I made this first giant lock back in 2012 and documented the build process on 1 of my web pages. Unfortunately, my web site that hosted my pictures stopped supporting their web site, and I lost all of my photos. This page recreates this site using a new photo web hoster.
In December of 2012, I had a request to build two of the Giant Antique Lever Locks from Tim's 2nd book:
This is a giant lock that is almost 15 inches high when completed.
I entered the design into Google Sketchup, so I would better understand the locks design.....and be able to print out paper patterns to scale to make the components.
I decided to use pine for the front, middle, and back sections. The original lock picture from the book looks like pine was used. I will use oak or walnut for the buttons, key hole overlay and maybe the hasp.
I bought common pine 1x12's from the local lumberyard, then carefully selected what sections to saw out for the lock. I chose sections with no knots or defects for the lock pieces.
This design calls for 3/4" diameter wood buttons. I have used 3/8" buttons before, but never have used 3/4" buttons. I ordered some 3/4" buttons from Rockler.com.....
You must glue up a lot of blanks for this lock......if you are using 3/4" inch thick stock. Because the center section of the lock is 1.5 inches thick, you must glue up the center lamination, the lever, and the shackle.
Here is a photo of the center laminations and levers clamped up after gluing:
I have found it not to be safe to plane below about 1/4" on my power planers. The slightest knot will cause the piece to explode.
I chose to use the table saw to make the 1/8" thick pieces.
First, I glued on the pattern to a piece of 3/4" thick oak. Then I drilled out the 2 holes and scroll the rest of the ID work:
I drilled the 3/8" inch hole in the back piece and inserted a 3/8" dowel........so I could make sure the whole assembly worked ok before final gluing and clamping. After final assembly, I will drill from the back side through the front side so I get good alignment on the set of holes for the dowel pin.
The final assemblies are shown below:
I sanded the red oak pieces (shackles, keys, keyhole covers, and 3/4" buttons) with 220 grit sandpaper, then removed the dust using a wet dishrag. I masking taped the shackles so only the oak was stained. The 1" round birch dowel was not stained.
I decided to glue the keyhole covers and buttons onto the main lock body at this stage versus varnishing them separately and do final assembly at the end of the process. I was concerned the key hole covers would not glue and stick to the main lock body if varnish was on the main lock body already.
Because this lock design is so physically big, it takes a lot of lumber to build them. The oak shackle took 8 pieces of 1x6" red oak, or 8 feet. The front, center, and back pieces of the lock consume a lot of wood. I chose pine for this project because the original lock photo from Tim's 2nd book looks like he used pine for the main body of the lock. If a hardwood was used for the main body of the lock versus pine, the cost of the hardwood would be a significant factor in the total cost of the lock.
I had no trouble making the first key for this project. I was not happy with the 2nd key because the round ring did not line up exactly with the angular orientation of the key ends. I messed up the 2nd attempt on the 2nd key because I glued the end piece on the wrong way. The 3rd attempt on the 2nd key turned out fine. I prefer the key design of the 1856 railroad lock, because it is much simpler to make.
If you use hardwood for the hasp or shackle, I would recommend scroll sawing them to exactly the pattern line. Do not band saw to just outside the line, because the drum sander on the drill press will not be able to remove the excess stock in a timely fashion.
If I made more of these locks, I would tilt the bottom slot for the ash spring about 5 degrees towards the left hand side of the lock. This would help make sure the spring starts against the left hand side of the spring vertical guide.