Anyone that has been picking locks for sport long enough has very likely run across the name Waddac2 or has even stumbled across his epic YouTube channel full of nuggets of wisdom.
As well as being a very accomplished picker, he is also an astounding photographer and has given us some photos to scatter throughout this interview!
Without further ado, here is Waddac2!
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Q: Let’s start this interview off by telling us a little bit about yourself. What do you do for a living, and how are you involved with the Lock Sport community?
Well, I'm waddac2 and known as Rich on our UKLock Sport forum where I'm Team Advertiser and UKLock Sport Promoter and also known as Rich to my YouTube buddies.
For a living, I am a Security Officer/Operative and have been for many years. This included a short term Personal Security role and also been head of security/Bouncer at a Casino for a while even though I’m only 5ft 7" tall LOL!!!
If anyone is interested, I am into shooting and also collecting hand-forged Katana of which I have eight in my collection. I also use to be a keen full contact kick boxer… but not now that I’ll be 45yrs this November, I’m just too old. LOL!!!
I am mainly involved with the Lock Sport community through our forum and also my YouTube Channel as some of you guys will know me from.
I am also quite keen on amateur photography and started taking black and white photos of the locks I have picked over the years. Throughout this interview I’ve added a few of the pictures I’ve taken of some of my favorite locks.
Q: What got you into lock picking?
Great question Sir, the reason I got into lock picking/Lock Sport is because I was very ill at one point during 2009/10 and awaiting a major operation (Been through 4 up to date).
When speaking to my father I told him I needed a hobby that was non-physical etc. My father was an ex builder/joiner and he suggested lock picking.. My thoughts were.. "What... Lock Picking???? ". It turned out, that at an early age I had picked my sister’s jewelry box open that she got for Christmas and I used a pair of nail clippers that contained a file from a Christmas cracker. My mother then asked me to use my new found talent to pick open a lock on a large freezer after losing the key.
My son also became ill with seizures not long after, so it was a bonus I was in the house picking in my kitchen.
My wife was not happy with me after a major operation. I had been in for surgery and in high dependency unit ... I got home and with missing doing a video, I did a review on a Majestic pick set. I was on so many drugs and pain killers I was shaking like a leaf on a tree LOL!! I got the odd nasty comment but when I explained they felt guilty and apologized.
My first ever pick set when getting into Lock Sport was a Klom Navigator set that I bought from a guy and now great friend called Pete Wilton from www.withoutakey.co.uk
Q: You have been making lock picking videos and tutorials on YouTube for over 7 years now. What has kept you in the game for so long and what is your biggest personal accomplishment in that time?
In the game so long… you make me feel like an OLD man LOL!!! (I'm getting there) I'm still in the game as I love it to bits. Once you pop your first lock without the working key, you're hooked and there’s no turning back.
Well, I am still here and picking, plus I’m doing videos when I get the chance but work has been frantic for the past few months.
I love lock picking to bits and I love everyone in the Lock Sport community and consider everyone my family. I think that is the main reason I am still in the game. I have lock picking buddies worldwide whom I have never met, but we all look out for each other and support each other which is an amazing thing.
When I first started out, I never used any of the see-through training padlocks or Euro locks, etc. I just bought picks and locks and then played around with them. I have been asked questions many times from people who say they have training locks and are looking at it while picking and then have trouble picking a normal lock... My answer is always "Your looking, and not feeling, try again and just look at the keyway" With practice locks, there is too much looking and not enough reliance on feedback of what should be going on. I think the see-through locks are good for showing the understanding of how a lock works with pins and sheer line etc.
In one of my 5 Lever Curtained lock videos, Texas Jim asked if I could take the metal plate off and pick the lock again for him. I explained that the levers would ping out all over, so I had to make a plastic see-through cover to do another video dedicated to him... It was harder for me with seeing levers. Click here to watch that video if you would like!
Q: You have an amazing collection of padlocks ranging from the Victorian era to vintage Master and Yale locks. What is your most prized lock in your collection and do you have any advice for future lock collectors?
Thank you. Yes, I love my vintage locks, and the older the better. I have no specific favorites in my Victorian display cabinet as I just love them all.
To me, the older ones have a hidden story behind them of which the locks cannot tell as they do not speak. I have picked many in my display that had no keys and to me, that lock may not have been opened in YEARS. I got a lock from eBay years ago that was found in a loft/attic by a woman selling for her grandfather. It had no key; I bought it and picked it, and rested the lock into retirement. It was such a buzz to pick as it may not have been opened since WWII
To me, they need to rest after long years of service and they do in my display cabinet and I love to look at them each day. Visitors to my home always stop and stare at the display.
Q: Your channel also has several 5 Lever Curtain Mortice style lock tutorials. For our American audience wanting to get into that arena of Lock Sport, what are some good ‘beginner’ locks to start out with?
5 Lever Mortice locks are a great pick and lots of fun. In the USA you probably will not see these too often. I did send BosnianBill a pick and lock some time ago and I think it included a training plate that I made. (However it was not the best plate)
ERA 5 Lever locks are the best to play with if your wanting to get into mortice lever locks. They have false gates just like all or most other 5 lever locks that can confuse you, but fun when hitting a false gate you think a lock is picked until it will not fully retract the bolt.
The picks I use are called ICL and I love them.
Before getting into picking curtained mortice locks, there are also 2 and 3 lever non-curtained locks. These are good to get the hang of things, but a 2-in-1 pick will be needed for single lever picking. You can also use “try-out” keys, but they don’t give you the feel of an SLP etc.
Q: Are there any brands of Lever Mortice picks that you prefer or would suggest to our readers?
ICL Picks to me work well as stated above; they do the job for me as I class myself as an amateur when picking lever locks. I love them as they have a little raised ridge that stops the pick from going all the way through the lock; if no ridge, it can hinder the pick wire to correctly attack the levers. I have tried a couple of other mortice picks and I’m not keen on them due to this problem.
The ICL's come with two pick wires which are for picking bolt side and another in the reverse etc. (Pending which direction lock is placed on the door)
You also have two tensioning tools, one is 5 Gauge and other is a 7 Gauge. To newbies that do not know, the gauge is the size of the hole in which the key fits into.
Q: In your videos, you can be seen SLAYING European dimple locks. What are some good beginner dimple locks someone can start with?
I have only picked a few different dimple locks. Mostly padlocks and euro locks. I have picked MTL (Mul-T-Lock), EC Shutter lock (Italy), and Master Dimple Locks. I have picked some unbranded ones too. Just be careful of the unbranded ones, as they can have hidden things. Some are easy, some are hard. Many of the dimple locks I have picked were from work due to lost keys or issues with the lock being used so much.
I have two sets of picks for dimple locks. The first set I bought was a GOSO pick set with changeable tips. They are just like the SouthOrd ones but a lot cheaper, the only issue I have had is when picking the odd MTL, the pick tips can get stuck and need to use a bobby pin to flatten all the pins to pull the pick out with a wobble and jiggle here and there. My favorites though are Souber dimple picks.
Q: Some of our readers are curious as to what tools you have in your “go-to” pick set. Can you tell us in detail about what you carry in your kit?
Well, as people know I have a roll up case at the moment which houses my Peterson Picks and others. My "go-to" picks in there are more often homebrew picks such as a medium hook made from a hacksaw blade, then may opt for a gem from Petersons. I do like the wooden handled short hook I have, as the wooden handle looks vintage.
If they fail I will resort to other picks from Petersons. After saying that, I could do with going back to SouthOrd Slim Lock Picks for the odd locks now and again due to restricted keyways. Or try the MAX Slims as people rave about them. I have a grey SouthOrd Max pick that I had to homebrew a bit as it was too thick for some locks. I love the feel of the handles. “Reacher” half diamonds are also a great go to pick for me as work wonders with high and low biting, allowing me to get round set pins and not over setting others. Some people also say GOSO picks are no good as they are cheap, but I have a couple of hooks in my go-to kit as they work wonders on some locks.
I pick at home for fun as a Lock Sporter, yet I need to pick at work now and again.. So the kit that has been seen on my videos has to chop and change. I have picked many padlocks for work, Euros etc., and even an easy safe. I adapt to what is needed.
Q: In your opinion, how has the Lock Sport community changed over the years?
Well, Lock Sport in its early days was just a few like-minded people who thought of locks as puzzles and wanted to play and so they bought picks.
Once they (like myself) popped their first lock without using the working key, they were hooked and joined forums and watched YouTube for hints and tips. To me, it has changed a great deal as we are not only a single forum group, such as our www.ukLock Sport.co.uk, but we are a WORLDWIDE community and I find that amazing! The reason I say this is because I have sent care packages to Lock Sporters in countries that our own governments are at war with.
To me, if our country leaders were like all the Lock Sporters the world would be a better place. WE ALL LIVE UNDER THE SAME SUN at the end of the day.
Q: Where would you like to see it go from here?
I honestly cannot say where I would like to see it go from here as we are all just doing what we do for fun and enjoying each other's videos and company worldwide.
Q: What are some locks you are working on at the moment? Are there any locks that you just absolutely cannot open?
I have been playing with Medeco locks for a while back that was sent to me and I’m not too brilliant with them. I have picked them a few times but never got them on camera. My problem is the working hours that I have and I often make the mistake of getting my picks and vice out as soon as I get in from working late and having a go at it. Also, I have an Abloy 320 padlock that I have never picked. I do not have the picks for it yet, but if I did I would probably never get her open.
Q: Finally, what is your favorite beer to drink while picking locks?
With my working hours, I do not get a chance to drink a beer while picking locks. But now and again when picking, if I’m not working I like a can of Guinness or two. One of my early videos of making padlock shims, I show a can of Guinness to let viewers know that shims can be made from cans!