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Mechanism for locking drawers?

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Forum topic by live4ever posted 492 days ago 2020 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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live4ever

981 posts in 1510 days


492 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: question lock drawers jewelry chest hardware

Anyone know of hardware or a mechanism one can build to lock a stack of small drawers (as in a jewelry chest) with a single lock/key? I know sometimes desk drawers have something called a “gang lock” to lock three drawers at once, but I’m wondering how it translates to “finer” woodworking.

Any ideas or has anyone done something like this?

-- Optimists are usually disappointed. Pessimists are either right or pleasantly surprised. I tend to be a disappointed pessimist.


17 replies so far

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Dan Lyke

1455 posts in 2625 days


#1 posted 492 days ago

The two things I’ve seen are a hinged (often partial) door which folds over a set of drawers, or if you’re feeling more adventures, a vertical bar with hooks to hold the back of the drawers which is held down by the locking mechanism.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California, http://www.flutterby.net/User:DanLyke

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ralmand

162 posts in 1803 days


#2 posted 492 days ago

Can you post some pictures of the cabinet? I am a locksmith and maybe I can give you some ideas

-- Randy, Allen Texas

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live4ever

981 posts in 1510 days


#3 posted 492 days ago

Hi Dan,

Thanks – the latter is what I’m thinking as I want the drawer faces exposed. Some kind of vertical bar in the rear of the case that rotates with “branches” or bars that move in and out of position when the bar is turned by the key lock. Just can’t get my head around what the best mechanism would be there and what the parts should look like.

How’re things in Petaluma?

-- Optimists are usually disappointed. Pessimists are either right or pleasantly surprised. I tend to be a disappointed pessimist.

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live4ever

981 posts in 1510 days


#4 posted 492 days ago

Randy, the cabinet doesn’t exist yet, but the general structure will be like this (stack of drawers flanked by swing-out doors).

http://www.hayneedle.com/sale/woodlandcherryroundjewelryarmoire.cfm?source=pla&adtype=pla&kw=&ci_src=17588969&ci_sku=PO2304&gclid=CI6PxpLylbQCFUjZQgodGxcA3A

Any insights you can offer are appreciated!

-- Optimists are usually disappointed. Pessimists are either right or pleasantly surprised. I tend to be a disappointed pessimist.

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Dan Lyke

1455 posts in 2625 days


#5 posted 492 days ago

Things in Petaluma are pretty darned good. We have a teenage houseguest and are building a guitar with him, it’s Northern California and as you know that’s always pretty awesome, and I have no outstanding building permits right now. Everything’s kinda cool!

So I procrastinated from the paying work for just a moment to scribble this:

Of course my phone didn’t capture the right orientation (“my cell phone that’s also a camera that talks wirelessly to my web site can’t tell which way I meant the drawing to be when it’s pointed straight down? Man, the future sucks!”), so tilt your head to the right. My notion is that there are two ways to make a rear latch, either something that lifts vertically and can be constrained in that axis, A, or that twists and releases a hook, B, and that something like C could be used to convert B’s motion to linear in-and-out. I suppose you could also use a rotary latch to keep A from going up and down, and obviously you could move any of these forward in the case by making something protrude from the side of the drawer that they could catch on.

That help?

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California, http://www.flutterby.net/User:DanLyke

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live4ever

981 posts in 1510 days


#6 posted 492 days ago

Sounds like y’all are just a bunch of happy cows up there…

The drawing totally helps! I was thinking along the lines of B, but that requires a bit of side clearance between the drawers and case side. But these three methods give me a really good starting point to visualize things. Now get back to the paying work before I owe ya too many beers. :)

-- Optimists are usually disappointed. Pessimists are either right or pleasantly surprised. I tend to be a disappointed pessimist.

View joeyinsouthaustin's profile

joeyinsouthaustin

1080 posts in 573 days


#7 posted 492 days ago

rev a shelf makes an interesting lock that works with a magnet key. Not quite the gang lock, but heh??

-- Who is John Galt?

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Dan Lyke

1455 posts in 2625 days


#8 posted 492 days ago

‘tween the cows and the chickens, Petaluma is kind of a contented little burg.

You could fit B behind the drawers (put a little tab with a hole in it out the back of the drawer), and you could put A on the side of the drawers (a little hook out the side) and make it out of sheet steel so it took almost no depth at all.

And think a bit about what “a bit of side clearance” means: If you can build B precisely enough that you only need ½” or so of throw (find someone with a welder? Use a MAPP torch and braze it?) you could route recesses in a ¾” panel that’d hold it.

But from your example link, if you take those sides (or just one of them) and extend just a little bit over the front, then locking that side would also lock access to the drawer…

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California, http://www.flutterby.net/User:DanLyke

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live4ever

981 posts in 1510 days


#9 posted 492 days ago

Hmm, that’s an interesting concept. I think Rev-a-Shelf’s product is designed for child-proofing as opposed to anti-theft, but I wonder if a hidden magnet system could be used instead of a key. Pass a strong rare-earth magnet over the right spot on the case and the locking mechanism is pulled open, remove the magnet from the “spot” and it closes. Ooo, now that would be slick.

-- Optimists are usually disappointed. Pessimists are either right or pleasantly surprised. I tend to be a disappointed pessimist.

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live4ever

981 posts in 1510 days


#10 posted 492 days ago

You definitely got the wheels turning, Dan. They take a while to get going, but I appreciate your help in getting me going in the right direction!

I grew up in Novato, so I’m quite familiar with Petaluma. Mostly as being between Novato and SR, but still. :)

-- Optimists are usually disappointed. Pessimists are either right or pleasantly surprised. I tend to be a disappointed pessimist.

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joeyinsouthaustin

1080 posts in 573 days


#11 posted 492 days ago

child proofing…versus theft… what’s the diff. locks only stop honest thieves

Like your idea on the magnetic gang lock. if you got money there is a lot of wireless remote locks. but $90 a drawer. maybe you could adapt that.

-- Who is John Galt?

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1455 posts in 2625 days


#12 posted 491 days ago

Grins. It’s okay, I think of Novato as being that little piece of the Central Valley in between Petaluma and Marin. We all have our coloured glasses… (Kidding, Marvin’s is the best scrambled eggs or omelette in Marin or Sonoma, Mount Burdell is some fantastic hiking, those wetlands out just south of the airport are a great place to run).

On the hidden magnet system, think about making the back of that hook on “A” vertical rather than sloped, so that the drawer is stopped even if A is free to rise. Then use a magnet at the top of A. Put another magnet in the bottom of some tchotchke (Bust of Mozart, snow globe, framed autographed picture of John Belushi) on the top of the piece that has to be in the right place to lift A.

If you make that tchotchke something that also has to be in the right position to put the magnet low enough to be effective (some sculpture that has arms that move or something), then you have two elements that need to be in place to operate the drawers…

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California, http://www.flutterby.net/User:DanLyke

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Dan Lyke

1455 posts in 2625 days


#13 posted 491 days ago

On theft vs childproofing, I’m with joeyinsouthaustin: If a thief has reason to believe there’s valuable stuff in there, they’ll either make off with the whole danged thing and open it later, or smash it. Keep the honest people honest, or get serious about security, and that means thinking as much about deterrence and logging access (ie: getting video of the premises off-site) as about physical restraint.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California, http://www.flutterby.net/User:DanLyke

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live4ever

981 posts in 1510 days


#14 posted 491 days ago

I agree with both of you regarding theft deterrence. Our home was broken into several years ago so I definitely know if it’s something they can take or smash, they will take or smash it. I’ve discussed this at length with the client (aka LOML) and it’s more for her peace of mind regarding folks that are allowed into our home. We rent out a room and technically the tenant and his/her associates have access to the whole house when we’re not around. We also had some work done on the house recently so there was a lot of traffic in and out that couldn’t be policed every second.

It’s not going to stop determined criminals but at least prevents crimes of opportunity. Not to mention gives me yet another excuse for why it’s taking so long (as if I need any more!). “Still working out your nifty locking mechanism, hun!”

-- Optimists are usually disappointed. Pessimists are either right or pleasantly surprised. I tend to be a disappointed pessimist.

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joeyinsouthaustin

1080 posts in 573 days


#15 posted 491 days ago

with that last sentence I will have to agree that locks are VERY complicated and could take quite awhile…..Don’t forget you “need to decide what the finish will be before you select the wood.” :)

-- Who is John Galt?

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