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Build a magnetic lock and key for a storage box

SAFETY FIRST: Ask an adult to help with tools you haven't used before.

Use magnets to make your own lock and key for your footlocker or other storage box.

How it works: Unlike magnetic poles attract. Like magnetic poles repel. Compression springs push the magnets into the locked position. The magnets in the key push the compression spring magnets downward into the unlocked position.

What You’ll Need:

Wood:

  • 1-1 1/2” x 1 3/4” x 3 1/2”
  • 4 – 1/4” x 1 1/2” x 3 1/2”
  • 2 – 1/4” x 1” x 3 3/4”
  • 3 hardwood veneer 1/32” x 1 1/2” x 3 1/2”
  • 2 hardwood veneer 1/32” x 1” x 3 3/4”
  • 2 dowels, 3/4”-diameter, 1/2” long

Tools:

  • 4 ceramic disc magnets 1/4” x 3/4”
  • 2 compression springs 3/4” x 1 3/4”
  • Wood Glue
  • Pliers
  • Saw
  • Medium sandpaper
  • Drill
  • 3/4” wood drill bit
  • Wood box
  • Small-gauge chain or braided wire
  • Wood screws
  • Screw eyes
  • Rubber bands

What You’ll Do:

 

1. Carefully cut out all the pieces listed. Glue the veneer to the key track before cutting.
Sawing Veneer

 

2. Line up the parts using pencil lines (see Figure 5), and drill the holes.

Drill holes in the veneer

3. Glue the veneer to the catch track.

4. Make the compression springs.

5. Assemble the lock, test it, then glue together.

Steps 3, 4 and 5 of building magnetic lock

6. Fasten the lock to the box.

Finished Lock Box step 6


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14 Comments on Build a magnetic lock and key for a storage box

  1. Highrider // July 9, 2016 at 1:24 pm // Reply

    How does the lock attach to the box so the catch locks/unlocks the box lid.

  2. futurewoodworker // March 3, 2016 at 10:09 am // Reply

    My dad will love it

  3. pyroperson // July 28, 2015 at 4:45 pm // Reply

    place the key magnets repelling the lock magnets

  4. EvoGamer1181 // April 17, 2015 at 6:36 am // Reply

    Can’t wait to build it with my dad!

  5. How does it work?

  6. AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!

  7. cool

  8. I want to know do you put the magnets so they are attracting to eachother or repelling?
    I will appreciate any answers.

  9. that is so cool

  10. dragonsoul109 // November 1, 2014 at 8:40 am // Reply

    can i use it for my gym locker? its first come first serve on lockers so i need to be able to detach it.

  11. Wow, that is neet!!!

  12. your right jc

  13. IT WOULD BE COOL TO BUILD A Magnetic lock and key for a storage.

  14. thats cool

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