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Families have all kinds of holiday traditions. In “MikeyBoy’s” case, his family started a Christmas tradition of making a present. As a Maker, I’m certainly in favor of this idea.

This present was to be for the creator’s nine-year-old son, and he decided that a wooden combination lockbox would be an appropriate gift for him to store whatever valuable items he had in his possession. As seen in the gallery below, making this wasn’t an easy task, but it looks like an achievable project for anyone with a decent amount of woodworking skills, as well as a healthy supply of gluing clamps!

The project starts off with a sheet of “fairly inexpensive” poplar wood, which is then cut and attached using glue and miter joints. The front, where the locking components are supported, consists of three layers of wood.

The locking mechanism is an interesting design, consisting of a horizontal bolt, which supports a vertical pin that keeps the top sliding door from freely moving. When the horizontal bolt is slid to the left, the vertical pin can then be slid downwards, allowing the door to open and the “treasure” inside to be accessed.

This horizontal bolt is held in place with four “tumblers,” which are partially flat wooden circle cutouts. When the dials are turned to the correct orientation, the flat part of the tumblers is exposed to the horizontal bolt, allowing it to slide freely. If the number is wrong, the wooden circle inside has been rotated into the horizontal bolt cavity, causing it to stay in place.

One would have to set the combination correctly to lock the device, which might be a drawback in a theft situation. But seriously, let’s hope that people aren’t actively robbing nine-year-olds these days.

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It’s quite a clever project, and a cool Christmas tradition. Maybe when my son gets a little older I’ll build something as cool as this for, or even with, him!

[via Reddit]