Introduction: Bicycle Lock Fish Tank Decoration

Picture of Bicycle Lock Fish Tank Decoration

Bicycle locks don't have many uses, if you think about it they are only ever used to lock things up.

When we are finished with a bicycle lock we throw it away or give it to someone else, if it broke or you forgot the combination you would definitely throw it away.

Here I will show you how to upcycle your bike lock (used or not) into a very unique fish tank accessory.

If I won the formlabs contest, I would begin making useful pieces with the 3D printer.
I have seen the printers before and I have a million ideas running through my head as to what I could make!

Step 1: Gathering.

Picture of Gathering.

OK, every detailed 'ible needs a part list, whether it be a photo or a list or both - it helps a lot!

To be able to complete this project you will need the following:

  1. Bike lock, used or not - broken or not it doesn't matter.
  2. Wood, you will need a piece 30cmX4cmX1.5cm roughly, you will need to cut it into a 4cm and a 26cm block.
  3. A nail, about 4cm long is best.
  4. Cable tie/Zip tie.
  5. A cutting tool, I used a hacksaw.
  6. A hole making tool, I used a drill.
  7. A pencil for marking.
  8. Hot glue gun.
  9. Some safety goggles.
  10. Some simple skills.
  11. At least one full read through this 'ible.

So, if you have all the above you are qualified to continue!

Step 2: Prepare the Lock.

Picture of Prepare the Lock.

To prepare the lock you will need to cut both ends off and make sure there are no knots or kinks in it.

Now take the cable tie and tie up one 'side' of the lock like shown in the second photo.

Adjust the loops to the position you want them in and tighten the cable tie.

Now we can trim the end right down and put this section aside.

***Read the little box on the second photo, there is an important detail.***

Step 3: Prepare the Base Part 1/2

Picture of Prepare the Base Part 1/2

Now we need to prepare a base for this decoration to sand up on.

You don't need to make the base if you are happy with the piece already but if you decide to make a base this step is important.

First we need to take the end of the bike lock and put it onto the 4x4cm block of wood, draw a circle around it and find a drill bit slightly larger than the hole.

Drill out two holes, you want them close to the edge but not too close that the wood splits, see the third photo as to where I positioned my holes.

Once we have both holes drilled out we need to test the lock, push both ends into the holes and if they are a tight interference fit you have done a good job, if they are loose you can always get a thin wedge of wood and force it into the hole to make it tighter.

When you have it all sorted, remove the cable and move onto the next step.

Step 4: The Base Part 2/2

Picture of The Base Part 2/2

Now it is time to finish the base of the model.

Take the 26cm long piece of wood and position the smaller block in the center like shown in the first picture.

Now, mark a line either side of the wood and remove it, you should end up with a piece of wood looking like photo two.

Now get the nail, I only had a 8cm nail so I cut it shorter.

Tap the nail in between the two marks until the end just pokes through the other side like in the fourth photo.

Now remove the nail, being careful not to bend it.

Get the smaller block of wood and tap the nail about 3mm into the middle of it thus making a small dent.

Remove the nail and tap it back through the original hole we made and then line up the other piece of wood using the dent as a guide, tap the nail fully into both pieces of wood to secure them, you can countersink the nail at this stage if you want.

The result should look like the seventh photo.

Attach the bike lock to the base the same way we did in the previous step, it should be secure and should not fall over.

Once it is fully assembled you should put a dot of hot glue on every piece of exposed metal thus preventing rust poisoning the water.

Step 5: Now...

Picture of Now...

When the decoration is assembled, place it into the fish tank and take a photo.

Please post the photo so others can see what it looks like in its home environment.

Thanks for viewing, please vote and enjoy!

Comments

DragonTamer458 (author)2014-10-08

Make sure to not use stained or treated wood for this project. It'll poison the fish.

JM1999 (author)DragonTamer4582014-10-09

Yes, natural wood is best, I wouldn't use stained wood unless you pre-soaked it for over a week to get rid of the toxins...

MsSweetSatisfaction (author)2014-10-04

Cool idea for decoration! Thanks for sharing!

Kiteman (author)2014-10-04

Two things:

1. Doesn't it float?

2. Doesn't the nail rust and stain or poison the water?

JM1999 (author)Kiteman2014-10-04

Two things:

1. it doesn't float if you use the right size lock (ie. percentage of plastic vs metal).

2. The nail won't stain/poison the water if you put a dot of hot glue over it, thanks for bringing that up though as I didn't think of it.

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