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Columbia Hack: How To Make A New Key

The artist at work

The artist at work

Answer us this: who really wants to pay $40 for a new Ving card? Particularly when they get lost around once a week. Bwog’s more crafty staff members, Alexandra Avvocato and Claire Friedman, have a bit of experience in counterfeiting room keys: perhaps less glamorous than making fake IDs, but also probably less illegal. 

To start, get yourself a completely flat card that you won’t mind destroying: make sure the card is roughly the same thickness as the Ving card or it won’t work. We suggest empty Starbucks giftcards – they seem to work the best. Take your Ving card and lay it on top of your new card. You need to cut your card so that it’s the same length as your ving card. It doesn’t matter if it doesn’t curve at the top; it’s always worked for us with a right angle at the top. Once your card is the length of the Ving card, it’s time to get a little crafty.

Place the ving card on top of your card and tape the two together. Take a sharpie and draw small dots inside each hole of the ving card. Untape your cards and voila! You should have the same dot pattern of your ving card now traced onto your own card. From here, there are two ways to continue:

1. If you have a hole-punch
Take your hole punch and punch where you drew sharpie marks. Attempt to get the dots roughly in the middle of your punch marks. Punch.

If the card you’re using is too thick or the hole punch you’re using is too cheap, you won’t be able to punch through the card. You have two alternatives:

2a. Prison-style
You will need a pair of scissors and a nail file. Close your scissors and place the top on one of the sharpie marks. Twist/rock back and forth until a small dent appears. This will take a little time depending on your prison skills/crafting abilities/arm strength, but eventually you will make a little hole. Stick the closed scissors in the hole and twist until the hole starts getting wider. The tricky thing in this scenario is making sure you don’t make the holes too big or too small – err on the side of too small because you can always widen the holes. Once you’re finished with the holes, take the nail file and file down the card until it lies flat, since it won’t work if the holes have edges.

2b. Also prison-style
You will need a thin metal tool such as a nail file or cuticle pusher and a lighter — or possibly a stove top. Make sure your random manicure accessory is small enough to make the card holes, and heat it up with the lighter/match/stove top; it’ll make it easier to create the holes. Mmmm, burning-plastic-smell. Repeat the steps as the 2a scissor method above, except taking care not to burn yourself. This method works especially well to release midterm-related stress through pyromania.

Moral of the story: you should probably find a hole-puncher before embarking on this adventure. But we can vouch for the fact that all three ways actually work. Although you will have to turn in a Ving key at the end of the year regardless, so the magic can only last so long.

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  • senior protip says:

    @senior protip make a fake key at the beginning of the year and keep your real key in a safe place in your drawer. you’ll never lose the real thing, and the fake key will fit in your wallet more than the awkwardly sized ving keys.

    1. senior protip says:

      @senior protip also: don’t use a hole punch. the holes are always too big. prison style is your best bet.

      1. Other senior protip says:

        @Other senior protip If you can find someone with a cordless drill, buy a bit of the right size from University Hardware. If you tape the card under the key on top of an old book or something, you can drill the holes straight through the key in a couple minutes.

  • Housing's a bitch says:

    @Housing's a bitch They charge $50 now.

  • You're incredibly cheap, says:

    @You're incredibly cheap, A drill bit costs less than a beer at 1020. And actually works, the locks have surprisingly low tolerance for error in he size/placement.

  • better late than never says:

    @better late than never but I remember doing this six years ago when I was a freshman.

  • Used to Do this says:

    @Used to Do this Make a few copies. Keep one in your wallet, one hidden somewhere on your floor in case of emergency, and the real one in your desk.

  • blunts in butler says:

    @blunts in butler Dude, fuck keys. Let’s make a bong from an empty handle of nikolai.

  • this is illegal says:

    @this is illegal it is horrible that this sort of illicit activity is being condoned. creating fake keys is a breach in security and jeopardizes the safety of students. please reconsider

    1. anonymous says:

      @anonymous You’re probably right… but they’d have to be able to figure out whose key it was that was lost. Luckily, most VING cards don’t have any clue as to the room. Plus, it feels kind of terrible to force all the people in your suite to get a new card every time you are stupid and lose it :( (And fifty dollars, bro)

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