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Hidden Button or Hidden Access Mechanism for Boxes - Help Needed

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Forum topic by Jerry posted 04-27-2014 10:05 PM 2993 views 2 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Jerry

1768 posts in 1111 days


04-27-2014 10:05 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I have a potential client that wants me to make boxes for him that have, and I quote:

”...some kind of a hidden button to open the box so that a key is not necessary, some kind of trick latch or something.”

I came up with what I thought was a pretty ingenious idea for a magnetic catch, but he seems to not want to deal with a magnetic key.

I mentioned no hidden button stays hidden for long from someone who is determined because it needs to be directly accessible from the outside of the box, but maybe I am wrong about this.

Any ideas guys?

-- There are good ships and there are wood ships, the ships that sail the sea, but the best ships are friendships and may they always be. http://geraldlhunsucker.com/


14 replies so far

View mahdee's profile

mahdee

3551 posts in 1231 days


#1 posted 04-27-2014 11:19 PM

Yes, they sell these spring loaded stuff called “push to open”’ I think. Same principle as a push button pen.. If he doesn’t like that, you can either use an alarm device to alert him when the drawer is open or a combination of alarm and light using LED lighting. What is he hiding and from whom? Don’t have to answer that. These ways of thinking are all false hopes anyways.

-- earthartandfoods.com

View rustfever's profile

rustfever

716 posts in 2773 days


#2 posted 04-27-2014 11:25 PM

What about simple rare earth magnets? With enough and properly spaced 1/4” D or 1/2” D rare earth magnets in pairs, most any door will remain tight. Just need to know how ard to pull and the direction. Attach with epoxy to the wood.
Find them a Hobby Lobby and other ‘craft’ stores.

-- Rustfever, Central California

View woodchuckerNJ's profile

woodchuckerNJ

1154 posts in 1097 days


#3 posted 04-28-2014 12:15 AM

You can always do a sliding lock.
Take one of the sides, put a hidden sliding dovetail … basically you resaw a piece
put the tail on the bottom of the two, glue it back together while it is on the pin
now it slides back and forth a small amount.
You build a lock into the top of the sliding piece that catches the catch.

-- Jeff NJ

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InsideTheBox

89 posts in 1137 days


#4 posted 04-28-2014 12:23 AM

Hey Jerry—I would refer you to LJ cancharanay who has posted some cool mechanism boxes

Also see what you can find under secret boxes in the search window. Good luck!!

-- There's no such thing as a mistake; only a quick change of plans.

View Jerry's profile

Jerry

1768 posts in 1111 days


#5 posted 04-28-2014 12:25 AM

RE woodchuckerNJ: Your idea sounds really good, but I am having a hard time understanding what you mean,

IE: “put a hidden sliding dovetail … basically you resaw a piece” Okay, resaw a piece of what?

“put the tail on the bottom of the two” Put what tail on the bottom of two of what?

“glue it back together while it is on the pin” Glue what back together while it is on what pin?

I really don’t mean to be ridiculous here, it’s just that I’m very literal minded and not being familiar with your process, I’m just having a hard time understanding it.

That being said, I’m really interested in trying it if I can figure out what you mean.

Thanks,
Jerry

-- There are good ships and there are wood ships, the ships that sail the sea, but the best ships are friendships and may they always be. http://geraldlhunsucker.com/

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Jerry

1768 posts in 1111 days


#6 posted 04-28-2014 12:26 AM

RE InsideTheBox: Thanks buddy, will do.

-- There are good ships and there are wood ships, the ships that sail the sea, but the best ships are friendships and may they always be. http://geraldlhunsucker.com/

View Ted's profile

Ted

2785 posts in 1674 days


#7 posted 04-28-2014 12:27 AM

If you make a box with feet on it, you can make one of the feet turn to unlock it. Or maybe a sliding foot.

-- The first cordless tool was a stick. The first power tool was a rock.

View Greg In Maryland's profile

Greg In Maryland

550 posts in 2461 days


#8 posted 04-28-2014 01:28 AM

Hey Jerry,

Make it like a “Chinese finger puzzle”—use two internal mechanisms with holes on each end that require a finger to be stuck inside at the same time. Make the hole far enough down from the top so that his hands won’t reach the lid. And then wish him good luck in getting the lid open while both fingers are stuck in a hole :)

Greg

View InsideTheBox's profile

InsideTheBox

89 posts in 1137 days


#9 posted 04-28-2014 01:35 AM

woodchuckerNJ—I like what you are saying and I’m also trying to follow it… any way you could post a drawing or link to a graphic?

-- There's no such thing as a mistake; only a quick change of plans.

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woodchuckerNJ

1154 posts in 1097 days


#10 posted 04-28-2014 01:42 AM

Hi Jerry, lets try this. Sketchup with an xray view.. don’t know how to share files here, so I just am uploading the image.
If this is not clear reach out again.

I realize that my original post was not clear.
Thanks.
Also you must use a good wax in this joint.. like a slipit or johnsons or butchers paste wax. You want this to slide even during changes in humidity. But you want it tight to not give away the joint.
Also round the front of the dovetail pin, you don’t want them grabbing, no one will see them, so make them rounded so they don’t catch.

-- Jeff NJ

View Roger's profile

Roger

19868 posts in 2267 days


#11 posted 05-18-2014 12:04 PM

Hummm, something to think about. A gr8 idea to have a keyless entry.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. Kentuk55@yahoo.com

View JoeinGa's profile

JoeinGa

7482 posts in 1470 days


#12 posted 05-18-2014 12:15 PM

If he doesn’t want to mess with a key or magnet, I doubt he’d want to use a remote (like a garage door opener) to operate a battery powered latch?

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

View InsideTheBox's profile

InsideTheBox

89 posts in 1137 days


#13 posted 06-29-2014 09:18 PM

Jerry—just curious if you figured out a way to do this and what you learned. I am still intrigued by the same idea—not necessarily to “hide something” but make a box that is both unique and has its own magic. That’s the kind of craftsmanship that you can’t find in a store. If woodchuckerNJ weren’t in NJ I’d head over there to get a hands-on lesson in what he meant…! Kinda far from Calif.

-- There's no such thing as a mistake; only a quick change of plans.

View Jerry's profile

Jerry

1768 posts in 1111 days


#14 posted 06-29-2014 09:31 PM

RE: InsideTheBox – I kind of put this on the back shelf because the person wanting the hidden mechanism is a Czech guy that I’ve never met, friend of a friend.

I asked him in an email the innocent question “Why would you need a hidden lock on a humidor?” and I’ve never heard from him again.

I suspect it’s probably just as well :-)

I do plan on pursuing this as soon as I get my second niece’s birthday present finished and I DID see a lot of innovative ideas here after you directed me to the lumberjocks with experience in this field, but I have not tried any of them yet.

So far, I think my favorite mechanism is the spring loaded one that only needs a playing card slid under the lid to open it.

Baffling unless you know the secret, and then dead simple.

-- There are good ships and there are wood ships, the ships that sail the sea, but the best ships are friendships and may they always be. http://geraldlhunsucker.com/

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