How to Make a Basic Door Lock


A basic door lock can take several forms. Latches and security bars are the most basic of door locking mechanisms and as such they are simple to build and install. In-door mounted turning locks tend to be more complicated than sliding bolts and swinging latches but they can also be crafted at home. Whichever form of door lock you choose, the process of making it on your own will require some DIY skill and a few carpentry tools.

Things You'll Need

  • Power drill
  • 33/64-inch drill bit
  • Table saw
  • 1/2-inch lumber
  • 1/2-inch drill bit
  • Hammer
  • Wood chisel
  • 1/2-inch diameter wooden knob
  • Wood glue
  • Broom stick
  • Wooden stud
  • 2-inch lumber
  • Wood screw with threadless neck
  • Work gloves
  • Eye goggles
  • Drill a hole in the vertical stile which runs along the opening edge of your door. The hole should be along the center point of the stile and should be 33/64 inch in diameter.

  • Cut a 1/2 inch thick piece of lumber into your door lock spinner, using a table saw. Cut the wood into an egg-shaped oval, with one end larger than the other. The spinner should be long enough to protrude from the door stile at least 1/4 inch when installed and should be about 1 inch in diameter at its widest point.

  • Drill a 1/2-inch hole through the center of the wider end of your spinner using the bit from Step 1. The hole will serve as the axis on which the spinner will turn inside the door frame. Lay the spinner against the door stile so the two holes line up. Mark the size of your spinner onto the stile with a pencil.

  • Carve a space inside the door stile, using a hammer and wood chisel, where the spinner will be mounted. Drive your chisel into the opening edge of the stile and cut a mortise deep enough to house the spinner and long and wide enough to allow it to turn freely. The ideal size will be about 1/16 inch longer than the spinner itself.

  • Slide the spinner into the mortise you have chiseled out and slide a 1/2-inch-diameter wooden knob through the hole in the stile and into the hole in the spinner. Apply wood glue to the wooden knob and allow it to dry according to the manufacturer's instructions.

  • Cut out a notch, using your hammer and chisel, in the door frame into which the spinner will fit when turned to the locked position. The notch should line up with the spinner when extended and should be deep and wide enough to allow unrestricted locking and unlocking.

Tips & Warnings

  • To make a quick and easy safety lock for your sliding glass doors, lay a broomstick or wooden stud into the tracks when the door is in the closed position. The security bar should fill the space between the edge of the door and the door frame so the door cannot be slid open. This simple door lock can prevent illegal entry and serve as a secondary line of defense should your door-mounted lock be breached.
  • A simple wooden latch is an easy-to-make and effective door lock. Cut one piece of 2-inch lumber into a flat handle shape. Cut another piece into a long shaft, about 20 inches long. Cut a third piece into a J shape. Install the J shaped latch onto the wall next to the opening edge of your door. Install the handle-shaped piece onto the door near the opening edge and in line with the wall-mounted latch. Slide the straight piece through the door-mounted guide and into the wall-mounted latch. Use a wood screw with a threadless neck to fasten the anchor end of the shaft to the door.
  • Use caution when working with dangerous tools such as table saws, hammers and chisels. Serious injury can occur. Always wear work gloves and eye protection.

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