Instructables
Picture of Wooden Bar Combination Lock
This instructable will take you through constructing a wooden bar combination lock.  This particular lock will in fact be used to secure a minibar fridge due to some issues with the misappropriation of foodstuffs at my workplace.  For a more complicate locking mechanism with more features check out (www.instructables.com/id/Wooden-Dial-Combination-lock-with-spring-release-/ ) also by me.

This is a fast, relatively simple project that can be completed inside of 3 hours if you move quickly and don't make any major mistakes.  Further you can plan around irregularities in your workpieces allowing for greater ability to use scraps.


Tools Required:
Circular Saw
Table saw
Band Saw
Drill

Materials required:
3/4 inch pine
1,1/2" screws
~3 hours
Felt pen
Grease pencil
Wood Glue
 
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Cut peices

Picture of Cut peices
Take your 3/4" pine, and plane it relatively even.

Cut:
2     9x12" boards
2     3x12" boards
1     tapered 2,1/2x32" board, tapering out to 3,1/2"
5     3x24" boards
16  3,1/8x3 boards
10  3x1" boards


Arrange your materials neatly, affix the 3x12" boards to the sides of one of the 9x12" boards creating a notch in the middle

Step 2: Check your taper

Picture of Check your taper
IMAG0018.jpg
If you have set the taper correctly on the 32" long board, it should slide into the notch, but not slide THROUGH the notch, it should snugly stop advancing if you attempt to slide it along.  This is important if you want the lock to only release in one direction.

Step 3: Dry fit, and then glue, bars and risers

Picture of Dry fit, and then glue, bars and risers
Arrange the bars and risers (3x24" pieces and 3,1/8x3" pieces)- The 3,1/8 pieces are ever so slightly higher then the 3" pieces allowing for them to slide with ease.  Then carefully fasten them in place, I used wood glue, be sure not to let them slide about, or let the glue drip.  Wait until dry.

Step 4: Mark Gaps with grease pencil

Picture of Mark Gaps with grease pencil
Mark the gaps with the grease pencil, the individual 'tumbler' stops will be placed here to prevent the rod from sliding out.

Step 5: Add stoppers

Picture of Add stoppers
IMAG0023.jpg
In this case I just loose fit some 1,1/2" screws, drivigin them in just enough so that they did not protrude out the other side of the wood.  Always pilot your screw holes!
robot30002 years ago
SPEECHLESS ITS THAT AWESOME
lperkins2 years ago
It's an interesting idea, but given the fact that I can see the cut-outs in the bars that allow the bolt to move, I am skeptical about just how well it would work to keep out a reasonably intelligent human being...
starslayer (author)  lperkins2 years ago
They are pretty exact, so just 'guesstimating' it would likely fail- however using a ruler or string, or other metric, would defiantly allow you to bypass it. See my upgraded version where I address this problem:

www.instructables.com/id/Wooden-Dial-Combination-lock-with-spring-release-/
Even that would be pretty easy to beat, taking less than thirty seconds to open. Just tilt one corner towards the dial plate, turn that dial until it jumps, repeat until it's open.
starslayer (author)  mettaurlover2 years ago
Just to be sure that I'm not talking out of my ass I did in fact attempt this before my response.

What you are describing does not work for several reasons:
->There are rods which guide the lock plate and only allow it to move (relatively) uniformly (you can kind of tilt top and bottom or side to side, but it's not actually enough to engage a single dial- it kind of works for two dials at once but that still leaves you with 26^2 combinations you need to work through)
->The spring tension prevents the type of fine feel that would be required to know that it has 'jumped' into position.
-> Finally the pull tension due to the spring is ~15lbs, easy enough to pull if your just know the code, but becoming quite the weight if your trying to hold the spring in one hand and twist dials randomly with the other.
-> (This one is a negative feature- but prevents guessing the code via your method) the front dials are only tension/pin locked, so if you are trying to twist them against resistance (say because your pulling the pins against them from behind) the back dial will lock in place, and you'll slip the pin in the front, changing the code rather then rotating the dial (I've had to dismantle it a few times due to people doing that because there was then no way to know what the code was)
Ah, though it doesn't need much of a fine feel, unless it's MUCH easier to change the combination accidentally than I think it is.
starslayer (author)  mettaurlover2 years ago
More an issue of 'it is very difficult to exactly hold a ~15lb weight with one hand while twisting a dial with the other' If you pull too tight the screw heads will dig in to the dials and hold them fast, too loose and you'll not feel anything when you pass the hole. Further the pull weight of the spring seems to be less then the weight required to get the screw to dig in- so you won't even know you have enough pressure, unless you have too much.

This is of course my feeling for it, someone who cracks dial based safes for fun would likely not have much issue; but that's also not the sort of person I'm trying to keep out of the fridge.
Kryptonite2 years ago
I love the implementation of this lock, how's it going for you?

Also, a video of this in action would be great... ;D
starslayer (author)  Kryptonite2 years ago
There is now a video- unfortunately it's in my phone's native .3gp format, so it does not seem to display natively in browser, and I can't get to reformatting it right this second.
There is a free video converter... http://www.oxelon.com/media_converter.html that will allow you to convert to just about any format you may need.
starslayer (author)  askjerry2 years ago
The existing format was viewable on most computers; it was just not embedded into the page in its own little iframe, this has now been corrected, enjoy the video.
Keep working on it!
starslayer (author)  Kryptonite2 years ago
The video now attached should play if you click on it and just say 'open with default media application' it just does not happily form itself into a 'play inside browser' box. I am unlikely to be able to play with re-encoding a video until the weekend.
YouTube accepts native 3gp files, and will do converting automatically for you, allowing you to download files once complete... Or just upload to YouTube and link there.
starslayer (author)  darkknight6712 years ago
I thought that might be the best way to acomplish this; thanks for the heads up. I guess I can't put off making a youtube account any longer then- expect to see these video's converted sometime this weekend
SWV17872 years ago
Is the fridge mounted to the wall or desk? if not I would think it would be all too easy to simple slide the fridge over a few inches past the lock open her up and then slide her back and plead ignorance...
starslayer (author)  SWV17872 years ago
Like most forms of lock security the purpose of this system is not to make the fridge impenetrable, but to simply make the attack vector take longer, and take more effort then simply opening the door and taking 8 juice boxes.

Between the time delay, the noise, and the effort the new system seems to let me at least get a view of who's going into the fridge and make sure they don't take things that they should not.
This is just me thinking out loud, but couldn't you just look under or down the back of the lock and see when the holes lined up and then make it work from there? Also, if you can see the notch from outside the lock, what keeps you from just guesstimating it and lining up the holes? I could crack this lock in like 12 seconds.
starslayer (author)  Probasco2 years ago
1- Why not look down the back: You can't, well that's not completely true- you can see the first slider from the top, and the first slider from the bottom, but then the screws obscure seeing any further down.

2- Guesstimating the holes: It is actually pretty precise, you'd be unlikely to guestimate unless you happen to have the level of spacial acuity to be able to judge things within ~1cm blind- people who are that switched on generally have better things to do with there time then steal from the fridge. See the video for how close you can be without it clicking through

That said- non-guesstimating (like say, with a ruler, or any accurate measuring metric) would allow you to get the code quite easily- but I think that 12 seconds might be a little generous for how quickly someone is going to be able to measure and line up 5 separate sliders; of course, once you know the code, it's kind of set to there- see my other reference instructable for the upgraded version that has a variable code.
starslayer (author) 2 years ago
So, once a few people knew the combination EVERYONE knew the combination, defeating at least part of the purpose of this device- so I decided to build a far more complicated lock that has a changeable combination; See the instructable here:
www.instructables.com/id/Wooden-Dial-Combination-lock-with-spring-release-/

(This link has also been added to the front page of my instructable in case eventually these comments bury the link).

Also I was considering, and while a somewhat esoteric stretch- I believe that this project qualifies as making a password real, and thus qualifies to enter the make it real contest (Ignoring the fact that passwords were first used to make a digital lock). Hopefully the moderators agree with me.
The idea behind the make it real challenge is to create an item using CAD software then turn that 3D modeled idea into a real thing.
vov352 years ago
Elegant design, similar to multi-dial bike locks, but with straight boards instead of dials...

You could try to conceal the gates (cuts, notches, whatever you wish to call them) within the mechanism of the box. I'd also be tempted to cut some false gates (don't go all the way through the wood!) so as to frustrate anybody messing with it.

I really like this design and the way you applied it!
LostRite2 years ago
awesome!
Flip it over and put the numbers on the other side so you cannot see the notches.