|Project by poopiekat||posted 09-07-2014 06:13 PM||1291 views||8 times favorited||12 comments|
After reading a series of articles about turn of the century hardscrabble living in rural North Carolina, I saw details of a primitive lock these country people typically used, made entirely by hand. My NC grandparents, who I visited as a child, had locks like this on the shed and barn, but I had forgotten all about them.
Thus inspired by the stories I’ve recently read, I thought I’d try to construct one. This is a prototype, and I will start another one with refinements, resizing, and changes to the key so that it cannot easily be defeated.
This is the original mock-up, showing the old concept of having a series of pins that engaged the sliding bolt. The key, essentially a piece of 1/4” X 1” cherry, would be inserted into the lock body and lift the pins so that the bolt could slide out of the mortise and into the jamb. The pins reliably fall into the bolt notches by gravity alone. The bolt itself is spring-loaded, tensioned to automatically engage the bolt into the mortise. A drop-down catch keeps the bolt disengaged.
Here is another view, showing the key and mortise/receiver. With a taper on the key, smooth and waxed, it easily slides through the notches in the pins and lifts them. The whole action is quite smooth, and I’ve relieved the dadoes around all pin ‘barrels’ and bolt ways, due to potential movement when it’s damp. It was good to use up some little bits of scraps, oak, maple, cherry, and even some rescued solid-wood flooring of god-knows-what species. Just like our Appalachian forbearers would have done.
A couple more images. When this assembly finds it’s location, I’ll replace the short screws with through-bolts with nuts and lockwashers on the other side.
I don’t know of any recent LJ project postings of handmade wooden locks. Hope you like it!!
-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!