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Lock making

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Sam Longley 106/07/2016 17:55:15
718 forum posts
26 photos

Broke the small padlock on my boat the other day & as a passing thought it occurred to me that I had never seen (or actually looked) for any articles on lock making. Is this something that model engineers do from time to time or is it just that it is cheaper to go to the local hardware shop than it is to get into the actual details of a lock plus the key. I should imagine a mortice lock is easy but moving on to a padlock could be harder & a cylinder lock a real brain teaser.

Has it all been done before?

Well obviously someone has done it otherwise we would not have locks. But is it a field of model engineering that is only undertaken behind closed doors?

Are there books & drawings out there somewhere, have magazines considered the task, or do manufacturers keep them hidden?

michael cole06/07/2016 18:04:14
163 forum posts

One of the very first jobs I did on board ship was to repair a lock. The shipwright I was following was going to bin it and fit another. I had a go at fixing it and it worked. As howwever this was over 30 years ago I have no ideal what was broke or how I fixed it.

jason udall06/07/2016 18:05:02
2010 forum posts
41 photos
Locks and lock picking are a hobby if there own.
If intrested many youtubevvideos may horrify just how "easy" it all is..
But locks are an interesting puzzle and build
Bazyle06/07/2016 18:24:14
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4656 forum posts
185 photos

You quite often see a model with a toolbox that has a padlock say 1/6 scale. Probably not a particularly sophisticated design though rather like the full size ones we were issued with for toolboxes that could be opened with a standard modified key.

An interesting challenge and I'm sure it would make an interesting article as something out of the ordinary.

SillyOldDuffer06/07/2016 18:29:00
4536 forum posts
971 photos

After buying a milling machine my second project was a simple padlock. As you can see from the pictures I was very much a Learner Driver.

dsc03008.jpg

dsc03009.jpg

Although made from metal the design is one of five from "Making Working Wooden Locks" by Tim Detweiler, which I bought a few years ago from Camden. I'm not sure they still stock it.

Cheers,

Dave

Mike Poole06/07/2016 20:23:57
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2019 forum posts
46 photos

Having taken a Yale type lock apart to see how it worked it quickly became apparent how to pick this type of lock. YouTube makes you realise that you may as well leave your doors open as the only people who are deterred by a lock are honest people anyway. The equipment available on eBay can open most locks in seconds, very scary. Locksmiths seem to be some of the biggest crooks when you realise how easy it is to open a lock and the fees they charge for doing it.

Mike

Sam Longley 106/07/2016 20:34:16
718 forum posts
26 photos
Posted by Michael Poole on 06/07/2016 20:23:57:

Having taken a Yale type lock apart to see how it worked it quickly became apparent how to pick this type of lock. YouTube makes you realise that you may as well leave your doors open as the only people who are deterred by a lock are honest people anyway. The equipment available on eBay can open most locks in seconds, very scary. Locksmiths seem to be some of the biggest crooks when you realise how easy it is to open a lock and the fees they charge for doing it.

Mike

But could you make one?

Michael Gilligan06/07/2016 20:49:11
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13581 forum posts
586 photos

For those who may not be familiar with them: Here is a page about Bramah locks.

Interesting device & an interesting man.

MichaelG.

Mike Poole06/07/2016 21:12:26
avatar
2019 forum posts
46 photos
Posted by Sam Longley 1 on 06/07/2016 20:34:16:
Posted by Michael Poole on 06/07/2016 20:23:57

But could you make one?

I think l could make a one off that worked, but holding the tolerances of a commercial Yale lock would be an entirely different ballgame.

Mike

Bandersnatch06/07/2016 21:29:18
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1206 forum posts
40 photos

This is fun and worth a read - even if only from your armchair

julian atkins06/07/2016 22:33:01
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1209 forum posts
353 photos

I am rather proud to have made a replacement key for Llandaff Cathedral in daily use, and have done a few others for other Churches and repaired locks for same.

Repairing and making new keys for old type locks is quite a specialised subject, but well suited to the model engineer.

Cheers,

Julian

dave george 106/07/2016 22:46:51
59 forum posts
1 photos

i made my own padlock,after my tool boxes kept on getting broken in

my lock was a short bolt cut in half,the threaded part which goes onto nut first was screwed into the nut a bit

welded the nut,and the hex head part was screwed into the nut,when you looked at it,it just

looked like that someone welded a nut and bolt onto tool boxes

Sam Longley 107/07/2016 05:53:48
718 forum posts
26 photos
Posted by Michael Gilligan on 06/07/2016 20:49:11:

For those who may not be familiar with them: Here is a page about Bramah locks.

Interesting device & an interesting man.

MichaelG.

Never seen one before but you are right-quite interesting. thanks

Sam Longley 107/07/2016 06:00:11
718 forum posts
26 photos
Posted by SillyOldDuffer on 06/07/2016 18:29:00:

After buying a milling machine my second project was a simple padlock. As you can see from the pictures I was very much a Learner Driver.

dsc03008.jpg

dsc03009.jpg

Although made from metal the design is one of five from "Making Working Wooden Locks" by Tim Detweiler, which I bought a few years ago from Camden. I'm not sure they still stock it.

Cheers,

Dave

If I saw that in a magazine article i think i would definitely have a go at making it

Tony Pratt 107/07/2016 07:17:42
874 forum posts
2 photos
Posted by Michael Poole on 06/07/2016 20:23:57:

Having taken a Yale type lock apart to see how it worked it quickly became apparent how to pick this type of lock. YouTube makes you realise that you may as well leave your doors open as the only people who are deterred by a lock are honest people anyway. The equipment available on eBay can open most locks in seconds, very scary. Locksmiths seem to be some of the biggest crooks when you realise how easy it is to open a lock and the fees they charge for doing it.

Mike

Any deterrent is better than no deterrent, it's human nature to go for the easy target.

Tony

john carruthers07/07/2016 08:09:13
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595 forum posts
172 photos

Richard Sharpe: Gimme a pick-lock, Cooper.

Cooper: Pick-lock, sir? Catch me with a pick-lock!

Patrick Harper: They did, Coop. But when you got out of Newgate prison, you got another set, and that's the one the officer wants.

Cooper: Do I get it back, sir?

Richard Sharpe: Trust me.

Cooper: It's very hard to trust a man who wants to borrow your pick-lock, sir.

Martin Kyte07/07/2016 08:45:42
1463 forum posts
24 photos

Locks are 100% effective in keeping honest people out.

Martin

Brian G07/07/2016 09:11:16
513 forum posts
11 photos

Camlocks and classic car ignition locks often (normally?) use flat plates in the cylinder instead of pins making them particularly easy to work on. The cylinder can normally be withdrawn without a key and a new blank key inserted. It is then a matter of measuring how much each plate stands out and filing the key to suit.

None of these are very secure but if you only need minimal security, for example to child-proof a tool or filing cabinet, you can even make them match another key by swapping plates around and filing down (or just removing) any plates that still stand up. If you only want to be able to stop the cabinet door swinging open you can even remove all the plates and lock/unlock it with a screwdriver. I'm slightly ashamed of myself for admitting that one, but it looks so much better than a 1/2" hole in the front of the cupboard and saves buying a plug for it

Brian

Neil Wyatt07/07/2016 09:38:30
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Moderator
16287 forum posts
681 photos
74 articles

The spare key for my workshop (the yale-style one, not the mortice lock) is in two parts silver soldered together!

I've fixed a few mortice locks in the past, if it's not just dirt causing it to stick, it's usually just a broken spring but it's surprising how hard it can be to get the 'leaves' in correct order if you muddle them up blush

Neil

Sam Longley 107/07/2016 12:29:31
718 forum posts
26 photos

My girlfriend , now my wife, always had to be home at certain times as her parents would not give her a key to the back door. That meant she would often be left sitting on the doorstep until one of her parents came home.

Being in the building trade I made her a master key ( it was a carp 4 lever lock) & she was able to let herself in. Parents never twigged for ages

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