Bikes Fun & Games
HOW TO – Make a homemade U-Lock bicycle lock

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Tim shows you how to make your own bike lock from an old stainless steel stove – Link.

Related:

  • HOW TO – Bicycle Frame Protection – Link.
  • Bicycle projects @ MAKE – Link.

26 thoughts on “HOW TO – Make a homemade U-Lock bicycle lock

  1. Just because you are making something from scratch doesn’t mean it has to be ugly. I’m all for being supportive, but all the rough edges, and bad looking welds. I mean, you could sexy this out. But the 1/8″ steel is just the wrong material. Rebar, anything, but ugly plate steel is not the way to go.

  2. RE Philliptorrone:

    Yes it looks made, but it looks thrown together made. It may be my background, but you should sexxxy your makes out.

    This make, while practical, I doubt it’s structural integrity compared to a U-Lock, and it could be so much better looking. It could accheive both those things, even while it stays looking like you made it.

  3. RE Philliptorrone:

    Yes it looks made, but it looks thrown together made. It may be my background, but you should sexxxy your makes out.

    This make, while practical, I doubt it’s structural integrity compared to a U-Lock, and it could be so much better looking. It could accheive both those things, even while it stays looking like you made it.

  4. tim anderson (the maker) has his own style, i suspect one day that bike lock may end up in a museum :)

    that said, yah – nice looking things are nice – i just like things that self-identify exactly how they were made, makes a better looking how-to, hehe.

  5. meepocity, I bet it is harder to beat with the average bolt cropper attack than a cheap U lock, since the jaws simply won’t reach all the way across. It won’t fail due to a jacking attack, either, since it will simply bend, rather than shattering like most made U locks. And you can change the padlock if there is a problem with it.

    As for sexxxyfying it, if you paint or powder coat it you can’t see how it was made, and that is the point of this site. If you don’t like that, you are in the wrong place, and should perhaps try a shop instead.

    Tim, nice project. :-) See my comments on your Instructable. ;-)

  6. Dunno if a powder coat would help (doubt it), but I wouldn’t want that anywhere near my bike due to the likelyhood of badly scratching or dinging the frame. There’s nothing special about my bike at all, but I don’t like rust. For people with more exotic aluminum or carbon-fiber frames, this thing would be the kiss of death.

    Then again, a quick bath in your average tool-handle-coating rubber stuff would probably solve the problem, but that’s a pretty large bathtub (is the stuff $$$? I would assume so) and I don’t think it’s really designed to be brushed on instead.

  7. All you guys who complain about it looking ugly- what have YOU made and shared with the rest of the world?

  8. Bolt cropper on the padlock. It’s as strong as the weakest link.

    Also the sheet metal is flexible thus you could get through it by flexing. I could probably get through that lock using my bare hands and any found stuff like bricks and sticks. It would scratch the bike and my hands would hurt like hell, but I’d have a spanky new cannondale for my efforts!

    You have a sweet-looking and expensive-looking bike. I suggest you shell out for a proper lock!

    Sorry to be so down on it, but this make is clearly not going for artistic merit so I am judging from a practical viewpoint :-)

  9. {quote=instructables link}To amp up the security, add a bit of protection around the padlock area to stop bolt croppers and hammers from getting at the shackle, or switch to a close shackle padlock. You can see that in the patent drawing in Step 2.

    To stop snips, SAKs and scissors, and even steel nibblers, simply add a line of MIG weld all the way along one edge, and all the way along the other edge. This will make it very very hard, to stop cutters and saws, as well as making sure the edges aren’t too sharp. The middle will still be flexible, though, so it won’t shatter.

    You could also make a second crossbar, further up the U, to make that part stronger, and to reduce the free space for tools to work in.

    As regards materials, I’d go for a good bit of hard stainless, the nasty stuff you have to cut with a disc cutter, and try for 2.5mm thick, as that is really beyond most hand tools. Widthwise, I’d suggest 3.5″, as that is more than two bolt cropper jaw depths wide, even on quite big crops they only bite 1.5″ deep, and crops *hate* thin slightly soft materials.

    You could also cover it in plastidip or self-amalgamating rubber tape, to protect your bikes finish, as well as further annoy anyone trying to cut it. “It might stop *some* meepeople complaining about the finish, too” ;-)

    Nice bike, btw.{/quote}

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