Thanks for the various thoughts, comments, and criticisms. I get the impression that it's easier to get a magician to tell you how he made the elephant disappear than it is to get specifics out of a locksmith. :)
I've culled the following out of your replies:1) Working a door lock is the same mechanics with better technique (kinda like driving a Chevy vs. an Indy car) than a padlock.
2) Maybe I don't have the inherent sensitivity and visualization to be any good at lock picking. A point I don't agree with 'cause I've always been the guy that gets called over when some mechanism needs to be manipulated without being visible.3) Don't "lock" myself in to what I perceive to be the "right" approach. ie. experiment more.
4) Stack the deck and see if that helps develop the necessary "feel". As in <--Shiva-- >'s post recommending that I...... " get a door lock... a Kwikset, take it apart and put 1 pin stack in... pick it, FEEL IT... take the pin stack out and move it to another hole, try again...
put 2 stacks in... then 3... etc...."
I do know how to re-key a lock, BTW.5) And , of course "Joe Kesselman"'s......
"If at first you don't succeed, try try again. Then give up. No sense in being a damned fool about it."
I do wonder if you guys are just jerking me around a little and standing in the background laughing quietly among yourselves. But I will be trying a few of your suggestions.