Author Topic: Picking a Mills Slot Machine lock  (Read 569 times)

Offline Jackpot

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Picking a Mills Slot Machine lock
« on: September 28, 2017, 11:04:08 PM »
I need a little help here, I can pick several different locks but standard picks don't do a lot of good in trying to pick a Mills lock. So I am asking everyone, have you any ideas on making a pick? Or what to use, have you ever picked one? Any info on picking Mills Locks, help and let see if we can all figure this one out.
Thanks
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Offline MONTI

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Re: Picking a Mills Slot Machine lock
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2018, 04:39:27 PM »
Hello Rodger!
Ran across this old post of yours and thought I'd see if you figured out how to pick a Mills lock!
I have taken a few apart and re-keyed them and in doing so always wondered how one could be picked!
The only other lock that is considered unpickable is the Illinois Lock Duo lock which to me is even harder to pick!
Anyway, did you have any luck that you may want to share?
Your friend from down south!
MONTI
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Offline Jackpot

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Re: Picking a Mills Slot Machine lock
« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2018, 05:54:49 PM »
Great Question Monti,
I did pick a old Jennings Yale lock on the back door of a Jennings, those old locks are hard because most of them have what is called a spool pin or two in them. What happens as you pick it, the cylinder will go over about a 1/16" of a inch and you think you did it, but it will not move over anymore, and if you go back it will lock again. That is caused by a spool pin; just think of a small spool of thread and you have a vision of that pin. So, to beat it, you pick it over like above and once your up against that spool pin the lock cylinder will stop. This spool pin causes a false sheer line, so the cylinder will go over but stops when it hits the center of that spool pin. Now to beat it is tricky, You stop there and even remove you tension-er or take the presser off it better yet, and keep it in place. Now you reach in the lock with a small lifting pick, and lots of light, and left each pin by it's-self just a little, one at a time while watching the lock cylinder, when you see the lock cylinder move a tiny bit back to the left or try to, as your lifting one of the pins, you just found the spool pin, so apply a tad of tension and lift that one pin until you hit the true sheer line, if that is the only spool pin in the lock it should go right over for you, and I think most only have one.
Jackpot

As for the Mills lock, not yet, but I will or hope I can as I have to, I have a very nice Mills QT in the original metal stand locked up tight and no keys. I will not let myself drill these locks so I just have to beat it. I have worked on it some already but I need to make another type of tension bar and maybe redesign a couple of picks but I will get these picked somehow and in the near future so I will let you know. There is 60,000 different possible key combinations for mills locks, so forget thinking your going to find the right key for one. Also tumblers extend through the cylinder thus locking on both sides of the tumbler, so if you pick it down it will lock above and visa versa, six tumblers and what; 12 different separate sheer lines? Also on the mills keys there is one grove on both side, well this is not two groves, this is four, because some tumblers move by the upper grove and some move by the lower grove on the same side, so that is 4 groves lining up tumblers. Anyway you look at it; picking a Mills lock is going to be quite an accomplishment at least it will be for me. I have herd some people saying that they picked one once, well I would like to see that for myself because I don't think I would believe it, unless I seen it.   

Offline MONTI

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Re: Picking a Mills Slot Machine lock
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2018, 12:27:54 PM »
Hello Rodger!
Sorry for the late reply but I don't spend that much time on the computer, too much shop work!
Very familiar with the Yale lock as when I made the Sparks purchase last year I picked up many Yale locks with no keys and many keys with no locks so I mix and match whenever I have time! LOL
I have picked them as well, just takes a little longer and a helluva lot of patience!
And the arthritis from holding my fingers in the same position for a long time does not help!
As for the Mills locks, I have never asked him but Dave Berten I know re-keys them as I do but I wonder if he has a way to pick them?
Oh well, Bona Fortuna My Friend!
MONTI
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Offline damikeguy

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Re: Picking a Mills Slot Machine lock
« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2019, 01:59:51 PM »
i have successfully picked two mills locks. Granted one took about 45 minutes and the other a good 1/2 hour. The first thing i always do it lube it good with a fine oil and work the pins with a key if i have one that fits or a rake if not. I had to make a small tensioner from an old metal strip from a wiper blade. The hard part was keeping tension when moving from the top pins to the bottom pins. Watch this video. It explains it well. It is for a bell lock but the same process as a mills. Good luck
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6k4UkXIt1lI

Offline Jackpot

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Re: Picking a Mills Slot Machine lock
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2019, 10:36:08 AM »
i have successfully picked two mills locks. Granted one took about 45 minutes and the other a good 1/2 hour. The first thing i always do it lube it good with a fine oil and work the pins with a key if i have one that fits or a rake if not. I had to make a small tensioner from an old metal strip from a wiper blade. The hard part was keeping tension when moving from the top pins to the bottom pins. Watch this video. It explains it well. It is for a bell lock but the same process as a mills. Good luck
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6k4UkXIt1lI

damikeguy;

I want to thank you soo very much for posting this video! At one time I was surfing the locksmiths forums to try to learn this and most of them never head of a bell lock, it was a useless search, so this is very welcomed! The mills lock is a tad different as the tumblers are round but I am sure it will pick the same was as this video shows. I have a Mills QT on an original metal stand, sadly it is all locked up and i never got the keys with it. I don't want to drill any of the locks so it's been just sitting around for a few years waiting for me to try to pick the locks. I can pick a lot of locks but I have never been able to pick a mills lock but with this video I now have a good chance of being able to do this!
Thank You again for taking the time to be sure this video is shared with us. Soon I hope to have it added to the tips page on the regular Coinslots.com websight as this is great knowledge for all of us.
Jackpot  :)

Offline MONTI

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Re: Picking a Mills Slot Machine lock
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2019, 11:11:39 AM »
Great Video, didn't know there was another company making the Bell style lock!!
I would think that having the lock installed on a cabinet or slot machine would make the picking angle a little more difficult especially holding the tension springs for us old guys with arthritis! LOL
Then after picking it making a key would be a definite challenge, right Jackpot?
Gonna have to try this when I have some "Spare Time", whatever that is!
MONTI
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