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I grew up pretty isolated from what the majority of the population considers normal. Surrounded by cows and corn fields, my upbringing took place a few miles outside of a town of less than 3000 people. The nearest interstate was about an hour away, and the nearest "big city" was an hour and a half. Needless to say, theft and break-ins were not what kept us awake at night.

However, there was recently a string of car break-ins in my mom's little "neighborhood" (you have to be from the country to understand a country neighborhood) that prompted me to fix this up for her. Most of the garage doors at the farm are automatic, but one on my dad's shop is manual and has no way to lock it.

Using a few random pieces I found laying around, I put together a lock that can be installed and removed quickly and easily. Hopefully, this will keep those pesky overgrown raccoons from sneaking into the barn...

Step 1: Parts and Tools

As mentioned, I built this lock using random things I found in the shop.

The basic parts are:

  • 1 x piece of wood - a 1' piece of 2x3 should work well.
  • 2 x 1 1/2" long bolts (I used 1/4"; theyhave to fit through the pre-drilled garage door rail holes)
  • 4 x nuts (for the bolts)
  • 2 x large nut as a spacer

Tools and such:
  • Drill
  • Drill Bit (big enough for those bolts above)
  • Wrench (To tighten the nuts... my 1/4" bolts had a 7/16" nut)
  • Colored Duct Tape
  • Sharpie

Step 2: Mark the Holes

Inside the garage, you should see the garage door rails on either side of the door. The door rollers move up these rails. There will likely be a bunch of random holes in various places in the rail. Find some above one of the rollers - that is where we will mount the lock!

Set the wood block on top of a roller (give yourself some wiggle room here - maybe an inch or so up from the roller) and mark a couple of the holes on the wood with the sharpie.

Step 3: Drill the Holes

You know the marks from the previous step? Drill them out! You might want to ream the hole out a bit... it might help later on.

Step 4: Put in the Bolts

Put the bolts in the wood holes. I used the large nut as a spacer before putting the regular nut on and tightening it. If you didn't line the holes up perfectly, you might not be able to tighten one of the nuts completely. Leaving it a bit loose will make the next step easier...

Step 5: Put the Lock on the Door

Put the bolt ends through the holes in the garage door rail. If you didn't drill the holes in the right space, you will have to loosen one of the nuts to give the bolt a bit of play. The second set of nuts can then be hand tightened to hold the lock onto the rail.

It is now impossible to open then door without breaking off all rollers below the lock! (or just breaking the door in general).

Step 6: Add a Flag

Just in case you are the forgetful type, you might want to add some decoration to the lock. I taped a few pieces of colored duct tape in a loop on the wood to be an indicator that the lock is in place. Hopefully, that will prevent my family from standing inside the shop, cursing the door for being "stuck" shut.

And there you go, rest at ease knowing your garage is a bit better protected from thieves!

About This Instructable

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Bio: Jack of All Trades, Master of One: Being Me!
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