I’ve been wanting to build some kind of lockpick training station for Eugene Maker Space for a while. I got this idea from a similar box that my friend Jeremy made and brought to HeatSync Labs a while back. The basic idea was to make a small wooden box that can be locked shut. We can put a prize inside to entice people to try and pick open the lock. If someone successfully picks the lock, that person gets to keep the prize.
I finally finished building this project on January 29, 2012. There’s not a whole lot to say about this build. It’s just a wooden box. The most interesting part was how we fit the lock into our door design. We had several ideas for basic designs. We thought about using plywood for the sides but we didn’t have access to a truck to bring the plywood sheet back to the shop. We also thought about going with a log cabin type design but ultimately decided it would take too long (although it would look awesome).
We cut all the pieces out and of course our plans needed tweaking. We ended up having to cut down four of the boards from 15″ each to 9″ each in order for the design to work properly. We ended up with four 15″ X 2″ X 6″, four 11″ X 2″ X 6″, four 9″ X 2″ X 6″ and two 11″ X 2″ X 2″. Keep in mind the dimensions of the 2″X6″ and the 2″X2″ are actually 1.5 X 5.5 and 1.5 X 1.5.
Fitting the deadbolt into our makeshift door was the trickiest part of the build. We made the door out of two pieces of 2X6 so it was a bit awkward to say the least. We decided to stick the deadbolt right in between the two pieces to make cutting the hole easier.
We were unable to use any kind of drill bit for this part because it would have torn off the edges and ruined the piece of wood. We were able to cut out the groove though and smooth it with a file.
In order to make the face plate a bit more flush with the edge of the door, we used a large hole bit to cut away wood quickly. We then used a file to remove the excess wood until the plate was sunk into the edge a bit.
The handle screws weren’t long enough to go all the way through the door so we had to counter sink the holes a bit.
The door pieces were only held together by the hinges and the sandwiching pressure from the deadbolt. We added a mounting bracket to strengthen it up a bit.
The second layer was only attached at two points. We used a piece of scrap wood as a mounting bracket to bolt the two halves in the back for strength.
Once we completed the build we decided that it was too boring and it needed to look more… awesome. This is also the point where we decided to call it the mystery box. We thought we should put some question marks on it and Bob tried his hand at designing some nice question mark patterns.