Back from Spain …

Phew … I made it … here is the Sunday Blackbag posting of the week …

I made the most of my days in Barcelona. From 09:00 to 19:00 I was behind the booth at the 3GSM show, never to return home before 01:00 from meetings with Spanish lockpickers and locksmiths.

Some part of what I collected(click on image to enlarge)

Very generous people I met, as I ended up with 55 kilo’s(!) of locks and blanks. Enough to keep me busy for quite some time….

Normally I would not have been able to transport all this precious metal. Luckily for me, a Dutch friend (Vincent ‘Norman’ Vlaming) was doing his internship at our company, and he and his father helped me out by taking kilos and kilos of locks in their luggage.

But back to Spanish locks: A high number of lever locks are in use there, as well as lots of dimple locks.


Some of the lever locks (Orenco for example) have something remarkable. The keys miss a small part at the bottom, making the lower finger of the key stick out a little. This is the part that keeps the lock under pressure. This is a cheap and simple counter measure to avoid opening the lock using a classic hobbs pick. There just is no room for the tensioner of the Hobb’s pick, as a little ring deep inside the lock takes away all the space.

As it is a popular lock, of course there is a pick for it. And I got a demonstration of it. Unfortunately I did not shoot any photo’s, but it is a classical Hobb’s pick and … a hollow file (tube shaped). The file is inserted into the lock and the ring at the bottom of the lock is simply filed away. After removing that part, the classic Hobb’s pick can be used to open the lock.

Inceca round lock

I have also seen some special and remarkable models. Take for instance this Inceca lock with it’s round key. I have not tried, but people told me it can be opened relatively quickly with a sort of tubular pick.

Another special lock was the JIS, with it’s two rows and nine pins.

Twenty of the most interesting Spanish locks will be used in the 2008 Toool competition. The JIS lock will be in it for sure, so we will soon know if two rows of pins make life real difficult for us lockpickers. We always shoot high quality images of the competition locks, so … stay tuned for more Spanish lock info…

13 Responses to “Back from Spain …”

  1. Maurice Onraet says:

    Dear Barry,
    I have a lock 1861 Johnson’s Rotary door lock and key that looks almost exactly like the Inceca lock and key. It is interesting how technology changes with time. Wanted to attach a picture but could not figure out how.

  2. JK_the_CJer says:

    That’s one awesome yield of locks. I just picked the Assa V-10 and am looking for a new challenge. By the way, I have not forgotten about your medeco decoder order. Please forgive the delay and just have patience 🙂

  3. Jean-Claude says:

    The Inceca key looks very similar to the key used in the Geminy lock shields. I wonder what the innards look like. Great pics as usual!

  4. mercurial says:

    Wow, sounds like you had a great and VERY full time in Barcelona! What a great array of new locks to learn from!

    The Orenco lock, with its modified key is an interesting idea, such a simple way to defeat the Hobbs-style pick. They have combined the old concept of wards(it is a collar ward) with the standard lever lock.

    It is a shame that the bypass tool you describes is semi-destructive.

    Would it not be possible to make a Hobbs type pick using a blank key as the tensioning part? The blank (filed down) will apply tension to the bolt, and the levers should be able to be manipulated just as they are with a conventional Hobbs pick.

    The Incesa like reminds me very much of the Vanlock.


  5. next says:

    You are a lucky man!!! I wish you come to Madrid too, next time.

  6. Barry says:

    Thanks all for the replies, I really enjoy them 😉

    And JK: picked an assa V10 … wow …
    If you want I can send you a European V10 (called Twin2) that has much closer tolerances …. Guaranteed to keep you busy for some more time 😉

  7. Jean-Claude says:

    Is there a difference between a Twin and a Twin2 ASSA V10? Sorry, just piqued my interest.

  8. JK_the_CJer says:

    There are a number of differences between the Twin and the V-10, I’ll to list em off, someone let me know if I miss one:

    1) The Sidepin Shape – In the Twin (6000), the serrations go all the way around the sidepin and it can be inserted into its chamber in any orientation because its radially symmetrical. The serrations are also a bit deeper and meaner in my opinion. In the V-10, the sidepin has a little bit that sticks out into the key which can be either a little forward or a little aft of the of the sidepin’s chamber center. This is used for masterkeying trickery and is quite similar to the Biaxial concept (for/aft offsetting) in Medeco locks. The serrations (including the real one) are cut into the sidebar side of the pin rather than grooved out like a lathe (as they are on the 6000).

    2) Countermilling in the Plug – I haven’t checked, but I believe the pin chambers in the plug itself (or it may have been the shell) is countermilled to make those security pins hang up extra hard.

    3) Security Pins – The security pins of the 6000 have a much smaller spooled section that looks almost like a deep serration. The v-10 security drivers have two longer and slightly shallower false set areas (one at each end).

    I don’t know anything about the Twin2, but that’s what I know about those two cylinders.

  9. Jean-Claude says:

    6000 != Twin

  10. Barry says:

    JK and Jean-Claude: I am currently in Turkey, and unable to respond with great details. I can tell you Han will be coming out with one of his famous documents on the ASSA-TWIN system soon, and it will all be clear from there for sure 😉

  11. Kenneth says:

    The inceca picture you have is the old one, because the key pins broke very easy, they decide to change the lock and they use now this kay profile: they make it the key is on and this key profile. Unafortunally they don’t have those pictures updated.

  12. Pete C says:

    Hi Barry
    The Orenco lock can be picked by a non destructive method using the 3 in 1 picks you purchased in Warsaw.
    Pete C

  13. chris H says:

    Hi Barry

    I have recently completed a locksmiths course in UK with Bob Curry of Safe ad Secure (Hereford) and I’m about to move to Portugal to start trading as a locksmith. From the research i’ve done I believe many locks used there are Spanish, any information on lock and locksmith suppliers in Spain would be much appreciated. Being trained in non destructive entry i am very interested in lock picks. at the moment i am looking for a pick that opens a double bitted key. any help would be great. thanks chris.