Ratyoke’s Guide to Magnificent Home Brew Lock Picks

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Ratyoke’s custom lock picks are the most admired and desired lock picks this world has to offer and today we get the amazing insight on how Ratyoke himself crafts one of these masterpieces!

If you are not yet familiar with Ratyoke nor his work, be sure to check our interview with Ratyoke to learn more about him and his magnificent work.

In this step by step guide, Ratyoke will be crafting an Ebony and Holly short hook using Peterson government steel blanks.

Without further ado, here is Ratyoke’s guide to making your own extraordinary home brew lock picks.

Crafting Your Homebrew

Step 1: I start with a block of wood, cut it down the middle and trace the template on to the wood. I have several templates from some of my designs and some I just freehand.

A block of Ebony, Holly and a Peterson GSP Raw Blank
Ebony after being cut down the middle and slitted to hold the pick blade.
The template drawn on the ebony.

This is the slitting saw I use with my mini milling machine (in the background) to cut the slot for the pick blade.

Ebony after being roughing cut to template with a band saw.

Once the template is drawn, I rough it out on the band saw and sand it to the template lines with a belt sander.

Handle after being sanded to template lines.


Step 2: Now it’s time to add ornamental Holly to rear and front of the handle. Here you can see me cutting away the Ebony and fitting Holly to the handle.

Making cuts to so I can add holly to the ebony handle.
Drawing and cutting the back of the template so I can place Holly on the rear of the pick as well
Applying the holly to the rear of the pick.


Step 3: Next I will epoxy the Holly to the Ebony and using the template again, I will cut it back to the correct shape.

Epoxying the Holly to the rear of the handle.
Retraced template.
Handle after Holly is applied and template re-cut.


Step 4: Now it’s time to fit the steal into the wood and drill the holes for the pins.

Placing the steel into the correct location.
Here the holes are drilled for the pins.


Step 5: The wood profile is complete. Now I need to roughly ground the steel to shape on a bench grinder.

A completed handle profile.
Pick blade has been roughly grounded to profile shape.


Step 6: Next I will hand file the pick steel to the proper shape using locking pliers to hold the pick.

Filing the pick blade.
The files I use to shape the pick. And the mini belt sander I use to smooth out the file marks and round the edges.
Pick blade before and after filing.
Pick blades in final shape.


Step 7: I then use a polishing motor to polish the steel. I use 1,500 grit, 4,000 grit and finish it off using a final polishing compound (blue one).

My polishing motor

Below are the sanding sticks I use before polishing. 1,000 grit and 2.000 grit. Yes, I go from 2000 grit paper to 1500 grit compound. The 2000 grit is still a “sanded” looking finish, while the 1500 grit compound leaves a dull polished look.


Step 8: Now I am ready to epoxy the pick blades into the handles. The wire for the pins is sterling silver. After the epoxy is on and everything is in place I clamp them and leave them for the epoxy to cure. I give it about 24 hours.


Step 9: Now that the pick blades are secure it is time to shape the handles to their final form using a belt sander and sanding sponges.

Shaping and rounding the handles.


Step 10: To finish off the polishing I go through finer and finer grits to put an extra smooth polish on the handle.

Before and after polishing with fine grit.


Step 11: Finally the handles are fully sanded, it is not time to apply teak oil to the wood give them a smooth gloss. After the teak oil has dried i will give them about 2 coats of wax.

Final product after teak oil and two coats of wax!


5/5 (1 Review)

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LockpickDudeMark SneadMario Camilleri Recent comment authors
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Mario Camilleri
Mario Camilleri

Amazing Job my friend !.
To be onest , I saw an imitahions of this ! but in my opinion No comperison !
Thanks in Advance and keep it up !

Mark Snead

I really enjoy your posts. Sorry (for me!) that you are taking some time off. I hope it is a productive time for you!


Very cool to witness the process of these beautifull art pieces. Ratyoke’s work is such an inspiration!

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