Locks, and How to Open Them : OCAU's Locksport Thread

Discussion in 'Other Toys/Hobbies' started by BlueRaven, Nov 15, 2018.

  1. caspian

    caspian Member

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    another update overnight.

    if the free hosting site is as slow as it was for me, don't be too worried about the pics - it's just the unassembled 3D printer.


    agreed. some people seem to think they are ordering a product. that's not what is happening, what they are doing is crowdfunding the development of one. that said -

    it would definitely be better if the design, manufacturing and contracting were nailed down before a campaign got opened up in the first place. a few of my recent and current campaigns are going through the same pattern... the promoter seems to have gone into the campaign with a nice idea, but expects to do a lot of the process once they have funds to do so. that increases the risk of the project not succeeding if the expectations are unfulfillable, and frustrates people in the meantime.

    yeah, I'm getting spammed too. but bills beckon.
     
  2. cvidler

    cvidler Member

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    There's certainly blame on both sides around understanding the process, but I don't mind the idea of funding the development of a product*, but if the product is not production ready at the time of the kickstarter, the kickstarter(s) better be damn well good at keeping comms up to the kickstartee's to keep the wolves at bay.


    *and have, but I research the teams, and put a little thought into figuring out if the idea is possible or not, and if the plan is reasonable. I've backed a fair few kick starters and only one has failed to eventuate to the rewards - and that was fully refunded - as the team was bought out by a larger company for the IP that then cancelled the kickstarter, refunding every one. So I guess I was right in believe in the idea was possible and plan reasonable, so much so someone else came along and bought 'em out.
     
  3. caspian

    caspian Member

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    I have so far to be dudded on KS, although quite a few of the projects seem to follow a similar pattern.

    * late design changes due to feedback, requests, feature creep, or realisation that building the thing in proposed form just isn't practical/possible/financially viable
    * the hunt for the perfect Goldilocks supplier who can do short runs of parts to very tight tolerances for low pricing
    * the stunned horror when the creator asked for $12,000 minimum to fund the project... and got $218,000 worth of backers, and now has to figure out how to build 18 times as many of the things as planned for
    * significant slippage on delivery dates, while the natives get restless, and the communication is less than ideal.

    always a bit of a leap of faith, but so far it's been rewarding and fun.
     
  4. caspian

    caspian Member

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    something that may be of interest to people - what do you carry your gear around in?

    I freely admit I have a serious addiction to making up tool kits. if I've got a hobby or a pastime, I'll make a specialised tool and equipment kit for it, and I'll go to the ends of the earth to find the perfect case. after quite some searching, I have discovered a really cool line of cases that are just about ideal for typical lockpicking stuff: Japanese pencilcases. you can get some seriously cool and quirky designs for about $20 plus a few dollars shipping off eBay. so far I've picked up a Nomadic PE-09 and I just got a Lihit Lab Teffa today which is really nice. I keep my picks and turners themselves in a Petersen leather fold case, but the pencil case holds that with plenty of room for other odds and sods like jimmys, a small light, set of wafer/coffin/warded keys, bump keys and tap hammer, spinner, roll of coiled strapping tape for car doors, small knife, small prybar etc.
     
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  5. apsilon

    apsilon Member

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    Hmm, I can see other uses for those cases, could be good for my testers, cable/adaptor kits etc.

    As for my picks, most of them are in the Sparrows Sherman case that came with the Vorax kit I bought early on but I have what I would consider a larger EDC kit in a Sparrows Ranger but my actual EDC is in a Sparrows Tuxedo. It's mostly raking related stuff. I know we're not supposed to work on locks in use etc but over my career I've often turned up at a place to do some work only to find the data cabinet is locked and no one knows where the key is so after waiting around have had to leave and go back later. If I'd had these and the knowledge earlier it wouldn't have been an issue because almost all of those cabinets are very simple locks but I have opened two data cabinets, one utility cabinet and bypassed a door to under stairs storage in the past year so it's been very useful.
     
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  6. cvidler

    cvidler Member

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    Make sure you're covered legally in those instances.

    You may be shortcutting a missing key, but unless you have explicit permission from the owner of the lock to do so, you're in hot water.
     
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  7. apsilon

    apsilon Member

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    Yeah, I've had permission in each case so all good. They're always surprised to see how easy those locks are to open.
     
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  8. caspian

    caspian Member

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    after over two months (yay international christmas shipping) my Multipick jackknife finally arrived today. not bad at all, with the pick extended and locked down there's quite good feel available. the inbuilt tension wrench is meh, going to pair it with a couple of decent Sparrows TOK turners.
     
  9. OP
    OP
    BlueRaven

    BlueRaven Brute force & optimism

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    Well well well... look what turned up a couple of days ago...
     
  10. caspian

    caspian Member

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    I got mine on Friday last week. haven't really had much of a chance to play with them yet, flat out with work. I must say the TOK tension wrench on one is not very well finished, it's got quite sharp edges that need dressing, and fingerprint corrosion marks on it.
     
  11. OP
    OP
    BlueRaven

    BlueRaven Brute force & optimism

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    I've had a brief play with it, practicing SPP'ing the backer-reward Shlage.
    It... has some issues... yes. Fairly sure you'll find it inferior to your Multipick.
    The selection of profiles is nice, I received all of my backer bonuses with the tool and everything kinda sorta works okay.
    But the packaging & functionality leaves a lot to be desired in many ways, and they were very obviously assembled at a high rate of knots in a fairly hit'n'miss fashion (both from my own example and the comments of other backers).

    I'll do another brief video as, I mentioned in the one posted above, which demonstrates the issues. Although it'll basically just be for posterity since I'm 100% certain that nobody will ever be able to actually buy one of these as a retail product. That train had sailed about 18 months ago I think...
    At least they actually finished and shipped them, although I probably could have got a commercially available jackknife and a practice lock for about the same as what I backed.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2021
  12. cvidler

    cvidler Member

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    I'd be looking at what LPL sells as a workable option in this space.

    but still a proper full sized set of picks, will be much better to use and infinitely better to learn with (while you're still working out the 'feel').
     
  13. OP
    OP
    BlueRaven

    BlueRaven Brute force & optimism

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    Covert Companion looks like an excellent choice. And probably won't take two years to arrive after you order one.
    And yeah, I should probably have ordered a decent full-size selection to replace my Banggood cheapies before spending the money on this but...
    ALL ABOARD!! :lol:
     
  14. cvidler

    cvidler Member

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    Kickstarter is certainly hit and miss. I've had some great wins with it,

    you need a strong bullshit detector to figure out what is/isn't possible before throwing money at the too good to be true brigade (what swick has become), or the outright scammers.
     
  15. caspian

    caspian Member

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    I've backed a project where the creator was looking for $12,000. they got $218,000 and ended up with an instant business complete with multiple staff, a logistics chain and premises to accommodate it all. I thought that one would implode under its own sheer weight but they did extremely well.

    this seems like they had an idea but hadn't actually done any of the research of how to actually fulfil the project beforehand. scaling up is one thing, taking money and then trying to figure out how to deliver is not the way to go about it.
     
  16. theSeekerr

    theSeekerr Member

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    Honestly it was probably pitched too cheap, but it doesn't seem like THAT difficult a product to deliver.
     
  17. OP
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    BlueRaven

    BlueRaven Brute force & optimism

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    In my defence, your honour, David Storm had a pretty good rep in the locksport community, and the project was given some puff by Bosnian Bill and a couple of others.
    Thought I was onto a winner, and I certainly could have come off worse.

    Pretty much summed up the issue in a single sentence there sport. ;)
    Seriously, the whole update & comment threads on the Kickstarter page pretty much reflect the people involved thinking exactly that.
    There has to be AT LEAST four or five instances of them saying "this bit that we thought would be really straightforward actually turned into a sourcing/production nightmare".

    Those who may be interested are invited to endure 15 minutes of me rambling about it, if you've absolutely nothing better to do with yourself at 10:00 on a Tuesday evening.
    I stuck the phone in my lockpicking vise this time, so the video is a little less vomit-inducing. :)

     
  18. cvidler

    cvidler Member

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    and that's the key problem most kickstarters struggle with, under-estimating all the little things, the simple stuff is what comes out and bites you.

    BosnianBill did a review on the SWICK, and an explanation of the more public issues they faced. bit of a long video, but a good watch to understand what went wrong.
     
  19. theSeekerr

    theSeekerr Member

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    Right, so I'm familiar with the difficulties this project faced. And I wouldn't say the things they messed up were small things. Their budget and timelines were unrealistic from the start. They went to kickstarter too soon with a design that was nowhere near ready to manufacture. And I have no doubt that any engineer they talked to about the project told them the same, and that the numbers they went with either ignored that or were talked up from even lower numbers.
     
  20. OP
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    BlueRaven

    BlueRaven Brute force & optimism

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    100% correct.
    The original timeline on the Kickstarter promo talked about shipping the finished products in around 6 months.
    My reaction was exactly the same as yours; "haha good one, I'll expect it in about twice that".
    And yeah, took that plus another year to get it done. I've learned a lot of lessons about what not to do if I ever want to launch a kickstarter. :lol:

     

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