Billiards Rules: everything you Need to Know

Most wafer locks are made to very loose tolerances and have relatively open keyways, however, and are very easy to pick. If just one pin sets at the “other” shear line, the lock will not open even though all the pin stacks are picked. Because there are two independent shear lines, there is no way to control, or even tell, at which shear line a given pin stack sets. If you’re having trouble, you may be pushing adjacent pins up past the shear line as you pick a pin, causing them to be overset even before they start to bind. Picking locks with spool and mushroom pins takes practice, both to recognize them and to effectively neutralize them when they are encountered. Become comfortable with this before you try picking this lock with torque or you could bend or break your picks. Again, try to find and lift all the pins with the different hook picks without applying any torque. Some lock manufacturers and locksmiths install special “security pins” intended to resist lock picking. Rubbing exploits this by simulating several passes of pin-at-a-time picking in a few “strokes” across the pin stacks.

The first sign of spool and mushroom pins is that the lock will appear to be picked, but will only turn a few degrees. Gradually ease up on the torque, allowing pins to drop one at a time. The two shear lines are keyed independently by a “double height” pin stack, with one set of cuts keyed to each. Raking, in contrast, what is billiards is a class of picking techniques in which several pin stack may be set at the shear line simultaneously. Master keying does not introduce any significant complications for lock picking. Most pin tumbler cylinders can be “master keyed” to allow more than one key bitting to operate it. Other lock types include “European profile” cylinders, master keyed locks, master ring and SFIC cylinders, tubular pin tumbler locks, dimple-key pin tumbler locks, pin tumbler locks with secondary locking mechanisms, wafer tumbler locks, disk tumbler locks, lever tumbler locks, combination locks, and electronic locks. In fact, master keyed pin stacks are easier to pick than those that are single-keyed; there are two chances to lift a cut to the shear line. Master ring cylinders (which are no longer in common commercial production but were once marketed by Corbin) use this mechanism to provide independently-keyed master keying.

Their security ranges from being quite rudimentary to being among the most formidable locks in commercial use. Not all locks use a physical key. Very “wavy” rake picks can simulate various key profiles, and can be surprisingly successful at opening poorly-made locks. You may find one of the smaller LAB hook picks to be easier here than the larger Peterson picks, although you can usually still pick this keyway with the small Peterson hook. To pick this keyway, you’ll need a small hook pick and a bit of twisting as you lift. The Peterson “Reach” deep curve pick works well for this keyway, pivoting from the bottom of the keyway at the front. There are locks with two, five, and six pins in each keyway, but the keying codes aren’t labeled on them. Serrated pins can be very difficult to neutralize. Fouls in billiards can occur in various ways, such as pocketing the cue ball, failing to hit any ball, or causing the cue ball to leave the table. In most cases, players earn points by pocketing numbered balls, with the 8-ball typically serving as the game-winning ball.

As the peaks hit the pin stacks, energy is transferred from the bottom pins to the top pins, much like the action of the cue ball in billiards. Better quality locks are less forgiving of too much torque. While a fairly wide range of torque will sometimes pick these locks, try find the lightest torque that works. When you’ve mastered the SX locks, try the “Schlage SC” keyway locks. If not successful, invert the pick and try again with the inverted profile. A common door lock mechanism in Europe uses a standardized “European profile” lock module. While the pin tumbler cylinder is by far the most popular door locking mechanism in the United States, it is not the only kind of keyed lock in common use. SFIC cylinders (such as those made by Best), used in large institutional lock systems, employ a similar mechanism to provide two kinds of keys: regular keys that operate the lock and control keys that unlock and remove the cylinder core itself.

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