Acrylic Tumbler Lock


Sometimes describing how a lock actually works can be the hardest part of teaching someone about lockpicking. [Mike Gee] has designed an acrylic lock that may just be the ticket for these situations. All of the pieces are cut from clear acrylic. As you insert the key, you can see it raise the four pins up to the shear line. He says that it will definitely take some tweaking as you assemble it to get it to function smoothly. Embedded below is a video of the lock in use. You can find plans on Thingiverse.

[vimeo 2475046]

[Thanks, cnelson]

21 thoughts on “Acrylic Tumbler Lock

  1. it’s pretty pathetic how simple our locks are on our homes, not to mention the fact that a forcefull shoulder will bust ANY door down by anyone who weighs 140 lbs or more. kind of makes you wonder why anyone picks locks unless they have an objective and to go unnoticed is their point. I have picked my front door lock before when i locked myself out of the house, but it was half because the “quality” name brand lock sucked and half luck… if i really wanted i could have just kicked the thing, spent 10 dollars at the hardware store and replaced all the parts i busted and done it all in about 20 mintues of actual work. That includes wiping my footprint off of the door. furthermore, you can buy a “tapkey” for like 2 bucks that’ll open any average lock. this is where tech SHOULD come in but people are ignorant… what can i say? i lock myself out of places on purpose to keep others form tampering, because i know exactly the position of said lock.

    having said all of that, making one out of acrylic roxxorz… btw my next pc case=steel+wood+acrylic, sff with a full atx.

  2. I have no clue why I said touche.

    I agree what nachowarrior is saying, I see locks that are cheap, but stronger than the door itself.

    I made a bump key once using a dremel and tested it on my front door, then threw it away.

  3. The doors and locks that you see in the US are basically just the desire of contractors to build everything the absolute cheapest possible.

    There are some pretty impressive locks and doors out there. I live in Spain and the standard door here has 12 pins that connect one side of the door to a concrete frame and 3 1/2 inch plates that serve as a deadbolt on the other side. Thats the standard door! Its so strong that if you lock yourself out and you have a high security key then the only way in is to call the firemen and have them tear down the door.

    Just saying, more secure doors and locks are out there. You just have to spend the monies.

  4. What’s the point of a more secure lock on your average home? If the door is too hard to bust open, break a window or go around back where a lot of people have large glass doors.

    I think the locks on our houses are more to keep the average theif from just walking up and entering a house without contest, making it a little more obvious to neighbours when someone is picking a lock, kicking a door in, or breaking a window.

  5. saying whats the point in lockpicking is like saying whats the point in a rubix cube. its a fun puzzle that not a lot of people can do, especially on proper locks. all in all, you get what you pay for.

  6. man it’s bad when some ass hole kicks down your door. It was 500$ to replace our front door(with a shitty plane wood door). The locks a major piece of shit to start with. But what i’m saying – don’t be breaking down doors that shits pricey unless your living in the burbs with a standard sized everything.

  7. “that a forcefull shoulder will bust ANY door down by anyone who weighs 140 lbs or more.”

    I dare you to try that on my doors. You need to correct yourself in “will bust many low grade doors down” Any door? I think not, not by a long shot.

    My front door can take a 250 pound guy running full speed and nailing it hard without damage. It’s called a steel frame and a steel door with a real deadbolt and properly installed setup. not the el-crapo garbage sold at home improvement stores that grabs 1/4 inch of wood.

  8. That’s a really wicked little project that this fellow put together. I’m impressed and pleased with the result. It makes for a really great instructional aid.

    I should point out a couple terminology problems, however…

    1. The /pins/ of a standard lock are what can all also be known as “tumblers”… the part that rotates when the lock is operating is called the “plug”

    2. The varied cuts on a “blade” style key are called the “bitting” (and for those who are curious, can be described via manufacturer’s cut depths with simple integer numbers… zero is no cut, one is a very tiny cut, etc etc down to nine being the deepest cut. one lists the bitting values from the shoulder out to the tip if you are specifying them to another person, say a locksmith who is using a code-cutting machine to make a new key for you)

    Terrific work on the model… very creative and well-done. :-)

  9. Oh, and i neglected to respond to one other key point… something that appeared in the comment thread here.

    Some people have been debating the merits of using a high-quality (and thus possibly an expensive) lock in a cheap, easily-compromised door or the wisdom of putting a heavy lock and door on a house that will almost always have alternate routes of entry for a theif (like a window that can be broken)

    It is important to remember that locks (particularly very reliable, high security locks) act not just as deterrents or barriers but also as a SEAL upon your premises. If you leave for the night and your door is locked by a cheap lock, returning in the morning to see it still locked is not a guarantee that someone wasn’t there anyway.

    Surreptitious (also sometimes called “non destructive”) entry is a whole different category of security risk that some people seek to avoid.

    Using a heavy lock on a properly-installed solid-core door means that if someone wants to get in to your property (regardless of whether they’re a thief or an agent of the state attempting to search your home) they will have to BREAK in… shattering a window, etc.

    If you return home after a night away you may indeed find that someone has been there in your absence… but you will KNOW for sure that this is the case and then have the immediate opportunity to take whatever steps are then appropriate.

  10. Yeah, surreptitious entry is cool and all, but honestly, most criminals just want to steal your crap. They know they can leave any sort of mess they want, because they know the cops aren’t going to do anything about it.

    If you want to second-guess me, you can ask two of my co-workers who got their homes broken into. One of them had it happen twice in the same year.

  11. To make a home more secure, you put a good solid door and frame on all accessible exterior entrances and good locks on all those doors. Then you put window locks on all the windows. Then you put security screen doors/grilles on all exposed windows and doors (I personally like the stuff thats like fly-screen only a lot stronger). Then to finish it all, you put the stuff thats like window tinting except it stops the glass being smashed (and if you get the right kind, it can keep all the UV and heat out of the house too, great for hot climates). And you can also fit an alarm (maybe one of those ones that has guys watching it).

    Thats the way to make a residential house secure (it may be possible to do more but I doubt there is anything you could do that would be worth the investment)

    Even just the strong doors/frames, strong locks and window film on the glass should stop 99% of burglars (who don’t care who’s house they break into as long as it as has something they can steal to sell and make some cash)

  12. I have been picking locks for a while. I bought a lock pick kit just to give it a try and it has come in handy many times. I would have to disgree with the guy who said he could fix his kicked in door in 20 min., even the basic US suburb door that can be easily kicked open is not cheap to repair. Even if you do it yourself and use cheap components its NOT a 20 minute process. My house is probably lacking in the security department mainly because I have old windows that would easily be compromised. Someone tried to break into my house before I lived there and the broken door was still in the garage. 1930’s hardwood frame decorative door with a window. The door’s wood cracked at the deadbolt and the door split in half. I’m not sure if this was the owner’s doing or if someone actually tried to break in but at least I know my door frames are good becasue there was no sign of any damage there.

    As someone who knows lock-picking in an amateur sence I would say if you want to get a new basic lock for your house and are limited in budget to what you can afford from the home depot or whatever take a look at the keys that come with the locks and find the one with the largest end profile and smallest center, this wont stop someone from kicking down the door but will give any inexperienced lock picker a hard time. Also consider installing a steel kickplate around the lock on cheap lightweight doors, this will diperse a kick through a larger portion of the door than just the 1/4″ of wood beside the deadbolt.

    If someone wants to get in they will, not much you can do about it, but a security system will either make them leave before they steal stuff or possibly get the police there before they do leave. We have had a couple people caught breaking into where I work. The security system makes no noise it just calls the police, the intruders were quite surprised.

  13. Awesome project this guy did, I’d like to make one if I had the tools.
    There are acrylic practice sets out there, I got one when I bought my first pick set. Can be found at the usual lock picking sites.

  14. this reminds me of the 4 locks on the safe in the spy museum in d.c. only they were not tumblers but combination locks with a timed reset.

    was pretty cool, I wonder who they had make them.

Leave a Reply

Please be kind and respectful to help make the comments section excellent. (Comment Policy)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.