Introduction: Hidden Sliding Vehicle Lock Box
Runner Up in the
Glovebox Gadget Challenge
Do you ever find yourself needing to leave valuables in your vehicle and not trust your glove box? I face this issue on an almost daily basis. Whether it be a trip to the golf course and wanting to leave my wedding ring and watch locked safely in my vehicle or the semi infrequent trips to the gym. I wanted a way to secure my valuables without having to worry about someone breaking a window and stealing them. This hidden sliding lock box addresses those concerns and helps put my mind at ease when leaving important things in my vehicle.
Step 1: Determine Your Installation Location and Acquire Materials
Before running out and buying supplies, inspect you vehicle and determine where you would like to install your hidden lock box. The glove box, center consoles, and under seats are all good options. For my needs, I decided that I wanted to install the lock box under the passenger seat. This allows me to easily access the box prior to exiting my vehicle without drawing a whole lot of attention to myself.
I decided to purchase a NanoVault NV200. This is a lock and key model that is about 9.5" X 6.5". These are available at many of the major retailers or online for under $40. I picked this one up on Amazon for $24. There are several different lock options; combination locks, digital pass key locks, and even biometric fingerprint scanning locks so you will have to decide which model will best suit your needs.
You will also need a drawer slide of some kind. I am using a 16" Center Mount Slide from Lowe's. This was around $5. In addition to the slide you will need some mounting hardware. I am using 10-24 X .50" machine screws and nuts with lock washers along with some sheet metal screws. The hardware you will use will vary depending on how and where you need to mount the box.
Step 2: Test Fit Your Slide
Place the slide in the extended position near the location where you would like the lock box. Look for any structure that you can use to attach the slide to the vehicle. If possible, mark the necessary locations for the fasteners with a marker or piece of masking tape.
Step 3: Mark Hole Locations
Take out your slide and extend it to show the mounting holes. Align the slide to the lock box in the desired location and mark the location of the holes with a marker.
Step 4: Remove the Padding, Drill Holes
Remove the inside padding so that you can drill the holes in the box for attaching the slide.
I used a small drill press to drill my holes but you can easily use a corded/cordless drill to make your holes.
Step 5: Attach Slide
I decided to drill 3 holes in my lock box to attach to the slide. You can easily use more but I thought this was sufficient. I am using 10-24 X .50" machine screws. I actually used security screws for this part so that the lock box couldn't be removed from the slide with a typical screw driver. This part is probably not necessary but I figured it was just another level of security and worth including.
Step 6: Determine Your Vehicle Attachment Method
Now is time to determine your attachment method to the vehicle. You may be able to use some flat head sheet metal screws to attach the slide to the chassis. You may need to pull up the carpeting to do this to ensure that you don't attach through anything important.
In my case, I decided to attach to the rails of the seat. This is a very solid structure and looks to be the most secure location in my case. The seat rail even has a flange with a mounting hole already in it.
Step 7: Make a Template
In my case, taking measurements of the attachment location was a challenge. I didn't feel like removing the seat so I decided to make a template out of some scraps I had laying around. I cut a small piece of scrap wood to length and placed it in the desired location. I was then able to mark the locations of the mounting holes with a pencil.
Step 8: Create Permanent Support
Next I decided to purchase a piece of extruded aluminum in an L shape. This ran around $5 at Lowe's. I then transferred the dimensions from the template to the aluminum and cut it to length with a hack saw and drilled the holes.
Step 9: Test Fit the Support, Mark and Drill Mounting Holes
Next, test fit the support to make sure everything fits nicely. Then put the slide and lock box in place and mark the location with a pencil on the support. Make sure that the location you mark works in both the open and closed position.
Match drill the support piece and the slide in your marked location. Make sure to choose locations in the center of the slide so that there is clearance when the slide is closed. If you get too close to the edge, the screws, even if flat head, will prevent the slide from closing. I overlooked this simple fact on my first attempt!
Step 10: Permanently Install Support and Slide
Now that everything has been cut and mounting holes drilled, install the support and glide permanently. I used 1/4"-20 machine screws for this purpose. Don't forget to use lock washers to keep everything tight over time.
Step 11: Verify Operation
Finally, make sure there is no interference when you move the seat. Make sure that there is no chance of wiring getting in the way when you move the seat or when you pull the lock box in or out. I had to use a couple of zip ties to keep some wiring out of the way.
Step 12: Enjoy Your New Hidden Sliding Lock Box!
Now you are ready to enjoy your new hidden sliding lock box! For a little added security, use the included safety cable that comes with the NanoVault or most other lock boxes. Wrap the security cable around something strong, the seat support in my case, then insert the end of the cable into the lock box through the security slot before you lock it. Now you have a safe method to secure your valuables in your vehicle!
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