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NSL Lockpicking is a group meeting at Null Space Labs that occurs every third friday of the month from 7 pm to around midnight. We meet to picks locks, open safes, learn about physical security, and to socialize. All meetings are open to the public but membership at NSL or donations are encouraged to keep the group (and space) running.

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Group membership and rules

The NSL lockpicking group is open to the public. The meeting is run by Datagram. See him for any information or questions regarding the group.

The act of lockpicking, including possession of lockpicking tools, is 100% legal in California. To ensure compliance with the law, all attendees must abide by these three rules:

  • Do not pick locks that you don't own or have permission to pick.
  • Do not pick locks in use.
  • Do not do anything stupid; use common sense when using or carrying lockpicking tools.

Failure to abide by these rules or any indication of malicious intent will result in immediate dismissal from the lock group and likely from NSL as a whole. More information about the legality of tools in the United States is available at


We have ongoing projects and workshops for members of all skill levels. Most projects are ongoing or can be repeated when requested by group members, supplies permitting. Please use the discussion page to suggest new projects.

  • Beginners
    • Making your own lockpicking tools
    • Making your own locks ( lever &amp; pin tumbler )
  • Intermediate
    • Impressioning and key casting
    • Making an electronic lock
    • Safecracking (Group 2 or lower)
  • Advanced
    • High security lock research
    • Custom/high security tool development
    • Safecracking and associated tools (Group 1/1R)


Donations of tools and money are always accepted. All money goes directly to the lock group. Right now we could use the following items:

  • Locks
    • Padlocks, low and medium security
    • Traditional cylinders of all types
    • Deadbolts and other mountable locks (must include mounting hardware or be a self-mountable cylinder)
    • Handcuffs
    • Combination locks
    • Medium/high security padlocks and cylinders (Medeco, BEST, anything European, etc)
    • Group 2 combination safe locks (S&amp;G 67xx, LaGard 3300, etc)
    • Cool safe locks (S&amp;G 6120, S&amp;G 8400, S&amp;G 8500, X-07, X-08, X-09)
    • Low security fire safes (Sentry, AmSec, etc)
  • Tools
    • Extra picks and tension tools always welcome.
    • Repinning kit for Kwikset/Schlage locks.
    • Disassembly aids; plug followers, c-clip removers, euro-profile plug followers, small allen wrench set
    • Pinning/disassembly trays/mats
    • Key blanks; KW1/SC1/SC4/M1, anything else common (Yale, Weslock, Weiser, etc)
    • Good impressioning files; very fine pippin or round files
    • Small bench vise(s). These would be great for NSL in general.
    • Lubrication equipment; graphite powder, silicon spray. NOT WD-40.

Past meetings

Meeting photos, history, and other resources are available at the Meetup site

nsl_lockpicking.txt · Last modified: 2013/08/13 12:13 by