Tl;dr: I wanted to see all of the feels from the pins but didn't want to spend $100 for a commercial training lock. I made one myself with common hand tools.
So, as you may or may not know, I normally do a fair amount of posting to Voat but after catching the lockpicking bug I just haven't had the time to commit to the community, getting locks open without a key has bit me hard on the ass. My numbers of crappy posts has plummeted but my love of locksport has made up for my imaginary internet points that I don't get anymore.
Anyways, I ran up against a lock which I just couldn't get open a few days ago (Abus 82 series which the Mrs found in an old box) and it was driving me crazy. The damn thing should be a pushover since it only has a few mushroom pins in it and I kept seeing Jewtube guys getting an open in under a minute. This humbled me and made me realize what a total noob I am. I get feedback from pins but, as a noob, I don't know for certain what the actual state of the pin is.
Ex: pin is locked up; is it overpicked and binding or is it set? There was no way to tell!
That was when I realized I needed a fully functional lock that I could look into and see the state of the pins; ie: a cut-out. I started looking around but since I live in Europe I was only interested in Euro cylinders and the best one I could find was from the same company that I got my picks from. Multipick. Unfortunately it would have set me back by EUR 89 (about $100) and I just wasn't interested in spending that much money. Hell, that's an awful lot of beer!
I started looking at guys making cut-out locks but they all had thin expensive milling equipment which I don't have and which I don't have the space for (or the money for that matter) and was at an end. Then I looked around to see what I did have and realized I had two very good tools, a file and a hacksaw. It was just about all that I needed.
What I used:
A 2mm wide triangular file (I will use a square one next time)
A desk vice (don't be a fag and get the kind that stick on your desk with suction cups, real men need a real vice for real work. Find one that clamps on to the desk)
A hammer and a punch (I used screwdrivers and broke 2 of them, I am buying a punch for the next lock!!)
A ruler and a marking pen (I used a Sharpie but wish that I had used a pen with a finer point, it caused problems in the end)
A LOT of emery paper
A few different brushes to clean up the brass shavings
A 3.3mm tap with M4 thread pattern
5 4X8 allen head screws also with the M4 thread
Light oil (like 3in1, for the tapping process)
A truckload of patience!
Before I got the bright idea that I should take any pictures to help out my fellow Goats here at v/lockpicking who might be interested in making a training lock of their own I cut the lock in half (it is a FAB 50, FAB Assa/Abloy's most basic door cylinder which still has three fucking spool pins in it), gutted it and saved the pins, springs etc and used the hammer and my improvised punch to knock out the spring retaining pins on the bottom of the lock to get access to the driver pin chambers. If your lock doesn't have the retaining pins visible you can file the bottom of the lock down but I wouldn't recommend it. If you don't get the job done dead square it won't fit securely in the vice.
Get your ruler and measure the distance between the center of the chambers, in my case it was 4mm. Go to the top of the lock, measure the distance and start leaving marks where the chambers are, do the same thing in the middle of the lock and, using the ruler, draw lines where the cuts are going to be:
You will also see that I used me file to mark the locations, not just as a mark though but also as a guide for the saw so that it doesn't go bouncing around when you start to cut the observation channel. Accurate measurement is crucial so please, measure twice and cut once!
Here you will see that I have made the first saw cut and filed out the channel to 2mm. A bit sloppy but it worked out in the end, next time I won't be using a triangular file. I have also made saw guides in the bottom of the lock just over the chamber holes. Do this, they come in handy.
Here I am sawing out the second chamber:
All of the channels have now been sawed and filed to roughly 2mm, you will notice that I have reinstalled the plug and made markings where the middle of each chamber is, except for in pin 1. Don't be me and be more careful, this caused major problems later.
Ready to work on the plug because, yes, I want to see the key pins too! Saw, file, rinse and repeat.
Just chamber 5 to go at this point (notice my fuck up on chamber 1, I can still see the key pin but it just isn't right!)
Plug has been reinstalled, all this guy needs is four things: threads, retaining screws, guts and to be picked!
First chamber threaded and retaining screw installed The numbers I used are up above but your lock may need different measurements.
All of the threads are threaded, you will notice that it makes an awful lot of brass filings, get your brush and clean that shit out!
As above, here is the finished lock. Much like lockpicking itself this was both a very rewarding experience but, at time, frustrating one as well. That being said, I am proud of my work. I am not a metal fabricator or anything like that, I just wanted a practice lock that didn't set me back so much. The lock is fully functional and, most importantly, can be re-pinned in minutes. It has endless possibilities of high-low, security pins etc, etc, etc and it only set me back 2 bucks for the screws.
Bonus pics: picked open for the first time!
Happy Picking Goats!
Edit: I forgot a pic! Fuck me man and no, I saw the typos and didn't fix them, deal with it.