Ikea Detolf Modification #2 - Under Lock and Key

Discussion in 'Tutorials and How Tos' started by optimusfan, Apr 14, 2013.

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  1. optimusfan

    optimusfan Kill your heroes Administrator TFW2005 Supporter

    Jul 23, 2002
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    Almost two years ago I wrote up a tutorial about adding additional shelves to the popular Ikea Detolf case ("IKEA Detolf Modification: Adding Additional Shelves". At the time my biggest concern was overcoming the inflexibility of the shelving placement in Detolfs. Well, I always planned to mod my Detolfs further, and as my daughter turned two this past month I set the second phase into motion: figuring out how to add locks to the cases to keep curious hands away from daddy's toys. ;) 

    So, much like last time I began researching various options in the 'net. My goal was two-fold: first, find a key set that I knew would work with a Detolf. I'm not a great DIY mind, so having a little guidance is always helpful. Secondly, it had to be affordable. Ebaying "Detolf lock" results in a few options, but many are in the $8-$10 per lock shipped range, which didn't seem reasonable to me. Ultimately, my search landed on this post:

    Ikea Detolf Lock Question - Collectors Society Message Boards

    The author there included images of his final product, as well as a link to the lock that he used:

    CRL Chrome Plated Lock for 1/4" Cabinet Glass Doors - Keyed Alike

    Unfortunately, you'll notice that the best price Amazon has is about $10 shipped, but it was a start. I began digging into their other marketplace offers, hoping someone would have a more reasonable price if buying multiple units (I needed 12). That didn't happen, but I did notice that there was a very different price for this lock if I visited the "showerdoordirect.com" seller's site directly -- $2.xx per lock plus shipping!

    C.R. Laurence CRL Chrome Plated Lock for 1/4" Cabinet Glass Doors - Keyed Alike

    I promptly ordered 12, and although they gouge you on the shipping it still ended up being $5.xx per lock. I can live with that.

    The Build:
    This mod is slightly more difficult than the last one I did, but you shouldn't have a problem if you can operate a drill. It's quite similar to adding a new lock or door knob to a regular door, so if you've done either of those things chances are you'll feel at home.

    Tools needed:
    Drill bits - 11/64" ("larger bit") & 5/64" ("smaller bit")
    Phillips screwdriver
    Allen wrench that was included with your Detolf
    Scotch tape
    Rubbing alcohol


    Below is what's included with each lock kit. There are no instructions included, so you're on your own. Besides the lock and key, please note the clear piece of plastic and the "Sony chemicals" piece of foam. Both pieces are designed to sit between the Detolf door glass and part of the lock, with the "Sony chemical" foam going between the lock and the front of your glass door, and the clear plastic between the back (interior) side of the door and the screws on the back of the lock. An "optional" kick plate is also included, which I installed on every one of my cabinets as I feel it makes installation easier:


    A keen observer will note that there is one piece of hardware missing from the kit. As the kick plate is "optional", CRL went the cheap route and didn't offer screws to install it with. While this is annoying, a quick trip to Home Depot will rectify the situation. You'll need some #6 1/2" wood screws, which should cost less than $.10 each:


    The first thing you'll want to do is decide on how you want to install the new hardware, then remove any of the stock hardware that will no longer be needed. Although the original article above mentions installing two locks per case, I found that one was more than sufficient. It keeps the door shut tightly, and even two locks won't prevent a determined thief from opening the case. We're trying to prevent casual access here, anyone intent on taking your figures will just smash the glass door regardless of the number of locks installed.


    I decided to install the lock in place of the normal lipped handle included in the Detolf kit. I could have installed the lock next to that handle, but it looked dumb to me and the lock is designed to be used as a handle anyway. Assuming you follow my lead, you'll need to slide the lipped Detolf handle off ("1" in image below), then remove the black foam that sits between the glass and handle in the normal Detolf install. THIS IS A PITA. The foam on all of my Detolfs did not come off cleanly, and I had to scrape with my fingernails and rubbing alcohol for quite a while to get each of them off. This is by far the worst part of this mod. Get it off and get it clean.

    You'll also need to use some sort of pliers to remove the top magnetic stop that holds the door shut in a normal installation ("2" in image below). The lock will hold the top portion shut once done, and really the bottom magnet does a fine job on its own. This is probably the second most annoying part of the mod as removing some of the magnetic stops took quite a bit of wiggling.




    The first thing you'll want to do when installing the lock is position the kick plate. Although we could measure this out, I found it was just as easy to place the plate exactly where I wanted it. Specifically, butted up against the glass door, and flush with the front of the wood top. You really can't position it much differently than I did if you want the lock to be in the corner. Moving it any further away from the glass and you won't have a place to screw in half the plate due to the hole left by the magnetic stop, and if you're any further back than the front of the wood top you'll have difficulty locking the door when done. I then used a piece of Scotch tape to hold the kick plate in place:


    The next step is to use your Allen wrench to remove the top of the cabinet. At this point you'll note that I haven't mentioned removing my figures from the shelves. For the most part I didn't, though I did lay a couple of the MP figures down that I was worried might decide to try diving out of the cabinet. My goal was to minimize disruption to the collection, which is why I did the following steps as I did. You can certainly do all of the next steps without removing the top of the cabinet, but you'll probably create a mess and will need to be very careful not to knock your figures over.

    Removing the top of the cabinet is easy, but you'll want to keep a couple of things in mind. Most importantly, MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A HAND ON THE DOOR WHEN YOU REMOVE THE LAST BOLT AND TAKE THE TOP OFF. If you don't, the door will go crashing to the floor. I actually forgot when I was contending with my lights on one of my cabinets, and somehow the door didn't break. Secondly, although I had no issues with the rest of the cabinet staying together with just the plastic corner pieces, YMMV. If you're worried about it get a buddy to hold the Detolf together while you perform the next steps, or add some additional support to ensure the sides and back stay up.

    Once the top is off, lay it flat on the floor:


    Next, take your small bit and drill two pilot holes into the wood:


    Take the #6 screws and affix the kick plate to the wood:


    I installed the kick plate first because it provides an excellent guide for cutting the hole for the lock. It makes cutting the hole brutally simple. Take your large bit and start drilling adjacent holes in the center of the kick plate. If you want you could measure the exact depth needed, but I just winged it. Here's what you're going for:


    The next step is turning those individual holes into a single slot for the lock bolt. You can do this by angling your drill and working the bit back and forth. See below:


    Besides making the channel wide enough, you'll need to ensure it's deep enough. You can do this by fully extending the lock bolt and ensuring it can sit flush with the kick plate. If it doesn't look like this, you haven't drilled enough:


    Next, we're ready for reassembly! Put the top back on carefully, get the door back into position, and bolt the wooden top down.

    Our last activity is to attach the lock. First, attach the "Sony chemicals" foam to the back of the lock. You can then position it by putting the lock on the glass, shutting the door, the lining up the bolt with the channel in the kick plate like so:


    Once you've established the position, hold the lock in place and "unlock" it. Carefully open the door, making sure you keep the lock in place. Your last task is to tighten the lock to the door to affix it in place. Place the clear piece of plastic between the glass and screws, then slowly tighten the screws down:


    You may need to adjust slightly, but other than that you're done! Enjoy having your collection under lock and key!


    Regarding the strength of the lock, I have to second what most people have said. It's a lot stronger than you might think just looking at pictures. Again, as someone noted you'd have to get a good grip on the knob, which isn't easy. It's not a handle you can just grip and pull. In addition, you have to counter your pull with a push back on the cabinet or it will topple over. On top of that the locking bolt is about 1/2" deep into the wood, and maybe 3/4" wide. Also, as noted it's reinforced by the back/kick plate.

    I actually tried to pull a few of my doors open. They're not going anywhere. I'm not saying it's impossible, but I saw no bulging in the wood or sign of breakage after applying a good amount of force.

    And again, I'll reiterate that this is to prevent casual access to your collection. As I noted anyone intent on getting in is just going to use a pry bar and either the glass or the wood will go first, at that point it doesn't much matter. Or, as was noted they'll just take the top off. This solution is more to prevent kids from getting in, maybe a friend who wants to fiddle with "that toy I had as a kid", a house guest with poor boundaries, etc.

    I did work on mine carefully with a sharp knife as well, though I didn't recommend it as I wasn't sure whether that would scratch the glass or not.

    Thanks guys.

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    Last edited: Sep 5, 2016
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