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Donald Trumps Immigration Lies

There is so much misinformation out there about the Trump administration’s new “zero tolerance” policy that requires criminal prosecution, which then warrants the separating of parents and children at the border. Before responding to a post defending this policy, please do your research.

Myth 1: This is not a new policy and was practiced under Obama and Clinton –

FALSE. The policy to separate parents and children is new and was instituted on 4/6/2018. It was the brainchild of John Kelly and Stephen Miller to serve as a deterrent for undocumented immigration, approved by Trump, and adopted by Sessions. Prior administrations detained migrant families, but didn’t have a practice of forcibly separating parents from their children unless the adults were deemed unfit.…/press-rele…/file/1049751/download…

Myth 2: This is the only way to deter undocumented immigration –

FALSE. Annual trends show that arrests for undocumented entry are at a 46 year low, and undocumented crossings dropped in 2007, with a net loss (more people leaving than arriving). Deportations have increased steadily though (spiking in 1996 and more recently), because several laws that were passed since 1996 have made it legally more difficult to gain legal status for people already here, and thus increased their deportations (I address this later under the myth that it’s the Democrats’ fault). What we mostly have now are people crossing the border illegally because they’ve already been hired by a US company, or because they are seeking political asylum. Economic migrants come to this country because our country has kept the demand going. But again, many of these people impacted by Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy appear to be political asylum-seekers.…/arrests-for-illegal-border-crossings-…

Myth 3: Most of the people coming across the border are just trying to take advantage of our country by taking our jobs –

FALSE. Most of the parents who have been impacted by Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy have presented themselves as political asylum-seekers at a U.S. port-of-entry, from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. Rather than processing their claims, they have been taken into custody on the spot and had their children ripped from their arms. The ACLU alleges that this practice violates the Asylum Act, and the UN asserts that it violates the UN Treaty on the State of Refugees, one of the few treaties the US has ratified. This is an illegal act on the part of the United States government, not to mention morally and ethically reprehensible.…/meatpackers-profits-hinge-on-pool…

Myth 4: We’re a country that respects the Rule of Law, and if people break the law, this is what they get –

FALSE. We are a country that has an above-ground system of immigration and an underground system. Our government (under both parties) has always been aware that US companies recruit workers in the poorest parts of Mexico for cheap labor, and ICE (and its predecessor INS) has looked the other way because this underground economy benefits our country to the tune of billions of dollars annually. Thus, even though the majority of people crossing the border now are asylum-seekers, those who are economic migrants (migrant workers) likely have been recruited here to do jobs Americans will not do.…/Donald-Trumps-wall-ign…/2621477498203/

Myth 5 : The children have to be separated from their parents because there parents must be arrested and it would be cruel to put children in jail with their parents –

FALSE. First, in the case of economic migrants crossing the border illegally, criminal prosecution has not been the legal norm, and families have been kept together at all cost. Also, crossing the border without documentation is a typically a misdemeanor not requiring arrest, but rather a civil proceeding. Additionally, parents who have been detained have historically been detained with their children in ICE “family residential centers,” again, for civil processing. The Trump administration’s shift in policy is for political purposes only, not legal ones. See p. 18:…/ms-l-v-ice-plaintiffs-opposition-def…

Myth 6: We have rampant fraud in our asylum process the proof of which is the significant increase we have in the number of people applying for asylum.

FALSE. The increase in asylum seekers is a direct result of the increase in civil conflict and violence across the globe. While some people may believe that we shouldn’t allow any refugees into our country because “it’s not our problem,” neither our current asylum law, nor our ideological foundation as a country support such an isolationist approach. There is very little evidence to support Sessions’ claim that abuse of our asylum-seeking policies is rampant. Also, what Sessions failed to mention is that the majority of asylum seekers are from China, not South of the border. Here is a very fair and balanced assessment of his statements:…/jeff-sessions-claim-about-asyl…/

Myth 7: The Democrats caused this, “it’s their law.”

FALSE. Neither the Republicans nor the Democrats caused this, the Trump administration did (although the Republicans could fix this today, and have refused). I believe what this myth refers to is the passage of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act, which were both passed under Clinton in 1996. These laws essentially made unauthorized entry into the US a crime (typically a misdemeanor for first-time offenders), but under both Republicans and Democrats, these cases were handled through civil deportation proceedings, not a criminal proceeding, which did not require separation. And again, even in cases where detainment was required, families were always kept together in family residential centers, unless the parents were deemed unfit (as mentioned above). Thus, Trump’s assertion that he hates this policy but has no choice but to separate the parents from their children, because the Democrats “gave us this law” is false and nothing more than propaganda designed to compel negotiation on bad policy.…/trump-democrats-us-border-m…

Myth 7: The parents and children will be reunited shortly, once the parents’ court cases are finalized.

FALSE. Criminal court is a vastly different beast than civil court proceedings. Also, the children are being processed as unaccompanied minors (“unaccompanied alien children”), which typically means they are sent into the custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), which is part of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHS). Under normal circumstances when a child enters the country without his or her parent, ORR attempts to locate a family member within a few weeks, and the child is then released to a family member, or if a family member cannot be located, the child is placed in a residential center (anywhere in the country), or in some cases, foster care. Prior to Trump’s new policy, ORR was operating at 95% capacity, and they simply cannot effectively manage the influx of 2000+ children, some as young as 4 months. Also, keep in mind, these are not unaccompanied minor children, they have parents. There is great legal ambiguity on how and even whether the parents will get their children back because we are in uncharted territory right now. According to the ACLU lawsuit (see below), there is currently no easy vehicle for reuniting parents with their children. Additionally, according to a May 2018 report, numerous cases of verbal, physical and sexual abuse were found to have occurred in these residential centers.…/aclu-obtains-documents-showing-wides…

Myth 8: This policy is legal.

LIKELY FALSE. The ACLU filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration on 5/6/18, and a recent court ruling denied the government’s motion to dismiss the suit. The judge deciding the case stated that the Trump Administration policy is “brutal, offensive, and fails to comport with traditional notions of fair play and decency.” The case is moving forward because it was deemed to have legal merit.…/aclu-suit-over-child-separation…

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World War II Service Food Menus and Base Brochures

Service Food Menus

Oftentimes different units would create service menus for special occasions such as Christmas, Thanksgiving or New Years. These are some examples

Travel Base Brochure

Below is base brochure handed out to personnel when they arrived at base and are expecting to stay awhile. This one is from Harmon Field in Stephenville, Newfoundland. Dated Feb, 1945

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World War II Birthday and Holiday and Postcards

Birthday Cards

Valentines Day Cards


These could often be found at post exchanges or other on base facilities.

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Yoast Live Test Post

In the current landscape, more and more is being asked of the NHS whilst resources continue to dwindle. Procurement, Commercial and Finance functions are having to make budgets stretch further and further each year, which means making decisions on strategic procurements is a real minefield.

On top of this, we are seeing an increase across Public Sector procurement in the number of contract awards being challenged. And it’s usually on minor errors such as a failure to adequately record rationale or follow process.  Bidding organisations are getting better and better at challenging when losing bids, leading to an increase in costs for the Authority and delays in getting vital products and services in place.

All in all, the current climate for NHS procurement teams is a tough one. In this blog I’ll share my thoughts on how, through successful use of technology, you can still deliver best possible

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outcomes and value for money on your complex procurements.

Traditionally, Excel spreadsheets are used to manage tender evaluations and to record the procurement decisions made. However, using spreadsheets can:

  • Lead to vulnerabilities and weaknesses in the robustness of the process
  • Undermine best practice
  • Result in a lack of clear and transparent audit trail for decisions and activities throughout the competition

When arriving at a decision and debriefing bidders at the end of a competition, there are many and varied data sets that inform the competition. (From ITx documentation, clarifications, issues raised by evaluators, rationale, to weightings and bid documentation). These are difficult, time consuming and costly to pull together in a spreadsheet, let alone from e-Sourcing tools, Outlook and other collaboration tools. This often makes decision making different and unclear. Separating the winning bid and the next best bid, or sometimes even the next two or three best bids can prove incredibly hard. This unfortunately opens up grounds for legal challenge.

There are many e-Procurement or e-Sourcing tools on the market which cover many of the processes required to successfully source goods and services. However, whilst many of these tools may have an evaluation capability, it tends to be fairly basic. And often it is aimed at providing an efficient mechanism for buyers to structure their decision-making with a limited set of criteria, individual reviewers or small teams of evaluators. Many even push out to Excel to manage the more complex procurements because they cannot manage the complex calculations or complex process that is inherent with a less than straight-forward evaluation. E-Sourcing tools are suited to a more tactical, commodity type of procurement where the cheapest compliant bidder is likely to be preferred.

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And so, in an ever challenging environment, why follow a process that puts you at risk of making the wrong decision, legal challenges and delivering poor value for money?

AWARD® is a SaaS solution which is specifically designed to support strategic procurement decision-making and mitigate your common challenges. Unlike spreadsheets, AWARD® is specifically designed to manage the collaborative and multi-dimensional nature of complex evaluation. It takes collaboration, weighting, multi-faceted scoring, the recording of rationale and moderation in its stride.

Throughout your procurement process, AWARD® provides a structured, transparent and robust approach, addressing value for money and assuring delivery of the best possible outcome. With controlled access and the ability to contain all competition data within the platform, AWARD® builds a solid audit trail to defend decision making. In addition, large teams of evaluators can be supported within the system, each with a unique log in. Individual criteria can also be assigned to individual evaluators. Their progress can be tracked throughout the evaluation allowing for efficient management of the process.

And so, in an increasingly demanding environment, AWARD® is here to make your job easier, your procurement outcomes better and deliver value for money. By leading you to clearer separation between the winning bid and the other bidders, you can confidently award your contract. With all the data in one place and a clear and transparent audit trail, debriefing unsuccessful bidders can be done at the touch of button. Thus, your decisions are kept safe from challenge and any legal fees.  

Best of all, to help you make further time-saving efficiencies, AWARD® can work in unison with e-Sourcing tools, such as Jaggaer and Proactis, to transfer all of the criteria and tender documents into AWARD®.

Using AWARD®, our Public Sector clients across the NHS, Ministry of Defence and wider Government have reduced their time to evaluate and award contracts by an average of 40%. They’re achieving better outcomes and protecting their decisions from legal challenge. To find out how you can too, contact me at

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Columbus Ohio Development and Growth Resources

Below are some links to websites that cover issues related to future development and growth for Columbus, Ohio

All Columbus Data

Columbus Underground


Columbus 2020

Columbus Development and Planning

Columbus Biz Journal

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UL-437 Requirements


All lock picking content is for educational and informational use only.

Underwriters Laboratories defines the different types of locks for which the specification applies.

Product: This refers to any type of lock or component defined within the standard:

Door Lock: This is a rim or mortise-type locking assembly that is used on doors to deter unauthorized opening by one or more of the following means:

∑ Jimmying the door;
∑ Picking;
∑ Impressioning techniques;
∑ Driving the locking cylinder or assembly;
∑ Sawing or drilling the lock bolt;
∑ Pulling the lock cylinder;
∑ Other methods that involve the use of small hand-tools.

Locking Cylinder: A key-cylinder that is used within door locks, alarm control switches, alarm shunt switches, utility locks, and similar devices to resist unauthorized opening by one or more of the following techniques:

∑ Picking;
∑ Impressioning techniques;
∑ Forcing methods;
∑ Pulling;
∑ Drilling the cylinder.

Security Container Key Lock: This is a lock that is designed for use on key-locked safes, collection safes, and similar security containers to resist methods of entry that include:

∑ Picking;
∑ Impressioning;
∑ Drilling;
∑ Pulling;
∑ Punching;
∑ Forcing methods.

General Construction and Operating Requirements

UL specifies a number of requirements that relate to the construction and operation of any lock that is certified under this standard. These include:

∑ The product shall be constructed so that it may be readily and conveniently operated when the proper key or keys are used;

∑ The lock must be practicable for installation by a trained locksmith, and able to be installed in a position or location that does not degrade its burglary-resistant qualities;

∑ Parts must maintain a high degree of tolerance and uniformity. This is especially important with regard to bittings.

Locks tested under UL 437 must be constructed of brass, bronze, stainless steel, or equivalent corrosion-resistant material, or shall have a protective finish that meets salt spray tests.

There are a number of common standards relating to locks and security containers, including requirements relating to nonmetallic parts, corrosion protection, and salt spray. These are described in UL 768.

Specific Requirements for Locks


Door locks and cylinders must be capable of at least 1000 key changes. Security containers must achieve significantly higher security levels, providing at least 1,000,000 differs for any design. Two-key locks require a minimum of 64 guard key changes, and at least 15,000 customer key changes for any design.

Security Container Key-Locks

Specific requirements for locks that are utilized on security containers include:

∑ Key shall be field changeable;
∑ The bolt lever must fit snugly on its post and shall be secured tightly;
∑ The fence face shall be perpendicular to the plane of the tumblers;
∑ The wheels, tumblers, levers, or pins shall run true, and be at right angles to their mounting post;
∑ Within a combination-lock, the clearance between the fence face and the tumbler wheels shall not be less than .025î (0.64 mm) when the bolt lever is raised by means of a driver cam, and not less than .015î (0.38 mm) when the bolt lever is raised by means other than a driver cam;
∑ Mechanical means must be provided that immobilizes the bolt if the lock is punched or pulled;
∑ The tolerance between plug and shell in a pin tumbler lock must be less than one cut depth.

Endurance Test

The lock shall function as intended during 10,000 complete cycles of operation at a rate not exceeding 50 cycles per minute;

A lock having a changeable core or field-changeable key design shall operate as intended after each of 50 changes of the core or key.

Attack Resistance Tests

Attack resistance tests encompass setup requirements, use of specified tools, timing, and entry methods.

Test Requirements

A number of tests have been defined to ascertain the attack resistance of a lock. UL 437 requires that a device cannot be opened or compromised as a result of the application or use of tools and techniques set forth in the standard, and summarized here.

Specific protocols have been devised with respect to mounting of samples to be tested. Door locks must be installed in accordance with the lock manufacturer’s instructions, in a 1-1/2î (38.1 mm) solid hardwood door of average size. The door is mounted in a 1-1/4î (38.1 mm) thick wood frame and reinforced as if actually installed. Door locks that are designed specifically for a certain door construction are to be tested in that mode.

The following test requirements apply for attack ratings:

∑ The tools used for these tests include any common hand tools, hand or portable electric tools, drills, saw blades, puller mechanisms, and picking tools. For door locks only, pry bars up to three feet (.9 meter) long are also to be employed;

∑ Tools that are used on two-key locks must not include saws, puller mechanisms, or portable electric drills;

∑ Common hand tools are defined as chisels, screwdrivers no more than 15î (380 mm) long, hammers having three-pound (1.36 kg) head weight, jaw-gripping wrenches, and pliers;

∑ Puller devices are to be either a slam-hammer mechanism, having a maximum head weight of three pounds (1.36 kg), or a screw type;

∑ Picking tools are common or standard patterns, as well as those designed for use on a particular make or design of cylinder;

∑ Portable electric tools are identified as high-speed handheld drills that meet the following criteria:
∑ Operate at a maximum of 1900 RPM;
∑ Maximum ºî (6.4 mm) chuck size;
∑ Use high-speed drill bits;
∑ Utilize electrically operated vibrating needles.

Test Time for Attack Resistance

Net times in minutes are specified for each type of test, and the lock upon which the procedure is to be performed. The sequence is not relevant, nor the number of methods to be applied. Samples may be tested for several techniques, or a new specimen may be utilized for each procedure. Below are the results in time it takes to work to break a lock.

TestDoor Locks/CylindersSecurity Container Key LocksTwo-Key Locks

Test Methods

There are eight methods of forced and direct entry that are defined within the Standard: picking, impressioning, forcing, drilling, sawing, prying, pulling, and driving. These have been previously described in Chapters 29-32.


Picking tools are employed in an attempt to align the active components, including tumblers, levers, wheels, or pins, in order to open the lock.


Methods of impressioning, as defined in Chapter 31, are employed in an attempt to produce working keys.


Rotary forces are applied with the test tools in three critical areas, in an attempt to open the target lock:
∑ In the key slot;
∑ On the exposed part of the cylinder;
∑ On the exposed portions of the lock assembly.


Drilling requires that a drill and one or more bits are utilized to attack the plug, exposed lock body, and other parts in an attempt to compromise critical components to effect an opening.


A saw is employed in an effort to cut, compromise, remove, and open critical components, including the plug, body of the cylinder, and lock bolt.


Tools are utilized in an attempt to pry the bolt out of engagement with the strike opening within a door lock assembly.


Techniques of pulling are directed at critical locking components including the plug, body, bolt, or other areas in order to compromise and open the device.


Driving is the opposite of pulling. Tools are utilized in an attempt to drive or force the plug, body of the lock, lock bolt, or other part to allow bypass of the mechanism.

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Modifying a SouthOrd 8-Pin Tubular Pick to a 7-Pin

All lock picking content is for educational and informational use only.

This was taken from a PDF and put into a more SEO friendly post.

Recently I purchased the SouthOrd Tubular 8 pick and the rubber handle just spun freely which seems to be a defect that anothe

Recently I purchased the SouthOrd Tubular 8 pick and the rubber handle just spun freely which seems to be a defect that another member also encountered. The loose handle actually worked in my favor. I removed it completely and was able to clamp it together between 2 pieces of wood to hold it steady while drilling. I used a drill press with a 1/16th drill bit and bought a 1/16th spring pin. The original pin and hole are just slightly smaller but replacing it with a 1/16th works just as well with NO difference. Below are some pictures of the procedure.

To hold the pick steady all I did was drill a 11/32 hole, which is slightly smaller than the diameter of the pick, and clamp it between two pieces of wood.

This close up picture sucks but I’m hoping to use my buddy’s camera that’ll take excellent close-up shots. If you look carefully you’ll see both pins in there.

Depending what type of lock you’ll be picking, you’ll have to remove one of these pins. I’ll try and have the new close-up pics posted by Tuesday.

Please note that removing the pin is easy enough with needle-nose pliers but putting it back in takes some time. To make it easier, I squeezed/squished the very tip of the pin so that it could be inserted easier in the hole. Once it’s there, just push the rest of the pin in by pushing the pick against a hard surface.

On the original 8-pin model, the spring pin is located between two of the sliding blades while on a 7-pin model the spring pin is located directly under one of the sliding blades. I drilled the whole about 90 degrees from the original spring pin.

The final product is an 8-pin tubular pick that will work on any 7 or 8 pin tubular lock!

To do this mod, it took me about 30 minutes and cost me less than $5.00 Cdn. The Crazy Glue was $1.69 and the 1/16th cobalt drill bit was $2.29. Not bad at all considering a new pick would run about $70.00 US.

Pdf of procedure can be obtained here.

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All lock picking content is for educational and informational use only.


On older Master Locks, ones where the arrow at the top is raised, simply
pull on the shackle and turn the dial until it catches, that’s the third
number in the combination.

On new locks with the recessed arrow, there are twelve places the dial will
catch if you turn it while pulling on the shackle. Seven of these will catch
between two numbers – ignore these. Find the five that catch on a number.
Four of these will end in the same digit, like 1, 11, 21, and 31. The fifth
ends with a different digit, and is the third number in the combination.


Using the last number, locate it in the “last number chart” below to see
which table to use to find the possible first and second numbers. Try each
of the number combinations until the lock opens. Here’s an example…

If the last number is 31 then you must use Table C according to the chart.
That means you must try the following combinations (see Try-Out Tables):

3 – 1 – 31
3 – 5 – 31
3 – 9 – 31
3 – 13 – 31
3 – 37 – 31
7 – 1 – 31
7 – 5 – 31
7 – 9 – 31
7 – 13 – 31
7 – 37 – 31
11 – 1 – 31
11 – 5 – 31
11 – 9 – 31
39 – 37 – 31



For those who care… (and yes, the last line in the table above was added).

Derived Formula:

input “Enter Last Number :”, LastNumber
FirstNumber = LastNumber MOD 4 + abs(LastNumber MOD 4 = 0) * 4
SecondNumber = (LastNumber + 2) MOD 4 + abs((LastNumber + 2) MOD 4) * 4
for i = 0 to 36 step 4
print (FirstNumber+i)abs(FirstNumber+i<40),(SecondNumber+i)abs

You might also be interested in an Impressioning Manuel.

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Impressioning Manual For Amateur Locksmiths

All lock picking content is for educational and informational use only.


1.1. Impressioning is a method of fitting a key to a lock without taking the lock apart. Basically, here is how it works: A key blank is inserted into the lock, then turned to bind the pins. When the pins are binding, the key is wiggled or moved to produce marks on the blank. If a pin is at the shear line it will not bind, and no marking will occur. When marks are found, the places on the blank which have marks are then filed. The marking and filing process is repeated as necessary to produce a working key which raises all the pins to the shear line, thus opening the lock. Although impressioning is not hard to learn, it does take some practice to develop the skill. Of course, the more you practice, the easier it gets!

1.2. How long does it take to impression a key? With practice and by making use of shortcuts, it is not unusual to be able to make a key in about 10 minutes. Some locks will take longer. Sometimes as little as 5 minutes is possible if you are both lucky and skilled. If you try to pick a lock, you don’t know in advance if it will take one minute or thirty. With impressioning, opening a lock is a more reliable and predictable process.


2.1. You can start out with any lock, but I will suggest starting with an average sized four-pin Master padlock. They are easy to impression, and blanks can be easily obtained at a hardware store. You should get more than one blank for practicing. Five is probably a reasonable number.

2.2. Below are some depth and spacing data for the Master padlock, which as you will see later, can be useful (although not necessary). The depths are measured from the bottom of the blade of the key, up to the bottom of the cut where a pin will rest.

Cut # Depth
0 .280″ 4 1 .265″ 5 2 .250″ 6 3 .235″ 7

Cut #

Depth .220″

.205″ .190″ .175″

The distance from the shoulder of the key to the first pin is .185″, and the spacing between pins is .125″ (you really don’t need these last two numbers, but they may be helpful references as you are first learning to recognize what the marks look like).

2.3. Another good approach to using a practice lock is similar to that sometimes recommended for learning picking: Get a lock cylinder and remove all the pin stacks but one. After you have impressioned the one pin lock, add another pin stack and try again. Continue adding pin stacks until you can impression the whole lock.

3.0. FILES

3.1. Six inch, #4 Swiss-cut round or pippin files are normally used for impressioning (the files are called 6″, but are actually about 8″ long including the tang). Both types of files taper down to a smaller cross- sectional size towards the tip. The round file is usually used in conjunction with a small flat or triangular file which is used to shape the flat sides of the cuts on a key. The pippin file has sort of a teardrop cross section, rounded on one side, and with two flat surfaces meeting at a knife edge on the other side. The flat surfaces are used like the flat file above to shape the sides of cuts.

Chances are that you won’t find these kind of files in your local hardware store, just because they have finer teeth that are required for most purposes. Locksmith suppliers carry them, of course. You can also get them through a machinist’s or jeweler’s supply house.

3.2. The particular #4 Swiss-cut pattern is used for impressioning work because it leaves a very fine, slightly dull, and slightly corrugated surface on the blank, which permits visible marks to be made by the pins rubbing on the blank with very little pressure. A few locksmiths use a #2 Swiss cut pattern because it cuts faster, but most authors specify the #4. Having tried both types, I strongly recommend the #4 also.

3.3. It is also a good idea to get a handle for the file, as it permits better and more comfortable control of the file. A file card is a special brush made to clean the teeth of a file. The soft brass of the key blanks tends to clog up the teeth on an impressioning file a little bit, which affects the quality of the fine surface you are trying to produce on the blank. Don’t be cheap – get a file card too.

3.4. A few tips on using files: Files cut only on the forward stroke. So, push the file slowly and evenly forward with gentle cutting pressure, and draw back the file without any cutting pressure. Particularly when impressioning, do not apply pressure when drawing back the file, as it tends to polish the surface of the blank (a dull surface is needed when impressioning). Hold the file with an extended index finger pushing down on the top edge of the file to control cutting pressure. Light cutting pressure will produce the finest finish for producing visible marks. Use heavier pressure to remove material rapidly, followed by lighter strokes to finish the surface for marking.


4.1. Soft brass blanks are the best for impressioning. Steel blanks are much harder than is desirable, and aluminum blanks develop fatigue cracks easily when using hard turning tension. If you can only find bright plated brass blanks, you will have to file the plating off the top of the blade with your impressioning file. Only file deep enough to remove the plating, because with some locks a #0 cut requires the full un-cut height of the blade. With the plain brass blanks, you also need to smooth the top of the blade with your impressioning file in order to leave a surface that will show marks – just be careful not to take off too much.

note: Some lock manufacturers use #0 and others use #1 to indicate the highest depth cut. For consistency, #0 will be used in this manual when referring to the highest depth cut (unless otherwise noted), which is equal to or very close to the full un-cut height of the blade of the key blank. A #1 cut refers to a cut which is one step lower than the un-cut height of the blank.

4.2. Some people like to prepare the blanks by either thinning them down in width with a flat file, or knife edging the top of the blade. In both cases the idea is that a very thin piece of metal can more easily be deformed than a thick one. In the case of thinning down the blade, it can also be wiggled around more in the keyway. When thinning a blade, do not thin the area immediately adjacent to the shoulder of the blank where the blade enters the keyway. You will be applying hard turning tension on the blank later and it is important not to weaken it at the point where most of the turning stress is applied.

Knife edging is used more often when the pull-out method (more about this method below in section 5.5.) of obtaining marks is to be used. Knife edging is used to thin only the top of the blade to make the initial marks more visible. To knife edge the blade, file both sides of the top

the blade at about a 45 degree angle. The idea is not to make it really sharp like a knife, just to make the edge weak enough to mark more easily on the top surface.

4.3. As an example of the utility of knife edging or thinning, I took a new blank for a Master padlock and prepared the flat top surface of the blade with my impressioning file. After some wiggling, I could see one mark at the tip of the blade, which is enough to start with. But, I then knife edged the blade and wiggled some more. This time I could easily see marks from all four pins. With the knife edging, less wiggling was required and the marks were much more visible.


5.1. There are three commonly used methods for making the marks. They are called wiggling, tapping, and pulling. In each of the methods, the blank is inserted in the keyway, then turned hard to bind the pins. Usually turning pressure is applied in the direction you want the lock to open, but you can try both directions to see which leaves better marks. It is important to make sure that the blank is evenly seated on the bottom of the keyway before applying turning pressure. If you are holding it tilted, some of the pins will already be pushed up and won’t leave any marks.

5.2. When impressioning, you will need something to hold the blank because of the repeated hard turning tension used (the tension is harder than is used for picking, but not hard enough to break the blank). A small pair of vice-grips (no larger than the 5″ size) works well. Attach the vice-grips like a handle, aligned with the long the axis of the key blade (not at a right angle like a turning wrench). There are also some commercially made handles for impressioning. There is at least one with a trigger handle to help pull out the blank uniformly each time, when using the pull-out method.

5.3. Wiggling is accomplished by applying turning tension, then wiggling the blank up and down causing the top of the blank to rub against the tips of the bound lower pins.

5.4. Tapping is a variation of wiggling. The blank is inserted into the keyway, then a steel rod is placed in the hole in the bow (handle) of the key to provide turning tension. A small mallet is used to tap on the bow to make the impressions. Tapping on the top of the bow pushes up the tip of the key by lever action, and tapping on the bottom of the bow pushes up the back of the key by direct action.

5.5. The pull-out method only works after you have cut down to at least a #1 depth, hence the popularity of knife edging the blank, then using the wiggle method to see if there are any #0 cuts to start with. To use the pull-out method, apply turning tension, then pull out on the blank (don’t try this method on disk or wafer locks, because the disks may bend or break). Unlike the wiggle and tapping methods, the marks produced by pulling will not be exactly where the pins are, the distance away being related to how far you pull the blank out (maybe 1/16″). For this reason it is helpful to scribe lines down the side of the blank after the pin locations are found by the wiggle method, to use as a reference when filing. The advantage of the pull-out method is that it can leave more easily visible marks than the previously mentioned methods.

5.6. There is more than one way to implement the pull-out method. One technique involves attaching a C-clamp to the bow, then using the C- clamp to provide turning tension on the blank. A screwdriver is placed between the side of the bottom end of the C-clamp and the face of the lock, then the screwdriver is twisted to pry the C-clamp (and therefore the blank) in a direction out from the face of the lock (no more than about 1/16″).

5.7. An effective hybrid approach is to first put turning pressure on the blank, then add pulling pressure (without actually pulling the blank out enough to start making marks – the pressure is just take up any slack between the blank and the pins and to put more tension on the pins) using your vice-grips or a commercial impressioning handle, then bump or tap the blank up and down to make the marks stand out more than more than they would otherwise. Remember to file where the pins are, as with other pull-out techniques (see section 5.5. above).

5.8. There is an optimum amount of turning tension to apply to the blank for any particular lock. It is the rubbing action of the pins against the blank that polishes the surface of the blank to produce the little marks used for impressioning. If too little tension is used, the pins will move too easily and not mark. If too much turning tension is used, the pins will jam and not mark – the pins have to be able to move a little to polish the blank’s surface.

5.9 You will have better control of the impressioning action if you hold the blank and handle with your hand up near the head of the blank and the face of the lock, rather than having your hand farther away.

5.10. Wrist action, rather than action from the elbow is more effective in moving the blank within the keyway to produce marks – the recommended action is more to tilt the key up and down from the wrist with a bit of a snap, verses just lifting and lowering the blank.


6.1. The mere act of preparing the flat top of a soft brass blank with an impressioning file, inserting the blank in a lock and removing it, without any wiggling or turning, will leave marks on the blank. There will be some streak marks where the pins have dragged across the specially prepared surface. Try it and you will know these marks look like so you will not confuse them later with the useful marks.

6.2. The useful marks you get are not really depressions in the surface of the blank (except maybe when a pin is almost at the shear line – if you start seeing deep gouges, the lock is probably about to open). A mark is normally just a subtle change in the reflectivity of the surface of the blank. The impressioning file leaves a slightly dull finish, and marking will slightly polish it. To see the marks turn the blank in the light. When you hold it at the right angle, the marks appear as little tiny shiny dots. They can be hard to see in bright light, so if working outdoors, sun glasses may be helpful. Some people like to use a magnifier to see the tiny dots – even with a magnifier, you still have to turn the blank in the light just right to see the marks. With a little practice, you will locate the marks very quickly.

6.3. If impressioning a dirty or weathered lock, you may find little specks of debris on the surface of the blank after marking. If there any doubt as to what you are looking at, wipe off the top of the blank to see if you actually have a mark rather than a tiny speck of dirt.


7.1. The rule for filing marks is simple. If you see a mark, you file there – if not, you don’t (except when using the pull-out method – in which case if you see a mark, you file where the pins are; see section 5.5., above). Whatever you do, don’t be tempted to guess – if you’re not sure if you have a mark or not, don’t file there. Work on making and seeing the marks first.

7.2. File only 2 or 3 strokes at a time before looking for more marks, because you only have to file a cut a few thousandths of an inch too deep, to pass by the shear line (a shortcut, allowing more filing at one time, follows in section 8.1.).

7.3. As the cuts are filed deeper the sides of the cuts will start to become parallel with each other, looking something like the letter U. If you leave them that way the key will get stuck in the lock. Use a flat file, or the flat side of your pippin file to angle the sides the cuts at about a 45 degree angle from vertical, making the sides of the cuts look more like the letter V. The bottoms of the cuts should remain rounded. It can be helpful to look at some other keys, then try to duplicate the shape of the cuts.

7.4. Some locks have fat pins and some lock have skinnier pins. There seems to be a natural tendency to use the middle part of the file, leaving fairly wide cuts. The cuts only need to have a radius a little bigger than the radius of the pin tips. For locks with skinny pins, try using the file more towards the tip, where it is narrower.

7.5. If you can see more than one mark at a time, it is ok to file them all at once or one at a time.

7.6. Sometimes a pin will stop marking before it reaches the shear line. So, don’t be surprised when a pin that has stopped marking starts marking again after some of the other pins have been brought to down the shear line. Just keep filing until the pin stops marking again.


8.1. For locks that are factory keyed, only certain standard pin depths are used. The standard pin depths are listed in “depth and spacing” manuals and code books available from locksmith suppliers. You can also figure out what the standard depths are (within certain tolerances) by measuring the cut depths on other keys for the same type of lock you are working on. If you think a lock is keyed to factory depths, there is no reason to look for new marks after only two or three file strokes. If you get a mark at some standard depth #n, then just file down the cut to the next standard depth, #n+1, and look for marks again.

It is helpful to have a key micrometer or dial caliper to measure the depths. A key machine can be used to speed up the impressioning process by quickly cutting down to the next standard depth. Punch type code machines, such as the Clipper are especially useful out in the field. If you use a machine to make the cuts, you will need to lightly touch up the surface of the cut with your impressioning file before looking for more marks.


9.1. Some locks use “short pins” for the #0 depth ~ #2 depth cuts. When short pins are present, you can look into the keyway and see the dividing line between the upper and lower pins. It is possible to “read” the short pins to determine the depth of cuts needed on the blank without any impressioning being required.

9.2. To identify the short pins visually, use a flashlight (or an otoscope, if you have one) and a straight pick, lift up all the pins as high as they will go, then look into the keyway. Withdraw the pick slowly to drop the pins one at a time. If you see the dividing line on a pin stack, depending on it’s position in the keyway you can estimate the depth of cut for that pin from your experience with other locks of the same type, without doing any impressioning all. Again, if you are familiar with the particular type of lock, and you don’t see any dividing lines at all, then you will know that you can start by filing down all the cuts to perhaps the #1 depth or maybe the #2 depth, etc., because you know that none of the cuts can be any shallower than that.

9.3. Another way to find the short pins is to use a probe. The probe is a straight pick, filed to a sharp point. Mine has a blade length of about 1-1/4″ long. The height of the blade is about .055″ at a distance of 1/2″ from the tip. My probe has a series of dots down the side to measure how deep it is in the lock. To use the probe, lift up all the pins as high as they will go, then pull out the probe until the last pin drops. Slide the probe down the side of the pin and stop if you feel a dividing point between upper and lower pins. Note at which reference dot the probe is at, then push it all the way into the gap between the upper and lower pins. Note how much farther the probe has moved into the keyway. By measuring how far you can push the probe into the gap, you can measure the size of the gap, and therefore determine the cut depth for that particular pin. Repeat the process for each pin. As an example, I have found that a #1 cut on a Schlage “C” keyway will barely probe – the dividing line can be felt, but the probe cannot be pushed between the upper and lower pins. In the same lock a #0 cut has a gap of about .020″ – .025″, which means that my probe can be pushed in a little less than 1/4″. The Master padlock can also be probed: My particular probe will enter the gap of a #1 depth pin stack about 3/16″, and will go in farther for a #0 depth pin stack.

9.4. Probing can also be used to assist picking. If you can tell which pins are short and which are longer before you start picking, you will have a better idea how you are going to need to manipulate the pins.

9.5. Probing will leave little scratches on the side of the pins, but it doesn’t hurt the lock.


10.1. Upper spool pins are no problem because the upper pins never go below the shear line when impressioning. A few locks have lower spool pins. Using the probe you can often feel the shoulder of the spool, which feels different than a short pin because of it’s shape. If you find a lower spool pin, file down the cut for that pin until it stops marking. Impression all the other pins normally. When only the spool in is left to be impressioned the plug will turn a little and catch on the spool pin. At that point, file down the cut for the spool pin until it starts to mark again. Then continue filing it just a little bit more to bring the dividing line between the upper and lower pins down into alignment with the shear line.


11.1. Due to the stresses encountered during impressioning, sometimes a blank will start to crack, usually on the blade near the shoulder where it just enters the lock. If this happens, stop – you don’t want a broken-off key in the lock to extract. You can duplicate the cracked blank on a machine or by hand, then continue impressioning with the new blank. If you don’t have a key machine, or a key micrometer for duplicating the cracked key, there is an old method you can use: Smoke the blade of the cracked key blank over a candle, covering it with soot. Clamp it next to a new blank using a vice, C-clamp, vice-grips, etc., then file down the new blank until you just start to hit the soot on the old key blank. As soon as you start to scrape off the soot, stop filing. It is important not to go too deep.

11.2. If you are cracking blanks more than occasionally, you probably are using too much turning pressure. Strive for moderation – just enough pressure to make the marks.

11.3. Turning and wiggling a blank in one direction, then turning the other way and wiggling again tends to fatigue the blank faster than working in only one direction. So, especially watch for cracks if you are using both directions.

11.4. If you accidentally make a cut a little too deep, there a couple of ways to try to save the blank. It can be peened with a small hammer or pin punch on the side of the blade, just below the bottom of the cut to raise the bottom of the cut, or a little solder can be added to the bottom of the cut. Solder is very soft, however, and won’t last long. So a duplicate will need to be made from your impressioned key pretty soon.

11.5. If you find that you have lowered a particular cut to the maximum depth (e.g. #9) without finding the shear line, you obviously have filed too far. To save the good part of your work, duplicate the blank except for the one overly-deep cut, then continue impressioning with the duplicate blank.


12.1. After you have impressioned one lock in a master key system, the other locks will probably have only two or three pins with different depth cuts. If you impression a few different locks you will soon have a master key at some level.


13.1. A lock that has been oiled can be extremely hard to impression. A long time ago, gasoline was used to flush out a dirty lock. Today, some no-residue electronics spray cleaner would probably work well. After flushing out the lock, you can speed up the drying by blowing some air into the keyway. There are canned compressed air “dusters” which are suitable for this purpose.

  2. 14.1.  Disk tumbler (wafer) locks can be easily impressioned using the same techniques

described for pin tumbler locks. However, pull-out techniques should not be used because of possible damage to the disks.

14.2. Typically, a little less turning pressure is used when impressioning disk locks as compared to pin tumbler locks.

14.3. The impression marks made by disk locks may look different than the marks made by pin tumbler locks. Depending on exactly how the disk is contacting the blank, you can get anything from a small dot at the edge of the blank, to a straight line across the width of the blank.

14.4. Sometimes it is possible to determine the key cut depths for a disk lock without doing any impressioning at all. The technique is called “reading” the lock, and with practice it can be done in seconds. To read a disk lock, use a straight pick to lift up all the tumblers. Slowly pull out the pick watching each tumbler as it falls. You will see that some disks protrude further down into the keyway than others. Typical disk locks use 5 different depths, numbered #1 through #5, with a #1 cut being at or near to the full height of the key blade, and a #5 cut being the deepest. The #1 tumblers protrude the least amount into the keyway and the #5 cuts protrude the most. By comparing the amount each disk protrudes with respect to the other disks, and with respect to landmarks in the keyway (such as the side warding), it is possible to estimate the depth # of the cut. Usually, the difference between cut depths for disk locks ranges between .015″ – .025″, with .020″ being very common. Here are some common depths:

cut # depth cut # depth

  1. 1  .240″ 4 .180″
  2. 2  .220″ 5 .160″
  3. 3  .200″

Specific depths for particular locks can be found in “depth and spacing” manuals, or by taking measurements on keys for other locks of the same type.

14.5. A disk tumbler lock must be in it’s shell to be read properly, because the tumblers must be resting in the shell slot to be read correctly.


15.1. Using the same basic principles as are used for pin tumbler and disk tumbler locks, many other types of locks can be impressioned also. Without going into detail about particular specialized techniques, some other types of locks that have been impressioned include:

Warded locks
Lever locks
Tubular locks
Chicago double bitted 11-wafer locks Double-sided wafer locks

GM sidebar locks Sargent Keso locks Medeco locks


The part of the key that is inserted into the lock.

A key before any cuts have been made, or a key that is not fully cut and is thus not yet operational.

The handle of the key.

“V” shaped notches cut out from the top of the blade for the purpose of raising the pins up to the shear line.

The depth of a cut is measured from the bottom of the blade up to the bottom of a cut. Depths are numbered starting with #0 (or sometimes #1) as the highest depth.

Long narrow milled out areas along the sides of the blade to allow the blade to bypass the wards in the keyway.

The part of the plug where you insert the key.

Lower pins
The pins of a lock that contact the cuts on the key. Also called bottom pins.

Pin stack
The combination of a lower pin sitting beneath an upper pin. In master keyed locks, additional master pins may be located between the lower and upper pins.

The part of the lock that you put the key into, and which turns to operate the lock.

Shear line
The dividing line between the plug and the shell (the height to which the tops of the lower pins must be raised to open the lock).

The outer part of the lock that surrounds the plug.

The edge of the key that touches the face of the lock to define how far the key is inserted into the lock.

Spool pin
A pin that has a groove cut around it’s periphery. The groove is intended to catch at the shear line as a deterrent to picking.

The end of a file where a handle is to be attached.

The very end of part of the key that you stick into the lock first.

Upper pins
The pins in a lock that sit on top of the lower pins. Also called top pins.

Protrusions that stick out of the sides of the keyway to allow entry of only the correct type of key blank.


S. A. McLean, “The Impression System of Key Fitting”, Dire Locksmith Supply Co., 2201 Broadway, Denver, Colorado 808205, 1946

“Locksmithing and Keymaking Course Manual”, Locksmithing Institute, Little Falls, New Jersey, 1968

“Padlock Handbook”, Locksmith Ledger, 2720 Des Plaines Ave., Des Plaines, Ill., 60018, 1970

“How To Do It For Locksmiths”, Locksmith Ledger, 1800 Oakton St., Des Plaines, Ill., 60018, 1971

“Know How for Locksmiths”, Locksmith Ledger, 1970

“The Lock Pick Design Manual”, Paladin Press, P.O. Box 1307, Boulder, Colorado 80302, circa 1975

T. C. Mickley, “Lock Servicing, Volume 4”, Locksmith Ledger, 850 Busse Highway, Park Ridge, IL 60068, 1980

Eddie the Wire, “How to Make Your Own Professional Lock Tools, Volume 2”, Loompanics Unlimited, P.O. Box 1197, Port Townsend, WA 98368, 1981

Hank Spicer, “Impressioning with Hankman”, RSG Publishing Corp., Dallas, Texas, 1995

18.0. Copyright

This work may be copied for non-profit educational use only.

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