Gorgeous cutaway photos from Qikom

Qikom, lockpicker from France, created gorgeous locks cutaways and shared the images online. I believe cutaways to be very useful for understanding intricate lock designs. Where a good cutaway allows us to observe the elements of the lock while still functioning as normal.

Qikom is an associate professor in mathematics and computer science. Who got interesting in lock picking a little before 2000 after reading R. Feynman (the physicist) autobiography. Like many pickers, he is interested in the “puzzle” aspect of locks, and making a working cutaway is another kind of puzzle. Furthermore, he added, to spend more time making cutaways than picking locks!

You can find Qikom’s complete cutaway collection at: http://qikom.free.fr/. The pictures are licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0.

Screenshot from Qikom’s website as of January 2023.
http://qikom.free.fr/ CC BY-NC-SA 4.0


I’ve asked Qikom for tips on making great cutaways. He says about his cutaway strategy:

“I don’t have a well-defined strategy when planning a new cutaway. I know people start by making a 3D model of the lock to plan the cuts, but I don’t bother. In many of the locks I’ve cut, the cutting plan isn’t all that complex, and I try to set things up, so I can adjust things incrementally. One important thing I do, is to never cut a lock on the same day that I come up with the cutting plan, to get some time to think about it.

I usually try to have at least 2 identical locks to cut, and I consider one of them to be expendable. When everything works, I can sell / trade the second one, and if not, I get to correct any mistake on the second try. A couple of times, I badly failed twice, but could salvage enough parts to get the third attempt.
But there are still some locks waiting because I wouldn’t want to mess them up.

I’ve made several embarrassing goofs along the way, but none of them would have been prevented by that! The graveyard includes several Robur, Rosengrens, Abloy, Fontaine, and Fichet… 🪦 I’ve only attempted cutting an F3D when I got a couple of broken ones. This was a good idea, because the first 3 attempts were failures.

But there are still some locks waiting because I wouldn’t want to mess them up. Including the Emhart.”

Qikom often sells his cutaways online to partially fund the hobby. If you have interesting in these locks, or have a few spares that would work as a cutaway, consider contacting Qikom at qikom@free.fr


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