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Topic: Handcuff ?
Message: Posted by: Mind Freak (May 23, 2005 06:56PM)
Has anyone ever tried opening handcuffs with forced air? I heard this is possible only with select handcuffs. Does anyone know which handcuffs this works on?

Message: Posted by: Cliffg37 (May 24, 2005 08:45PM)
An escape artist who can do that must be a real blow-hard (g)

Seriously though, I have never heard of that before, unless you are refering to using the quadrapelegic technology that alows a paralyzed person to move a wheel chair by blowing through a tube. I guess you could work that into an escape.
Message: Posted by: Allan Given (May 24, 2005 09:16PM)
That is a new one for me as well...I've never heard of that...Besides, I would think the amount of air pressure that would be needed to pull of something like that would not be something I would want aimed at either of my hands...:)

Message: Posted by: Red Von (May 24, 2005 09:46PM)

If you are looking to apply this method to a stage routine, etc... I don't think it's going to work for you to be effective.

I know what you are asking, and this can be done via mechanical bench test, by applying 300psi+ into the key hole. The key hole must be sealed after air tube entry. This is hard to explain unless you are familiar with this method, and there is a bit more to it.

This is not something for an escape act. It's a break and entry method, that is used for other reasons, which I don't think we really need to get into on this forum.

There is much better methods/ways of opening handcuffs and locks than this one, and it does not work all the time at that, and as you mentioned, only on certain handcuffs and locks.

It's a waste of time really, but yes, it can be done and has been done!!

Red Von
Message: Posted by: Ms. Morgan (May 24, 2005 10:27PM)
Hummmmm...learn something new everyday.
Message: Posted by: Mind Freak (May 24, 2005 10:58PM)
Thanks Red, you da man!!!
It's far more complicated than I thought. Appreciate the information though, and you are right. It won't work for what I had in mind and thanks again for the book information on James Randi.

Roger - The Mind Freak :)
Message: Posted by: Wolflock (May 25, 2005 12:58AM)
I agree with Ms Morgan. Learn something new every day.
I did not know this was possible.
Thanks for the info Red.

Message: Posted by: Ian McColl (May 25, 2005 09:07AM)
Hi Red Von, you tell in interesting tale and I see the merit in the method and as you say would be hard to do for an escape.

Here's one for you. I hope you are familar with the mechanism. Chubb AVA detainer as used in the Chubb escort handcuff. Method, pick all tumblers to one side with a L pick. while the cuff is on it's edge and picked tumblers upright, syringe a measured* quantity of water into the tumblers. This will settle at the bottom chamber. Put the cuff in the freezer. When frozen, use the pick to slide the tumblers down until they rest on the ice, which is at the shearline, the cuff will open.
It's works but no good when your hands are in them.


* measured ammount calculated from testing and sample lock.
Message: Posted by: Wolflock (May 25, 2005 09:51AM)

That I have to try, very interesting.

Message: Posted by: Roslyn (May 25, 2005 09:53AM)
Ian, that's one heck of an extream cuff escape.

They say you learn something new every day. Well I can certainly say this is news to me.

It may be useful if I'm ever cuffed in Chubb Escorts and left in the North Pole.

Message: Posted by: Mind Freak (May 25, 2005 02:27PM)
Holy Yeppers! Red and Ian, you two are crashing my brain cells. Way over my head fellas! Can we cover simple rope ties and cuff techniques? I'm just starting out and getting lost already. I think I need to just stick with the basics for now.

Roger :)
Message: Posted by: Mick Hanzlik (May 25, 2005 03:46PM)
Ian....How do you think these things out? Are kangaroo steaks eating away at your brain? However, I love the idea of what you can do if you think about it. Who'd have thought that you could use a shoelace to open a darby, but Harry did!

I'd love to hear of any other obscure but totally impractical ways of bypassing cuffs. Any offers???

Mick H
Message: Posted by: Dr_Stephen_Midnight (May 25, 2005 06:22PM)
Hey, I'm a tech writer; maybe I can compile a novelty book full of this stuff and call it "Hi-Tech Houdinism" or "Escape Engineering."

Message: Posted by: Mind Freak (May 25, 2005 06:30PM)
Hi-Tech Houdinism - That's a great idea Steve!

Roger :)
Message: Posted by: Ian McColl (May 25, 2005 06:32PM)
Hi Mick, I will have to see what other goodies I have. While I was a locksmithing teacher about ten years ago, I used to teach lock picking to police and government agencies. Prior to them seeking professional teaching, many would think up their own ways of how they could bypass locks, practical or not. As I taught them locksmith methods, they would pass on their methods.

Here another. Older style Abloy had spring washers between discs. Using a punch thru the keyhole, hammer until spring washers crush. The space created will be about 1 to discs in the front of the cylinder, Insert spring wire ( bronze lever spring is best)and locate first disc's gate, rotate until sidebar is located.
Using small L pick, pick each disc until the gate aligns and the wire moves deeper into the lock. When all discs are aligned, remove wire and turn to open.

My first Abloy lock took me 30 minutes to bypass with this method.

After I lectured to locksmiths on this technique, Abloy changed the spring washers for solid spacer discs.

Message: Posted by: Ms. Morgan (May 25, 2005 11:59PM)
You guys are making my brain hurt.

Hey, I don't know how to open a Darby with a shoelace. Anyone want to clue me in? PM..email...I'm not picky...please..:)

Thank you,
Message: Posted by: Red Von (May 26, 2005 12:50AM)
In "Handcuff Secrets," a book he published in 1910, Houdini wrote that "you can open the majority of the old-time cuffs with a shoestring. By simply making a loop in the string, you can lasso the end of the screw in the lock and yank the bolt back, and so open the cuff in as clean a manner as if opened with the original key.

Red Von
Message: Posted by: Dr_Stephen_Midnight (May 26, 2005 05:45AM)
As strong as the springs on most Hiatt darbies are, though, it would have to be a very strong shoestring, and you would need to employ a LOT of leverage.

Message: Posted by: Mick Hanzlik (May 26, 2005 02:07PM)
That's right Stephen. Those springs are heavy. If they are your own Darbies, and you want to demonstrate this technique, get the spring hot with a torch to weaken the spring. It's much easier then.

Message: Posted by: Ian McColl (May 26, 2005 02:15PM)
The idea of opening a darby handcuff with a shoe lace seems easy "to open" but how the heck do you get it back out?? Like much of Houdini's so called secrets, at a glance, they look plausible until you try them.

Message: Posted by: Mind Freak (May 26, 2005 04:05PM)
This is great information guys!
Mr. McCall, do I understand you correctly in that you are saying Darby Handcuffs, although it sounds easy to open them with a shoe lace. That in fact it's only a Houdini myth, and this can't really be done? I'm not a gambling man, but I would not put any money on that one. There are some pretty savy escape artists around who I think could accomplish that feat. If I read your post wrong, please disregard.

Roger :)
Message: Posted by: Ian McColl (May 26, 2005 05:50PM)
Hi Rogar
I am saying that a spring bolt can be opened with a shoe lace but Houdini gives no description of how you get the tightened noose out of the cuff. You cannot simply drop it in, pull and open ( or getting it out again). The noose has to be pushed in and around the bolt.

Try it,
Message: Posted by: Mind Freak (May 26, 2005 07:40PM)
Thank you Mr. McCall for you're follow-up.
I had the method explained to me earlier in an email. It pretty much mirrored what you have said. With one exception, I was told how to remove the noose! I guess it's what you would call a trade secret. I am going to try it and will let you all know how it works out. Some of you here at the Magic Café are a great help, and I want to thank those of you who have taken the time to email me and explain a few things. Pointing me in the right direction and providing very helpful resources and explanations, Mr. Von in particular! Thank you all!

Roger :)
Message: Posted by: Mick Hanzlik (May 27, 2005 12:55AM)
Yes Ian. I agree with you. I never really thought about getting the lace or string out of the keyway. Harry never mentioned that! I suppose a small blade hidden somewhere could have destroyed the technique. He always said that he left no evidence of his escape methods, but you have now got me thinking(Again!!!)

Back to the books....... :lol:

Message: Posted by: Ian McColl (May 27, 2005 02:29AM)
Hi Mick, I have always thought 'noose" more than 'loops'. A noose has one free end but loops created in the 'bight' would grab the thread and you have two free ends. The whole would come out when only one end is pulled. Off to test it.

Message: Posted by: Mind Freak (May 27, 2005 03:14AM)
I applied a method that I learned yesterday, and I must say that to my surprise it indeed worked!!!!! It took me many trys and a little muscle, but I was able to open the handcuffs and remove the string. I honestly did not think it was possible, because who would have thought that you could really open a set of handcuffs with string? Amazing, truly amazing!!!!!

Thank you Mr. Von for the lesson!!!!!
Roger :) (Mind Freak, Mind Fried)
Message: Posted by: Roslyn (May 27, 2005 03:18AM)
Congrats!!!! I've PMed you.
Message: Posted by: Red Von (May 27, 2005 01:04PM)
Hi Roger,

Good to hear it worked for you!!

Some brilliant minds in here, so never stop picking their brains!!

Don't ever let someone tell you it can't be done, without trying it for yourself.

If at first you don't succeed, try and try again. Anything is possible!!

One method may work better than another. Some methods might not work at all. But, there is always a way!!

Don't ever let someone else's inability deter you!! Just because they can't make it happen, does not mean you can't!!

How far you decide to go is totally up to you. It's a choice!! Some people don't understand that!!

You're comment in a previous post about (Workers & Teachers) is so true!!

Some just don't get it, and never will!!

Red Von
Message: Posted by: Mick Hanzlik (May 27, 2005 02:20PM)
Look at that! I mention the words "Harry", "Handcuffs" & "Shoelaces" and see the response. This place is so cool.

Let's add something else to this discussion.

A coil spring.

Get an expansion coil spring, with an internal diameter a little more than the thread on the locking bolt on the Darby. Push into the keyway and the coils will grab the thread. Again, pull like hell and hopefully, bingo!

To get it off, unscrew it like you would the correct key.

It needs to be a fairly heavy spring to counteract the spring in the cuff, and also one that won't unwind when you pull, but it should work, and one spring should fit a few different sizes of cuff.

Now, where can I find a spring?......

Mick H
Message: Posted by: Red Von (May 27, 2005 02:35PM)

Red Von
Message: Posted by: Mick Hanzlik (May 29, 2005 03:24AM)
<LOL! Thanks Red Von. The spring question was meant to be funny, but I just had to click on the link. You got me!!!

Message: Posted by: Red Von (May 29, 2005 11:50AM)
Hi Mick

It was meant to get a laugh!! LOL!!