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 Post subject: Picking a desk lock (that I have permission to pick!)?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 2:21 pm 
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My desk at work has a lock for the drawers on one side. No one knows where the key is. My boss thought he could just drill the lock out, but that didn't work. So now the part where the key goes isn't there, but the lock is still engaged. It is one lock that is in the inner part of the desk and it keeps the two drawers on that side locked. That makes me think it is a fairly simple lock, but yet several of us have tried and none of us have been successful at unlocking it. Any tips on how to get the lock to open? We don't care if the lock is destroyed, especially since it is half-way destroyed already. I just want to use all of the drawers on my desk!


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 Post subject: Re: Picking a desk lock (that I have permission to pick!)?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 2:36 pm 
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So hang on, you've drilled out the cylinder, but it's still engaged? If the bit where the key goes in has been destroyed, you're beyond picking it and well into just breaking in.

Your best bet is probably getting a big screwdriver, jamming it in where the key would have gone, getting a big pair of vicegrips and clamping them on the screwdriver handle for leverage, and leaning on it until something shears. If you've already drilled it, that may be relatively easy. You might also get a wide punch and 5-pound sledge and try to bash the lock through.

A picture might be nice if you could take one and post it. Is it a standard cheapish sheet metal desk?

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 Post subject: Re: Picking a desk lock (that I have permission to pick!)?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 2:57 pm 
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Here are some pictures. Sorry for the flash, but otherwise it was too dark under the desk. It is a wooden desk (I don't know if it's real wood or whatnot, but it's not metal).

Image

Image


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 Post subject: Re: Picking a desk lock (that I have permission to pick!)?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 4:51 pm 
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Whoa, yeah. Looks like the time for picking it is long past.

Probably what's in there is a single metal bar that rotates from horizontal (unlocked) to vertical (locked) or something similar. It'll be mounted around the end of the lock core (the part inside the cylinder), which you drilled out. It may be a little more complicated than that, like a rotating bar with little arms off of it that poke deadbolts into slots in the top or bottom of the drawers. Either way, there's probably a cylinder containing a drilled-out core with a rotatey bit on the end.

The best idea is to get something you can jam into the remnants of the lock to turn it-- either turning the core inside the cylinder (shearing the remnants of the pins or discs) or the whole lock (ripping it out of the wood along the way). You want to rotate it so that the bar on the end turns. It will probably take some muscle, so maybe try to get something L-shaped so you can apply leverage. (That's the screwdriver-and-vicegrip solution.)

Alternately you could get a reciprocating saw (like a Sawzall) and plunge-cut a square around the lock and remove the lock and some wood around it. Messy, but it would get the lock out. It is probably still attached to whatever is inside (the turny bar piece on the inside) so that might still take some wrenching.

If you do try to get a punch and pound it through with a sledge, you may shear the turny bit, leaving the deadbolts in place, or you may pull the inside part into a strange shape and lock the drawers permanently.

Since it's wood, if you tried to just get a crowbar and pop the drawers out, you'd probably rip the front off of them before the lock moved.

In order I would try:

1. Brute force rotating
2. Punching it in
3. Sawing it out

Can you post the aftermath when you do get it open? Now I'm really curious. If you were nearby I'd come over with some tools and give it a try, because that looks like a blast... 8)

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 Post subject: Re: Picking a desk lock (that I have permission to pick!)?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 5:52 pm 
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On the plus side, the destruction is on the inside of the desk so you can cover it up once you achieve success, as you most certainly will!


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 Post subject: Re: Picking a desk lock (that I have permission to pick!)?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 6:01 pm 
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Magnets!

(How do they work?)

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 Post subject: Re: Picking a desk lock (that I have permission to pick!)?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 8:03 pm 
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My boyfriend now wants to try to help fix it, so hopefully we'll get somewhere with this soon!

I forgot to mention what my boss said after he unsuccessfully drilled the lock out: "Huh, that always works in the movies." D'oh.


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 Post subject: Re: Picking a desk lock (that I have permission to pick!)?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 8:52 pm 
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Ha.

Yeah, it would work in a different sort of lock, maybe-- you'd need to clear out the path for the pins to drop out of their channels so the core would turn. Chances are this is a smaller and less sophisticated lock (desks usually come with disc locks instead of pin locks, which are cheaper to make and MUCH easier to pick-- like, I used to pick them with paperclips) but one where, if the core is drilled out, you still have some stuff in there such that the inside locky bits are held in place.

It also looks like he used a drill bit enough smaller than the actual core that it may have left enough of the core in place that the inside turning bits are still there, and if it's a disc lock the discs might be sort of squished into place by the deformation of metal around them.

Anyway, please please please take pictures when it's open... 8)

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 Post subject: Re: Picking a desk lock (that I have permission to pick!)?
PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2013 6:33 am 
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there has to be treasure in there.

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 Post subject: Re: Picking a desk lock (that I have permission to pick!)?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2013 9:03 am 
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Woohoo! I can now use all of my desk drawers! I have no idea why anyone locked this one--they just contained files that didn't really need to be remotely secure (but I'm not putting up a picture of the contents because it would give away where I work).

Here's a picture of what remains of the lock, though:
Image


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 Post subject: Re: Picking a desk lock (that I have permission to pick!)?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2013 9:14 am 
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Hey, it's the deadbolt part! That's not far from what I thought it would be! Cool!

How did you finally get it open?

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 Post subject: Re: Picking a desk lock (that I have permission to pick!)?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2013 9:41 am 
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Well my boyfriend was the one that got it open. Largely it involved needlenose pliers (to get out the bits of the lock chamber that were still there) and then a screwdriver and a hammer.


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 Post subject: Re: Picking a desk lock (that I have permission to pick!)?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2013 11:57 am 
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Ah ha! Cool.

Man, that sounds like fun. Maybe somebody around here will lose a key...

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