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Michael Baker
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Eternal Order
Near a river in the Midwest
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I am trying to locate a special type of lock/catch for installation in small boxes. These must be able to close and lock simply by closing the lid of the box. In otherwords, it would have a spring catch that would snap shut, and securely latch as the box was closed, but the lock would have to be opened with a key. They should operate kind of like how handcuffs work.

These locks must be small enough to be installed into a jewelry box sized box; either a mortise or half mortise type lock is desired. I would prefer something that could be installed into 3/8" stock, but I could probably alter the stock to 1/2", if I had to.

Woodcraft and Rockler both have nice little locks, but they require a key to both lock and unlock them, so that does not meet my needs.

Any ideas??

~michael
~michael baker
The Magic Company
Spellbinder
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The Holy City of East Orange, NJ
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You could "fudge" one by cutting a keyhole through the box, just large enough to insert a small old-fashioned skeleton key (perhaps a regular sized one cut short in the middle). The key just has to push a piece of metal spring to one side to release the catch, but it LOOKS like a lock and key and behanves like one, so who is to know it is just a latch nudger?

You could also have a tiny neodymium magnet inside the keyhold that holds down a tiny piece of steel so that it seems to be locked, but actually just needs to be pulled up to release the lid, after, of course, pretending to unlock it with the do-nothing key. These wouldn't work as commercial locking boxes for sale, but would be good enough for magic work.
Professor Spellbinder

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Thomas Wayne
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Inner circle
Alaska
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Quote:
On 2008-01-07 18:18, Spellbinder wrote:
[...]
You could also have a tiny neodymium magnet inside the keyhold that holds down a tiny piece of steel so that it seems to be locked, but actually just needs to be pulled up to release the lid, after, of course, pretending to unlock it with the do-nothing key. These wouldn't work as commercial locking boxes for sale, but would be good enough for magic work.


That is exactly how I solved the same problem a few years ago. I built a "lock" cylinder that rotated with the key; in rotating, the cylinder:

1) Rotated the (very strong) neo magnet around with it, thereby breaking the magnetic hold on the lid, and

2) Simultaneously rotated a cam/lug into place that raised the lid about 3/8 inch, making it easy to lift fully open.

The key that opened the "lock" was a "Haunted Key", and the box contained various chemicals and elixirs, along with a "Needle Through Arm" setup - all for a "bizarre magic" close-up routine.

TW
MOST magicians: "Here's a quarter, it's gone, you're an idiot, it's back, you're a jerk, show's over." Jerry Seinfeld
Dr. Solar
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Citrus Heights, Ca.
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I have located some but they run about $55 each. Also, Woodcraft does have some, they too are around $50-60. There is not too much choice for sure. PM me.

Dr. Solar
"look for me in all things forgotten"
www.drsolar.com
Michael Baker
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Eternal Order
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Thanks for everyone's input!

I understand that this type of lock, is actually a "latch nudger", as Spellbinder suggests. But, it does offer a legitimate locking device that requires a key to open, while not so to close. Even if it is not a truely secure lock, such as a tumbler/rotating cylinder lock, it is not prone to popping open as a magnetic lid may be, I fear, especially on a smaller box that would limit the size of the magnets.

If magnets were used, they would really have to hold well, as I'd prefer a spectator do the unlocking. For my own show, I could deal with mechanical shortcomings. If such an item was to be considered for possible marketing, such a shortcoming would be viewed as a design defect. You guys understand the market we deal with.

I should have been more clear with my use specifications. I want to make a nest of boxes that operate by a single closing of the lids to lock them all. A key would be needed to open each of them in sequence.

If such a locking catch existed, then I could evaluate that cost against the marketability of such a finished product. Added labor cost to handmake each "lock" may push that cost too high. The rotating cylinder/magnet idea is interesting, though. I'd love to see one operate.

Dr Solar, I have sent you a PM for your info.

In the meantime, I am also mentally toying with other designs. Some of them actually involve magnets, but in a more peripheral manner, so that legitimate locks can be used.

Thanks guys!

~michael
~michael baker
The Magic Company
Spellbinder
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Professor Spellbinder

Professor Emeritus at the Turkey Buzzard Academy of Magik, Witchcraft and Wizardry

http://www.magicnook.com

Publisher of The Wizards' Journals
Michael Baker
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Eternal Order
Near a river in the Midwest
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Thank you, Spellbinder.
~michael baker
The Magic Company
Spellbinder
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One more wild and crazy idea- some diaries have a strap with a lock on it that are of the push to close variety and open with a key. I have even seen some of these in Dollar Stores. They're cheap and maybe cheesy, but they might possibly work if glued to a box.
Professor Spellbinder

Professor Emeritus at the Turkey Buzzard Academy of Magik, Witchcraft and Wizardry

http://www.magicnook.com

Publisher of The Wizards' Journals
boboshempy
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Jersey
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Have you found boxes or chests that already have this lock on them?

Nick
Michael Baker
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Eternal Order
Near a river in the Midwest
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Spellbinder,

Very interesting idea! It's always a pleasure hearing your ideas. You think like a magician... way outside the box!

Nick,

I know that such lock types exist. My quest is to find them in a size that will work on the project(s) I have in mind. Finding them on another existing product would certainly peak my interest. I am never opposed to "borrowing" parts that I need from unconventional (or more conventional) sources, if suitability and financial concerns stay within the framework of principle. Smile That's one of the reasons I love to have hardware salesmen approach me while I am looking through their various wares. In this line of work, we often have to make or make-do. The world is generally not overflowing with the crazy things we need to do what we want to do. This tends to confuse "normal" people!
~michael baker
The Magic Company
boboshempy
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Jersey
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This type of lock latches closed just by shutting it but it is not actually locked without turning the key.

http://www.jewelryboxdirect.com/productd......ssType=1

Do you think this can be modified to lock upon closure?

Nick
Michael Baker
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I think that has 2 pressure levers one on either side, that must be pressed to open the latch. The key prevents or make possible that action. It is something to consider though. I'll go in search of that type latch on something cheaper than a $75.00 box, though!

It is somewhat similar to the type of lock/latch that Spellbinder mentioned is on diaries, just a different action required to open it.

Thanks!
~michael baker
The Magic Company
Dr. Solar
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Citrus Heights, Ca.
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Hi Michael,

I received my FULL MORTISE SMALL BOX LOCK from Rockler for humidor use. I will be sending it back. The photo was deceiving in that it shows the latch in the lock position. I thought that it was the standard position until a key was used to open it. Back to the search. Any new leads?

Dr. Solar
"look for me in all things forgotten"
www.drsolar.com
Michael Baker
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Eternal Order
Near a river in the Midwest
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Dr. Solar,

Sent you an email reply.

~michael
~michael baker
The Magic Company
boboshempy
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Jersey
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Michael,

I am also interested if you have found the lock you are looking for?

Nick
Michael Baker
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Eternal Order
Near a river in the Midwest
11157 Posts

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Boboshempy,

Sent you a PM.

~michael
~michael baker
The Magic Company
Michael Baker
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Eternal Order
Near a river in the Midwest
11157 Posts

Profile of Michael Baker
Boboshempy,

Sent you a PM.

~michael
~michael baker
The Magic Company
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