Home Make Your Own Tools (135) How to Make QuickPick Tips (Lock Picks)

(135) How to Make QuickPick Tips (Lock Picks)


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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. Never cut steel with your good lineman pliers it will mess up the cutting edge. Cut copper or aluminum only. For cutting steel wire use pliers or side cutters you don't mind messing up.

  2. If you keep your Dremel grinding up close to the vise, the vise will act like a heat sink and pull heat off your work piece, so maybe move the stock in out out and stay close to the vise. I build guitars, mandolins, violins, & guitar amplifiers, & lots of other electronics projects, and even pliers will pull enough heat off something to slow down melting solder with a soldering pencil. We even use little aluminum clips as heat sinks to protect some components that do not like heat, from the heat of soldering. I also work on pianos, so music wire has always been very close at hand. I have a couple friends who make everything from guns to Caribbean steel drums, and we have all learned a lot about heat treating different metals, and ruining different metals with heat.

  3. I have been using wind screen wiper inserts I have found laying around on the streets, to make picks, since long before I figured out where they were coming from- I thought it was manna from heaven!) But they inserts I find on our Australian streets are completely different; they are about 15cm long x 2mm wide x thin enough to make good picks. Do we have different wiper blades out here?

  4. Just wondering, since you recommend .015-.031 for most picks, would .05 wire only work for specific locks with a lot of clearance? Or does the fact that the wire is rounded make up for the excess width? I wanted to try making some wire picks but was a bit confused as to what diameter/range of diameters would be appropriate.
    P.S. The handles youve made are awesome. I'll definitely have to make a bronze one similar to your design!

  5. Is it as easy to work (drill/tap/shape/etc.) with stainless steel handles as it is with brass? I've been looking around for a local store that sells brass rods but no luck, so far.

    Also, how do you go about straightening the music wire? I'm assuming it will be curved once you cut it from the spool.

  6. Great tutorials bill. I like ur handles a lot and want to make some, but how do u get he grub screw in there? Is it explainedin any of your wonderful video catalouge?

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