Introduction: Illusionist Locket

So a few years ago I watched the film "The Illusionist". At the start of the film the main character gives a girl a most intriguing locket. When opened correctly the locket forms a heart shape and can be revolved to reveal a picture. I was captivated by the locket and so I set out to make my own. I quickly discovered that the movie used two props and so I set out to make a working one using a split hinge. After gleaning inspiration from previous documented attempts I drew up my own Sketch-up model and set out to create the locket. After about 40 hours of careful sanding, turning, filing and chisseling I ended up with the locket you see above.

Step 1: Creating the Design

Materials
Strip of 4mm thick oak
Strip of 3mm thick oak
5mm brass stock
1mm drill bit
Silver coated wire
Household staples
Resin and dye
Neodymium magnets, 4x 2mm dia and 4x 1mm dia

Tools
Metal turning lathe
Chisel
Wood saw
files
abrasive paper
glue
drill press
rotary tool

1.
So my first step was to create a template for my design in sketchup. I then printed a 1:1 template from my sketch-up file using a standard inkjet printer. Make sure to cut out the right pieces. You need two left hand pieces and two right hand pieces . The templates where cut out using a knife and where then stuck to my strips of wood using standard PVA wood glue.

2.
The holes for my split hinge were then drilled out using progressively larger drill bits ranging from 1-5mm.
it is important that the holes are drilled before cutting out the pieces seeing as it would otherwise be impossible to drill them.

3.
You should now have two strips of wood with a template glued to the top and holes in the front portion.
The pieces can now be separated with the help of a saw. I used an MDF block as a guide when cutting.
Cut as close to the line as possible, any excess can be sanded away using the method illustrated above. Take care to sand right down to the line.

Step 2: Gouging Hole for the Pivot.

The locket has two pivoting points. For the swivelling action the holes are drilled using a pillar drill before cutting.

This step involves gouging the slot for the pivot which transforms the locket from an oval shape into a heart. The slot is cut in the 4mm thick pieces using a chisel. I ground the chisel from a piece of HSS steel. The chisel was ground to a 1mm thickness and the slot was coughed starting from the centre and gouging outwards to a depth of 1mm.

The pivot is made from a 1mm drill bit which is installed later in the process.

Step 3: Cutting the Profile and Attaching Hinges

Once the slot for the drill bit is gouged the profile of the locket was cut using a coping saw. Unfortunately i dont have any documentation of making the split hinge, however it was turned on a lathe from brass. The hinge consists of four pieces of brass as can be seen in the picture above.

At this point the drill bit is cut to fit the slot and glued to one half using two part epoxy.

Step 4: Sanding and Creating an Epoxy Insert

The locket was sanded to create rounded edges. I was now ready to create epoxy inserts.

A butterfly pattern was drawn on using a pencil and then gouged out using a scalpel and small chisel.

The pockets where filled with epoxy mixed with talkum powder and white paint to create imitation ivory.

Using a syringe the pockets where filled and left to dry. The locket was again sanded to create a smooth finish.

Step 5: Final Glue Up

As a last step, pockets for pictures where gouged with a chisel.

The locket was then assembled and the hinges glued in using epoxy.

Holes where also last drilled along the edges into which, neodymium magnets where inserted for the locket to line up correctly once assembled. A loop was attached to one half to allow the locket to be attached to a chain.

Step 6: The Final Product

In the end I was incredibly pleased with how the locket turned out.

Although challenging to make it was well worth the time and effort taken to make it.

If you have any questions regarding making your own please feel free to ask!

Comments

author
sslaney08 (author)2017-03-28

I bought a locket with this exact design! www.cartoushea.com

Love this locket!!!

author
SeanE2 (author)2017-01-02

Okay thanks so much for doing this! If for no other reason, then I was completely infatuated with this little locket, and I could not understand how they could have made a real one for the movie, (which they didn't of course,) and it has actually wasted some of my time. My biggest issue was the hinge, and I see that splitting the hinge is the trick. Something I was wondering is would it be possible or reasonable to put magnets into the hinge pieces themselves?

author
lj1vukoder (author)2016-08-08

Hi there! Sorry, I don't mean to be a bother, but could i maybe get some closer or maybe more detailed pictures about the split pin and how it's incorporated into the locket? Thank you!

author
EmmettTheGreat (author)2016-02-24

Also where would I get wood this thin

author

The oak was cut thin on a table saw. One hinge was made from a 1mm Drill bit whilst the brass hinge was turned on a metal turning lathe from 5mm brass stock. If you don't have lathe you might be able to improvise using a drill.

Best of luck!

author

Thank you. Sorry to bother you again, but I was also wondering, is the pivot (the hinge made with the drill bit) glued in on both sides or just one? Because if it's glued on both it doesn't seem like it would be able to turn, but if it's glued on one then the two pieces could be pulled apart. Again, sorry if I'm being too inquisitive, I'm just new to these kinds of projects and want to make sure I get it right.

author

No Problem. The pin is glued on one side and then on the other it is pinned in place using bent staples. The drill bit was given groves on the pinned side using a dremel cutting disk. Ive included a close up to show you what i mean. Please let me know if your successful be awesome to see it :)

IMG_2807.jpg
author

Thank you, if and when I finish the pendant I'll comment a picture.

author
EmmettTheGreat (author)2016-02-24

I've really been wanting to make this, but I'm not completely sure about how you did the hinge part. Did u make them or buy them?

author
Nighthaw (author)2015-10-10

I always wondered if it was really possible

author
ZekeF (author)2015-10-10

I always wondered if it was possible to make one like from the film.

author
CherylW5 (author)2015-10-10

totally awesome I love this!

About This Instructable

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Bio: I love making and playing around with materials. I aim to make beautiful things that will stand the test of time.
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