***If this thread helps you, please report for sticky, I'd appreciate it. I spent more time making this thread and formatting it, than it took me to make the lock.***
I've seen a lot of threads in the theft forums where people have had their markers stolen from paintball fields. For a lot of people, especially the younger kids who don't have jobs, a stolen marker could prevent them from playing paintball for a very long time. They might have cut grass all summer and saved up birthday and Christmas money to buy their marker, only to have some heartless thief steal it from them. I guess if they were deperate enough, they could use rental gear, but after having your pride and joy stolen from you, who wants to do that ?
For the players fortunate enough to own multiple markers and want peace of mind while they play, this lock should suit your needs as well.
I'm going to show you step-by-step, how to make a lock for your marker - and other gear - for under $20. You will be able to use this lock to secure your marker to a bench, tree, gear bag, or anything else you'd like to lock it to.
You may be able to find one of these pre-made, so make sure to ask while you are at the store. I went to Walmart and Canadian Tire and a well-stocked bicycle shop, and they didn't have any.
Let's get down to business !
What you will need:
Everything I bought was at Canadian Tire. For those of you living in the USA or overseas, a hardware store will most likely have everything we will need.
1. Coated aircraft cable - 10' length, 3/32" diameter - Cost: $4.90
: Aircraft cable is a braided steel cable that, for this diameter, requires over 1000 lbs of force to break it. It is important that you buy coated cable. The coated cable has a plastic sheathing on it that prevents the braided steel cable from scratching your marker. Make sure you don't forget this ! You can usually find coated aircraft cable in the section that sells lengths of chain on spools. You should be able to find this type of cable near it on spools as well.
I bought a 10 foot length in 3/32" diameter, this will enable you to lock your marker to a bench or tree, yet still be able to move it around without much hassle. My Planet Eclipse Lowland Traveler bag, also has 2 holes drilled into it for locking purposes, so buying a longer length of cable is very helpful. The 3/32" diameter is big enough to prevent someone from breaking your cable lock without cutting it, but small enough to fit through the grip frame of your marker. Make sure when the cable is cut, that the ends aren't frayed and it's a clean cut. If the cut ends of the cable are frayed, then you won't be able to fit them into the sleeves - this is very
2. Aluminum sleeves - 3/32" Diameter 8 per package, we will use 2 - - Cost: $1.99:
These will most likely be found right next to the spools of coated aircraft cable. Make sure you get the right diameter sleeves for the coated aircraft cable you buy.
3. Electrical Tape - 1 roll - Cost: $1.99
- Get a roll of good quality electrical tape, don't skimp on it. Trying to save a dollar on tape might result in the tape coming off of your lock and allowing the aluminum sleeves to become exposed and scratch your marker. Please get yourself some good quality electrical tape.
4. Crimpers / Pliers
- You may need these to help you pull the cable through the sleeve.
5. Hammer -
You will need this to secure the aluminum sleeves so that the cable cannot be pulled through again. The sleeves are too strong to crimp with pliers or crimpers.
5. Padlock or combination lock
- If you are younger, you probably have an old lock from your school locker laying around. If not, see if your mom or dad have one from an old storage locker or something that they don't need anymore. You can buy a suitable lock for $5-$10. Make sure you don't lose the key ! If you prefer use a combination lock, however - if someone knows what they are doing, it's quite easy to figure out the combination by manipulating the lock, and someone might be able to unlock it and take your marker. For this reason I recommend a lock that comes with a key.
Drive to mall: 15 minutes
Buy items: 15 minutes
Drive home: 15 minutes
Make lock: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour.
Coated Aircraft Cable: $5
Aluminum Sleeves: $2
Electrical Tape: $2
Total Cost: $19.
Now that you've obtained all the parts and tools you will need, let's get to work !
Slide one of the sleeves over a cut end of the cable. Make a loop in the end that is big enough to fit the lock through, but small enough so that it can easily slide through the grip frame of your marker. Slide the cable back through the sleeve again. Make sure that the end of the coated aircraft cable is about a 1/4 inch below the bottom of the sleeve so that it will be extra secure.
Grab your hammer and find a hard surface, I used the patio at my condo. Lay the loops flat on the ground and bash them a few times with the hammer. The sleeves may not distort too much, and this is ok. Just make sure that when you tug on the loops of cable that the cable doesn't slide, if it does, hit it a few more times. Once you think the cable is secured in the loops really give it a good tug like you're a thief trying to break the lock, and make sure it holds securely. If you feel it move, hit it a few more times and try again. Remember, the goal of this is to prevent someone from being able to defeat the lock and take your marker, so make sure it holds !
Neatly wrap the aluminum sleeves with your good quality electrical tape. Make sure you do this neatly as you want it to be weather proof and you don't want the tape falling off, You also want this to be able to fit through your grip frame. Make sure that you wrap the end of the cable where it exits the sleeve very well, this will prevent the exposed end of the cut cable from scratching anything. Plus, if you've taken the time to make this lock you want it to look nice, don't you ? Repeat steps 1 and 2, this time with the other end of the cable. If you've done it properly, it should look like this:
Some pictures of my lock.
Planet Eclipse Lowland Traveller Gear Bag with Factory Made Lock Holes: The writing on the bag where the cable lock enters says: "Eclipse Bag Lock".
!!! Congratulations !!!
You're finished !!! You've made a nice looking and very protective lock that should give you peace of mind in case you need to use the bathroom, want to get food, or if you have multiple markers and you don't want them stolen while you're playing a game.
If you have any questions, feel free to PM me.
If this thread was helpful to you, feel free to comment and / or leave pictures of your lock below.
***If you do not have a marker lock, please spend $20 and one hour of your time and make yourself one. I guarantee you, if you make it you won't regret it. However, now that you've seen how inexpensive and easy this lock is to make, if you don't and your marker gets stolen - I can guarantee you will regret it.***
Please Note: Pictures with my marker in them have been tagged to hopefully prevent someone from using them to scam.