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Combination Lock Shims


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#1 GoldStar611

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Posted 16 April 2007 - 07:50 PM

So here goes my first post, and it's quite strangely not about key bumping :P. Anyways, All the shims I have made get pretty garbaged up after one use, and I usually have to discard it. (I think I used one 3 times once). Am I making my shims too shallow or are they curved a bit too much? Thanks

#2 sniper101

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Posted 16 April 2007 - 08:01 PM

That is the usuall "life span" of shims. I usually get 2-3 uses out of all the shims i make. However I experimented with different cans, and with shims maed of RebBull cans, i can get about 5-6 uses. A tip that helped me improve the amount my shims lasted is, make them shorter, and skinnier. By that I mean, wide-ways, so that the shims doesn't have to wrap around the shackle to much, causing less damage to it.

#3 GoldStar611

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Posted 16 April 2007 - 08:41 PM

sweet, yeah I found out that the skinnier ones worked a tad bit better, but up to a point. Also, a few masterlocks I've ran into had a tight opening where the shackle goes and I couldn't get my coke can shim in. I'm sure there's a way to get it in without ruining it.

#4 theopratr

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Posted 16 April 2007 - 09:57 PM

The use of stronger materials helps a lot, but can be prohibitively expensive for the casual experimenter. In terms of cost effectiveness, making a large batch of "throw away" Coke/Red Bull shims makes sense, where they are to be used on double-latching padlocks, or higher quality locks. If you want to spend the money on commercial ones, they are a bit on the expensive side for what they are, but if you use them only on appropriate locks (most combo locks, single latching locks, cheap double latching locks) they will last almost indefinitely, where as the Coke can shims would still be rather quickly ruined even by these cheap locks.

#5 Joe42

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Posted 16 April 2007 - 11:02 PM

I've made a few shims from soda cans and have never found a single padlock that has enough space around the shackle to get the shim in. Master combo locks have absolutely no free space at all, at least not the ones I have.

The few locks I've been able to get a shim into were still too tight to allow the shim to go all the way down, so the shim always crumpled.

On top of that, I've never seen anyone successfully use a shim on any lock, only heard of it being done.

Personally, I think places that sell shims are just robbing people since they simply don't fit any lock I've ever seen. Better stick to picking and bumping.

#6 theopratr

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Posted 16 April 2007 - 11:17 PM

Bumping is generally fast and often effective, picking is slower but almost always effective... shimming, when it works, is faster than bumping, but has only limited applications.

Most mid-grade locks are double latching, which makes shimming difficult, if not impossible. What's worse is that the double latchers almost invariably damage the shims. When there are two latches involved, shimming is a much slower, more difficult process. Thus, I tend to keep it down to just the combo locks, which are slow to open any other way, and to cheap single-latch padlocks. It often helps to work the shackle around when trying to get the shim in; once it's in and buried in the lock it tends to work.

When shimming does work, however, it's lightning fast. I can open a combo lock I've never seen in a tenth of the time it takes someone who knows the proper combination to open it.

Some of the places selling shims are rip offs. A lot of the shims are just too flimsy to work, and, in rather ironic rather, some others work just fine but are made out of a very low grade steel such that they tend to oxidize over time, even when still sealed in the poly bag, as to make them unusable. Thus, when dealing with shims, buyer beware.

I made a nasty set out of manganese steel sheet that have yet to fail me, and I've blown through several dozen coke cans making crude, one-time-use instruments.

#7 BLK

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Posted 17 April 2007 - 08:15 AM

I like the "BOLT CUTTER" approach. Less mess. No nasty cuts from sharp can shards. No broken off pieces of coke can stuck down inside a shackle guide. And the locks are not that expensive to replace.
Bump it to the next level.

#8 sniper101

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Posted 17 April 2007 - 10:20 AM

The Bolt cutter will never fail, but you cant be carrying that around in your pocket. I was wondering, if There is some way(Other than destroying or cutting Lol) to bypass a dudley combination lock. I am curious because this thread brought me to experiment with shims once again, & I noticed that Dudleys use a different type of mechanism.

#9 ViralYouth

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Posted 08 August 2007 - 12:38 AM

I recommend that you buy professionally made shims. They're really useful and work really well.

#10 locksmith673

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Posted 06 December 2008 - 12:49 PM

my school uses thoes locks that are super easy to shim... and we Have to use them... i hate it... so i Shimmed Proffed my lock :)

#11 Tharayman

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 08:17 AM

Who is selling the best shims then? I am really eager to try this out now :D