Dragon Lock

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Project by llwynog posted 01-11-2012 11:24 PM 3823 views 8 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This wooden padlock was made as a present for my son’s 2nd birthday.

Now this may seem like a somewhat unusual gift for a toddler but it turns out that our son developed a fascination for keys and locks and I wanted him to have a memorabilia of this period when he grows up.
“key” (or more precisely “kagi” in one of his 2 native languages) is actually the 4th word he ever learnt to speak out and he spent hours and hours trying to fit random keys in every nook and cranny of our apartment, muttering “Key… Key… Key…” to himself.

The design as many of you may already have recognized comes from the great book “Making Working Wooden Locks” by Tim Detweiler. I just tweaked the original plans to adapt the dimensions to the available timber and to metric sizes. I also added the carved key-hole cover detail. You can get a glimpse of the moving parts inside halfway through the video down at the bottom.

Woods used were:
Walnut for the faces of the lock and key shank.
Ash for the lock inner mechanism, shackle, spring and key-hole cover.
Ebony for the rest of the key.

I am quite proud of the fact that 90% of the stock used was hand planed from rough timber which is a new step for me. It is also the last project I will ever make on my (re)tired old workmate and on my kitchen counter (more on this in a soonish to come project)

This was all in all a very fun project to build and the looks on my son’s face when he plays with the lock is completely worth the time invested (roughly 2 weekends in cumulated time).

Hope you enjoyed this post and thanks everyone for the great inspiration.

-- Fabrice - "On est bien bête mais on sent bien quand on se fait mal" - my grandfather

19 comments so far

View 3Gwoodguy's profile


164 posts in 3754 days

#1 posted 01-11-2012 11:38 PM

this is fascinating….thanks for the video. I think its a great toy! You can tell by the way he played with it! Well done!

-- "The beatings will continue until moral improves" -- Bart Ridings, Illinois

View OnlyJustME's profile


1562 posts in 3439 days

#2 posted 01-11-2012 11:46 PM

Great Toy!! I will have to make one for my son now. :) thanks for sharing.

-- In the end, when your life flashes before your eyes, will you like what you see?

View Kate's profile


403 posts in 4936 days

#3 posted 01-12-2012 12:01 AM

Great lock. I want one for my bike!

-- Kate,

View nonickswood's profile


567 posts in 3449 days

#4 posted 01-12-2012 12:42 AM

Very Nice!! Like the key hole cover.

-- Nick, Virginia,

View KMP Wood Designs's profile

KMP Wood Designs

61 posts in 3710 days

#5 posted 01-12-2012 02:25 AM

Great toy lock! I’ve saved this as a “favorite” on my list of things to make.

-- Jim, Virginia,

View  woodshaver Tony C   's profile

woodshaver Tony C

7978 posts in 4415 days

#6 posted 01-12-2012 02:38 AM

That sure is a great present you made for you son. I like the contrast in your choice of wood’s. The new owner is very handsome and a very lucky little guy!
Thank you for sharing!

-- St Augustine FL, Experience is the sum of our mistakes!

View Brit's profile


8318 posts in 3904 days

#7 posted 01-12-2012 03:11 AM

Outstanding! Great craftsmanship and a wonderful present for your son. I hope he treasures it.

-- Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View ward63's profile


365 posts in 4149 days

#8 posted 01-12-2012 03:46 AM

Very nice “Year of the Dragon” lock. The woods used really look great.

View a1Jim's profile


118161 posts in 4639 days

#9 posted 01-12-2012 03:53 AM

That’s a very neat lock what a cool project.


View llwynog's profile


288 posts in 3640 days

#10 posted 01-12-2012 10:24 PM

Thank you everyone for your nice comments

-- Fabrice - "On est bien bête mais on sent bien quand on se fait mal" - my grandfather

View StumpyNubs's profile


7851 posts in 3862 days

#11 posted 01-12-2012 11:12 PM

My father is a locksmith, so I’ve been thinking of making a wooden lock for him. Great job!

(The greatest woodworking show mankind has ever conceived is now online!)

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications:

View mafe's profile


13114 posts in 4151 days

#12 posted 01-16-2012 03:24 PM

What a wonderful son!
And the lock is a beautiful piece of work, facinating too.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

View Dave's profile


11435 posts in 3902 days

#13 posted 03-20-2012 04:55 PM

Stumpy had a two by fore contest and I made a lock from the same book out of a pine two by fore. I later had found this project and the care and skill you placed in it are wonderful. I to wish to make a second lock with a bit more care and a better wood. I hope to reach the skill you have achieved.

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are."

View llwynog's profile


288 posts in 3640 days

#14 posted 03-20-2012 05:31 PM

Yes Dave,I saw your entry in the challenge and really liked it, especially the way you tackled the shackle with the 2×4 constraint. I am also thinking of making another lock someday as it was a very enjoyable project.
If I ever manage to get my hands on the second book on wooden locks, I would like to make the wooden safe (some kind of secret box for my daughter)

-- Fabrice - "On est bien bête mais on sent bien quand on se fait mal" - my grandfather

View Dave's profile


11435 posts in 3902 days

#15 posted 03-20-2012 06:28 PM

I did not know there were two books. Amazon is your friend.

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are."

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