DIY Woodworking Project: How to Make a Warded Lock

A step-by-step guide to make-it-yourself warded locks with measured drawings and types of wood and wood finish.

By Tim Detweiler

The following excerpt on making warded locks was taken from Making Working Wooden Locks (Linden Publishing, 2000) by Tim Detweiler. This guide to creating fully functional, working locks from multiple types of wood includes step-by-step instructions, color photos, measured drawings, and advice on tools, and finishing. Included are techniques for creating five different locks, including a combination lock. You can purchase this book from the MOTHER EARTH NEWS store: Making Working Wooden Locks.

Tim Detweiler gives five guides to locks as a make-it-yourself woodworking project.

Warded Lock with Key

The first thing to do is to select the kind of wood that you are going to use to make your lock. The easiest wood to work with if you do not have power tools is white pine or possibly poplar. Walnut, cherry, ash, and many other hardwoods are stronger and more colorful, but are more difficult to work by hand. Five or six different kinds of wood make a beautiful lock.

Step 1

Cut out five pieces of wood 3/4" thick, 2-1/4" wide, and 4-1/2" long. These will be stacked to make the lock body. When all five pieces are cut to size, number them one through five and mark the top of each piece, as in Figure 1.