Candy Vault - Wood Box With Secret Mechanical Lock




About: Steampunk artist, scientist, engineer

UPD 21.10.2016 Added CDR files for laser cutting.

Wood box with secret mechanical lock.

This toy will protect your candies from being eaten by stranger :)

Ideal for protect your candies from children or small sicrets from anyone.

Material: plywood/wood

Assembly: DIY or I will assemble it for you.

Assembly time: 2-6 Hours

Materials needed for assembly:

1. Wood glue

2. File

3. Sand paper

Additionally 4. Inc for colouring or making custom key-symbol5. Varnish

To make parts:

1. wood or plywood;

2. saw or any cutting device.

Next instructable will give you idea how to build this box by yourself.

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Step 1:

I hope that this small tutorial helps you to assembly 3D-puzzle box.

Let’s begin.

Check complexity like in photo.

4 nails for wheel and 1 nail for box

4 gears

4 lock-wheels

1 decoration

7 parts of external box (left)

5 parts of internal box

Step 2: Grear Assembly


For assembly you’ll need wood glue, sandpaper and file

Take one of 4 nails and one gear.

Add drop of glue inside circle on a wheel. Insert nail on circle.

Remove needless of glue using paper towels.

Wait 10-15 minutes for glue dries.

Step 3: Internal Box

Next we will assembly internal box.

First time try to assembly parts without glue.

Do the same with glue.

Add glue to each tooth on both parts.

Press on right position.

Do the same with the other part.

Note that in 10-15 minutes glue will harden.

Step 4: Small Tuning of Internal Box

In the next step we will need file.

On assembled internal box we must make little cutting for excellent work of lock.

Do the same like on photo below.

Look on this photo for cutting.

Do exact like in photo.

Check quality of cutting using one of wheels.

The arc-part of wheel should not be greater than wall of internal box.

Note that I cut only from one side.

Step 5: Finishing Intenal Box

Add finally nail to internal box.

Add a little glue to box-nail and install it on its position.

Step 6: External Box

On this step we will build only part of external box.

When the glue will harden we will assembly lock part.

Step 7: Lock Construction

Insert all 4 gear+nail-part on holes of this part. Note that this is not glued particle in this moment

Step 8: Lock Constraction Step2

Check notes on photos.

Lock system installing.

Take this part. (photo 2)

Add a small drop of glue inside the circle. Note that this part must be fixed to gear+nail part and not to top-box-part. When you’ll rotate gear you’ll rotate this part too.

Next install 4-symbol code what will be your key-number.

Fix it using hand and rotate whole top-box part. Add wheel to nail on this position exact like on photo. I add small piece of paper to prevent contact glue with top-box-part and wheel-part. Also when you remove this piece of paper in 10 minutes gear-nail-wheel par will spin easily.

On photo there are all 4 gear-nail-wheel on position. This is opened position, your key combination.

Now I’ll make little explanation. On photo_8 wheel on bottom is on closed position and wheel on top is on open position.

Step 9: Final Assembly

For easiest assembly on this step I’ll place internal box on its position in external box

Than add the last one unused part with holes on its place without glue!!! In this moment we will test how the lock works. Then add a top-box part with gears and wheels.

In this moment check you key combination by rotating gears. If all fine than fix this both parts with glue. Add the last one part.

Step 10: Result



Plywood: 4mm

Holes: D10mm

Step 11: Partial Drowings of Some Elements

All dimmensions in mm (milimeters)

Make a Box Contest

Runner Up in the
Make a Box Contest

Full Spectrum Laser Contest 2016

Participated in the
Full Spectrum Laser Contest 2016

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    22 Discussions


    Question 3 months ago

    Hi prototype_mechanic, so I know this was posted back in 2016 (I honestly don't even know if you're still active on here), but I had a couple of questions I was hoping you could answer. So I have absolutely no background in woodworking here, but I my anniversary with my gf is going to be coming up in February (trying to give myself plenty of time for trial and error here) and I was wondering if you had any kind of extra advice you might be able to give to an amateur like myself?

    I'm trying to do a lot of research into completely wooden lock boxes and would like if I could do it all myself, but I am aware of my limitations, the biggest one being lack of the finer tools.

    I was also curious if, worse comes to worse and I'm not able to come up with something I can do myself (your design is currently my favorite after 2 months of research, absolutely beautiful), if you would be able to construct the parts needed for me and ship them to me unassembled, as I would like to add some special things for her here and there while staining and finishing it? Of course I would be more than happy to pay for your experience, time, effort, supplies, shipping, ect.

    I hope to hear back from you soon.



    8 months ago

    Does anyone have the files in another format? .ai or .pdf or something - I can't open .cdr-files... Preferably one file with all the parts..


    1 year ago

    Obrigado por compartilhar conosco!


    2 years ago

    What thickness plywood did you use here? Thanks!


    3 years ago

    Hello, I'm new in this website and I really wanted to reprocude your box ! There is a way to get the plan to cut the part for the box ? I don't see attach some eps file ?

    Thanks et very nice work !!!

    3 replies

    Reply 2 years ago

    hi, just open it in corel and save it like PDF then open it in Ai. thats what I did.


    Reply 2 years ago

    I updated drawings to use plywood parts only. (Mooving parts). Ill test how it work this week.


    Unfortunately I do not have eps drawings

    I describe idea and you can create your own drawings.


    3 years ago

    Hello do you have dxf and or ai file for laser cutting?

    2 replies

    3 years ago

    This is a wonderful steam punk project, thumbs up.


    3 years ago

    also, about what you said in the assembling, can you really assemble it for me? and can i customize the lock?

    1 reply

    3 years ago

    Super cool.

    Would you share the CNC router or laser files you used?

    1 reply

    3 years ago

    amazing! My friend's been going on and on about how her mom and dad keeps reading her diary and this will be the perfect gift for her, how do you know when the "combination" you put in is enough to make it open?


    3 years ago

    Nice design and art work on the locking box. Your photos and videos were clear. Your instructions had some grammar errors but nothing to bad. Might want to fix them if you decide to use this project for another contest. Good luck in the contest.


    3 years ago

    Nice mechanism. :)