My name is Kelly and I design and build wooden locking systems and secret compartments into just about everything I can find, from boxes to furniture, …mystery by design has become my passion (my kids would argue that its an obsession). This site features plans that have been written with the general woodworker in mind. Many of the locking systems work great for puzzle box play and there are a growing number of plans that focus on furniture applications.
My love of recycling and my passion for wooden locking systems have combined within this framework to allow me to share my designs with you. In this format, by using the vintage/recycled boxes I am sharing with you the locking system specifically and not so much the overall artistic vision in which it can be applied, which keeps my own as well as your own personal brand of art unique. Through this exchange process a new art form has been created with these vintage puzzle boxes, one that displaces the idea that we are a disposable society to one that is moving towards an ever blooming number of eco-consciously aware consumers. You will see a few projects in the Gallery and Video Gallery tabs that will demonstrate how I combine many systems together much like an orchestra of instruments playing together at once. One particular piece called The Lost Day features 16 different secret compartments with a different locking mechanism for each one, sometimes being locked by multiple systems. The finale comes when the player finds the treasure with the discovery of the last and best hidden compartment. Serious about fun! Another project called The EDOG is a “7 moves to open” puzzle box, here is a You Tube video showcasing how the different mechanisms work together: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pu-OUSS9-ms
The Ultimate in No-Tech Security!
Whether you are new to the hobby or have been passionate about woodworking for years, we are confident that you’ll thoroughly enjoy our plans. All project plans come with full-color instructions that clearly walk you through every step. Most designs can be built quickly and easily with basic woodworking tools.
Plans are gauged to be in one of 3 skill levels. Skill Level: 1 would be the easiest to reproduce, best for the beginning woodworker, while at the other end of the scale Skill Level: 3 would be the most challenging with precision details required in the construction of that particular wooden lock system.
In real life the chances of you having the exact same box would be rather lucky, so in order to compensate the plans have been written in a manner that we feel is the best approach to translate to you how the mechanism works so that you are best able to add it to your project. Dimensions of the stock material and the size of parts being made are given as an example of scale and ratio, though not all dimensions of the stock box that I used will necessarily be given. It has been my experience that you will find that many of these locking system designs can be made from the off cuts in your shop. Other parts like small magnets, rubber bands, hardwood dowels and wood knobs can be sourced at your local craft store or Home Depot type store.
Have fun browsing through our site and let your imagination run wild. There are plenty of projects to choose from. We would love to hear about your experiences and see your finished projects.
Over any extended period of time, being an artist requires enthusiasm more than discipline.
Enthusiasm is not an emotional state.
It is spiritual commitment, a loving surrender to our creative process,
a loving recognition of all the creativity around us.
~ Julia Cameron ~