Instructables
Picture of Sugru a Lock Finder ('V' Lock)

Have you ever been in the position where you are trying to open a lock but it's too dark to see?  I bet you have, which is why I made this Instructable.  I cannot take credit for the original idea (see Yanko Design site:  http://www.yankodesign.com/2010/04/21/never-miss-the-key-hole/  ) but I can take credit for the Sugru version of it!  :)

Supplies:
Sugru (choose your color)

Tools:
Small stick or pointed tool
 
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Plan Your Design

Picture of Plan Your Design

Take a look at your lock to decide how best to form a "V" around the keyhole.  See the picture for a visualization (picture is of a different lock than the other photos).

Step 2: Form the "V" Shape Around the Keyhole

Picture of Form the
IMG_3755.JPG
IMG_3754.JPG
Take the Sugru out of its package and warm it up in your hands.

Form a "V"-like shape around the keyhole.  The bottom of the "V" will most likely have to be flat so that the key will fit without obstruction.  Try slanting the bottom part downwards a bit in order to give rainwater a way to run out without building up inside the lock (thanks Earthy Eric).

Use your hands, small stick, or other pointed tool to finish your design to your satisfaction.  Be sure to try sticking the key into and out of the lock several times to make sure nothing is blocking the way.

Step 3: Finishing Touches

Picture of Finishing Touches

That's it, you are finished!  Just wait the recommended 24 hours for the Sugru to completely cure.

If you are unhappy with the color of the Sugru, I would suggest painting it a different color--perhaps one that matches the color of the lock.  Also, one could paint the Sugru with a glow-in-the-dark paint (thanks to Earthy Eric and to sillyzombie666).
Vampyra655 months ago

Living in a subzero climate with snow and blizzards this would not work for me. I think I'd rather stick with a led flash light from the dollar store. Wouldn't this stuff fall off with bad weather ?

makerdan (author)  Vampyra655 months ago

Certainly an LED flashlight is helpful! But I guess what I was going for was something that didn't require batteries, good waterproof housing, etc. An analog approach maybe. As for Sugru itself, I've had this particular hack (and others) outside for the last 3.5 years or so and it's still solid as a rock! We've had multiple freezes, snow (although not subzero!), as well as heavy rains and long months of nothing but 100+ degree weather--and it's still there! I'm satisfied with the material myself; as for living in a subzero climate I must admit that I'd be curious to see how it would hold up! :) Looking at the Sugru website, here's an interesting testimonial:

"Jim trekked to the North Pole with sugru grips on his ski poles, where it needed to be the most comfortable shape for him and withstand temps of more than -25ºC." (http://sugru.com/about)

tderakc11 months ago
Or just paint the door handle with glow in the dark paint
hey mrsupercool, great Instructable :) James
bac5123 years ago
why not make the V upside down? then not only would it guide your key, it would block water from the lock :)
Earthy Eric3 years ago
Very cool idea. There may be a slight problem with the "V" catching water and freezing in the lock though. Do they make glow in the dark sugru? That would be sweeet.
makerdan (author)  Earthy Eric3 years ago
Good point on the water problem. Perhaps the bottom of the "V" needs to be slightly slanted downwards to allow water to run out of the keyhole.
no but you can make your own, just buy glow powder and mix it in
ChrysN3 years ago
Clever!