move w/o moving the others).
The other two wheels, in a very roundabout way, can be isolated - just not truly isolated.
We can in essence isolate wheel 2... just know that w3 is moving along with it.
We can isolate w1... but know that wheels 2&3 will be moving as well.

Well how's that isolation you might be wondering?! It's not really... you're right. lol
But say for example I've determined the gate for w3 to be 10. I could then run wheels
2&3 together. If any gates are felt (other than @ 10) I would know it belongs to wheel 2.
So now you know what I mean by 'in a roundabout way'. But hey, it's the best we can do.

Parking & isolating are used not only to detect a gate,
but also to determine which wheel a gate belongs to.

So again, it's crucial we understand these techniques.
We'll talk more about this in Manipulation - part II
Last edited by Oldfast on Sun Jan 25, 2015 11:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
" Enjoy the journey AS MUCH as the destination."
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Oldfast

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OldddffAASSTT the Spin Master Extraordinaire and American Lock Slayer
OldddffAASSTT the Spin Master Extraordinaire and American Lock Slayer

Posts: 4360

Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2011 3:16 pm

Location: Michigan

Post Sun Jan 25, 2015 11:37 am

Re: SLAYMAKER

Tolerance

We lockies loooooove to talk tolerance :)

Even with modern day technology it's difficult and costly to machine a part to exact specifications.
Even more difficult is to create a part that's absolutely identical to the previous one that was made.
So parts are machined within a specified tolerance - an acceptable +/- margin of error so to speak.

A lock whose parts are machined to a higher standard is said to have tight tolerances. As lock pickers,
tight tolerances usually provides more of a challenge for us. The feedback we receive is relatively subtle.
On the other hand, sloppy tolerances makes for more pronounced feedback and is more easily deciphered.

With a combination lock, tolerance directly effects keyspace (the number of distinct combinations possible).
Tolerance, or lack thereof, will also dictate just how much we're able to feel through manipulation.
So when we speak of tolerances within a combo lock, we're looking at several things:

true gate width
shape of each wheel
outer diameter of each wheel
wheels' inner hole (size, centered, etc.)

The inconsistency in a single piece may be microscopic. But when all pieces are placed together in a lock
relative to each other - these small differences seem to become magnified and usually work in our favor.
Say one wheel happens to be slightly larger than the other two. Odds are good that we'll feel that gate.

Although some inconsistencies are a result of machining, others may be there intentionally for the benefit
of the end user. Wide gates for example, allow a user to open the lock even if dialing was not spot on.
As often is the case, many people are more than willing to give up security in favor of convenience.

Image


So just how many slices of 'possibility pie' must we eat?

The possibilities are FAR less than you might imagine with these particular locks.
If gate widths are anything more than a single increment wide we immediately know
there are fewer possible positions for each wheel than the face of the lock suggests; 60

After testing a variety of these, here's what I found: the gates usually range between
4-6 increments wide, with the vast majority of them normally being either 5 or 6 incs.
Given this information I've set a fairly safe standard to roll with and assume that.......
the gates in any given lock will be roughly 5 increments wide.

This means we can safely run/test a wheel every 2.5 incs without fear of missing the gate.
And just like that we have cut the possible positions within a revolution by more than half.
That equates to 24 possible positions opposed to the original 60 offered by the dial face.

But here is the real kicker! We can actually cut these 24 possible positions in half yet again!!
I'm not entirely 100% certain on this just yet, but it seems the combinations involve ONLY the
'whole' numbers (ie. the #'s that are actually wrote on the face of the lock). All the increments
between each whole number are not even utilized! Yes, only 12 possibilities for each wheel.

Key space is further limited by the large pickup differences, creating 'dead zones'.
We cannot enter these dead zones lest we disturb the previously positioned wheel.
W1 creates a 15 inc dead zone for w2. W2 has a smaller dead zone of 7 incs for w3.

For example, an exhaustive search for w2: R10 - LX - R45

possibilities for X: 5, 60, 55, 50, 45, 40, 35, 30, 25, 20, 15

In this case, w2 has been crippled down to only seven possibilities due to the dead zones.
(50) - w3 will disturb w2. (20 & 15) - in both cases w2 will have disturbed w1. Give it a try.
Last edited by Oldfast on Sun Jan 25, 2015 11:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
" Enjoy the journey AS MUCH as the destination."
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Oldfast

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OldddffAASSTT the Spin Master Extraordinaire and American Lock Slayer
OldddffAASSTT the Spin Master Extraordinaire and American Lock Slayer

Posts: 4360

Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2011 3:16 pm

Location: Michigan

Post Sun Jan 25, 2015 11:37 am

Re: SLAYMAKER

Manipulation
part I


I've struggled for awhile now as to the best way to approach the writing of this all important section.
It's not necessarily difficult to put manipulation into words. The difficulty in my mind, is that this is a
topic that can quickly become 'word-heavy'. At some point an overkill of detailed instructions will
become counterproductive. My fear is that the reader will become so involved in a turn-by-turn
description that they will lose sight of why and what they were even doing in the first place!

So my approach is similar to music in a way. Someone could teach me how to play a single song on my
guitar by telling me exactly where to put my fingers. Or they could teach me scales and music theory...
which ultimately allows me to freely go wherever my mind can take me. Rather than drowning you
with every possible scenario you might encounter, my hope is to convey the fundamentals that
enable you to explore clues however you see fit. You can attack it from any angle you wish.

In this section (part 1 of 2) we'll talk about:
-how to create and interpret feedback.
-how to determine the center of a gate.

Manipulation (Part 2) will complete your arsenal:
-variety of movements for detecting gates
-how to tag a gate to a particular wheel
-utilizing the whole numbers on the dial
-exhaustive search for any 'unknowns'


Locking Bar

Image . . Image

There's two key areas of the locking bar we're concerned with. One side sets in the shackle.
The other portion, we'll term the pawl, rests lightly against the outer edge of the wheel pack.
When all gates are aligned under the pawl, the locking bar is afforded just enough room to
move away from and out of the shackle. If even one gate is out of line, it remains locked.

Ironically, the very element designed to secure the lock, is also what enables us to manipulate it.
The locking bar becomes a transmitter - a conductor of clues. By pulling up on the shackle, the
pawl is pressed heavily into the wheel pack. This creates feedback that we can see and feel
through both the dial & shackle. If not for this, we'd feel next to nothing by turning the dial.


Feedback

........................................ THE FEEL OF A GATE ........................................
...will vary depending on how much contact occurs as it passes by the pawl.
I present the 4 types here. My drawings & wordings may be a bit redundant
I know... but it's crucial we're able to interpret & visualize what we're feeling.

Image
Drop n Stop
You'll feel a nice drop as the pawl slides off the edge of the wheel and down into the bottom of the gate.
Upon hitting the other side of the gate the dial is brought to an abrupt stop. In some cases you may
even find you'll need to let up on the shackle tension slightly in order to continue rotation.


Image
Drop w/ no Stop
You'll feel a drop as you enter the gate,
but no stop as you continue rotating.

Image
Stop w/ no Drop
And here you'll feel only a solid stop... no drop prior to it.

Image
Drive-by
This is similar to the above type, but what you feel is much more subtle.
Rather than hitting a very obvious & solid stop (almost like a brick wall),
this is more like a quick speed bump as you pass by. A brief snag/catch.
Hence, I've dubbed this a drive-by.... blink and you'll miss it.


As you can see, we're going to catch one or both edges/sides of a gate. In terms of feedback:
The leading edge of a gate translates into a Drop. The far side of a gate translates into a Stop

A drop will be felt in both the shackle & the dial. The shackle (which we're already pulling on)
will come out slightly. You'll also feel some relief in the dial - it will all of a sudden turn easier.

A stop will be felt in the dial only. As mentioned, this may be a very solid stop. You may not
even be able to turn the dial past this point without releasing shackle tension. Or, as we just
discussed, it may be very subtle. You'll turn right through what feels like a bump/catch/snag.


Finding True Center

Calculating the true center (TC) of a gate is not rocket science when it comes to these locks.
A quick educated guess will suffice. After locating the edge of a gate, simply make
the adjustment of roughly 2-3 increments in the appropriate direction.

For example: If I had a drop @ R8? Or, lets say a stop @ R13? In either case, 10
is the safe bet that will surely land me within the gate rather than on the edge of it.
Last edited by Oldfast on Sun Jan 25, 2015 11:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
" Enjoy the journey AS MUCH as the destination."
<<

Oldfast

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OldddffAASSTT the Spin Master Extraordinaire and American Lock Slayer
OldddffAASSTT the Spin Master Extraordinaire and American Lock Slayer

Posts: 4360

Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2011 3:16 pm

Location: Michigan

Post Sun Jan 25, 2015 11:38 am

Re: SLAYMAKER

Manipulation
part II

At this point I hope there are a number of things that you feel very comfortable with and should be
as natural as breathing for you. If not, I either haven't done my job... or you haven't done yours! lol

Moving through the wheelpack with very little thought, knowing exactly where you are at all times.
Rarely should you be clearing the dial or taking additional & unnecessary rotations.
Parking one wheel and isolating another is second nature now.
Converting a wheel or an entire combo is no problem.



. .. ... .... ..... ...... ...... ........ OVERVIEW ........ ...... ...... ..... .... ... .. .
I always like to know what's going on before too many details are thrown at me

We'll use a series of movements coupled with shackle tension in order to extract all we can from the lock.
One, two, or possibly even all three gates may be revealed during this process. In addition to locating the
gate(s), we also need to determine which wheel(s) they belong with... again using a series of movements.

Any remaining unknowns will then be found through exhaustive search. Also referred to as brute force BF
This is a systematic approach that simply means we'll try every possibility until arriving at the correct one.
Obviously, each gate we locate beforehand drastically reduces the keyspace that needs to be searched.


Movements

The two most useful movements are:
All Wheels Right and All Wheels Left

As you well know, these two movements are very different & can produce different results.
99% of the time one and/or both these movements will yield more than enough to roll with.

The other approach I like to take sometimes is to search a wheel at a time.
Advantage to this is you don't have to wonder what wheel you have found.
The plan is to target w3 first. Then w2. And if all goes well, brute force w1.

Start by running w3 while parking wheels 1&2 in various positions.
1+2 park Rx .... 3 AL
Keep it simple. Park quarterly around the dial: Noon, 3, 6, & 9 o'clock.
If unable to detect anything, a different direction may yield something.
1+2 park Lx .... 3 AR

With a known gate for w3 in hand... we now focus on w2.
Park w1 in various positions while running 2&3 together.
1 park Rx .... 2+3 AL
And again, direction can make a difference.
1 park Lx .... 2+3 AR
If a gate is detected during these rotations
other than the one we found for w3, then
we've undoubtedly found the gate for w2.
And we're off to brute forcing w1


Tagging

Simply finding a gate certainly improves our situation, yes. However, if we are able to tag that gate
to its' rightful owner, well then we'll have taken a fair slice out of our possibility pie. Less to eat later.

Often times wheel 3 and/or 2 will 'read' first... leaving wheel 1 to exhaustive search.
Knowing this still does not allow us to skip steps, but can help streamline our approach.
The fact is: when a gate is detected using an all wheels rotation, that gate may be on ANY
1 of 3 wheels. If we must search them all anyway, we might as well start with the most likely.

Attempt to tag the gate to w3 first. If you're unable to verify it, then focus on w2. And finally w1.
In this manner we're working from most likely to least likely. It just so happens this is also the
most logical order regarding efficiency. W3 is easiest to isolate. Followed by w2. Then w1.

The remainder of our discussion will be centered around this scenario...
Gate detected @ 10 using an AWL
Stop @ L7
TC .... L10


. .. ... .... ..... ...... ....... Wheel 3 ....... ...... ..... .... ... .. .

Upon hitting the stop at LEFT 7, I immediately go RIGHT to see if I
catch the other side of the gate (which should be around 12 or 13).
*This is also a good opportunity to take a quick sec to bring w3 around
the rest of the way. If the gate is on 1 or 2 it has likely allowed the pawl
to drop into the wheel pack enough to be able to find the gate for w3.*

....nothing
LEFT again. Stop at 60 (noon). Then RIGHT to the area in question (10).
I've just pushed wheels 1&2 a bit further and parked them @ LEFT 60...
then brought w3 RIGHT to 10. Oscillate within this area for the gate.
....nothing
LEFT to 45. Then RIGHT to 10. Feel for the gate.
...still nothing?
LEFT to 30. RIGHT to 10. Feel for the gate.

What I just performed is called 'backtracking'. It's what I call it anyway. lol
I'm simply pushing 1&2 ahead & bringing 3 back to the area in question.
1+2 park @ L60 .... 3 R10
1+2 park @ L45 .... 3 R10
1+2 park @ L30 .... 3 R10
I parked 1&2 in several positions. With each new position, w3 is brought
back to 10 in order to feel for the gate. You'll notice I spread out my test
positions around the dial quarterly (noon, 9 o'clock, and 6 o'clock). I do
this in hopes of revealing the gate just as the initial all wheels left did.

At this point I'm fairly certain this gate does not belong to wheel 3.


. .. ... .... ..... ...... ....... Wheel 2 ....... ...... ..... .... ... .. .

Same idea is applied here when attempting to tag this gate (10) to w2.
But this time we're only parking w1 in various positions while running wheels
2&3 together through the area of 10. If the gate is present we can then tag it to w2.
The parking places I choose will be a bit different than when I was running w3 though.

I usually like to use the gate itself for my first parking place.

Lets run through this first one turn-by-turn.
1 park @ R10 .... 2+3 AL thru area of 10

TWO turns RIGHT. Stop @ 10.
Turn LEFT ONCE (w3 picks up w2 @ 17).
Apply ST and continue LEFT thru the area of 10.

The other movements I'll just list.
1 park @ R20 .... 2+3 AL thru area of 10
1 park @ R30 .... 2+3 AL thru area of 10
1 park @ R40 .... 2+3 AL thru area of 10
1 park @ R50 .... 2+3 AL thru area of 10
Normally just 2-3 parking positions
will suffice - but you get the idea.

Oh shit! POP QUIZ :gosplit: Why didn't I park @ 60?


. .. ... .... ..... ...... ....... Wheel 1 ....... ...... ..... .... ... .. .

Not much to say here. At this point you've been unable to verify wheels 3 or 2 as the owner.
By default, or process of elimination, we can now tag the gate to w1 with some certainty.

Wheel 1 reading first is somewhat rare. But it's always a welcomed surprise.
I consider w1 the 'rotisserie' of the wheel pack... you can "set it and forget it".

Whether searching the other wheels for a gate, or brute forcing, it's much easier
and more efficient now with w1 out of the equation. You still need to be careful
not to disturb w1 though! Keep in mind the large pickup difference of 14 incs.
This limits your movements to roughly 3/4 of the dial. Which, by the way....

....brings us back to our pop quiz. The goal was to bring only wheels 2&3
through the area of 10. Parking w1 @ 60 allows it to be picked back up
before reaching 10. You'll be bringing all 3 wheels through the area!
It's an easy mistake. And it's a quick way to mis-tag a gate to w2.


Whole Numbers
...in regards to tagging

We touched on this briefly towards the end of the 'Tolerance' section. But lets explore it more.
Whole numbers - I'm referring to the numbers that are actually wrote on the face of the lock.
The 3-digit combinations for these locks will be comprised only of these whole numbers.
Increments between whole numbers are not utilized and can therefore be disregarded.

However, I do not want to present this rule as absolute. I've found there are exceptions.
There's quite a wide variety of makes & models from Slaymaker - some of which do not
conform to this rule. You'll see one such lock in my 'Examples'. And others can also be
found at vintagecombinationlocks dot com. The lack of precise machining also plays a
factor. It's rare, but I have found a gates' TC to be slightly offset from a whole number.


Nevertheless, we can still rely on this to an extent & take advantage of it when possible.
The most glaring advantage, as we already discussed, is a significant drop in key space.
But this knowledge can also, at times, help in tagging a gate to a wheel. Mainly wheel 2.

First, realize this rule only applies when wheels are rotated in their traditional direction!
So long as we stick with traditional directions, the TC of each wheels' gate will
always land directly on a whole number. Or damn close to it anyway.
Next, recall rotational differences. W1... 14 incs. W2... 7 incs.

Lets break this down slowly, focusing only on w2

Traditionally dialed with LEFT rotation. Its' pickup difference: 7 incs.
So AWR leaves w2 being turned opposite its' designed direction.
And an AWL is naturally rotating w2 in its' traditional direction.
Rotational conversion example: L8 equates to approx. R6.3

Based on this information, lets run an example to illustrate.
AWR produces a Drop n Stop: 6 - 7.1 . . . . TC is approx. R6.3

Note that TC lands directly BETWEEN two whole numbers (6&7) rather than ON a whole #.
W2 sticks out like a soar thumb! It is the only wheel being rotated opposite its' traditional
direction - which is why it didn't land on a whole #. We can be fairly certain this is w2.

Unfortunately, this concept of whole numbers is not applicable to the other couple wheels.
Wheel 3 (drive cam) is not sensitive to direction. And w1's pickup difference being nearly
15 incs pretty much places it on a whole # regardless of which direction it's dialed from.

We can derive from this a couple of semi-reliable conclusions though:
If a gate is detected with an AWR rotation and its' true center......
.... lands directly ON a whole # - we've likely found w1 or w3
.... lands BETWEEN two whole #'s - then it's very likely w2


Exhaustive Search

Exhaustive search, (aka. brute force BF): systematic approach whereby
every possible configuration is tested until arriving at the correct one.

So here's a topic that we could easily babble on about for awhile. lol
aaaand our discussion would inevitably lead to bustin' a load of contaminated, filthy formulas whereby
the unknown x factor defiles the untainted y variable.... all of which is then skull raped to the power of z.
A mathematical approach would be a waste of our time. And there's not THAT many possibilities anyway.

Besides, all of the groundwork has been laid at this point. You already know how to do this.
An intimate knowledge of wheel movement, pickup differences & the dead zones they create,
rotational conversion, and the concept of whole numbers all come into play as we run a wheel.
The nature of these locks & the tolerances within will very much dictate how we go about brute
forcing a wheel. I'd encourage you to take a quick moment to re-read the last half of this section

By far the most likely scenario you'll be left with: Brute Forcing w1

Rx - L35 - R45
1AR .... 2@ L35 .... 3@ R45

So you're running w1 around right testing each whole number (40, 45, 50, 55, 60, 5, 10, etc.)
With each test # remember to dial wheels 2&3 to their known gates before trying the shackle.
Take note of where I strategically began my search for w1 depending on where w2's gate is.

Or you may be left with w2 as the unknown: Brute Forcing w2

R15 - Lx - R45
1@ R15 .... 2AL .... 3@ R45

W1, the rotisserie of the wheel pack. Set it & forget it. But don't disturb it from here on!
We're then ready run w2 around left testing each whole number (10, 5, 60, 55, etc.)
With each test # don't forget to dial w3 to its' known gate before trying the shackle.
L10-R45 pull shackle. L5-R45 pull shackle. L60-R45 pull shackle. It's pretty quick.

Regardless of what wheel we're brute forcing, it all plays out fast. Even if you were to screw it up by
testing numbers that are not possibilities, you're still looking at less than 60 seconds to run a wheel.
However, we can speed up the process by keeping in mind a couple of things we've learned:

*Minimize unnecessary rotations by being conscious of where you left each wheel -
mainly the wheel you're testing. There's no need to clear the dial after each test #.

*Minimize test #'s. Be mindful of the large pickup differences & the dead zones they create.
Bringing a wheel into these areas will knock the previously positioned wheel off its' gate.
So any #'s within these zones cannot be part of the combination - no need to test 'em.
The 'Tolerance' section illustrated the effects of this on w2. Only 7 possibilities left.

One last thing. The concept of Whole Numbers in regards to Brute Forcing

In our examples above the test #'s were simple - possibilities included ONLY whole numbers.
However, if we break suite from traditional directions, test numbers will NOT land on whole #'s

Brute forcing w1 in the non-traditional direction (left):
Test #'s will land beyond each whole # by 1 inc.
around left 19, 14, 9, 4, 59, 54, 49, 44, 39, etc.

Brute forcing w2 in the non-traditional direction (right):
Test #'s will land half way between each whole #.
Last edited by Oldfast on Sun Jan 25, 2015 11:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Oldfast

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OldddffAASSTT the Spin Master Extraordinaire and American Lock Slayer
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Post Sun Jan 25, 2015 11:38 am

Re: SLAYMAKER

Example I

Image

This long shackled Slaymaker is a great example of a nice easy & straight forward manipulation.
Feedback was very distinct. And there was no confusion as to what gate belonged to what wheel.
Backtracking w3, isolating/parking, rotational conversion, & exhaustive search were all utilized here.


3 - 7 - 4

AWR produces two areas: Stop @ 4.3 and a Stop @ 6.1

Stop @ 4.3 When I first hit this stop, I quickly backtracked w3 to see if the other side of the gate
could be felt. It was not there. I then pushed wheels 1&2 a little further ahead (to around R6).
Leaving 1&2 there, I again backtracked w3 left to the area at 4. This time I dropped in and
could clearly feel both sides of the gate as I oscillated back and forth between 3.2 and 4.2

:???: - :???: - 4

I now look to the Stop @ 6.1 True center of this gate is 5.3
This can give us a clue as to which wheel this gate may belong to.
TC is BETWEEN two whole numbers (5&6) rather than ON a whole number.
Traditional combinations (and dialing) utilize only the numbers wrote on the face.

With an AWR rotation, which wheel is being rotated opposite from its' traditional direction?
W2, right? No left, lol. Correct. W2 is normally dialed left... but we found it with right rotation.

So this is a pretty solid clue that this gate we're feeling belongs to wheel 2.
But for the sake of learning let's attempt to confirm this by isolating wheel 2.

If this is indeed wheel 2, then.... R5.3 converts to L7
I parked w1 @ R7 and brought wheels 2&3 around left.
Here's how this would be written... and how you would dial it.

1 park R7 .... 2+3 AL

TWO turns RIGHT. Stop @ 7
Almost ONE full turn LEFT (w3 will pick up w2 @ 8.2)
Now apply ST and continue LEFT through the area around 7

This produced a Drop n Stop from 7.3 - 6.2

2&3 were the only wheels being rotated when this occurred.
Wheel 3's gate is at 4 and has nothing to do with 7.
This gate undoubtedly belongs to wheel 2.

:???: - L7 - R4

The final piece of the puzzle can now be found through exhaustive search.

1 AR.... 2@ L7.... 3@ R4

I'm positioning w1 around right every 5 incs (landing me on only the whole #'s: 8, 9, 10, etc).
Each test # for w1 is followed by positioning 2&3 on their known gates then pulling the shackle.

start- 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 1, 2, 3 -open
3 - 7 - 4
Last edited by Oldfast on Sun Jan 25, 2015 12:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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OldddffAASSTT the Spin Master Extraordinaire and American Lock Slayer
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Post Sun Jan 25, 2015 11:38 am

Re: SLAYMAKER

Example II

Image Image

For the sake of variety and learning, I spun this one a bit different.

I found w2 with an AWR rotation. Rather than converting it I decided to finish out
the manipulation with the non-traditional directions. With 1&2 parked at the found
gate, I was able to locate w3 then brute force w1. And finally convert LRL to RLR.



AWR ...... Drop n Stop: 9.1 - 10.1 ...... TC: 9.3

TC lands between two whole #'s. This is w2's gate found with a non-traditional direction.
Upon hitting the stop at R10.1, I leave wheels 1&2 there and backtrack w3 around left...

1+2 park R10.1 .... 3 AL produces a Stop: 1.3 . . . . TC: 2

And just that quickly... AWR followed by a partial rotation AL... we've obtained 2 of 3 #'s.

:???: - R9.3 - L2

Keep in mind we are now brute forcing wheel 1 in a non-traditional direction (left)
To account for its' 14 inc difference we go beyond each whole number by 1 inc.

1 AL ... 2@ R9.3 ... 3@ L2

start- 8.4, 7.4, 6.4, 5.4, 4.4, 3.4 -open

L3.4 - R9.3 - L2

Converting to the traditional right-left-right configuration will now land
us on whole #'s. Remember, stop prior to by the appropriate amount.
W1's pickup difference: 14 increments
W2's pickup difference: 7 increments

1 - 11 - 2
Last edited by Oldfast on Sun Jan 25, 2015 12:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post Sun Jan 25, 2015 11:39 am

Re: SLAYMAKER

Example III

Image

Illustrating a different approach I like to take. Searching a wheel at a time.
The plan is to target w3 first. Then w2. And if all goes well, brute force w1.


10 - 8 - 5

Run w3 while parking wheels 1&2 in various positions.
Park quarterly around the dial: Noon, 3, 6, & 9 o'clock.

1+2 park R12 .... 3 AL
...nothing
1+2 park R3 .... 3 AL
...nothing
1+2 park R6 .... 3 AL

4.3 - 5.3 ...... TC: 5

:???: - :???: - 5

With a known gate for w3 in hand... we now focus on w2.
Park w1 in various positions while running 2&3 together.

1 park R12 .... 2+3 AL

DnS: 8.3 - 7.2 ...... TC: L8

:???: - 8 - 5

Ready to go in for the kill shot. Brute forcing w1.

1 AR .... 2@ L8 .... 3@ R5

I started at 9, so my second test # opened the lock.

R10 - L8 - R5

And if we were to dial this with a LRL rotation??
Rotational difference for w1 = approx. 14 incs
Rotational difference for w2 = approx. 7 incs

L12.4 - R6.3 - L5
Last edited by Oldfast on Sun Jan 25, 2015 12:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post Sun Jan 25, 2015 11:39 am

Re: SLAYMAKER

Example IV

Image

A situation many of us have had. This one came to me LOCKED OPEN.

Just as we can manipulate these open, we can also manipulate them closed.
Pressing the shackle IN has the same effect as pulling the shackle OUT -
the pawl is pressed against the wheel pack which gives us feedback.

Just as our previous example, I chose to attack the wheels individually. W3, then w2. And w1.
I'm surprise though when I prematurely stumble upon the combination and the shackle closes!

Begin by running w3 while parking wheels 1&2 in various positions.
I usually park quarterly around the dial: Noon, 3, 6, & 9 o'clock.
But parking at noon immediately revealed wheel 3's gate.

1+2 park R60 .... 1 AL
47 - 53 ...... TC: 50

:???: - :???: - 50

With a known gate for w3 in hand... we now focus on w2.
Park w1 in various positions while running 2&3 together.

1 park R60 .... 2+3 AL
...nothing

1 park R15 .... 2+3 AL

Here's where I get caught off guard, lol.
With w1 at R15, I begin rotating 2&3 left.
The shackle suddenly popped closed @ 48
So....
Two turns right. Stop at 15
One turn left past 15. Stop at 48
OPEN

After some experimenting -- the true combination...
15 - 45 - 50
Gates were close and tolerances were sloppy I guess.
Last edited by Oldfast on Sun Jan 25, 2015 12:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post Sun Jan 25, 2015 11:40 am

Re: SLAYMAKER

Example V

Image Image

50 - 34 - 28
*the combo tag in my photo is slightly off*

AWR gives me two areas of interest
Drop n Stop: 40-38 ....... TC: 39
Drive-by @ 27 .... TC: 28

The narrow DnS was a quick clue that the gates weren't nearly as wide as usual.

And just outta curiosity, an AWL
Drop n Stop: 33-35 ....... TC: 34

After dropping into this gate @ L34, I switch directions (leaving wheels 1&2 there)
and bring w3 AR to see if I can catch its' gate. I do. A very definitive DnS: 29-27
I'm able to oscillate the dial within this gate and hit both sides. Obvious TC: 28
1+2 park L34 ..... 3 AR

:???: - :???: - 28

Attention now returns to the gate found @ L34. Does it belong to w1 or w2?
1 park R34 ..... 2&3 AL. A stop at approximately 35 does occur. So...

:???: - L34 - R28

We've established the gates to be around 3 incs wide rather than than normal 5-6...
So I was taking a chance when I decided to run w1 on whole numbers (every 4 incs).
1 AR .... 2@ L34 .... 3@ R28

start- 28, 24, 20, 16, 12, 8, 4, 48 -open.
I later narrowed down the True Center to be 50

R50 - L34 - R28
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Riyame

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Post Mon Jan 26, 2015 5:13 am

Re: SLAYMAKER

Daaaaaang man, that is another hell of a thread. :hbg: A whole lot of great info here. I have 2 of the short shackle versions of your example #1 that I got from my grandmother that she used when she was in highschool.

I was quite young so I just ran the combos until I found the right one. :lol:
PhoneMan: I always knew I'd say something stupid and it would be someone's sig
macgng: i am an equal opportunity pervert
macgng: aww fuck thats goin in someone sig :-(

If life gives you melons, you might be dyslexic.
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Post Mon Jan 26, 2015 7:53 pm

Re: SLAYMAKER

Damn man you are killing it with thread write up. Thank you so very much man. Sticky?
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Oldfast

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OldddffAASSTT the Spin Master Extraordinaire and American Lock Slayer
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Post Tue Jan 27, 2015 3:20 am

Re: SLAYMAKER

Thanks guys. Hope this helps others find hours of enjoyment in these locks just as I have.
Few months back I browsed the web & found very little in regards to these combo locks or
how to open them. Also seen bogus info. There was/is definitely a need for this article.

Funny... after pouring a solid 2 months into this, I kinda feel empty now that it's posted. A lack of purpose. lol
I'm such an addict! :evil: LOL. I suppose I best find a new project to sink into, and fast... before I get bored. Ha!

Questions, comments, corrections, additions... or just some photos of your openings, ALL WELCOMED!!
If you don't understand something, ask. Be happy to tryn' help. Hell, it'd give me some purpose again. lol
" Enjoy the journey AS MUCH as the destination."
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