Ever wondered how locks work?
A few months ago I came across a sturdy, abandoned door on the streets of Brooklyn. I ended up carrying it home, and using the door to make a painting. I removed the handle & lock on the door - finding a supporting structural cylinder. I liked it so much that I put it on a chain, and I’ve been wearing it around my neck for the past few weeks.
Since the door lock’s inner workings are simple, yet interesting, I thought I would take the opportunity to explain how a basic cylinder door lock works.
1. A key enters the lock shaft. If the key is the correct shape, and properly solves the “puzzle,” then the pins are properly aligned and turning the key also turns the cylinder. If the key is the wrong shape, the pins prevent the key from turning.
2. When the cylinder turns, it also turns a “cam” that is attached to the cylinder. The cam pulls a bolt in laterally through a second cylinder, allowing the door to open. When the bolt is extended into the frame of the door, the door cannot be opened, and is locked.
I am fascinated by simple technology that solves everyday problems. Whenever I can, I like to take the opportunity to disassemble the components that fit together to solve a problem & figure out how they work.
Let me know if you thought this was as cool as I did, and if there is anything else you’d like to see me dissect!