Hey all, Its been a while since i last posted, so i figured i'd pass along some of the techniques and materials i've been using since i made that movie a while back. Although hacksaw blades and grinders make decent picks, i've found myself starting to prefer wiper-blade inserts and a carbide rotary tool tip for ease of manufacture. Since the wiper blades on my vehicle were plastic, i never really had a lot of the stuff to play with until i talked to a buddy who owns a garage and he saved all the old wipers for me. Now i've got tons of the stuff and became inspired buy some of the good work that other LP101 members were doing (Mad Mick's collection comes to mind).
Using these basic tools: (plus a good set of pliers or two)
It was easy to turn out a good deforest style of pick and a wrench in a few minutes (a little longer to polish them a bit with sandpaper):
If you look closely (picture below), you will see that some of the wiper blade inserts (there are two of the same per wiper, one on each side of the rubber) are of different sizes. Unfortunately i cannot tell what the brand or make of the wiper blades are to tell you which is which, however the smaller/narrow type with the notch seems to be more common. The narrow type with the notch can be used to easily make a simple deforest style pick by bending the narrow steel in the notch slightly, however the narrow inserts are a shade to small for use as a tension wrench for wide keyways (i.e. cheaper locks - kwickset & weiser, but still work) but are perfect for other slightly narrower keyways. The wider type of insert would be preferred for both wrenches and picks, but not 100% necessary if you cannot find them (practically identical to southern ordanance medium/heavy wrench dimensions).
The carbide bit used was a 10 dollar rotozip bit (1/8" ceramic tile bit) purchased at sears. Really worth the investment, since it dosn't get used up so fast like stones (save those for finishing up). It rips through stainless steel without dulling and no sparks at low or high speed. Lots of steel chips are thrown around so WEAR EYE PROTECTION. A dremel brand name is not needed, any cheap knock off will do.
A few things worth mentioning:
You can make picks anywhere you can bring a rotary tool, so its kind of like not being teathered to the workbench. Since the carbide bit is so aggressive, a good sanding will be required:
Chucklz points to good info on sanding here.
If you want to use heat to aid bending wiper blades, be very careful, as soon as the steel glows, the temper is destroyed and cannot be regained. a little heat to the point of slight discolouration (and quick cooling in water after) will help in bending wiper inserts for wrenches and keep them strong, but its not really necessary.