Instructables
Picture of Cardboard Cryptex Vault
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Cardboard model of a Cryptex.  This is a 5 letter model that allows you to build and set your own combination.

You have seen this type of device in the movies now build your own. Average assembly time can be up to 7 hours. I know that it is long but the process is rather satisfying upon completion.

Included is an engineered build plan along with the cardboard shapes that you must cut out and assemble.

You will need to supply the cutting tools and glue. Recommended is super-glue (cyano type), glue-stick and hobby knife for cutting and assembly.


Step 1: Download and print.

Picture of Download and print.
The files included are for you to print on your computer printer. I recommend cardstock as this will provide rigidity and support. Standard paper will work but the finished model will be quite flimsy.

The cutting of the shapes is best accomplished with a sharp x-acto type knife but scisors will do in a pinch.

You will need to print 5 of the 26Wheel file, 1 each of the remaining. The assembly7 file is meant to be printed on standard copy paper.

Step 2: Cut the shapes from the print-outs.

Picture of Cut the shapes from the print-outs.

All solid lines need to be cut out from the printouts while the light or dotted lines ar there to represent folds. The included PDFs show the assembly steps.

Each outer code ring has 26 flat sections for lettering later.

You will need to assemble 9 code rings for a 5 letter combination.

Precision cutting is key here so take care in this step. The better your cuts, the better your finished item will look.

The first step is to assemble the code rings as shown in the pictures. The clue of choice here is Cyano type or crazy glue if you prefer. This is a rapid setting type glue and works exceptionally well on paper or cardboard.

Do not worry about any discolouration of the paper as this will be addressed later.

 

Step 3: Make the end caps

Picture of Make the end caps
In order to make the vault portion of the cryptex you will need 2 end caps. Cut and assemble the pieces as shown, again using the cyano type adhesive.

Refer to the PDFs.
 
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DUO00371 year ago
It's so cool. I'm going to make one for sure. :D
webbhost2 years ago
loving the idea of this... I'm thinking through, rather than making it out of cardboard.. using the cardboard as a "mould", and filling the rings for example with filling plaster?

Once its dried it would be pretty solid and give it a nicer feel, only problem would be ensuring that the plaster gets into every little corner...

The middle section would also be a good challenge, I'm thinking of making a cylinder shape and placing another piece in the middle to make the hollow part... once this has set, fill the insides "again" which will make the centre piece, and hopefully with the cardboard being in the middle I can take the final middle piece out.... could be interesting and if I try it I'll make my own instructable, making reference to this one as my original source :)
eyebot1172 years ago
Interesting. Would you mind if I use this mechanism on a book? I have an idea on how to implement it so that the book cannot be physically opened unless the rings are in the correct alignment.
oswin422 years ago
I love it. will make it tomorrow probably. pics to come I think. might make a half wood one with stuff I "borrow" from my dad. he won't miss them anyway. thank you :)
tinker2342 years ago
wow very cool is there there a space i could store something so you have to unlock this to get to it
goffymew563 years ago
im stuck on the end caps do i cut out where it says for tube alignment
Random_Canadian (author)  goffymew563 years ago
The tube alignment circles are not cut.
I live in Thailand, I see you're describing is very easy to understand.
Thanks you verymuch
brainiac1203 years ago
I really wanna make it but we're out of cardstock D:
jbend3 years ago
How can you put vinagar in it like the movie.
techno guy3 years ago
I'm making a cryptex out of toilet paper rolls since all I have to do is cut them a little to make the pieces.
made mine out of toilet paper rolls too :D
Nice :)
Good luck with yours :D
I already finished, it works pretty good, my classmates liked it when I showed it for show-and-tell.
Erfunden3 years ago
I was sick and stuck in bed yesterday so I made this. I shortened mine to four disks, though, and made some other changes on the fly. Used a light cardstock that deformed slightly as I worked with it. Still, it works and looks pretty good. Thanks for the great plans!
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Random_Canadian (author)  Erfunden3 years ago
Good to see that the plans have been put to good use. Excellent job.
Random_Canadian (author) 3 years ago
I have added another file to the mix. It is a set of complete build instructions. Please check out CryptexInstructions.pdf.

Enjoy and good luck with your builds.
Woefully sorry, but I've been looking all over the Instructable for the Instructions.pdf and I can't seem to find them. A little help please?
Random_Canadian (author)  Prefontaine3 years ago
The file in now on the first page that you see.. If you still have problems email me and I will send it to you directly.
New file is like a book... LOVE IT!!!!
I'm about half was through.
I wish I had a laser to cut the shapes..
Random_Canadian (author)  MaximusMinimus3 years ago
Thanks!!!

I decided to put this in a booklet form for ease of downloading and printing.

Be sure to post back with your finished project and comments.
That is so Cool with a K!. But i want to know....... Did you use Cardstock paper???
I used cardstock for all except the letter wheel covers.
Thanx A lot. This is awesome!!!
valgerth3 years ago
I think that I might use this as the base for the CAD work to get these rings machined out of metal and make a real good quality one as a gift, or maybe if I get get tight enough tolerances and come O rings I'll use it as a final puzzle for part of a geocache.
That would be an epic geocache. Please tell me you live in Southern California.
Unfortunately I'm from NJ, however I have family out there I might ship one to if you ask nicely. :)
So true!
As soon as i saw this i too thought that would make an awesome geocache!
Made me think of ones i have completed in Wagga, nsw, Australia.
Refer, GC1KM3H , GC1M7XG , and GC1JRKH. (these are in a series of caches, "Rubik's Tube 1,2 and 3."
Now this instructible has got my mind ticking over.......... :)
Pretty much what I thought!
tobyscool3 years ago
Hey i cant download it :(
i there another file ??
... get adobe reader
Ooh!
Might use my schools Boxford router to make a wooden version!
Just gotta turn this into a cad file... fun :D
tranoxx3 years ago
If its cardboard... couldn't you just cut it open?
Random_Canadian (author)  tranoxx3 years ago
Sure, but that is not the point. 99.99% will solve rather than destroy...

More secure options are shown on this site...
beehard443 years ago
ooh, thanks!
Now i know what to do with our group's old math project (10 pcs 1/2 illustration board, what a waste to throw away)
berky933 years ago
This has inspired me to design a version that can be printed on a 3d printer. Let's hope it turns out well!
Random_Canadian (author)  berky933 years ago
I have lots of Solidworks models if you need them...
Nah that's alright. It's less that I need or have any use for a cryptex and more that I like using projects like this to challenge myself. Thanks, though.
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