Home Make Your Own Tools (116) Pick Making Part 3: Rough Shaping

(116) Pick Making Part 3: Rough Shaping


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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. Stick the embryo pick through a potato near the tip and grind away the metal, the wet potato will draw the heat away so you can cut closer to the tip

  2. Never considered this as a sport or hobby, but born of necessity this limey picked out a Bos vid or two. Gotta say Bill; I think I sat and watched about 4 hours back to back on lock-picking. I'm hooked. EXCELLENT presentation and made to feel friendly but the most informative and well planned/explained instruction vids I've found on youtube. Great job.

  3. The mini belt sander from Dremel, Harbor Freight, etc are excellent for shaping. The belts are easy to change and vary from aggressive to very fine removal. 

    Aluminum soft jaws in the vise help pull out heat as well as protect from marring. I made mine (snap on covers) with 1/8 aluminum sheet and a hammer. 

    my 2¢ fwiw

  4. Started designing my own picks in InkScape. I have three picks designed so far. Here's the 1m 12s video I did. Inside the description I put three files containing the SVG file for InkScape for my 3 lock picks I designed, InkScape (FREEWARE), and the PDF file so you can print them out, and take a look at what they will really look like, actual size. watch?v=dXPkfY9f4AY

    I'm gonna be buying "High Carbon Steel" Feeler Gauges From Grainger. I think Grainger feeler gauges are better quality carbon steel then Eastern Industries.

    I want my picks to be very strong. Especially for the design I've chosen.

    Just a quick question.. What kind of cutoff disk is that..? It looks larger then the regular 1.5" cutoff disks.. Anyways.. Very Nice Tutorial on how to make lock picks, but I'm afraid my lock picks are gonna be a little more slimmer then yours.  I have Southord PXS-14 lock pick set, and I ground down the picks to about the same size of the lock picks I've designed. I'm making these new picks from "High Carbon Steel", and they do not bend even with the cheap metal Southord makes them in.. Which I think is just regular spring steel. Let me know what you think of the picks I'm gonna be making, and the material I'm gonna be making them out of. Let me know if you think I should make the shank height a little higher or thicker.  Thanks for all the inspiration BIll.

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