When I came across the internet link to the picture of the wooden locks, above, I was reminded of the wooden keys that “Andy” Anderson carved from a single piece of wood, pictured below, which hung in his son’s office for years. The keys are about ten inches long, and the key ring measures three and a half inches in diameter.

The “E” and “A” on the skeleton keys are for Eugene Anderson. Gene founded Anderson Lock in a corner of Andy’s Ace Hardware store. After Andy retired, he kept his hands busy with wood carving. Now that Gene has retired, Cortney displays several of her grandfather’s carvings in her Anderson Lock office.

The large wooden locks are not like locks you would find in any hardware store! They are much prettier – large replicas of antique locks from about the 1850s. Barry Penna, 73, a retired locksmith from Bendigo, in central Australia, came across a magazine produced by a retired American locksmith. It offered patterns for making locks out of wood. The locks work, with wood springs, casings and keys.

Barry has made six now, each taking about three days to complete. Each lock has about 30 components, and they are all crafted by hand – Barry has never owned a lathe. “There’s more work than you’d think inside them. The locks are identical to the real thing, only bigger,” he says.

Barry retired from his locksmithing business after 46 years in the industry. He and his wife, Carol, had run their business together before passing it on to their daughter and son-in-law eight years ago.

Here’s the link to the complete article:

http://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/article/2011/11/02/400641_country-living.html