An Interview With JeffMoss26

Fawkes here today. I have another interview type questionaire I did with JeffMoss26 of Reddit. So read on and learn, enjoy yourself, and I don't have a third thing but it sounded better with one here.

Where to find him

Keypicking and LP101 – jeffmoss26

How did you get into picking?

I worked at hardware stores during high school where I learned to make keys and rekey locks…I was fascinated. I stumbled upon a lockpicking video on YouTube during college, ordered a cheap set of picks, and bought a Walmart master padlock clone. I picked it open in short order, and was hooked! I started collecting locks, at the time my locks fit into a medium sized toolbox…now they fill a room! About 3 years ago I was discussing hobbies with a Masonic lodge brother and he told me about the local Cleveland Locksport group. I haven’t missed a meeting since, and I am currently president as we have recently become TOOOL affiliated.
I am also a member of the American Lock Collectors Association (ALCA) - Cleveland Locksport has been honored to have Bob Dix, founder and president, at a few of our meetings.
I am a lousy picker but I enjoy taking locks apart, rekeying and rebuilding them, and making challenge locks. To me, a lock that arrives without a key is a puzzle waiting to be solved.


Do you carry your tools with you as an EDC, and if so what are they?

I generally do not. What brand do you prefer for picks, or are do you like custom tools better?
I have a mix of Peterson, Sparrows, HPC, and some homebrews – my favorites are the ones people have made for me.


If you had to build a ten piece set (including wrenches) what would you put together, and what kind of case/carrier would you put them in?

HPC Hook
Peterson Gem – dipped .025
Peterson Hook 1 .025
Peterson Rake .025
Sparrows Best Buster
Peterson prybar lite
Peterson prybar
Basic twist flex tension wrench
Doug Hiwiller custom made hook with notch on tip
Chris Wingate custom made hook
Sparrows Sherman case 


What are your top three favorite pick profiles?

HPC Hook
Peterson Gem
Peterson Snake Rake


What advice would you give to newcomers to the picking community?

Practice, don’t be afraid to ask questions, watch videos of the legends like Wizwazzle and Kokomo – they are the ones who got me interested. Most importantly – do not pick locks you rely on!

Is there anything you would change about lock picking? This being the public view of it, how individuals interact, etc.

I wish the public did not instantly ask “why are you teaching people how to break into houses/businesses” – most people do not realize that criminals rarely pick locks. Most of us see locks as mechanical puzzles – something to take apart and study to figure out how it works. I also read about many people’s negative encounters with locksmiths and it frustrates me. I wish the industry viewed those in the hobby as someone who could actually help them - not someone who is trying to cause trouble or do something illegal. Most of us are simply curious and want to know what makes things tick.


Do you work in a job that you pick locks, or is it merely a hobby?

I work in IT for a company that provides mechanical and electronic security systems for retail chains. Unfortunately I do not get to do anything with locks at work – but I am surrounded by the industry! 


What other hobbies do you have, if any, besides picking locks and making awesome videos?

I have always been interested in anything mechanical – I’ve been collecting and using tools since I was a child. I ran sound and lighting for a wide variety of events throughout high school and college. Most importantly, I am very active in my Masonic lodge.