Nothing new here; I just wanted to document my make of a travel lock for hotel rooms. This design is widely available online. I am making one for a friend who is travelling somewhere with a history of people breaking into hotel rooms. Needed something easy, secure and very portable.
Step 1: What You Need to Make This
1. A sturdy stainless steel fork. I used one from Ikea. Reckon they cost about a dollar each?
2. Any cutting tool capable of cutting through steel. I have an abrasive chop saw but a hacksaw will do the job just fine.
3. Any grinding tool or diamond-based sandpaper. I just use my bench grinder.
4. Drill bit and drill - remember that if you are using stainless steel, you need harder bits.
Step 2: Test, Mark and Test
First make sure the tines of your fork fit into the strike plate of your door frame. Their size is pretty much standard. This is where you may have to decide to change forks. Once decided, just use a pair of pliers to bend the tines about 10mm off their tips at right angles. As you can see in the photos, that leaves about 10mm to 20mm of the tines that run along the strike plate to stick out the door after you close the door.
Step 3: Cut and Grind
It’s into the chop saw and grinder to smooth down the cut edges, but very importantly also to create a gradient along the sawn off handle. This allows the lock to be used in a variety of doors and strike plates. When grinding the gradient I would just occasionally put the edge against the table to see where I need to grind down just a bit more.
Step 4: Customise (Optional)
If you feel that the handle is short enough, don’t worry further but I wanted to make this as small as possible for my friend to conveniently bring it around so I cut it down further.
Step 5: Curve the Handle
I realized when testing this lock that a long handle was not ideal. There can be a variety of blockage in different situations like door knobs, walls, irregular door frames that will block a long straight handle, and so I decided to bend the handle into a curve to occupy less space.
Step 6: How to Use
Made a quick video here to demo this: