The Only REAL Paperclip Lockpick!

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Introduction: The Only REAL Paperclip Lockpick!

Tired of your old bendy paperclip "lockpicks". Well here's an easy way to make paperclip lockpicks...that wont bend!

*You shouldn't be a meanie and go rob people, blah blah blah..

(don't you hate it when people put those dumb disclaimers?!?)

Step 1: Gather Your Junk!

All you need to get started is:

-a paperclip

-a gas torch

-a glass of cool water (important)

-a box of matches

-a pair of pliers

-a pair of wire cutters

Step 2: Bend the Clip!

Use your hands to bend out the paperclip like this:

Step 3: Cut the Clip!

Use your wire cutters to cut the paperclip right where the inner-loop comes back around...

Step 4: Bend the Clip Some More!

Using your pliers, bend the tip of your clip into whatever shape your heart desires. The picture shows a basic curved pick.

Step 5: Heat the Clip!

Turn on your torch so very little gas comes on. Light a match and slowly bring it to the tip of the torch. Using your pliers run the paperclip back and forth so that the outside becomes charred and it starts to glow.

Step 6: Cool the Clip!

Very quickly put your hot clip into the cool water. This hardens the metal so it wont bend as easily.

Step 7: Transformation Complete!

You now have your finished lockpick! With a little sanding it will come to a nice shiny finish and be ready for criminal activity! Have fun!

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52 Comments

so dose the wire cutters need to be made in china?

Hmmm let me see...
Nope i definitely dont have a propane torch.

Question. Do I need to have the weird stain?

If you dont have a blowtorch, you can hold the paperclips with pliers and close one end in a drill and twist the wire for like 5 seconds it rearranges the molecules and makes it much harder.

Hardly anyone does water quenching anymore, most do air tempering. In this particular case you can probably get away with it. It won't turn the paperclip into glass, it would probably still take a good amount of force or very sharp movements to break it off and even if it did break, it's easily removable, but that's why you have practice locks, neh? For what it's used for, this process is fine.

Here's an example of air tempering:
Heat A2 tool steel to 1750 degrees for one hour and fifteen minutes to one and a half hours. Remove from oven let cool for eight hours minimum. Heat the part to 600 degrees for thirty minutes then allow to cool. That will give you a Rockwell hardness of about 52 to 60 (that's hard enough that you can't file the metal, you have to use either a honing stone or carbide). If you want to figure out what kind of metal you're using, there are tons of charts that will tell you the exact temp and time you need to get a certain hardness.

I presume that would mean you would need a forge or something similar to keep the metal at temperature for those lengthy time periods. Is there a good way to air temper using more general purpose heating sources (like a torch) or is it simply a matter where "if it's worth doing right, it's worth the investment."

If that's the case, water quenching seems like it may still be good for the casual "blacksmith" (and I even use that in quotes loosely), who just wants to dabble once or twice with it and move on to the next kind of project.

The gas fired forges I've seen here would do okay, so long as there wasn't a huge temperature fluctuation but most use an electric oven designed for that purpose.

For all intents and purposes, especially for small pieces like this one, yes, water quenching is fine. I was more adding specific information about the process. I've used water quenching for horseshoes almost exclusively and have never had a problem.

Though now that I think about it, you could probably whip up a temporary gas forge with firebricks, some black pipe, a mixing valve and some of those propane torch sized oxy acetylene tanks if you put your mind to it.

user

but putting hot metal in water makes it brittle

yes and putting it in hot or warm salt water and cool it down slowly makes it juuuuust right. depending.