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Inside a wafer lock – A guide by illusion

Information about locks themselves. Questions, tips and lock diagram information should be posted here.

Moderators: zeke79, keysman

Inside a wafer lock – A guide by illusion

Postby illusion » Fri Dec 02, 2005 8:07 am

I’m sorry to begin this on a negative note, but I feel it is VITAL that this is understood. I wrote this guide myself, and took the pictures myself, yet I am posting it on this site free of charge, and for anybody to see. THIS GUIDE IS TO REMAIN AT Lockpicking101, AND UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES MAY YOU POST THIS OUTSIDE OF THIS SITE.

Okay so this will be a quick guide providing insight into these locks; their function and their components. Since these locks are very simple I don’t think there is need for a long guide, so I’ll keep it short and sweet.

Principle:
A wafer tumbler differs to a pin tumbler by the measures that are implemented to stop the lock from being opened without a key.

A pin tumbler uses 5, or 6 pairs of pins which separate at the sheer line, only the correct key can lift them to the right height.

A wafer tumbler however uses a system by which flat pieces of metal named “wafers” must be pushed to the correct position whereby they become flush with the plug and therefore can rotate.

The 2 locks share the similarity that the plug is obstructed from movement by obstacles, and that these obstacles must be overcome by applying a precise lifting height by each key.

Tools:
There really is no need for anything fancy to take these locks apart, but there are some that are useful.

You will need:
• A lock
• A pair of tweezers (not 100% needed, but if you have big hands then it becomes fiddly without)
• A key (will make the easy process even simpler)
• A pick and tension wrench (if you don’t have the key)
• Some turpentine, or kerosene to clean up the wafers if they are dirty
• A clean cloth (for the above reason)

Safety:
• A first aid kit is handy for minor cuts you may get as a result of this process, but it will be limited to small cuts so some band-aid will be fine along with some antiseptic spray to keep out infection. Furthermore if you are into aromatherapy or essential oils, then you might want to buy a small tube of Lavender oil to clean up cuts nicely… I’ll stop now before I go into spiritual healing :roll:
• Goggles can be used to avoid springs and the like from perhaps flying in your eyes, this is not entirely necessary, but is worth considering
• Common sense… if what you are doing seems to have potential to cause injury then don’t do it unprotected.

Finally with all that malarkey out of the way let’s get down to re-pinning a wafer lock!


Depending upon which type of wafer lock you have this may involve different things. The plug of my wafer lock was secured by the cam at the back of the lock fastened by a screw. I removed the screw with a flat-head screw-driver, and pulled the cam off.

Image


The device used to retain the plug may differ, but essentially it will be a similar process.

When you have removed the retaining “device” you must either simply insert the key and turn it, but if like myself you “don’t have/can’t find” the key simply apply tension and gently rake the wafers with a ball pick, or half-diamond. Once you have managed to open the lock one way or another follow the same procedure for pin-tumblers of turning the plug 20 degrees or so and pull it slowly out of the lock body. If you dont have the key and have picked the lock open you can just insert a tension wrench or similar before pulling the plug out, when you pull the plug out the wafers will not spring up.


Image

Okay, once you have removed the plug from a lock you will be left with:
• A number of wafers,
• A corresponding number of springs,
• The plug
• The lock housing
• The retaining “device”

I was left with 4 wafers, 4 springs, the plug and the lock housing.

Image

You can see the wafers made of brass and the springs now – just don’t lose any and putting it back together should be dead-easy.

Putting it back together:

Insert the springs into the corresponding holes drilled in the plug, being careful not to force them, or they may ping out – this will have you cursing and looking for tiny springs, not advised!

Image

Insert the wafers back into their slots and leave them just sitting there.

Image

When you have placed all the wafers in the plug, insert the key into the plug and slide it back into the lock housing.
If you do not have a key for what ever reason then you need to use your tension wrench and push the wafers down so they are flat – because of the small differences in pin heights it will merely be a case of playing around with it until it is good enough. You are aiming for something like this:

Image

Slide the plug back into the lock housing and turn it back to its neutral position.

There it is – You now know the basics of a wafer lock and how to take them apart and put them back together again. A simple process that should give minimal problems.

Thanks for reading

Illusion.
Last edited by illusion on Fri Dec 02, 2005 8:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
Time has passed, and I have loved many women. And as they've held me close, and asked if I will remember them, I've said, "Yes, I will remember you." But the only one I've never forgotten is the one who never asked.
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Postby ThE_MasteR » Fri Dec 02, 2005 8:08 am

I'd love to say you actually thought me something here, but I un-did my wafer lock, and they are easy to understand lol. Nice guide for the n00bs.
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Postby illusion » Fri Dec 02, 2005 8:10 am

yeah.. nothing difficult, but I had the lock in front of me, my digital camera and too much boredom.

Hopefully newbies will find it usefull
Time has passed, and I have loved many women. And as they've held me close, and asked if I will remember them, I've said, "Yes, I will remember you." But the only one I've never forgotten is the one who never asked.
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Postby grit1 » Fri Dec 02, 2005 8:12 am

Nice guides - your boredom has been producing some nice product lately!
Image
Got shear line?
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Postby ThE_MasteR » Fri Dec 02, 2005 8:13 am

Still a very nice guide illusion. What would of been cool, is to have some bigger pictures so that we can see better. Try uploading them on PB.
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Postby illusion » Fri Dec 02, 2005 9:39 am

ThE_MasteR wrote:Still a very nice guide illusion. What would of been cool, is to have some bigger pictures so that we can see better. Try uploading them on PB.


funnily enough the pictures that I take with my digital camera come out huge, I have to make them smaller :o

The reason I made them that small was so that they would fit nicely into the guide, without needing to be linked.

I can make them bigger if it's felt necessary...
Time has passed, and I have loved many women. And as they've held me close, and asked if I will remember them, I've said, "Yes, I will remember you." But the only one I've never forgotten is the one who never asked.
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Postby zeke79 » Sat Dec 03, 2005 2:01 am

There are some high security wafer style locks out there. Here are a couple pictures of one.

Image

Image

Note the serrations in the sidebar gate area.
For the best book out there on high security locks and their operation, take a look at amazon.com for High-Security Mechanical Locks An Encyclopedic Reference. Written by our very own site member Greyman! A true 5 Star read!!
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Postby illusion » Sat Dec 03, 2005 2:24 am

hey thanks for that zeke :)

that's a double sided wafer lock with a side bar right?
Time has passed, and I have loved many women. And as they've held me close, and asked if I will remember them, I've said, "Yes, I will remember you." But the only one I've never forgotten is the one who never asked.
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Postby zeke79 » Sat Dec 03, 2005 2:39 am

The key is bitted on both sides but I dont know if I would call it a double sided wafer lock as its operation is different than standard wafers. When you insert a proper key into a normal wafer lock it is at that point decoded and ready to turn to the locked or unlocked position. This system you insert the key and it does not interface with the disks at all until you turn the key. At that point if you have inserted the right key the disks will then align similar to how a standard wafer lock would but once the key has turned enough to decode the and align the disks, the sidebar will retract into place and allow the lock to be opened.

If I have a free minute I will post a few fully assembled pictures throughout the opening process tonight.
For the best book out there on high security locks and their operation, take a look at amazon.com for High-Security Mechanical Locks An Encyclopedic Reference. Written by our very own site member Greyman! A true 5 Star read!!
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Postby zeke79 » Sat Dec 03, 2005 9:11 am

Here are some operating pictures.

Image

Image


Image
For the best book out there on high security locks and their operation, take a look at amazon.com for High-Security Mechanical Locks An Encyclopedic Reference. Written by our very own site member Greyman! A true 5 Star read!!
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Postby illusion » Sat Dec 03, 2005 9:58 am

hmm.. so when you begin turning the plug, the wafers catch on the side of the hull , and get pushed inwards. Since the wafers don't have springs and rely on gravity the lock must be mounted so the is key inserted horizontaly.

The sidebar isn't oval like I thought at first, but rather the right shape to nestle into one of the grooves in the serrated part of each wafer. Each wafer has those multiple serrations to confuse picking, and when the sidebar rests in the correct part of each wafer it no longer obstructs the plug,and it can turn.

I'm guessing that when the key is turned to the neutral position and taken out the wafers settle back to their neutral positions by gravity -this resets the side bar.

Thanks a lot for that Zeke - a cool wafer lock all round :)
Time has passed, and I have loved many women. And as they've held me close, and asked if I will remember them, I've said, "Yes, I will remember you." But the only one I've never forgotten is the one who never asked.
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Postby zeke79 » Sat Dec 03, 2005 10:03 am

The odd shaped cuts in the disks ride on the angled bitting of the key to pull the wafers in out of the shell when the key is turned. So the key is what moves the disks. At that point the sidebar can retract and the plug can be turned. When you turn the key back it will reset the disks to the locked position.

This lock can be mounted in any direction and the disks will still "scramble" when the key is turned back and removed after unlocking.
For the best book out there on high security locks and their operation, take a look at amazon.com for High-Security Mechanical Locks An Encyclopedic Reference. Written by our very own site member Greyman! A true 5 Star read!!
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Postby illusion » Sun Dec 04, 2005 1:31 am

oh... yeah that makes more sense - thanks for the correction.

wow... I posted that message at 2:00am :o
Time has passed, and I have loved many women. And as they've held me close, and asked if I will remember them, I've said, "Yes, I will remember you." But the only one I've never forgotten is the one who never asked.
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Postby greyman » Thu Feb 09, 2006 7:37 pm

zeke79 wrote:The odd shaped cuts in the disks ride on the angled bitting of the key to pull the wafers in out of the shell when the key is turned. So the key is what moves the disks. At that point the sidebar can retract and the plug can be turned. When you turn the key back it will reset the disks to the locked position.


Hi Zeke

This seems to be a high security version of the Chubb AVA lock from the 1960's. The sidebar seems to have an anti-pick function, but not a usual sidebar function. I mean that the sidebar does not seem to retract into a gate in the side of the wafers, but it would tend to snare on the serrations if you are trying to pick the lock. The actual wafer principle in action here is definitely AVA.

Where are these locks used?

Thanks for these interesting photos, and to illusion also for starting this thread.
Image
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