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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » All tied up! » » Picks.. do you use them? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Red_Wing_II
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I have recently aquired a small set of lockpicks and have successfully opened some pad locks. I have never done escapes, but am interested and think this would be a needed talent. I'm slow and use a combination of rakeing and tapping because I cant figure out which one works better. I know a lot of the escapes use gimmicks or "extra links" but how often do you actually need to pick a lock and what's your technique.

I'm still practicing because at least I'll never get locked out of my car or house..
Stuart Burrell
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England
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It really depends on how often you choose to do an escape that requires picking of a padlock.

Lockpicking is a skill that many people require but few learn, keep going and good luck.
James Peters
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Romford, UK
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Picking locks is a great skill to have ... whether it's practical for an actual escape is a subject of debate.

I think it can be practical, providing the situation is controlled properly. Equally, you can get into trouble if it's your sole way out! Smile

James.
KingStardog
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I never use em. A friend of mine has the jackknife set and likes it very much, but in reality I don't think he has ever used it much at all. A good skill but it should be low on the list.
...think not that all wisdom is in your school. You may have studied other paths,but, it is important to remember that no matter who you are or where you come from, there is always more to learn.
Riley
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Darlington UK
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An escape artist should be familiar with as many ways as possible to open locks. Lock picking is one way - but not the only way. The effect and the result are the main thing. Whatever method you use, your audience will probably believe you picked the lock anyway - so do it the easiest way available to you.
Most "lay people" think that HH was a great lock picker - many on this forum think otherwise! Learn picking by all means, and practice it - but don't let it master you.

Riley
Roslyn
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I began much as you have Red, but have found that the more I discover about escapes the less I need to use picking. Although I still practice it, but mainly out of the joy of being able to do it.

Roslyn
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Margarette
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Memphis area
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I use lock picks quite a bit, but then again, I'm a locksmith in training. I don't use actual picking in much escape work, mainly because you can never tell how long it's going to take to pick open a lock. I can work on one padlock, and one time it will take me a couple of seconds to pick it open, and other times, the same lock will take a few minutes.

Margarette
The only stupid question is the one not asked.
pastorclyde
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Sometimes picking, or the appearence of picking a lock, can be a great theatrical opportunity. Peole LOVE to see someone blindly pick their way out of a mailbag escape for example. It helps, of course, if the locks are gimmicked so that you can pick them more easily. The theatrical value is still there while ensuring a smooth escape.
Red_Wing_II
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Gimicking a lock would be easy, The only hard part is getting it apart and back together. All I would have to do is glue the back 4 pins inline... then only the front pin would be needed picked, Even I could do that in seconds. So does anyone know how to take apart a lock?
man.ray
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New York City
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You don't even have to glue back the other four pins. Just leave them out.
Go to your local hardware store and ask for a padlock that can be rekeyed. Look for an allen bolt where you can take the cylinder out.
Roslyn
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The Master 21 padlock is one such lock. Full instructions are available within the Cannons 21st Cent Lecture Notes.

Roslyn
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pastorclyde
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If you are inclined towards fine motor skills and good eye sight, rekeying your own locks is the way to go. Otherwise just buy one! In some cases they cost less than the one lock you are about to ruin when you take it apart!
Roslyn
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Pastorclyde,

I don't wish to soumd rude, but the locks being refered to are those locks that are designed to come apart and be re-keyed. Of course all locks can be re-keyed but you need special tools etc. to be able to do it and not destroy the lock. I tend to use locks that have been altered by a locksmith... namely Ian.

Roslyn
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pastorclyde
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Roslyn, we were talking about the same thing.. using locks modified for that purpose. I was just trying to say (albeit poorly) that often times it is cheaper to buy one already modified than it is to go through the learning curve of ruining locks, etc. "Been there done that." At the same time, for those who love a challenge, locks can be fascinating!
Roslyn
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Oops, must have been half asleep when I posted that one. Either that or I was on some other planet.

Roslyn
The Magic Cafe account of The Conwy Jester, Erwyd le Fol formerly known as Roslyn Walker.
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Pharaoh
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Interesting site to check out is http://www.wilton.f9.co.uk/lock
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