Picking tubular locks

From: Lawrence LeMay <lemay_at_cs.umn.edu>
Date: Mon Sep 27 16:12:20 1999

> --- CLASSICCMP_at_trailing-edge.com wrote:
> > >At 07:14 PM 9/25/99 +0100, Tony Duell wrote:
> > >>
> > >>What sort of lock is it? Most locks can be picked, although the worst
> > >>common type is the 'Ace' tubular lock
> > It's probably simpler to buy the correct key. All DEC systems with
> > tubular locks that I've met use a XX2247 key,
> I have *one* PDP-8/L PSU with a different key (but I have the key). All
> other DEC locks I have ever run across were the XX2247 key. You used to
> be able to get spares from friendly FS guys.
> > The later "plastic key" DEC locks can be turned with just about anything -
> > they aren't really locks at all.
> But don't use an XX2247 metal key in those plastic ones on a regular basis.
> The fluting (combination) on the metal keys abrads the plastic "lock" body.
> My younger brother is a former locksmith (and current professional geek). He
> owns an Ace lockpick. It's like an Ace key body with the pin grooves cut
> all the way up the cylinder and feeler gauges in the grooves with a tension
> collar above where the lock body would sit on the key. The whole thing is
> capped with a 1" knurled plastic knob. To pick the lock, you slide all the
> feelers down to zero, insert the "key" into the lock and give it this special
> twisting, pushing, pulling motion that's hard to describe in writing. The
> idea is to bind the pins in the lock and push back the feelers by pressing the
> pick against the bound pins. He can open a pop machine in about 15 sec.
> The secondary benefit of this pick is that you can now make a key from the
> pick since you know all the depths. It's about $70. He made a second one
> for a non-Ace lock, but he's that kind of guy. No, I don't own one myself,
> but he did re-key my personal Gorf machine to XX2247 for my convenience.
> -ethan

I know that one of my books describes how to make your own tubular lock
pick. I think its the one by Eddie The Wire. If anyone is interested,
let me know and I can provide more details.

-Lawrence LeMay
Received on Mon Sep 27 1999 - 16:12:20 BST

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