Introduction: Lego Combination Safe

Picture of Lego Combination Safe
Do you need a place to store your money, but you don't want to spend a lot on a strongbox? Then try this lego version, it's a little less theft-proof than a real one, but it comes close.

I've seen a few combination safes on youtube, but they all used an at least 5 times bigger mechanism than this one. So if you build this safe you have less chance to run out of lego bricks before you're finished.

IMPORTANT: Before you decide to build this, look at the second picture below! Those are the fancy pieces needed. The first, the nine curved bricks, are absolutely required, but not necessarily in red. The two springs, are not extremely important; without it, the door doesn't 'jump' open as you can see in the video below. All other pieces I used, are common lego pieces which belong in an average lego collection, or are well replaceable by a surrogate.

So if you decide to build it, proceed to the next step!

Step 1: The Rotors

Picture of The Rotors

1: A round brick. Take three of these, as you can see in the bottom of the image. Each will be a rotor, number them 1,2, and 3, because later on, we'll treat each one different.
2: Place three curved bricks around it, leaving a gap which will be the rotor's notch.
3: A 4x4 plate on top of it.
4: Another round brick, on top of the plate.
5: Cover the rest with tiles.
6: Another plate, on top of the round brick, only for rotor 1 and 2.
7: Now place a 1x1 round brick on the top plate, the place of it will influence the number sequence of your safe. See the next image, an animated gif, to learn where you can put it.
8: Rotor 2 should be exactly like this. Rotor 3 aswell, but without the plate plus 1x1 round brick at the end. For rotor 1 you only need to add the two round plates at the beginning, without the stuff sticked in them.

Step 2: The Frame

Picture of The Frame

1: Lay down these plates. The 4x2 one with holes in it, is needed.
2: Add bricks like this.
3: And another layer.
4: Make another four of that, and stack them together.
5: Place 6x1 bars on these places.
6: Just a temporary plate to hold the brick where it should be.
7: Also a temporary plate, because those long holed plate break off fast without something behind it.
8: Maybe you already noticed you can insert the rotors in the frame. Also notice that their connection caps should point in the opposite direction compared to the frame's bricks!
9: These are the pins that will fall into the rotors. The one on the left is different because it will also open the door.
10: You need these staves plus connection element, to hold the pins you just made.
11: Take out the rotors again, for just a moment. First, from the right side, take the longer stave and slide it into the holes, and through the two small pins. Put the connection element at the end.
12: Now, form the left, slide in the smaller stave inside, through the longer pin. All pins should be above a 6x1 bar.
13: A little plate on the end to cover the stave.
14: Add holed bars like this. See the next two steps.
15: 3x2 plates to enclose the rotor's axes.
16: Add more holed bars and 1x4 plates. Not necessarily all bars need to have holes, see step 3.11 and 5.5 to see where there need to be holes, to hold the springs. I'm saying this because if you don't have a lot of holed bars, you don't have a problem. I filled this all with holed bars, because I will need a lot of grey bars without holes on the outside of the safe, and when I use those now, I could run out of un-holed bars when I need them.
17: Make two layers of plates on the back, leaving open the place of the last rotor's axis. I made the last face in black because I didn't have enough grey plates. You can cover the axis aswell, I didn't, because it's not necessary. Maybe you think that it would reveal the place of the 1x1 tab of the rotor, that's true, but it doesn't reveal the code. Because if you only know where the tab is, you don't know yet where the notch(the absent curved brick) of the rotor is.

Step 3: The Door

Picture of The Door

1: compose a 12x7 plate.
2: Put a 12x6 plate on top of it.
3: Add eight 1x1 holed bricks(or four 2x1 bricks with two holes, even better)
4: Put connection staves in the holes. connect 4 holed-bars to it. It's no problem if you don't have exactly these ones! I composed them from two different bricks, but that's also not necessary. The important thing is, that there's are holes just over the ridge of the door, with a round edge. They need to be round, because they're going to be the hinges. There are a lot of bricks like this, they dont need to be with four holes, you can also use them with six holes. And the hole on the end doesn't even need to be +-shaped. It may also be O-shaped.
5: Take a twelve-long stave, and build the thing on the left, with 1x1 holed bricks on it.
6: Join them together.
7: Fill the back of the door with bricks like this.
8: add plates, like this.
9: Take the spring and these other things.
10: Join them together.
11: Put it on the holed bars from the frame like this. It will push the door open. Also add those black connection sticks to hold the springs in place.

Step 4: The Dial

Picture of The Dial

1: Take two discs with six connection sticks, and a five-length stave.
2: Take some pieces which will be the part of the dial to hold in your fingers when turning it. I took the inner part of a wheel and a round 2x2 plate, but I can understand if you don't have the weel rim. Use similar lego pieces, there exist a lot of them like this, or other discs to use for the dial, so this shouldn't be a problem.
3: Join it all together.
dial design: print this with the size of 4,5x4,5 cm(or 1,77x1,77 inch) on hard paper.
4: Make a hole in the middle, so, that a black stave fits in.
5: Put some hobby glue on it, You can use just a very little bit if you're going to execute step 7 and 8 aswell. If you don't want to get a little glue on your lego, you can enclose this paper between the two holed discs, but then there's a chance that later on the paper will move, and the combination you've remembered doesn't work anymore.
6: Hold it for a moment as the glue dries.
7: For the best result, take six really small nails.(even these are a bit too big)
8: Press them through the paper, on the places of the disc's connection sticks' holes.
9: insert the dial into the first rotor, and carefully(because the first rotor isn't fully enclosed yet) test what your combination is. You should check this, because now you can see what happens with the rotors. In the next step we will build it in, so you can't see it anymore. If you disagree with the number, you can get the dial out, turn it it a quarter-revolution, and put it in again. Then repeat the test.

Step 5: The Last Steps

Picture of The Last Steps

1: Build the walls of the safe, and add the door. Do it with bricks with one in width. Be careful when building the walls, because you need to loosen the openings between the 4x2 bricks everytime, to get the bars between them. If you loosen them, don't pull them out of eachother too far, because then you'll break a rotor! And repairing is hard as you can hardly reach the rotors after a while. So contstantly keep checking if the rotor pieces are still together, because later on, you won't be able to reach the rotors at all and you can't repair them; so you don't want them to break them due to weakening during this step.
2: Place two layers of plates on it. Plus a holed place for the stave to come through. And leave a 2x2 gap around the axis between rotor 1 and the dial.
3: take a 4x2 plate and place two flat round plates under it.
4: Slide it on the stave.
5: Change the composition of the springs like this! In my first design, there was so much pressure, that the door would fly open fast, but it would fly off aswell. So if you like that, you can keep it the way it is, but i recommend to chache it like this. The connection sticks on the bottom are both moved one hole to the outside, as well as the black connection sticks above it. The spring are upside down, so that the grey solid part touches the black sticks - if the spring part touches the black stick when compressing, the movement may stagnate.
6: In the door, place a flat 2x1 tile, to let the opening of the door run more smoothly.
7: It's finished!
8: Optional: If you have lego crocodiles, you can place them on top of the save, to scare lockpickers off.


SuperScourge (author)2014-03-08

does color of the door matter or the whole safe can be any color? I was thinking doing those famous black ones make it all black, plus could I use one of those spoked wheels like most safes have?

Niccrep (author)SuperScourge2016-10-14

any colour

hitshotg (author)2016-03-15

How do you get the numbers on the combination?

Niccrep (author)hitshotg2016-10-14

use a marker

lxlbacon (author)2013-07-03

FYI: Lego website/stores do not sell the shock absorbers, but you can buy then on eBay cheap. The rest of the pieces you can order on the LEGO website

tonemeister69 (author)lxlbacon2015-08-18

There is also That is one of the best sites to find replacement parts, or parts that you want for a project without having to buy a whole set!

Matthias760 (author)2015-02-11

wow so cool

TriG1 (author)2014-10-21

You can just smash it to steal money, lol.

MicioGatta (author)2014-09-24

Standing ovation!! It's wonderful! It's a pity I don't have those pieces.... but it's great!

THEGOBLINHUNTER (author)2014-07-03


samjohn (author)2014-01-14


tgferreira184 (author)2013-07-04

This safe is great!
if you (or anyone else) forgets the combination just remove some of the back legos and done!

HavocRC (author)2012-11-08


RadioactiveBees (author)2011-08-03

Thus the problem remains: legos come apart. :P

Just use a hot glue gun to stick the casing together. That's what the proffesional lego artists and people @ lego land do...

jobard (author)RadioactiveBees2011-08-10

This is not supposed to be really "safe". I wouldn't put anything valuable inside it, but it's a great gadget

RadioactiveBees (author)jobard2011-08-10

haha, ya. or maybe you could glue the pieces together.

pickle5 (author)2011-07-06

i have like a TON of parts but not the right ones for any lego instructables

skolsox (author)pickle52011-12-10

you can order individual pieces on the cheap form under pick a brick

ipwnupeep (author)2010-12-24

id just get a hammer and smash the whole thing open and jack the money

Ya funny thing...Still an AMAZING idea

jharvison (author)2011-07-18

do you think you could add a parts list because its a real pain to go through the whole thing and come up with a list it would be extremely helpful and i hope it wouldnt be to hard to do please reply

merijnvw (author)jharvison2011-07-26

look at the date, I made this intructible more than two years ago. I don't feel like updating it in eternity. I think I already mad it very comprehensible compared to most other lego ibles.
the most important bricks are the curved ones and the technical parts. the rest are regular bricks that you either already have or can find really easily, if not grey then a different colour

jharvison (author)merijnvw2011-07-26

im sorry i was kinda in a bad mood when i posted it and now that i look at it i completely agree with you about it being comprehensible and i guess i can just make my own sorry about snapping at you like that i hope that in the future we can have better conversations than this

kylekosan23 (author)2011-07-24


jhawthorne1 (author)2011-07-20

forgot ma com and why cant i breack into mine

pickle5 (author)2011-07-06

i have like a ton of parts but i seem to not have enough for lego instructables

akõre1 (author)2011-06-28

its so so COOL ,i want to bild it but i can t

lego dude 305 (author)2011-06-25

cool but can you make a mechanism with less of the curve pieces

ninjaaa (author)2011-06-17


cornonthecobert (author)2011-05-15

Anyone know a way to download the instructions without having to pay to be a pro member?

merijnvw (author)cornonthecobert2011-05-16

you need to be a pro member to see the text?? is this different from other 'ibles? I don't remember this ever happened to me, only sometimes the photos...

cornonthecobert (author)merijnvw2011-05-19

@merijnvw, you don't need to be a pro member to see the text, but you need to to download as PDF (or print, @TheGeek1984

At the top click "Print PDF" then right click the link and click "Save As", choose where you want it saved, and click "Save".

@merijnvw, you don't need to be a pro member to see the text, but you need to to download as PDF (or print, @TheGeek1984)

soccernoodle (author)2010-12-20

wow this is amazing but i only have 8 of the curved pieces :( i am currently searching for the 9th one. wish me luck!

pie R []ed (author)soccernoodle2011-05-15

make it with 1 less rotor...

merijnvw (author)soccernoodle2010-12-27

good luck

scistone (author)merijnvw2011-05-15


scistone (author)2011-05-15

U think I could make it without using legos?

I don't have some of the peices.

jackerboy (author)2011-05-15

i want to make this but i dont have enough peices

atomiclegocreations (author)2011-04-19

my comment below states that the rotor gets stuck. I mean that the rotor will stop. I guess because it's lose. A good shake or tilting the thing works, so I guess I fixed it. the only problem is constructing the box. I have this little coin dispenser thing and I worked so hard on it that I'm just not willing to destroy it. Would this work as a box?: The base of the locking thing would link with the bottom of the safe, then the top of the lock would be covered up with Legos.

Hey man I reasd your comment, I will try to think about it later as now I am on vacation in Berlin and I don't have much time, in a few days I will re-read this, hold on. In the meanwhile good luck!

merijnvw (author)merijnvw2011-04-28

Yes it would do I think, I don't have pics but I imagine it would work. You say it would interlink with the lego safe lock through the base. In my version they interlink on the side, but you could also make the lock underneath the 'coin dispenser'. Either way you could rotate the coin dispenser sideways to use it the same way I did. I don't have pics so I can't say much about it, good luck!

atomiclegocreations (author)2011-04-27

Actually, don't bother to think about it now.

I took it apart to get pieces and now after a LOT of creations I've made a coin bank that can hold a lot of change.

Sorry about that (but hey, now you don't have to think about a loose rotor)

But hey, thanks!

Callum Snowden (author)2011-04-23

I once made a lego safe that used the NXT set and a motor but it was easily defeatable by pushing a phillips head screwdriver into where the motor was located then turning it 90 degrees...

atomiclegocreations (author)2011-04-18

for some reason, the 2nd rotor (behind the rotor with the dial) gets stuck at a point when it grabs onto the 3rd rotor. I've tried to do something, but it keeps doing it. Could you help?

pgardner (author)2011-04-09

can i just use bricks to go around the red circle?

merijnvw (author)pgardner2011-04-11

not straight bricks because the pins should rest still on them until they can fall in, so they should have a curve. Or in another way they should make a circle. If you have another method please tell.

Lego man 201 (author)2011-03-12

This is probaly the easiest thin i've made because my cousin is an awseome lego builder and sent me a whole bag and taught me how to do a lego thing. Pictures coming

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