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Ratyoke’s Guide to Home Brew Lock Picks
May 21, 2020
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Ratyoke’s Guide to Magnificent Home Brew Lock Picks

Ratyoke’s custom lock picks are the most admired and desired lock picks this world has to offer and today we get the amazing insight on how Ratyoke himself crafts one of these masterpieces!

If you are not yet familiar with Ratyoke nor his work, be sure to check our interview with Ratyoke to learn more about him and his magnificent work.

In this step by step guide, Ratyoke will be crafting an Ebony and Holly short hook using Peterson 0.025" government steel blanks. This is amazing steel that is far easier to craft and shape than other commonly used materials.

Without further ado, here is Ratyoke’s guide to making your own extraordinary home brew lock picks.

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Crafting Your Homebrew

Step 1: I start with a block of wood, cut it down the middle and trace the template onto the wood. I have several templates from some of my designs and some I just freehand.

Custom Lock Picks - Cut the wood 2

Custom Lock Picks - Cut the wood

Custom Lock Picks - Cut the wood 3

This is the slitting saw I use with my mini milling machine (in the background) to cut the slot for the pick blade.

Custom Lock Picks - Cut the wood 4

Custom Lock Picks - Cut the wood 5

Once the template is drawn, I rough it out on the band saw and sand it to the template lines with a belt sander.

Custom Lock Picks - Cut the wood 6

 

Step 2: Now it's time to add ornamental Holly to the rear and front of the handle. Here you can see me cutting away the Ebony and fitting Holly to the handle.

Custom Lock Picks - Cut the wood 7

Custom Lock Picks - Cut the wood 8

Custom Lock Picks - Cut the wood 9

Step 3: Next I will epoxy the Holly to the Ebony and using the template again, I will cut it back to the correct shape.

Custom Lock Picks - Forming the handle

Custom Lock Picks - Forming the handle 2

Custom Lock Picks - Forming the handle 3

Step 4: Now it's time to fit the steal into the wood and drill the holes for the pins.

Custom Lock Picks - Fitting the Steel

Custom Lock Picks - Fitting the Steel 2

Step 5: The wood profile is complete. Now I need to roughly ground the steel to shape on a bench grinder.

Custom Lock Picks - Shaping the Steel

Custom Lock Picks - Shaping the Steel 2

Step 6: Next I will hand file the pick steel to the proper shape using locking pliers to hold the pick.

Custom Lock Picks - Shaping the Steel 3

Custom Lock Picks - Shaping the Steel 4

Custom Lock Picks - Shaping the Steel 5

Custom Lock Picks - Shaping the Steel 6

Step 7: I then use a polishing motor to polish the steel. I use 1,500 grit, 4,000 grit and finish it off using a final polishing compound (theblue one).

Custom Lock Picks - Shaping the Steel 7

Below are the sanding sticks I use before polishing. 1,000 grit and 2.000 grit. Yes, I go from 2000 grit paper to 1500 grit compound. The 2000 grit is still a "sanded" looking finish, while the 1500 grit compound leaves a dull polished look.

Custom Lock Picks - Shaping the Steel 8

Step 8: Now I am ready to epoxy the pick blades into the handles. The wire for the pins is sterling silver. After the epoxy is on and everything is in place I clamp them and leave them for the epoxy to cure. I give it about 24 hours.

Custom Lock Picks - Putting it all together

Custom Lock Picks - Putting it all together 2

Custom Lock Picks - Putting it all together 3

Custom Lock Picks - Putting it all together 4

Step 9: Now that the pick blades are secure it is time to shape the handles to their final form using a belt sander and sanding sponges.

Shaping and rounding the handles.

Step 10: To finish off the polishing I go through finer and finer grits to put an extra smooth polish on the handle.

Custom Lock Picks - Putting it all together 6

Step 11: Finally the handles are fully sanded, it is not time to apply teak oil to the wood give them a smooth gloss. After the teak oil has dried i will give them about 2 coats of wax.

Custom Lock Picks - Finished 1

Custom Lock Picks - Finished 2

 

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4 comments on “Ratyoke’s Guide to Magnificent Home Brew Lock Picks”

  1. What is the blue-ish stuff that can be seen flaking off the steel after bench grinding but before hand shaping? Appears to be gone once the shaping step is done.

  2. Do you have your handle outline as a template that you would share? I would love to try making my own pic and using your handle shape as a starting point.

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