Picky Picky

on August 27, 2010 in Misc

Like I said in my last entry, I haven’t been practicing my lock picking skills.  (I should’ve said they’ve gotten rusty – har har.)  I didn’t even realize how slack I’ve been until Robert pointed out in his comment that he didn’t know about my lock picking because I haven’t written about it.  (THANK YOU for being such a loyal reader for so long, Robert!)

USE Door

Well, the truth is I did write about it, but that was way back last summer, when I was in the earliest stages of my Layla plan.

Yes I know, this whole Layla plan was supposed to last only one year before I kick it up to a higher level in the second year.  But ever since I had that bad injury at the end of March (cracked ribs, collapsed lung, torn ligaments), I’ve kinda let the exact timeline slide an extra month or two to compensate for the serious physical downtime.  Well, during that downtime I should’ve turned into a lock picking whiz.

That’s what Layla is.  From rusted ancient church door locks to top-of-the-line deadbolts and any kind of padlock, she can open them within minutes or even seconds, usually in the dark and under rushed conditions.


Me, I usually sit at a table or in my big comfy leather chair and play with the basic lock picking kit and locksmith’s practice bolt I bought last summer.  It came with the handy instruction booklet Easy Pickings, but a more thorough and respected text that I like is MIT Guide to Lock Picking, by Ted the Tool.  You can download it off the internet.

With the practice bolt, the frame around the lock has been removed so that there’s a visible pin tumbler lock cylinder.  This in turn has cut-away windows so that you can see the pins.  I bought a (cheaper) cylinder with only three pins, but you can buy them with up to six and many real locks have five.  What’s great about it is that I can see the pins moving up and down and know if my picking is working.  I’m also using pretty much only the tension wrench and the hook pick and haven’t experimented with the other nifty picks in my basic kit such as the rake, the double ball rake, or the diamond.


In other words, I’ve been a slacker.  I have not been tackling real locks where I can’t see squat and instead have to depend on a highly refined sense of touch in my fingertips.

And so last night I finally sat myself down and seriously practiced for an hour.  By the time I was done I was opening the lock so quickly I’m afraid I may have permanently jimmied it.  Then I briefly attempted to pick open my back kitchen door.  I say briefly because I didn’t get anywhere with it. 

My plan for this weekend is to pick away at real locks and finally begin to develop that very necessary fingertip sensitivity.  Once I can open basic locks (like my bathroom door), I’ll start working on Master Lock type products, including the dreaded deadbolt.

Layla expects no less.

2 Responses to “Picky Picky”

  1. Hart says:

    NOT THE COMFY CHAIR! (sorry, couldn’t resist)

    I would imagine that caseless lock is super helpful for learning what it feels like when the lock DOES the right thing. It is funny you can just order all this stuff to learn how to be a criminal or super-sly… teehee

    (don’t be too hard on yourself on the slacking–I still find this stuff fascinating)

  2. Helena says:

    Hart — It’s downright scary what you can legally buy on the internet. Of course, these sites always have disclaimers like “product not to be used for illegal purposes,” and “buyer must be over 18 years of age.” LOL.