Picture of Simple Magnet Lock
magnet lock.jpg
Yes, it's another simple project you can do. I actually got this idea from this site while looking for things for my new nephew: http://www.123safe.com/cgi-bin/SoftCart.exe/scstore/p-1031209AL.html?L+scstore+mzbz8040ff0bcd0b+1159202257

I figured out how to duplicate the lock idea that they had, but was unable to make one as small as they had. So after some time went by, I figured out how to make a magnet lock out of some materials that were lying around the house. Below you'll see the two different designs, but I'm only showing you how to make the one with the "Latch's Path". Unfortunately, you need a strong magnet to use this even for a thin door. I, of course, lack the strong magnet needed to operate this lock right now. You can see in the video that I was able to get the lock to respond, but the magnet was too weak to attract the latch all the way.

The thicker the material you use this latch on, the stronger the magnet you will need.
Movie is attached below...

1. Soda bottle cap
2. Plastic Shim (small piece of plastic/metal. Metal would probably work better to attract the magnet)
3. Drill and drill bits
4. Spring/Washers
5. Screw
6. Screw Driver
7. Metal pieces like small screws (not needed if you used ferrous metal for the latch)
8. Strong Magnet
9. Scissors
10. Solder Iron

Warning: Soldering Irons get extremely hot. Use with caution. Use in well vented area. Do not breathe in fumes from melting plastic.

These are ideal for locking the household chemicals away from kids while not having ugly locks in view on the outside of the cabinets.

vengeance895 years ago
i have a suggestion regarding the magnet, why not use the magnet inside a hard disk?...it's a very strong magnet . just find a broken hdd and get it from there
i tried this, i failed miserably, i have a chair proped against my bedroom door now
simple is always better
Well, I'm just guessing, but you probably don't have a magnet that is strong enough to go through your door.
ajax456786 years ago
wat is dis i cannot understand any thing
perhaps a bit studying english will help. fc twente is beter:P
dunnos7 years ago
how about some super bad*ss electromagnet
camiller8 years ago
I actually have the commercial ones that you linked to on all my kitchen cabs and will likely add them to the drawers that have sharp things in them soon. I can attest to the fact that the typical refridgerator magnet won't open them, of course how many geeks out there don't already have a couple strong magnets arround.
FrenchCrawler (author)  camiller8 years ago
I meant to respond to this before.... I'm one "geek" that doesn't have a couple of strong magnets lying around as you can tell from my instructables ;)
John Smith8 years ago
I was suggesting the second of your descriptions, and you are right about it kind of being overkill for your requirements.I meant that when you held down the buttons one at a time, it would turn on each electromagnet.
FrenchCrawler (author)  John Smith8 years ago
Still it would be a good idea for something like perhaps a shed door. This may also work on larger safes (not sure about smaller ones since the latch uses gravity to stay in the locked position).
John Smith8 years ago
What if you used a series of electromagnets that "pulled" the latch around? Then you could rig those to a keypad, so that as you pushed each number, it would move the latch.
FrenchCrawler (author)  John Smith8 years ago
Well I guess you could, but I wanted to keep this simple. You would also (If you're saying to use a electromagnetic key hooked up to a small keypad) have to have a power supply and make sure you position the key correctly (most likely, you'll have to put something on the outside of the cabinet door to align the key to the inside). Or are you suggesting to place the electromagnets in an oval around the lock and placing a keypad on the outside of the door? This too would be complicated, but pehaps I'll modifiy the lock to work this way for another project. This may work well for a safe door, but wouldn't work well just to keep stuff temporarily locked away from small children due to it's complexity and amount of space it would take up. Good idea though, I'll get to work on a design and post it here in paint...Be right back :)
FrenchCrawler (author)  FrenchCrawler8 years ago
I ran into a dead end, so it make take a while to post a good design (not one of these crazy complex ones I keep coming up with).
Neodudeman8 years ago
Heyyyyyy, That's Nifty! That's quite a cool lil lock, though it can be opened up by anyone with a magnet. lol. but it's still cool.
FrenchCrawler (author)  Neodudeman8 years ago
Not really, you have to have an extra strong magnet (depending on the thickness of the door's material). Which is why the people in the link I provided said you can't use standard magnets that are usually found in households. They can't penetrate the material enough to make the lock move. You would need one extremely strong magnet or several together to make the lock work. This is the reason I showed the "workings" of the lock on a non-ferrous thin metal case with one of the magnetic darts (I tried with my 6x8 speaker magnet, but it was too large to move around inside the case) I'm going to update this in a minute though. I just tried the lock with one of the stronger magnetic darts and trimmed away some of the melted plastic with scissors. I now have video of the lock working.