The failure of the Mad Bob Bogotas to open my Abus padlock bothered me. Certainly they worked fine on all other locks I tried, but I had intended these picks for my emergency kits, so they were likely to be the only picks that I had available in certain situations. There was nothing actually wrong with them as picks. Used with the turning tool from my Serenity kit they popped the Abus open. It was as turning tools that they were lacking.
It is a common consensus among lock pickers that the form of turning tool is often more important than the pick used, and here was a fine example.
Constructing turning tools had proved more involved than expected. The usually suggested material is the steel strips found in windscreen wiper inserts. Unfortunately my area has very few locations where I could scrounge these. Yesterday I popped out to the shops and what should I come across lying on the pavement? A damaged wiper blade that yielded two steel strips each nearly a foot long! I would construct some turning tools to carry with my Mad Bob Bogotas and foil any locks that turned out to be as temperamental as the Abus!
It was the work of a few minutes to cut, bend and finish the material. I try one in the Abus, using my Dangerfield Bogota. The lock opens! But being a scientist, I have to refine my experiment. I try a Mad Bob and one of my new tools. Won’t open!
I compare my wiper steel turning tools with the one in the Serenity kit I had modelled them. The only difference is the thickness of the steel! The wiper steel is similar in thickness to that of the Bogotas, the kit tool much thicker. Not much I can do about that, or was there?
The thinner tools were rotating too much in the keyway and not transmitting sufficient torque. I hit upon the idea of slightly bending the long arm of the wiper turning tool. It sat better in the keyway, but prevented to tool fully inserting. I straightened it out a little and attempted to Bogota the Abus. It worked! Try again with the Mad Bob Bogota. Also worked!
Since the wiper turning tools were of similar thickness to the Mad Bob Bogotas, the next step was obvious. I bent the handles of the single-hump picks to approximate that of the turning tools. This did the trick. The paired tools now open the lock. Later, I will bend the handles of the rakes so they act as better turning tools for the single-humps.
Shown in the image. Wiper steel turning tools made today and Mad Bob Bogotas. Note bending of turning tools and some Bogota handles.