Sunday, February 12, 2012

Water Resistant Combination Lock Enclosure

I think most homeowners have somewhere they store their gasoline, kerosene, or other fuels and such.  I decided to use a Suncast 47 Gallon Balcony Storage Box,  camouflage it and place it in the woods. For many reasons you should ensure you have a lock on whatever you choose to store your flammables in.  I picked up a Brinks 4 dial combination lock to secure my storage box due to the key-less design and the simple 4 dial setup.  I looked and couldn't find any real information on the weather resistance of this lock. I was concerned that the multiple openings of the combination lock (around the dials and shank) could lead to a rusty lock so I set out to create a moisture protection enclosure for the lock.

The parts for the enclosure where things I had laying around the house.  From left to right are: iPod shuffle factory box, rubber band, combination lock and a desiccant bag that came with something I bought. There are articles online on how to recharge (essentially dry out) used desiccant packs that you may have.  This one is a small plastic satchel with clear silica gel beads.

 It may be difficult to see in this picture but I have measured where the shanks fit on the seam of the clear box.  This allows for the curve in the shank to reside outside the box and the body of the lock to be enclosed in the acrylic box.  I then used my trusty Dremel  and a small grinding cone to notch out the area for the shank with the center of the shank falling on the seam of the box.

Here is a view of the box open.  I left the packing tape that was on the bottom of the box from Apple as a hinge.  If your box or container doesn't have any tape I would recommend duct tape or high strength Scotch tape if you have it.
Here is the final product rubber band around the outside of the box to hold it closed and make it easy to access.  Although this picture shows different, I decided to place the desiccant satchel in contact with the combination dials instead of the back of the lock.
Hopefully this will save me from the fate of cutting a rusty lock off of my storage box someday or at least take away the frustration of dealing with difficulty to move dials.