Introduction: Adding a Simple Lock to a Refrigerator

A downside of the petite, unassuming refrigerator my mom and I bought about two years back was that it had no lock. At the time we had no need for one, but recent developments involving a certain Binge (that IS the preferred nomenclature for a sibling that 'needs' to eat as often as he breaths, yes?) necessitate one, for his own good.

I wanted a lock that would be as non-invasive on the fridge body as possible and not involve metal or woodworking. It need not be heavy duty, because the padlock would lie horizontally (so no need to support its weight) and if it showed even the slightest sign of having been tampered with, that would be sufficient to convict the targeted party xD I also like using recycled or waste materials. These points factored in to my particular choice of material.

For a lock capable of greater load bearing (especially if the padlock will be dangling vertically, unlike in my case), substituting materials should do the trick. For the filler,use a light aggregate concrete mixture instead of wax. For the container, use metal or a harder plastic. Use a stronger adhesive to secure the item in place. It all depends on your application, really.

Step 1: Getting Started.

A rough sketch helped me clarify the finer points of what I had to do. I needed the following to go about it;

1. Length of 25 mm diameter PVC pipe
2. Hacksaw blade
3. Sharp knife
4. Length of ribbon to wrap PVC loops with
5. Adhesive that works on fabric and PVC
6. Old plastic bottle with base of appropriate shape
7. Lit candle, with plenty of wax on it
8. Enamel paint (aesthetics sake)
9. The padlock you wish to use.

The first step would be to measure the width of this padlock (Photo 2), and figure out how thick the loops can be and how far apart you can place them. You don't want to end up with a structure too thick to pass the padlock through comfortably.

Step 2: The Loops.

Saw off two loops of equal thickness from the length of pipe. Testimony to my excellent sawing skills, I at first had loops of two vastly different thicknesses xD But if you are as adroit as I am, worry not. Use the sharp knife to bring the difference in width down to something less noticeable, as seen in Photo 2. You can do this by peeling along the rims of each loop with the knife.

Now wrap the loops in ribbon, for presentability.

Step 3: The Base.

Saw off the bottom of a plastic bottle like that pictured. The shape of the bottle and at what point you should saw it off will depend on the dimensions of your loops. The bottom quarter of the loop ought to fit snugly in to the base.

After you have the base severed, place the loops on it one by one and carve seats for them, as shown in Photo 3. You should be able to place the loops steadily in the base using the seats.

Step 4: Putting It Together.

Once seats are carved, apply the adhesive along them and and place the loops. Apply adhesive wherever necessary for the loops to be steadily in place, and leave to dry.

Once dry, take the lit candle and drop wax in to the base. Do this until the wax level reaches the brim of the base, making sure that the lower quarter of the loops are fully submerged in wax. Leave to cool and harden.

Step 5: And the One Shall Become Two...

After the wax is well set, take the sharp knife and place it in between the loops, parallel to them. Make a clean cut through the wax and base to get two loops-in-base as in Photo X.

Some of the wax in the corners may fall off or separate from the base. Relight the candle and wax over the imperfections. Leave to cool. After hardened, use the knife to scrape away the extra/spilled wax to get an even, well shaped form.

(If you're using a harder filler substance, you might want to make two separate bases BEFORE you pour the filler, since a clean cut might be difficult.)

Step 6: A Decent Finish.

Use a paint of your choice to give each piece a less rustic look. After drying, you can use a suitably strong adhesive and paste them wherever you need them to be. I actually found out the hard way that nail polish was a poor choice since it peels quite readily. Enamel paint does better.

Afterwards, simply pass your padlock through the loops, and you're done.

I hope you find this useful. Also, you have any suggestions for how I could have gone about this more effectively, please let me know in the comments! :)