Mar. 12th, 2013

peteyfrogboy: (rook)

The first version of the lock was not very elegant, and the key kept catching on the corners of the brackets, so I revised my plan.

Here you can see the main mechanism of the new lock. Instead of two brackets, there is one bracket with rectangular holes on either end. This makes it easier to clear the path of the key, though it does have other issues that will be seen later. I had originally planned to use the same leaf spring design as the v.1.0 lock, but after going back to look at my source images I decided to try attacking the spring to one of the bracket flanges instead. While the theory was sound, the piece of brass shown here did not have sufficient stiffness to maintain good tension.

This is the paper template for the lock cover, including placement of the keyhole and the slot where the hasp will connect to the bolt.

Here is the paper template placed over the lock mechanism. You can see the bolt in the locked position inside the slot.


This is v.2.1 of the lock mechanism. The problem with the v.1.0 leaf spring was that the piece of hair barrette I was using was too narrow to properly engage the bolt (and also hard to attach). The solution, therefore, was a wider barrette. A quick trip to the dollar store got me a 6-pack of nice flat barrettes of various widths. The previous orientation of the brass spring didn’t work with the stiffer steel, so I flipped it upside down and bent it to where it needed to be. Bending the spring had to be done very carefully, as it breaks easily if bent too sharply.


This is a closer shot showing the attachment of the spring. I had a problem later with the bolt, after the cover was in place. While the bolt was prevented from going too far to the right by the side of the lock cover, there was really nothing to prevent it going too far to the left from an over-enthusiastic turn of the key or vibration from hammering. There is no sound quite as depressing as a bolt rattling around loose inside a nailed-on lock. I had to pull out nails (twice) to fix a wayward bolt. In the end I put the bolt in the vise and mushroomed the right end of it slightly so it would no longer be able to fit through the hole in the bracket. Problem solved!

Here is the lock cover cut out of the same steel as the rest of the hardware and bent into shape. It took some finagling to get everything going the right way, but it all turned out in the end.

Since I wanted to mount the lock on the front of the box before it was fully assembled, that meant the lock cover was the first piece that needed to be blackened. I placed the cover on a piece of fire brick on top of the anvil and heated it with a propane torch. Once it was hot enough that black oxide appeared on the surface, I picked it up with a specialized tool (coat hanger with one end bent into a hook) and dunked it in a metal bowl of safflower oil. I removed it from the oil, let most of it drip off, then put it back on the fire brick to heat it again. This process was repeated one more time just to be sure. I also had to go back and re-treat the edges later after I dinged it up trying to pull out nails.


Here you can see the lock mechanism ready to be mounted to the front board of the box. The center point of the board is marked in pencil, but the lock mechanism is offset slightly relative to the cover. You can also see the hole drilled for the post of the key.

The lock mechanism nailed in place. These are 9/16″ black cut nails that I found at Lowe’s for super cheap. They hold well and look good, so I ended up using them for all the construction of this box (with one exception).

The completed lock installed. I did not, in fact, ever check to make sure the lock cover would fit on the front of the box. I could have cut off the top and/or bottom flanges to make it fit if I needed to, but I got lucky and was able to squeeze it in as is. Once the cover was in place, it turned out that I had to file down the bit of the key just a smidge to make sure it cleared everything inside. Next time, the actual construction of the box!

Mirrored from Lorenzo's Workshop.

peteyfrogboy: (rook)

The first version of the lock was not very elegant, and the key kept catching on the corners of the brackets, so I revised my plan.

Here you can see the main mechanism of the new lock. Instead of two brackets, there is one bracket with rectangular holes on either end. This makes it easier to clear the path of the key, though it does have other issues that will be seen later. I had originally planned to use the same leaf spring design as the v.1.0 lock, but after going back to look at my source images I decided to try attacking the spring to one of the bracket flanges instead. While the theory was sound, the piece of brass shown here did not have sufficient stiffness to maintain good tension.

This is the paper template for the lock cover, including placement of the keyhole and the slot where the hasp will connect to the bolt.

Here is the paper template placed over the lock mechanism. You can see the bolt in the locked position inside the slot.


This is v.2.1 of the lock mechanism. The problem with the v.1.0 leaf spring was that the piece of hair barrette I was using was too narrow to properly engage the bolt (and also hard to attach). The solution, therefore, was a wider barrette. A quick trip to the dollar store got me a 6-pack of nice flat barrettes of various widths. The previous orientation of the brass spring didn’t work with the stiffer steel, so I flipped it upside down and bent it to where it needed to be. Bending the spring had to be done very carefully, as it breaks easily if bent too sharply.


This is a closer shot showing the attachment of the spring. I had a problem later with the bolt, after the cover was in place. While the bolt was prevented from going too far to the right by the side of the lock cover, there was really nothing to prevent it going too far to the left from an over-enthusiastic turn of the key or vibration from hammering. There is no sound quite as depressing as a bolt rattling around loose inside a nailed-on lock. I had to pull out nails (twice) to fix a wayward bolt. In the end I put the bolt in the vise and mushroomed the right end of it slightly so it would no longer be able to fit through the hole in the bracket. Problem solved!

Here is the lock cover cut out of the same steel as the rest of the hardware and bent into shape. It took some finagling to get everything going the right way, but it all turned out in the end.

Since I wanted to mount the lock on the front of the box before it was fully assembled, that meant the lock cover was the first piece that needed to be blackened. I placed the cover on a piece of fire brick on top of the anvil and heated it with a propane torch. Once it was hot enough that black oxide appeared on the surface, I picked it up with a specialized tool (coat hanger with one end bent into a hook) and dunked it in a metal bowl of safflower oil. I removed it from the oil, let most of it drip off, then put it back on the fire brick to heat it again. This process was repeated one more time just to be sure. I also had to go back and re-treat the edges later after I dinged it up trying to pull out nails.


Here you can see the lock mechanism ready to be mounted to the front board of the box. The center point of the board is marked in pencil, but the lock mechanism is offset slightly relative to the cover. You can also see the hole drilled for the post of the key.

The lock mechanism nailed in place. These are 9/16″ black cut nails that I found at Lowe’s for super cheap. They hold well and look good, so I ended up using them for all the construction of this box (with one exception).

The completed lock installed. I did not, in fact, ever check to make sure the lock cover would fit on the front of the box. I could have cut off the top and/or bottom flanges to make it fit if I needed to, but I got lucky and was able to squeeze it in as is. Once the cover was in place, it turned out that I had to file down the bit of the key just a smidge to make sure it cleared everything inside. Next time, the actual construction of the box!

Mirrored from Lorenzo's Workshop.

peteyfrogboy: (rook)

With the lock installed and functioning, the next step was to actually build the box.

The sides of the box were put together with wood glue and clamps. I thought about putting some extra nails in the corners that would be hidden by the straps, but it seemed like overkill. Also, I didn’t want to risk splitting the edges of any of the boards.

Here’s a shot of the front with the corner straps and bottom attached. Due to the aforementioned splitting worries (I don’t have any of this wood left to replace broken boards), I drilled pilot holes for each nail about halfway through the thickness of the wood. I also did most of the nailing with the boards supported by the horn of the anvil, or on the face when I could. All the hardware was blackened using the same method as the lock cover, but with only one coat of oil.

The bottom was attached with glue and thoroughly modern looking finishing nails. I wanted to make sure I could put this box down on a table without worrying about it scratching anything, so this seemed like the best option. The bottom board had the most cracks in it (and in fact broke in half at one point and needed to be glued back together), so I put it in the position where it would be the most supported.

A close up of the corner straps. I marked the front and back boards to make sure the straps were at the right height, but each had to be positioned individually since they were nowhere near identical.

One of the hinges. The quatrefoils aren’t quite evenly spaced, but they are consistent between the three straps. I experimented with a scalloped edge at the end of the straps, but it didn’t seem to be worth the effort, and might not have looked very balanced.

After getting the lock in place, it turned out that my original hasp wasn’t going to line up with the slot like it needed to. Fortunately, hasps with this sort of dog-leg are quite common. I cut a new one and kept on truckin’.

Laying out the first hinge strap. Here you can see the notches I had to cut in the box lid to accommodate the hardware. Not an ideal solution, but the best I could do.

Here are the hinges fully installed. This is one of my favorite pictures. The position of the hinges meant the straps on the back overlapped the ends of the corner straps. This is pretty common in period examples, and I’m glad I didn’t try to avoid it (to be perfectly honest, it didn’t even occur to me that this might happen until it did).

This was the first version of the staple for the hasp. The final one was just about the same shape, but made form a thin strip of sheet instead of a flattened coat hanger. The coat hanger ended up being too hard and brittle to make all the sharp bends I needed.

Here is the final version of the hasp. I had to tinker with the shape and position of the staple quite a bit to get it to engage the bolt properly, but it seems to have ended up working fine. The ends are simply bent back toward the center on the other side and crimped down.

All that’s left to do is fabricate and install the handle and give it a linseed oil finish. Here are some pics of the (nearly) complete casket:

Mirrored from Lorenzo's Workshop.

peteyfrogboy: (rook)

With the lock installed and functioning, the next step was to actually build the box.

The sides of the box were put together with wood glue and clamps. I thought about putting some extra nails in the corners that would be hidden by the straps, but it seemed like overkill. Also, I didn’t want to risk splitting the edges of any of the boards.

Here’s a shot of the front with the corner straps and bottom attached. Due to the aforementioned splitting worries (I don’t have any of this wood left to replace broken boards), I drilled pilot holes for each nail about halfway through the thickness of the wood. I also did most of the nailing with the boards supported by the horn of the anvil, or on the face when I could. All the hardware was blackened using the same method as the lock cover, but with only one coat of oil.

The bottom was attached with glue and thoroughly modern looking finishing nails. I wanted to make sure I could put this box down on a table without worrying about it scratching anything, so this seemed like the best option. The bottom board had the most cracks in it (and in fact broke in half at one point and needed to be glued back together), so I put it in the position where it would be the most supported.

A close up of the corner straps. I marked the front and back boards to make sure the straps were at the right height, but each had to be positioned individually since they were nowhere near identical.

One of the hinges. The quatrefoils aren’t quite evenly spaced, but they are consistent between the three straps. I experimented with a scalloped edge at the end of the straps, but it didn’t seem to be worth the effort, and might not have looked very balanced.

After getting the lock in place, it turned out that my original hasp wasn’t going to line up with the slot like it needed to. Fortunately, hasps with this sort of dog-leg are quite common. I cut a new one and kept on truckin’.

Laying out the first hinge strap. Here you can see the notches I had to cut in the box lid to accommodate the hardware. Not an ideal solution, but the best I could do.

Here are the hinges fully installed. This is one of my favorite pictures. The position of the hinges meant the straps on the back overlapped the ends of the corner straps. This is pretty common in period examples, and I’m glad I didn’t try to avoid it (to be perfectly honest, it didn’t even occur to me that this might happen until it did).

This was the first version of the staple for the hasp. The final one was just about the same shape, but made form a thin strip of sheet instead of a flattened coat hanger. The coat hanger ended up being too hard and brittle to make all the sharp bends I needed.

Here is the final version of the hasp. I had to tinker with the shape and position of the staple quite a bit to get it to engage the bolt properly, but it seems to have ended up working fine. The ends are simply bent back toward the center on the other side and crimped down.

All that’s left to do is fabricate and install the handle and give it a linseed oil finish. Here are some pics of the (nearly) complete casket:

Mirrored from Lorenzo's Workshop.

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