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Access denied: Heavy-duty locking shop door

It wasn’t an attempted break-in that motivated Kendall Isley to develop a means of security for his walk-through shop door. Rather, it was memories from his youth.

“We’d be going to some friend’s place with a metal shop, and no one would ever have a key. Somebody would say, ‘That’s all right, we don’t need a key. I have a screwdriver in the truck!’ ” he recalls.

“Sure enough, they’d shove on the door, push the pin in, and the door would open right up. That’s how I knew I needed to do something else,” he says.

So after the floor was poured for his new shop building in 2011, Isley told his concrete person that he wanted him to come back. There was one more project he wanted him to do.


Isley had already constructed the components for his door guard, and he had the metal posts ready to go into the ground.

They set the 5½-foot-long 4-inch (OD) posts 18 inches deep. Instead of a step down, the concrete apron slopes down away from the door.

Doesn’t touch the building

The horizontal bar is a 4-foot length of 8-inch-wide .25-inch-thick steel plate. Isley says he didn’t want to bolt anything to the building’s exterior.

That’s why he designed this unit to be self-standing.

Since the plate swivels, it can be swung completely out of the way. The arm won’t bump into the building, however, because there is a stop on it.

“We also put a little grease fitting in there to grease the arm,” he says. “The gate swings out and it will stop, then we swing it back to put the lock on it.”

The receiver for the lock is made of more of the 4-inch post split and then welded in a circle.

“No bolt cutters are going to get in there,” he points out. The door knob on the left (not shown in the illustration) also has its own lock.

No bolts, no screws

Isley also devised his own hinge. He cut two 1-inch-long pieces from a 5-inch (OD) pipe and slid them over the existing pipe that was set in the ground.

“I didn’t want any bolts or any screws, so it’s all welded together,” he explains.

Isley, who keeps cattle, says his next project will be to build a corral with a head chute.

“With the economy the way it is, I’ve got to keep everything under lock and key,” he says. “I hope my idea helps other farmers keep their shops safe and locked up.”

Another $2,500 winner

Isley is the next recipient of a $2,500 Firestone in-store credit offer for having his idea chosen as the Idea of the Month. Click here to send in your ideas.

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