08 March 2009


I picked up a new set of lockpicks (MPXS-20) from SouthOrd. I had/have an older set but they're still lost in moving boxes...along with a million other little things I can't find, but that's another story!

My next trip was to Wal-Mart to pick up some cheap locks: a pair of small padlocks, a cheap door lock, and a Master combo lock for shimming practice.

The small "Mountain" padlocks are basic 4 pin locks with no security pins; in other words a very good lock for a beginner! The first time took me about 10 seconds, but I'm pretty sure that was mostly luck. It took me a while longer the second time, but I've been working on it since last night and have it down to 20-30 seconds. I can also report that Tracy picked it in under one minute on her first try (ever!).

I should add that I've made it a point of personal pride to try to pick a lock at least three times in one sitting. I figure the first time could always be dumb luck, and I'd like to think that by the third time at least some bit of skill is a factor.

I cut up some Diet Coke cans and made some simple shims to use on the Masterlock. As expected, the soda can shim worked like a charm. I taught Andrew how to do it, but I'm not yet convinced that it was a good idea to do so! ;-) I also have two slightly larger Masterlock-type knock-off combo locks that shimmed just as easily.

Tracy has a tote bag that for whatever reason I put a brass Brinks padlock on a while back. Of course, the key is nowhere to be found. I've spent some time working on this one but it turns out that these particular Brinks padlocks have some spool pins which make picking a little more challenging. For this noob lockpicker, I haven't picked this lock yet, but I'm not giving up.
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