Making a lock pick set

Written by joseph nicholson
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Making a lock pick set
(Chris Mitchell)

The two major tools in a lock pick set are tension wrenches and picks. A good set will have a variety of these tools in different shapes and sizes to meet virtually any task. Though professional tools are machined from more durable materials, a homemade lock pick set can be fashioned from hacksaw blades and a belt grinder.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

Things you need

  • Fine-tooth carbon steel hacksaw blades
  • Grinder (course and fine wheels)
  • Cup of water
  • Safety glasses
  • Propane blowtorch
  • Needlenose pliers (2)

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  1. 1

    Snap blade. A typical hacksaw blade is long enough to make three lock picks. The blade can be snapped into thirds by hand, producing piece that can be machined into lock picks.

  2. 2

    Grind pick blank. Roughly half of the snapped off piece of hacksaw blade should remain the original dimensions to serve as a handle, while the other half is ground down. Starting in the middle of the piece, grind out a shaft that is about 1/8" in thickness, working the side of the blade with the teeth against the grinder. Leave about a third of this section close to full size for shaping a hook.

  3. 3

    Grind the hook. Work both sides of the end of the pick blank against the grinder to fashion the hook. Pay attention to the shape of the tip, which can be made round or flat to personal preference.

  4. 4

    Bend tension wrench. After grinding a piece of hacksaw blade to the desired dimensions, heat a small area about one inch from the end with the blowtorch while carefully holding with pliers. When the blade is heated, slowly bend to a 90 degree angle with the other pair of pliers and dunk quickly in the cup of water.

Tips and warnings

  • Quench steel in water after every few seconds to prevent heat from ruing temper and burning your fingers.
  • To make a snake pick, grind from both sides of the hacksaw blade, rather than just the side with the teeth.
  • Finishing touches can be put on a ground pick using a hand-held dremel tool.
  • Grip tightly, as the grinder can throw a pick unpredictably if you lose grip.
  • Grinding steel will produce sparks. Always wear safety glasses.

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