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OFFICIAL THREAD: can't get bump keys to work


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#41 Guest_tofudeliveryshop_*

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Posted 22 December 2006 - 01:43 PM

i made my key wrong...

heres what it looks like.

Posted Image

is there any possible way to fix it or should i just start off with a new one?

im thinking about just asking home depot to cut it the lowest level. but i dont know...they might refuse to sell it to me?

at least when i bought one at ace hardware they questioned me. i had to make up some excuse.

anyways. lemme know. thanks.

#42 Customer Support

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Posted 22 December 2006 - 02:11 PM

I've found that the Kwikset KW1 keyway's we use here for bump testing have a pretty big tolerance for different keys \ spacing. I'm able to successfully (and rather easily) bump our KW1 lock with the following keys: AR1, AR4, DE6, KW1, and KW10 . We'll have a video up that demonstrates that soon.

I can't really tell from your images as to the spacing and depth. BUT before you go destroying your key \ getting a new one... this should be of some help. Take out your micrometer and see what spacing and depths you've got.

KWIKSET

SHOULDER TO FIRST CUT: .247''
CENTER TO CENTER: .150''

TITAN -- SHOULDER TO FIRST CUT: .097''
CENTER TO CENTER: .150''

MACS: 4

ROOT BOTTOM MASTER
DEPTH PINS PINS
----- ------ ------
# 1 .329 .172 .023
# 2 .306 .195 .046
# 3 .283 .218 .069
# 4 .260 .241 .092
# 5 .237 .264 .115
# 6 .214 .287 ***
# 7 .191 .310

James K. - Lead Support
For Order specific questions please use the 'contact us' link at the top of our store.


#43 theopratr

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Posted 22 December 2006 - 02:12 PM

Did you make that guy from scratch? Or was it purchased?

#44 theopratr

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Posted 22 December 2006 - 02:13 PM

I can't really tell from your images as to the spacing and depth. BUT before you go destroying your key \ getting a new one... this should be of some help. Take out your micrometer and see what spacing and depths you've got.


Ha! Posted at the same time. My thoughts exactly.

#45 Customer Support

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Posted 22 December 2006 - 02:14 PM

Ha! Posted at the same time. My thoughts exactly.


Just beat you ;)

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#46 mentos

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Posted 04 January 2007 - 06:37 PM

hey guys i'm very new to this, today i tried making a schlage bump key but it didn't open anything, so i came on a question: do the mountaintops or peaks have to be the same hight?

#47 ropeadope

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Posted 04 January 2007 - 07:22 PM

Been 3 or 4 months since I discovered bump keying, and after at least 1000 attempts, trying everything differently you could think of, not one successful bump, nothing, nadda. I just can't believe it. Everything i've read and watched, I can't bump any kind of lock. It has to be these keys right? I might of got ripped off from ebay both times. The keys look like bump keys (posted a pic earlier) but they must not be exactly right. I can't believe I haven't had one successful bump on my kwikset or masterlock, it's really aggrivating. Anyone live around the Tucson area that could meet up with me and help me out maybe? I'm pretty sure it's just these keys, otherwise I know for sure I would of had at least one successful bump by now. I've read everything, watched all the videos, I'm 99% sure I'm doing it correctly, just nothing happening at all, and it's killing me :(

Maybe someone wouldn't mind sending me a bump key that they KNOW works for sure? Doesn't have to be modified at all, as long as you're sure it works (been tested), I'll be glad to buy it. Just need a 5 pin kwikset bump key.

#48 theopratr

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Posted 06 January 2007 - 01:29 AM

Ropeadope:

Do you feel like it's difficult to get your bumpkey in or out of the lock, more so than the key that's made for the lock?

The pictures you posted aren't very big, but it looks as though the bumps on the key are cut in the shape of a house (going vertical on either side with a triangle on top) more so than a complete triangle, with smooth transfer between the resting surface of the pin to the midway of the front side of the peak.

When I make my own keys I run into the issue sometimes if I hadn't filed down the grooves enough and I finish it with a square file. This creates a flat surface against which it is difficult to surpass a pin, much less bump it.

If you'd like, post another BIGGER picture (or just provide the link to a larger image) and I'll check it for relative measurements.

Also, when you're attempting to bump: apply appropriate tension to the key, give it a whack and then hold it, never having released tension. Then carefully listen as you slowly release the tension. If the key is even close to being right, you should hear a series of clicks. Each click is a pin dropping... if the lock doesn't open, you should hear four or less. Let me know how many you generally hear.

Should a complete check-up for your key fail to fix your problem and get you bumping locks, I'd be happy to mail you a copy of one of mine. *Unmodified, as to suit federal regulations, of course.*

#49 ropeadope

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Posted 07 January 2007 - 06:03 PM

Heya, thanks for the big reply theopratr. Finally some good news from me...i've successfully bumped many times now :D - however, I've only bumped using Masterlock (I got a masterlock key). I haven't been able to try much masterlock bumping in the past as I don't have one of my own, there was one I could walk to but i'm sure people would get real suspicious if they saw me trying to bump it :P - So before I only had been able to try bumping a masterlock about 30 times. Now I have one of my own and it didn't take me long to get my first bump, and now i can do it about 1 out of 5 times.

I was really hoping I could translate my newly aquired skill for use on my Kwikset locks. Unfortunately, it didn't carry over. Still feel like i'm not even getting close to bumping any of my kwikset locks (using my kwikset bump keys). So I think there still might be some incompatibility with these kwikset bump keys and my kwikset locks, it just doesn't feel right when trying to bump. I've tried 95% of all my bumping on my own home kwikset locks with no luck at all. So i'm still kinda clueless there. At least I can bump masterlocks now with not much trouble.

I'll try and get more pics up when I can, I'm kinda having computer troubles now, and I don't even have my Digi camera with me...it's not the best camera anyways for closeups.

#50 Fredflank

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 10:17 PM

Posted Image



I have no idea if the above link will work or not, as it's my first attempt to link a photo via imageshack. Some of the previous posts have voiced frustration with kwickset keys, and this post is an attempt to address their concerns. If this worked, the above photo shows three keys. The top is a purchased bump key. The middle is a #5 depth key (yes, I know it's not the deepest cut...). I duplicated the #5 key on a key machine, using a 1mm shim so that the cuts on the bottom key would be 1mm forward. The use of the shim eliminates the need to modify the key--in other words, it doesn't need to have it's tip and shoulder filed. After copying, I hand filed the cuts using a small round file to slightly below #6 depth. The net result is the bottom key. The finished product on the bottom has cuts at or below the #6 (deepest depth) level, but the peaks are slightly higher than the original (top) bump key. For whatever reason, this seems to have done the trick. I couldn't open anything with the top key (even with a KEH2). I can open anything with the bottom key. Examining the bottom key under bright light with a magnifier, I can see that the pin strikes are at least 3/4 of the way up, closer to the peaks than to the bottoms. Anyway, hope the photo (if it shows up), or this explanation (if it makes sense...) helps those that are having difficulties with the kwickset. I've had an opportunity to learn a lot from reading the forum posts, and thought I'd try to help out. Regards.

#51 Fredflank

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 10:24 PM

Oh, and before I forget...
Ropeadope...don't bump your locks at home. If you are hitting them as much as your posts suggest, you'll end up locking yourself out of the house. Go to the hardware store and buy a kwickset deadbolt for $10. :)

#52 ropeadope

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 11:23 PM

Thanks for the info. So kwikset keys with 6 depth cuts work much better than the 999 kwikset key? I could definitely believe it. Where will I be able to find a 6 depth key though? Did you really file that one? I can't believe anyone could actually file bump keys with any success.

Yeah, I'm a cheap bastard :P - Already spent like $25 on this bump key endeavor and don't want to waste any more on it if it's definitely not going to work. I leave my doors open when I'm trying to bump them, so I don't get locked out.

#53 BLK

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Posted 09 January 2007 - 05:40 AM

Posted Image



I have no idea if the above link will work or not, as it's my first attempt to link a photo via imageshack. Some of the previous posts have voiced frustration with kwickset keys, and this post is an attempt to address their concerns. If this worked, the above photo shows three keys. The top is a purchased bump key. The middle is a #5 depth key (yes, I know it's not the deepest cut...). I duplicated the #5 key on a key machine, using a 1mm shim so that the cuts on the bottom key would be 1mm forward. The use of the shim eliminates the need to modify the key--in other words, it doesn't need to have it's tip and shoulder filed. After copying, I hand filed the cuts using a small round file to slightly below #6 depth. The net result is the bottom key. The finished product on the bottom has cuts at or below the #6 (deepest depth) level, but the peaks are slightly higher than the original (top) bump key. For whatever reason, this seems to have done the trick. I couldn't open anything with the top key (even with a KEH2). I can open anything with the bottom key. Examining the bottom key under bright light with a magnifier, I can see that the pin strikes are at least 3/4 of the way up, closer to the peaks than to the bottoms. Anyway, hope the photo (if it shows up), or this explanation (if it makes sense...) helps those that are having difficulties with the kwickset. I've had an opportunity to learn a lot from reading the forum posts, and thought I'd try to help out. Regards.


This is just the strangest thing. I do not see what the problem is with standard cut keys not working. I only use a 777 KW1 key, unmodified (not filed at the tip and shoulder) and I have not found a KwikSet lock that would not open for me. I pick locks when I have time or the customer is watching, but if no one is around, I bump it. Bumping is so much quicker and typically I have to take the lock apart anyway to rekey it, so I check the lock for damage and excessive wear. (As a side note, I have not seen any damage from bumping KwikSet locks using the pull out method.)

I must have 30 old KwikSet locks that I have taken off of customers' doors and replaced with new locks. I have bumped every single one of these old locks, successfuly, on the 2nd or 3rd hit. I just do not understand why or how a standard cut 777 KwikSet key cannot be successfully used. I feel certain that the solution is a simple one, but I have no idea why this thread exists!?!

There are only 3 parts to key bumping: 1. a lock that works under normal conditions, 2. a key that is cut properly and 3. technique--proper tension and proper force of the hit. That is it.

Well, it is after 6:30 am and I am late for an early morning rekey. Reread the previous paragraph: there are only 3 parts to key bumping...the answer to why you are not able to bump a lock is in that paragraph somewhere.

I hope this helps in some way.

Paul
Certified, Licensed, Bonded
Locksmith Services
Bump it to the next level.

#54 theopratr

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Posted 09 January 2007 - 01:11 PM

Thanks for the info. So kwikset keys with 6 depth cuts work much better than the 999 kwikset key? I could definitely believe it. Where will I be able to find a 6 depth key though? Did you really file that one? I can't believe anyone could actually file bump keys with any success.

Yeah, I'm a cheap bastard :P - Already spent like $25 on this bump key endeavor and don't want to waste any more on it if it's definitely not going to work. I leave my doors open when I'm trying to bump them, so I don't get locked out.


A purchased bump key is going to be cut to the lowest factory depth... 999 is a misnomer. In the case of the Kwikset, you'd receive a 666. In many cases, the only problem is in the key not quite being cut as low as it should be, and the problem is generally solved by taking a little more off the grooves. Otherwise, if one pin is very low within the lock, the bottom pin could start above the shearline and make the entire bumping process very difficult.

And you can file bump keys with great success. The vast majority of my masters (about three dozen of them) are hand made. The best idea is to use a 1mm square file for where the pins sit, and a larger ~3mm flat file to form the peaks on the key.

The risk of getting locked out extends past keeping the door open. If you're striking your lock with too much force, eventually the operating components (pins, springs, etc.) will wear out, and you'll get locked out when you use the real key.

Best of luck!

#55 ropeadope

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 07:09 PM

You're very helpful theopratr, not just to me but to everyone here.

I took some pics earlier of my kwikset keys, I hope this shows something wrong that I can fix, because I still haven't ever been close to bumping a kwikset. I can bump 2 different masterlocks, so I know my method is right.

Ok, here's my keys:
Posted Image
The one on the left is the original unmodified bump key, the one in the middle is a copied and modified bump key, the last key is a heavily (and probably too much) filed bump key. All 5 pin kwikset keys.

Another pic
http://www.freewebs....cluck/bump3.JPG

A pic of my original house key and orig bump key:
http://www.freewebs....cluck/bump1.JPG

Hope this helps, thanks. I haven't tried bumping any other locks besides masterlocks (which didn't take too long) and kwikset locks, which I mentioned I haven't even been close to bumping, or so I think.

#56 theopratr

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Posted 16 January 2007 - 01:23 AM

You're almost there. The key on the far right in the image of the three keys is the closest. On your original, the peaks appear to be rounded a bit, making it so that when the pins hit the peaks, it's not a smooth transfer. The closer you come to the perfectly sloped peak where the energy transfer is smooth, the less the bottom pins will move, the more effectively the top pins will be shot above the shear line, and the better your chances are for a successful bump.

You could certainly fix the original key on the far left by taking a straight file and, without changing the relative sizes of the peaks themselves, make them more triangular. (By this I mean just file down the sides of the peaks a bit... leave the grooves alone.)

Your filed key has great peaks, but it looks like it could take some filing down in the grooves. All of my working Kwikset keys have the grooves filed all the way down to the solid blade of the key. I can see just a little bit is still left on that key. Take a circular file and just bring those down a to meet with the fatter part of the key. It's only a very small adjustment... a fraction of a millimeter, but it could help.

Posted Image

I've colored in what I described for clarity. The blue is removing the large peak on the key, which I talk about below.

In the next picture, the image to the left on top is a normal bump key resting in a lock. The one underneath it shows how a proper slope on your grooves will transfer energy upwards, while the next image shows how a slope that's too steep simply stops your key in the lock and doesn't transfer energy except into the pins... in the wrong direction. You want your energy transferring upwards into the pins, not through them.

The image on the right shows a comparison of how much needs to be shaved off both tip and shoulder. The shoulder isn't show, obviously. The amount you need to shave off is equal to the length from the pin's center resting position to where you want it to end up on the pin... between half and three quarters of the way up. Take that measurement (shown in red) and apply it to your tip and shoulder. Thus, your key may actually benefit from a little more filing.

Posted Image

In both images I show keys without a large front peak... that's just how I make my keys, and I find that it helps when using the pull out method. Some might argue it, and I know that it usually works with the peak intact, but I find it helps immensely.

Let me know if you have any more questions.

#57 ropeadope

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Posted 16 January 2007 - 10:34 PM

Hey, big thanks for the reply, It helped me out, and I'm sure it will help many others having problems in the future as well.

Still having no luck unfortunately. I filed down the first peak of the 'heavily' filed bump key to match the others exactly, but I don't have the tools to file down the grooves, I guess I need to get a smaller file. I'm using an XX Slim taper file. I don't think they get any smaller :P

What's bugging me now is, I can't understand how anyone could file their own bump key, when it has to be so perfect to actually have a chance of working. Can people file so incredibly precisely? If not, why don't people just file their own keys to exactly match the keys that use the locks they are trying to bump? I mentioned earlier I've bumped two different masterlocks. I have two masterlock bump keys, both look exactly the same to me, yet one works much better than the other. I really cannot see any difference, as much as I look. So it's hard for me to understand how people could actually file their own bump keys when if it's not exactly right, it won't work. And why do I need to file my kwikset keys when I didn't need to file the masterlock keys at all? The masterlock keys worked without any filing. I have been trying both the minimal movement and pullback method when testing. 70% of the time I tried the pullback method. I've not once successfully bumped a kwikset lock, over 1000 attempts. None of that makes any sense to me, but enough ranting for now :P


I have no idea how close I am to bumping, maybe I'm close, maybe I've nowhere near being close and something is completely wrong. I found this video earlier of a guy bumping a kwikset:
http://video.google....&q=kwikset bump

I noticed he turns the key left both times. He puts pressure on the key as so to turn the key left when bumping. I'm a little confused by this. Shouldn't he be pressuring the key to turn right as he bumps?

Can't belive I still haven't bumped a kwikset lock, there's 3 different ones here and I've tried using all of them at different times. It's depressing :P - I don't know why I can't do it. Out of all the different bump keys/methods i've tried, I should have been able to bump it by now.

I tried to get a pic of how I filed the bump key (the one in the right of the picture), I took about 10 pics and they all came out too blurry to see anything.

#58 theopratr

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Posted 17 January 2007 - 12:23 AM

The key to filing your own keys successfully is understanding exactly what needs to happen inside the lock. The preface to reliable bumping is an exacting knowledge of locks in general.

The pins in the lock are suspended in very specific places within the lock. That is to say, they are very precisely separated. You can find these measurements for each lock on the Internet. However, the bottom pins are still suspended. Therefore, if your grooves are lower than where the pins are "resting", that's fine, because the peak will still hit the pin while bumping, giving you the energy transfer, resulting in the desired effect. Take a look into your Kwikset locks. Notice the first pin in the lock. If the groove for that first pin is lower than where the pin is without a key in the lock, you certainly won't be pushing that pin above the shear line when bumping. (Your groove, however, must be tall enough to hit that pin.)

As a result, to make your own key by filing, you need about an hour set aside and a lot of careful work. If you start with a pre-cut spare key that you're willing to destroy in the name of bumping, you have an advantage. With a spare key that has already been cut, you know exactly where the grooves and peaks should appear, as they are already present on your key. Given, they're to the incorrect heights for bumping, but that's where your file comes in.

Generally the lowest cut groove is on or just above the fatter, blade part of the key. So, by filing down each groove to a millimeter or so into the blade, and leaving nicely formed small peaks in between, you can fabricate a working (however crude) bump key without any fancy machines or fanatical measuring. So in conclusion, it's not so much precision that plays a part in making the key as it is knowing what's important to make the key work (separation of grooves, sufficient groove depth, proper slope of the peaks, etc.).

In the video you refer to, the person is using an unmounted cylinder. Without being mounted, the lock is not attached to a deadbolt assembly, etc., and thus has no stop in the back to prevent it from turning at all. Thus, that particular lock could be bumped in either direction.

As for your padlock keys, it's possible that there's an infinitesimally small difference in how deep the grooves are cut, the angle of the peaks, etc. such a pin starts above the shear line, or the energy transfer doesn't work as well, respectively. I'd have to see the keys. :)

And the files that you use aren't terribly important, as long as you use them properly. The files which I've referred to in the past are actually a $7 set of six small files, complete with nylon carrying case and handle, available from your local home depot. For the grooves, a small circular or square file is ideal so that you have a relatively uniformly deep cut.

Again, best of luck. I'm about two posts away from just sending you a Kwikset key lol.

Remember, light tension and a moderate tap. That's all it takes. :wink:

#59 ropeadope

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Posted 19 January 2007 - 08:55 AM

Thanks again. I'm somewhat confident I can get this key working, I don't want you to have to mail me a key, since you've already helped out so much. I just need to file down the grooves I guess. I will not buy bump keys on fleabay in the future :?

I have trouble filing with my xx slim triangular file, it always files two different parts of the key at once it seems. I might just try and use this one, but if I get a new file, what shape/size should I look at? Guess I could just take my key along to the shop and see what file would fit better in the grooves.

#60 theopratr

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Posted 19 January 2007 - 11:28 AM

I most commonly use four files. One just has a flat surface, about 3 mm wide. It's pointed at the end, but that's irrelevant, because I just use the body of it for giving the proper angle to the grooves. I have a triangular one for actually cutting down the grooves on an pre-cut key, it seems to be the best for filing straight down into the key without losing relative position. I have a 1 mm square key for finishing or deepening grooves, and a 1 mm circular file for a cheap trick to lower the grooves and finish the peaks at the same time.

And if you want a key for comparison, just PM me. I have like, 80 Kwikset bump keys, and a first class stamp is still relatively inexpensive.