Archive for June, 2012

Picking 17th century cultural heritage locks

Saturday, June 30th, 2012

If the key to something you do not use every day is lost, it can take a little while before a locksmith is called. In this case it took them a couple of hundred years to find us!

But that is ok. I like mysteries, especially if I can help solving them. Last week was good for mystery solving and there still are some to be solved (edited 8-july: solved!) .

We were invited into some sort of museum where they had four 17th century treasure-boxes without key. They did send some images that allowed me to do some Research (via barrywels on twitter).

When we arrived we inspected the boxes and padlocks with endocsopes and decided they could probably be picked with simple steel wire bent in an L shape. Click on the image below to see how a similar mechanism is opened using two hooks. One hook lifts the hammer while the other moves the bolt.

lever picking

In a little while we did mange to open a number of padlocks and one of the boxes.

Currently three 17th century treasure boxes are waiting to be opened and at least one of them contains a number of ‘heavy objects’. This is interesting, especially if you consider the boxes were used to transport valuables in ships.

Jord was asked to make a key for the lock(s) and that is quite a task with the special warding. Hopefully I can make a blackbag posting out of that too as it is an interesting process to create such a key. (more nice keys on

The exact location of the remaining boxes has to be kept secret for now not to give anyone any ideas. There will be a follow up soon (after LockCon.US) and hopefully we can solve some more mysteries then.

Just one month: LockCon 2012 (Nicholasville, Kentucky)

Thursday, June 14th, 2012

LockCon 2012, home of the world championships lockpicking, impressioning and safe combo manipulation

If heaven exists, LockCon is it for us mortal lockpickers. And in one month from now it will be held (July 17/18/19)!

LockCon 2012 in the US

After a number of very successful LockCon conferences organized in Europe, this time the circus will travel to the US.

It is never easy to find a good spot for this kind of event but this year we found the best possible location: the headquarters of LSI (Lockmasters Security Institute) in Nicholasville, Kentucky.

The LSI facility is just perfect for LockCon because of the many areas where the LSI instructors normally train their customers on how to open various kind of locks. These rooms will offer the right atmosphere for our hands-on sessions and championships. And of course there is the in-house Harry Miller lock-museum (that offers napkins so you do not drool over their rare locks)

One thing that I would like to point out is that we have the same agreement with LSI as with Peter Field. Both LSI and Mr. Field will not talk to us about how to open locks. LSI only lets us use the facility on certain hours of the day and Peter Field will only talk about locks in general (in a very nice and detailed way I might add). As he said before: “I am here to talk about locks. How to open them is up to you ….”.

The US Championships in lockpicking, Impressioning and combo-manipulation


Besides many presentations (by Peter Field and others) and hands on sessions (spectacular!) LockCon will also host the US championships of lockpicking, safe combination-lock manipulation and impressioning! There will be people coming from all over the place (to name a few: Finland, France, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, UK and of course the US) to see who will be the fastest lockpicker in the world. And there are very nice prices to win as our sponsors are known to be very generous. I am curious how people like Julian Hardt and Jos Weyers will do against the people in the US.

Want to join or compete?

There are still a few seat available although getting in may not be as easy as it sounds. We do have a rather strict policy of having to know you before letting you in. Having said that, we can always be persuaded if you have a kick-ass presentation to give on lock-related topics. Memebers of Aloa and/or Savta are also welcome to (try to) register.

You can always try to register or visit our CFP page and see how far you get.

Hope to see you all in one month from now in Kentucky!