Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Cylinder Picking Tip

Sometimes being a locksmith technician mean improvising in order to find a solution for a job. I got a call a while back from a customer who apparently misplaced the key to her home and couldn't get in. Knowing lockout situations are my field of expertise, I accepted the job and headed out to the customer location. When I got to the location I did a quick inspection to evaluate the situation. It seem that the customer's front door was equipped with Pella handle sets that had profile type cylinders.

The first thing I usually do in these types of situations is trying to pick the lock. However, in that particular situation it was a little difficult since the handle-sets had over-sized levers. Eventually, I was able to pick the cylinder, but for some reason as I turned the lever to open the door, nothing was happening. I tried picking it again couple other times, but it didn't seem to help. I even tried picking it in the other direction, but that attempt was not successful as well. At that moment, I figured I would have to have a matching key that will help turn the cam to completely unlock the door.

The issue was getting the key inside the cylinder after I pick it since all the pins will be neutralize at that point. After messing around with my pick tool a little more, I decided to stop for fear i might eventually break it inside the cylinder. I moved on to my second option which was using a bump key, but not only it did not helped as well, the customer was starting to get a little nervous from me banging that key against her door's vintage handle-set. Just as it seem things would not get any better, I came up with an idea to cut a DE6 blank key to #7 cuts and use it along with picking to give me the extra grip turning the lock open. Once I got the key ready, I picked the cylinder again and this time I turned it a quarter turn only. I then inserted the custom key that I made and was able to further turn the rest of cylinder enough to retract the bolt and the door was finally open!  

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