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What material are the bumpkey.us keys made of?


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#1 gabedachink

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Posted 25 August 2006 - 12:03 PM

Anybody order keys from this site?



#2 Customer Support

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Posted 25 August 2006 - 01:29 PM

Anybody order keys from this site?

I was wondering if they were steel or brass, because if they were made of brass, i'd rather buy a set from ebay.



I'm the owner of BumpKey.US and I can answer that question.

All of our keys are made of solid brass that's had a silver coating applied.

It's VERY expensive and VERY time consuming to use steel keys. Using solid steel will really tear up key cutting machines *not something we want!*
To my knowledge, only a very select few keys are made from solid steel (post office box keys and safety deposit box keys, for example). Most keys you see may look like they are steel but in all actuality they are really brass. I was told once the easiest way to tell if your keys are brass or steel is to grab a magnet, if it sticks you've got a steel key, if not its brass.

Furthermore - buying bump keys on eBay is now against their TOS. The link you posted was to an old auction.

Hope this sheds some light on your dilema.

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


#3 bumpfiend

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Posted 25 August 2006 - 02:27 PM

I have never bought a bump key, but through research online, trial and error, I now have a substantial collection of keys - and a substantial collection of successes (90%+). However, I can understand some people might be going out of their mind not knowing if it's their technique or their keys, but failure is how we learn. Familiarise yourself with locks and traditional picking, get to know what you're working with and it will come. We now have lovely things like the internet to share our failures and successes and everyone wins.
Making them yourself will increase your knowledge of what you're doing and improve your relationship with the practice. This can only be good for everyone concerned (except the lock manufacturers who have had the carpet ripped from under them and can no longer justify 100$£'s for security that isn't, well, secure
chris

#4 bcguy

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Posted 06 December 2006 - 11:31 AM

First time caller!

Wouldn't Stainless Steel be MUCH better? The stuff is nearly indestructible. Has anyone checked into the feasibility of machining bump keys from stainless?

I realize that key cutting machines wouldn't work very well - however, any decent machine shop would have milling machines capable of the task. Of course, a set of Stainless Steel keys would cost more - however they would be worth it.

Brass is SOFT and brittle - Stainless isn't = keys would last virtually FOREVER.

#5 theopratr

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Posted 06 December 2006 - 12:56 PM

First time caller!

Wouldn't Stainless Steel be MUCH better? The stuff is nearly indestructible. Has anyone checked into the feasibility of machining bump keys from stainless?

I realize that key cutting machines wouldn't work very well - however, any decent machine shop would have milling machines capable of the task. Of course, a set of Stainless Steel keys would cost more - however they would be worth it.

Brass is SOFT and brittle - Stainless isn't = keys would last virtually FOREVER.


I've never had a problem using the coated brass keys. Sure, they're soft and if you really beat the hell out of them, they may wear to the point of being unserviceable... so make a copy for less than a dollar, and your problem is solved.

Stainless keys would, however, be fantastic. However, due to the logistics of finding stainless key blanks (they are relatively rare for normal keyways) and the time/effort/expense of someone cutting them down, I don't think anyone would buy them, as the price would be restrictive, to say the least.

If you ever hear of anyone making them and selling them for a reasonable price, let us know.

#6 Kristic

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Posted 06 December 2006 - 12:58 PM

First time caller!

Wouldn't Stainless Steel be MUCH better? The stuff is nearly indestructible. Has anyone checked into the feasibility of machining bump keys from stainless?

I realize that key cutting machines wouldn't work very well - however, any decent machine shop would have milling machines capable of the task. Of course, a set of Stainless Steel keys would cost more - however they would be worth it.

Brass is SOFT and brittle - Stainless isn't = keys would last virtually FOREVER.


I'm sure there is a reason for not using stainless steel. Likely, it is because it would tear key machines up

#7 Customer Support

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Posted 06 December 2006 - 02:22 PM

I'm sure there is a reason for not using stainless steel. Likely, it is because it would tear key machines up


Right.

If you tried to cut a steel key it would DESTROY any normal cutting wheel. It's just that simple. The price of the key would more than double, thus making it out of pretty much everyone's reach.

Hope this helps ;D

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


#8 bcguy

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Posted 08 December 2006 - 12:19 AM

I don't think anyone has caught on to what I have been trying to say here.

1. I wasn't referring to using locksmith equipment in order to manufacture the blanks ~ OR to make the "999" cuts. WHY take a blank manufactured by a machinist to a locksmith in order to make the final cuts? WHEN the machinist can make more precise cuts with the machines at his/her disposal.

The reason for this is OBVIOUS - keycutting equipment is designed for milling BRASS = Milling equipment for cutting/shaping Stainless i MUCH more suited for this work.
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2. Because of the fact that Stainless is a MUCH tougher alloy - the "Bump key" wouldn't need to be an exact replica of a standard key. In fact, the ONLY part part necessary that would need to be copied - is the business side of the key that has the "999" cuts on it (that comes into contact with the pins.

There would be no need to have any part of the key below the area that comes in contact with the pins.

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I know that there are still some people that don't exactly know what it is that I'm talking about. ALL it is - is a theory after all.
You don't have to be insulting in your answers / advice.

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My question is THIS, Would this reduce the amount of Bump Keys necessary to complete a full set?

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Photo (forgive me for the crudeness of my pic - I have NEVER been an Adobe freak). The colored in portion of the keys - would be the area that was removed - thereby increasing the amount of locks each particular key would fit into.


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#9 Kevio

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Posted 08 December 2006 - 01:56 AM

I'm not an expert on locks...so this is just my opinion.

I don't think that could be possible. I think the locks are made to fit a certain type of key, therefore, that key is the only thing that can be inserted into the lock.
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Yea...I posted the 1337th article on the forum.

#10 Kristic

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Posted 08 December 2006 - 06:57 AM

Well, bump keys are made from blank keys, and blank keys are made from brass. Why? Because its a lot cheaper to manufacture. Brass keys are still string, and don't break often, especially when not bumping. So if they made Stainless Steel keys, for bumping, it would already be in trouble, because it would be something made for the sole purpose of opening locks that you don't have keys to.

#11 theopratr

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Posted 08 December 2006 - 02:47 PM

Removing the blade of the key for bumping would require some experimentation. In theory it certainly could work. Since the blade keeps the key securely in the lock, however, I think you might run into problems with the device not staying level within the keyway, which could cause some serious damage.

And then there's what Kristic said about having something which is clearly not a key, but a bypass device that doesn't technically fit any lock.

With some tweaking, however, I think it could be made to work. The fact that there is no key blade would reduce the amount of force you would need to use to get a good transfer of energy to the pins, due to reduced friction. Perhaps if you left a piece of the blade large enough to still rest in the lock without jiggling about, it would fit more keyways and overcome the problem of not staying level.

The idea is interesting, as though it wouldn't greatly increase the number of locks the key would fit into (due to pin separations, blank diameters, etc.), it could essentially make a master bump key for a specific brand of locks. (Like the SC20 is to Schlage locks.)

And as for stainless steel - don't get me wrong, I think it would be sick to have stainless keys. Most people here are probably not too excited about it as the brass keys are working just fine. I think it would make a great project though. :D

#12 cidkato

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Posted 12 December 2006 - 03:54 PM

This idea certainly is intriguing; however, I like having bump keys made out of brass because they are so malleable. You can make a crudely cut key that eventually works as a bump key because of the pins hitting the brass and leaving a mark. Eventually these marks help make the key bump much easier.

No bump key is perfect, so the fact that these keys do take the shape of the pins is rather important.

Nevertheless, this idea is definitely something to look in to.

#13 theopratr

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Posted 13 December 2006 - 04:35 PM

I made an SC-20 bump key with the bulk of the blade removed. I'll post pictures once my camera is charged up.

Problems that I ran into included:

1.) I initially shaved too much of the blade off, such that it was too weak... had I tried to use it, the blade would have snapped off in the lock when I turned it.

2.) The key doesn't sit well in the lock. Without the rest of the blade to sit on, the key doesn't like to stay level when bumping. It works, but is far less reliable than a normal bumpkey.

The conclusion I've come to is that this method of shaving off the blade is worth pursuing, but is of limited application... i.e. you'd only want one of these keys if you were really unsure of what kind of lock you were going to encounter and needed one key to encompass a whole brand of locks.

#14 Master Cutter

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Posted 18 December 2006 - 04:48 PM

Hello all
Regarding cutting the bottoms of the key to increase profile range (see a few posts up). I cut the keys at the UK bump key forum and we experimented with this too, trying to create a truly universal bump key. The problems were pretty much the same. The keys were to weak (we too use brass or brass coated keys. Steel keys will wreck your locks before you've learned how to do it. Most pins are brass, having a stronger metal key would just wear them slowly out of order. Also, there was to much 'drop' in the keys. You'll notice rim cylinder/pin tumbler keys have a flat bottom, that's why. Our remedy - to increase the profile range of our keys - was to take metal off the sides of the profile. See the (rather crude) diagram below.

Posted Image

1 - shows normal profile
2 - bump key (loss of top of profile)
3 - 'thinning' of profile (shown within 'normal' profile
regards
Master Cutter

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#15 Customer Support

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Posted 18 December 2006 - 05:19 PM

If you take a look at the key path of an SC 20 key, you'll find that it is actually ALOT thinner \ skinnier than a 'normal' key (SC4, anyone?). Our SC20 is made of a Nickel Silver (I believe) that's ALOT stronger than a normal brass key. This nickel silver key is needed or else you'll just break the key when you apply tension.

Because they're so hard.. it actually is a BIG pain to cut these keys. It takes ALOT longer, and more skill is required.

Normal SC20 keys, that come from Schlage are made of STEEL... Nickel Silver is the next best thing and works quite well. ;)

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


#16 C0wT1pp3r

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Posted 23 February 2007 - 03:22 PM

brass keys are more common and you can make them yourself

#17 v12v12

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Posted 03 April 2007 - 01:14 PM

If you take a look at the key path of an SC 20 key, you'll find that it is actually ALOT thinner \ skinnier than a 'normal' key (SC4, anyone?). Our SC20 is made of a Nickel Silver (I believe) that's ALOT stronger than a normal brass key. This nickel silver key is needed or else you'll just break the key when you apply tension.

Because they're so hard.. it actually is a BIG pain to cut these keys. It takes ALOT longer, and more skill is required.

Normal SC20 keys, that come from Schlage are made of STEEL... Nickel Silver is the next best thing and works quite well. ;)


Okay I have a pretty solid background in materials (Materials Science Engineering major) using SS (stainless) would be optimal for wear and corrosion resistance regarding a master-key: someone mentioned about wearing of the pins with in the lock... The friction produced from (keyword) SMOOTHED steel against brass pins in that small instance of force is minute enough to not even be a concernable... it's like taking the pin and tapping it against steel plate 1000's of times before you'd have any degradation before the shape effects the ability of the pin to make the shearline. Being that nobody is going to be bumping the same lock 100's over and over. It's not really a problem. But in general SS (depending on the alloy mixture) will wear brass, but with only significant impact and or non-smoothed surfaces (also consider using oil/lube and not dry bumping).

Far as machining them... a CNC mill will cut with 10x the precision and milling SS isn't a big deal at all with current tungsten bits or TiN/C/TiNAlC bits... which are maybe $10-20 a piece. It's a matter of getting a sheet of SS that's of the same thickness of the key blank and having the machine scan the pre-made Bump-key (laser, many modern shops have this as it saves a ton of time!) and letting the machine make the cut, which would take under 1min on a serious mill. Alternatively using an EDM would be even more precise for cutting the space "business" end... then a mill for the key way profile.... Again it's a very simple task for a even a mediocre machinist, but machine access is VERY expensive for most persons as shops usually only do bulk orders. Unless you can bribe a guy with some cash and some nice brew ;-)

On that note about coatings... having a set of keys that's been TiN (Titanium Nitride) coated would actually be more beneficial being that it's VERY hard and also has a "slickness" to it's surface that actually reduces friction between the material it's intended to contact with... my main interest in getting said SS/Coated key is for a dependable MASTER set I can just get copies made from and not have to worry about the master wearing from Hdepot/Lowe_s copier... :-) Copy wears, so what get another one for $1 made :-D

I hope you guys can offer more keys like the seller from hereherehere that has the 25key set. I don't want to deal with hereherehere nor any of these other shady places. :-) thanks all.

#18 Chucklz

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Posted 01 May 2007 - 11:37 PM

You cannot remove much of what you have blanked out in that photo and still have the keys fit properly into the locks they were designed for. Very few locks rely on the bottom of the keyway for proper alignment of the key in the lock, most rely on one or more of the side wards for this. Removing any of these wards may make bumping alot more difficult.

Oh, and if you can get them use Nickel Silver blanks for cutting bump keys. they are much stronger and much more durable than brass keys.

Oh, and SlickJ, those keys are not Silver coated. It might be bright and shiny and silver colored, but it isn't Silver.

#19 WOT

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Posted 28 May 2007 - 04:18 PM

Brass turnishes into brownish yellow, but nickel silver holds the freshly polished brass look over time.

The difference between brass and nickel silver is clear after they've been allowed to tarnish. Freshly polished brass looks similar to nickel silver, but still slightly yellower.

Posted Image

The shiny silver ones that are silver as silverwear are nickel plated brass keys. Their only advantage is that they maintain the brand new look for a long time.

#20 WOT

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Posted 28 May 2007 - 04:33 PM

Ok, so I can't edit after 10 minutes....

In my experience, nickel silver is just as easy as brass to work with and you won't notice the difference on the key machine. The hardness is about the same. You can scratch each other (brass & nickel silver) and they both leave a scratch mark, which indicates the hardness is about the same. When there's a substantial difference in hardness, such as steel vs brass, you can scratch brass with steel, but not the other way around.

If slickj finds his nickel silver is a lot more difficult to work with, his keys aren't the same nickel silver alloy I'm familiar with (Kaba Ilco, Kustom and Best Access Systems brand nickel silver keys).