2018-06-25 (M) Paper Lock Pick COMPLETED

A coworker of mine was recently let go. Each week he flew into the job site so it wasn’t reasonable for him to clean out his desk. Due to some miscommunication, we didn’t get the combination to his locked drawers. By coincidence, I had just watched a video about getting through numeric locks.

Numeric locking drawers

We all hope for these situations. Our unusual skills come into play and we get to save the day with some MacGuyver-esque demonstration. I didn’t have the particular tool used in the video but I had printed some labels for work with the company name as well as some labels for my personal equipment. The labels were thin plastic and pretty stiff so I cut the edge of one to a probe shape.

Small plastic label on 1/4" squares

Since the video taught me what the lock looked like on the inside and the basic operation, I was able to make some educated guesses about what to look for. In the video, the locks have a bump on the wheels in exactly one location. In the particular lock I was trying to get through, there were divots in exactly one location. As I rotated, it was pretty apparent when my paper label fell into that divot.

Finding the divot

The other factor from the video was that the bump, or divot in my case, would have to be rotated a particular number of degrees since the cam on each wheel would need to interact with a bar which wouldn’t be facing me. In the case of this lock, the wheels needed to be rotated 180°. The time with my paper inside the lock took me about as long as a commercial break in a television program about a resourceful man with a mullet.


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2017-12-18 (M)