Home Make Your Own Tools (114) Pick Making Part 1: Material Selection

(114) Pick Making Part 1: Material Selection


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My vises are made by Panavise, a U.S. Company.  The one with the wide jaws is the model 350.  The smaller one is the model 301. Both have the 312 Base mount – www.panavise.com



  1. I have alway been amazed by lock picking. I have done intricate work on hydraulic valves, copensators, and spools for years along with a mechanical background. I think I have finally decided to try the art of lock picking. My question is what would be your recommendation for a beginner picker as far as a quality set of picks as far as brand. I see a lot of people manufacturer kits but I have also heard several references about having to tweak the picks to eliminate rough edges or burrs. Any advice would be appreciated as I would rather get a feel for picking rather than a feel of machining picks, until I begin to develop preferences and a genuine understanding of what I may desire in cuctom picks.

  2. i had an interesting idea while watching the explanation of the hacksaw blades. could you cut a hacksaw blade into the shape of a pick with a part of the cutting edge untouched in a spot so you can just cut the pins out from the inside(by raking the pick back and forth on the pins till they are gone)?

  3. They had these spring steel clips used for clipping electrical boxes to suspended grid ceiling wire. Those clips were great for making into lock picks. They worked better far than hacksaw blades. Lennox hacksaw blades are better than the crappy ones. Artists' pallet knives make decent picks, as do feeler gauges. I started using tension wrenches made from corset wire, (electrician's fish tapes). I keep a coffee can filled with water next to my grinder and use it to cool the steel as I grind it. The old street sweeper metal brush bristles were good too. And as a life long ?teenth generation musician, there is always music wire. Hobby razor saw blades also work okay.

  4. "I'm an anal guy, and I wanna do it right, and I wanna do it right the first time."

    Thanks for that. Great series by the way.

  5. How can you make a tensioning tool out of music wire? As a piano technician
    , I think strings are too thin and too round to use right? =)

  6. Thank you for this video. The first pick set I made was with the hacksaw blades and yes they did break after a few uses. A friend mentioned the feeler gauges, looking at trying those and I have now made my tensioners from wiper blades, (works well). The dollar store knives was a surprise. I will be sure to have my calipers next time I go shopping.

  7. Hi Bill, great videos! I just wanted to share that I've found that some hanging file folders have supports made of steel. If you can find the right ones, they are right around 30 thou in thickness. Also, the hook that's meant to hold the folders on the rails can make pretty decent top of the key tension wrenches with very little modification.

  8. This was a very nice video, I really enjoyed it! Thank you Bill for putting in the time to teach us the details that make better picks and in turn us better lock pickers, keep up the great content!

  9. I wonder though, do the picks HAVE to be steel, or could some kind of cloth and epoxy composite also be good? It would be kind of good to have a material that you can just cut the picks out of with scissors, even if they're not durable.

  10. G'day Bill, really enjoying your channel, specifically the 5 parts of making picks. Well done to you Sir, many thanks for sharing your experience.

  11. I purchased some aftermarket windshield wipers for $1  a piece. I got the 28inch (which was the longest they had. Their were 2 metal inserts in the one wiper, is that normal? I have no ways of measuring them.

  12. correcting you on a few things Bill: 303 is Tough and Flexible Stainless steel, High carbon steel is Hard and Brittle. keep that in mind

    (304 is the same as 303 just weldable)
    (316 is Tougher and Less flexible but Resistant to Acid)

  13. My only concern in using the B Ass 397 Kryptonite lock is that the sob would just use some bolt cutters on a chain link the 397 can hold. But, even 3' B.cutter jaws can only open so wide. My hunting trailer on my farm was being hit until I put a massive link size chain and huge shackle size lock into the equation. No bolt cutters could open near wide enough & my installation of an infrared camera got their faces & tag #. I left short 1×4's with 10 penny nails driven through them & laid on the path way which left their nice Silverado w 4 flats. The Sheriff informed their truck was vandalized after they walked home…… Which was The "Cherry" on the Cake! Hopefully this causes I few smiles for those who've been hit by punks. 

  14. +bosnianbill   How am I supposed to order these.. I don't see an Add to cart button. Am I supposed to call the 800 number? These are really nice, I think I'll get one of the 20 ct. Carbon Steel ones 0.020 thick, and one of the 20 ct. Carbon Steel ones 0.025 thick. I have a Dremel 200 Series, and I just bought a 160 pc kit for the Dremel, it was like $30 for 4 cutting disks, some grinding wheels, etc. etc. http://easterngage.com/web-assortment-pack-ap.asp

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