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Locksmith Blog | Locksmiths Blog | Blog
Wednesday, 30 June 2010
Shimming cylinders - Locksmith Blog
Topic: Bypassing

Just toying around with another idea today as i had a lock that i just couldnt open...

I have some blade shims that i use to remove plugs where you push it in the rear of the cylinder to hold top pins above the shear line.

Iv always wondered if i could do this from the front in a lock out situation.

Cylinder plugs have a slight lip on the front to hide the sheer line of the lock to prevent this.

I decided to go at it with a junior hacksaw and cut just deep enough to reveal the sheer line. Id imagine the same can be achieved with a large enough drill bit.

With a bit of wiggling and a splash of wd40 it is now possible to shim open the cylinder from the front.

Rick | Locksmiths Walsall

lock shimming

euro cylinder

lock open

Posted by Rick the Pick at 3:56 PM BST
Updated: Saturday, 13 July 2013 7:27 AM BST
Post Comment | View Comments (4) | Permalink | Share This Post

Saturday, 10 July 2010 - 12:17 PM BST

Name: "Wolf"

What did you use to puch the pins down ? Did you use a lockpick ?

When backshimming , you use a key , but that can't work from the front.

Saturday, 10 July 2010 - 5:23 PM BST

Name: "rickthepick"
Home Page:

yes a hook is fine, the last pins are a little trickier

Saturday, 31 July 2010 - 12:45 PM BST

Name: "Wolf"

I'm calling your frontshimming


And I'm raising you a tool to set the pins


For this to work , I had to get rid of the 6th pin in the cylinder. It would be nearly impossible to set the 6th without upsetting the 5th.

There are 5 pin Pfaffenhain cylinders out there. And cutting down the shoulder and tip should also make it possible to use 6 cut key on a 6 pin cylinder.

To be honest , this cylinder doesn't use spool pins. Normally the 2nd and 5th would be spools. But that would have made it much more difficult. If I have any time to waste next week , I'll see if I can overcome the spool pins. It's probably doable with markings on the shim.

The reason I've used a Pfaffenhain is that this cylinder has anti-drill pins. If its sticking out by a few mm , this technique might be a good aleternative to drilling. It might also help out when a lot of cylinders are keyed alike , as it keeps the pins intact.

Monday, 6 September 2010 - 1:51 PM BST

Name: midlandlocks
Home Page:

Sweet. Im assuming you follow the shim in to the back of the lock and the tool cannot be removed without resetting the pins?
I think i may make up some common profile shim keys now

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