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Liquor Locks for Christmas

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Project by Steve Erwin posted 12-23-2015 05:01 AM 3009 views 38 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Liquor Locks for Christmas
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You have to mess with people. 2 out of 4 managed to solve the puzzle on Christmas day last year. The other two still haven’t gotten to their drink.

This was a fun little build. It wasn’t obvious from the photos what the dimensions were, so it was a bit of a puzzle just to build it. Couple days worth of work + a bottle they prefer makes for a nice gift and conversation piece.

-- I've been creating problems to solve since I was born. - http://honeydowoodworking.blogspot.com





16 comments so far

View JoeinGa's profile

JoeinGa

7488 posts in 1474 days


#1 posted 12-23-2015 11:52 AM

Neat idea !
So, this years present will be the solution then ? Heh Heh Heh

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View hunter71's profile

hunter71

2734 posts in 2654 days


#2 posted 12-23-2015 11:57 AM

Pretty cool idea

-- A childs smile is payment enough.

View Burb's profile

Burb

109 posts in 1837 days


#3 posted 12-23-2015 01:27 PM

Very neat idea. Can you point me in a direction for making those locks? TIA

-- I aspire to be a novice woodworker...

View majuvla's profile

majuvla

9171 posts in 2335 days


#4 posted 12-23-2015 01:35 PM

Funny project. It’s all but usual present.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View Dave's profile

Dave

7 posts in 2908 days


#5 posted 12-23-2015 01:40 PM

Could you share where you found the plans? I would like to make some.
Thanks
Dave

-- Davewh

View Steve Erwin's profile

Steve Erwin

130 posts in 1520 days


#6 posted 12-23-2015 02:55 PM

This is one of the few projects I’ve made where I didn’t have a plan. I sort of figured it out on the fly. Not normal for me.

I remember having a SketchUp model (of course), but it doesn’t look like I saved it.

Here are the two images I used to figure out most of it.

Materials:
  • 550 paracord or thin nylon rope. Something that doesn’t stretch too much.
  • 8/4 scrap stock for the cap (or glue up 4/4 stock until it’s thick enough
  • 1/2” stock for the “washers”. (3/8” stock was a little fragile)
  • and good luck finding correctly sized beads. I made my own. Hexagonal cylinders worked fine.
  • Super glue
  • Wood glue
Cut List (measurements will vary based on bottle size)
  • Base-Box – 1/3 bottle height, 1/8” wider than bottle, 1/8” deeper than bottle.
  • Base-Box Bottom Plate – whatever fits the dimensions of the Base-Box
  • Cap – 4”+ long x 2” tall x 1.75”+ thick
  • Washer #1 – 3” long x 1” wide x 1/2” thick
  • Washer #2 – 3”+ long x 3/4” wide (fits snugly thru beak-hole) x 1/2” thick
  • Bead #1 – 1” tall x 1” diameter or so (does not fit thru beak-hole)
  • Bead #2 – 1/2” tall x 3/4” diameter or less (does fit thru beak-hole)
  • Square – 1/4” thick x (the height of the slot in the Washer #2)
Instructions:
  1. Basically, I glued together a butt-jointed square tube. I made it long enough to provide bases for 4 bottles. Each base was about 1/3 the height of the bottle and gave each bottle about 1/8” of breathing room all the way around. Every bottle is different, so you’ll have to buy the bottles first and measure before building the puzzles.
  2. Then I squared the ends of the tube and cut the tube in half.
  3. Then I cut each half at a compound miter. This isn’t necessary, but it looks nicer than a square cut.
  4. You can drill decorative holes and make slots in the base-box all you want, it’s just for making it pretty.
  5. Add a bottom to each box. I recessed mine to fit tightly inside the tube. Glue it in place.
  6. The cap should extend a good ways down the neck of the bottle. If it’s too short, you can just pry it off and bypass the puzzle. Aim for 2” in height. Drill it with a forstner bit that’s a little bit wider than the neck of the bottle. You want this to fit snugly. Too much slop and the puzzle is too loose. The grain should run toward the end of the beak to give the beak plenty of strength.
  7. The beak-hole at the end of the cap is 3/4” diameter I think. Drill that next.
  8. Use a scroll saw, coping saw, or bandsaw to remove the cheeks of the cap. You want to ramp it down in thickness to 3/16” or so pretty quickly. My beak wasn’t long enough to include the curve, so I just did a 90 degree corner. If this feels too thin, leave it 1/4” thick and increase dimensions elsewhere to compensate.
  9. You need the “beak” to be long enough to fit both washers and still allow the bead to have access to the beak-hole. Aim for 2 to 2.5” of completely flat beak, excluding any of the curves.
  10. Washer #1’s width doesn’t matter. Washer #2 is 3/4” wide (able to fit snugly through the beak-hole) x 1/2” thick x 3”+ long. Length isn’t that important.
  11. Cut a 1/4” wide slot down the center of each washer, but leave enough wood at each end to help avoid breaks.
  12. The Square is 1/4” thick, fits snugly through the 1/4” slot in the washers, but does NOT fit through the 3/4” beak-hole.
  13. Bead #1 is too big to fit through the 3/4” beak-hole.
  14. Bead #2 is small enough to fit through the 3/4” beak-hole, but not small enough to fit through the washer-slots.
  15. Drill a rope-size through hole in Bead #2
  16. Drill a rope-size shallow hole in Bead #1
  17. Drill a rope-size shallow hole in the Square
  18. Drill a rope-size shallow hole into one end of Washer #1.
  19. Drill a rope-size through-hole through the face of one end of Washer #2. (see photos)
  20. Drill a rope-size through hole into the bottom of the base so that the rope can pass through under the bottle.
  21. Drill a through hole from the back of the cap into the cap-hole. This is where you’ll tie a knot and adjust rope length.
  22. Cut a length of rope 12” or so for the Dangle Assembly
  23. Cut a length of rope long enough to go from the cap, down the bottle, through the base, and back up to the cap. Plus a little extra just in case. You can trim it later.
  24. Super Glue one end of the short rope into the square.
  25. Run the loose end of the short rope through the through-hole in Bead #2
  26. Run the loose end of the short rope through the slot in Washer #2, then through the hole in Washer #2
  27. Super glue the loose end of the short rope into Bead #1
  28. Super glue one end of the long rope into the hole in Washer #1
  29. Run the loose end of the long rope through the base and back up into the cap
  30. Tie a knot inside the cap to set the length of the long rope, don’t trim the excess yet until you’re sure it’s a snug fit.

I think that’s everything. Sorry if it’s still confusing :P I’ll keep trying to answer more questions if I can. I had to fine tune it and make adjustments to thicknesses and slot sizes on the fly. Took me awhile to understand how the whole thing worked.

-- I've been creating problems to solve since I was born. - http://honeydowoodworking.blogspot.com

View Dave's profile

Dave

7 posts in 2908 days


#7 posted 12-23-2015 07:51 PM

Thanks Steve
I can build one from the information you provided
Dave

-- Davewh

View Steve Erwin's profile

Steve Erwin

130 posts in 1520 days


#8 posted 12-23-2015 07:55 PM

Good luck. Come back and show us a picture when you’ve got them done. Let me know if you run into any problems with the instructions.

The trickiest part is leaving enough room in the washer slots to allow for the beak and the rope to pass through, but not so much that it’s a sloppy / obvious fit. The slot should be snug, but not so snug that it creates too much pressure and cracks the end of the washer open.

Make a few extra washers in case this happens in your tests.

-- I've been creating problems to solve since I was born. - http://honeydowoodworking.blogspot.com

View AandCstyle's profile

AandCstyle

2575 posts in 1724 days


#9 posted 12-23-2015 10:47 PM

Steve, this looks like a really fun project. However, you must have a bit of a mean streak if you haven’t given the other two recipients the combination after a year. :D I have just the person in mind for one of these for next year. Thank you!

Also, you have been very busy in the shop lately. Your son will be ecstatic with the work bench to go with the tools from last year. He will be just like his dad.

-- Art

View Mean_Dean's profile

Mean_Dean

5061 posts in 2614 days


#10 posted 12-24-2015 01:04 AM

The coolest liquor locks I’ve ever seen! And lucky guy getting that Glenmorangie 10!

-- Dean

View Steve Erwin's profile

Steve Erwin

130 posts in 1520 days


#11 posted 12-24-2015 03:44 AM

Thanks, Art & Dean. It’s not that I’m withholding the solution, it’s that one person in particular is too stubborn to admit she can’t figure it out on her own. :) They say wine gets better with age… let’s hope she doesn’t wait too long, though.

I made sure I got a taste of the Glenmorangie, but it’s a little too perfumey for my taste. I prefer the darker sherried whiskies over that one.

-- I've been creating problems to solve since I was born. - http://honeydowoodworking.blogspot.com

View jtm's profile

jtm

218 posts in 1104 days


#12 posted 12-24-2015 04:01 AM

Couldn’t you unlock it with a pair of scissors?

View Steve Erwin's profile

Steve Erwin

130 posts in 1520 days


#13 posted 12-24-2015 04:04 AM

She probably snipped it as soon as she got home, and just never told me… knowing her :P

-- I've been creating problems to solve since I was born. - http://honeydowoodworking.blogspot.com

View Mean_Dean's profile

Mean_Dean

5061 posts in 2614 days


#14 posted 12-24-2015 05:03 AM



...

I made sure I got a taste of the Glenmorangie, but it s a little too perfumey for my taste. I prefer the darker sherried whiskies over that one.

- Steve Erwin

You’ll definitely enjoy Macallan 12 then—one of my favorites!

-- Dean

View sras's profile

sras

4392 posts in 2596 days


#15 posted 12-24-2015 05:26 AM

Great idea – Another project is going on my list!!

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

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