Tom Latane', blacksmith extraordinaire, from Pepin, Wisconsin recently put on a padlock making workshop at the Tunnel Mill School south east of Stewartville, MN. I had a chance to attend. It was a great workshop! The 8 students each made a 16th/17th century padlock in this 3 day workshop. The most modern tool we used was a simple drill press. All other parts were hand forged, chiseled, punched and filed. There were16 individual parts to be made for the lock. Tom provided partially completed key blanks for us because they are very time consuming to make from scratch. Other than the key blank, the whole lock was made from scratch, using 3/8" round stock, a couple of sizes of flat stock and a piece of band saw blade. We each received a 3 ring binder with good instructions and drawings. We learned a lot about filing and fitting, too. Tom also talked about padlocks in general, focusing on the various "defensive" measures that go into lock design. My lock is basically done, but I have decided not to rivet the case shut. That way I can dismantle it to show how it works. My 4 year old grand daughter loves to take it apart and reassemble it, too! John and Carol Adams, the proprietors of the school have convinced Tom to put on a similar workshop in March of 2006. They are still working on a topic. No matter what the focus of that next workshop will be, I certianly plan to register.
If anybody is interested in some pictures of my lock, they can email me off list and I will upload a couple of them to my website for you to look at.