The Crab Lock of Awesomeness

Before I took apart my traveling tool chest today for painting, I installed the crab lock that blacksmith Peter Ross made for me.

It’s a surface lock, which is mounted to the front inside wall of the chest with five screws. It might just be the easiest lock to install – there’s just a small mortise needed on the chest’s rim and the keyhole. Peter is making an escutcheon plate for me now, which will go on after the paint.

The workmanship on the lock is, of course, first rate. Peter is still working out the details on pricing, so if you are interesting in getting crabs for your chest, drop him a line.

Enough yacking. The photos tell a better story.

— Christopher Schwarz

About Lost Art Press

Publisher of woodworking books and videos specializing in hand tool techniques.
This entry was posted in Personal Favorites, The Anarchist's Tool Chest. Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to The Crab Lock of Awesomeness

  1. joemcglynn says:

    Are those available in PM-V11? I’ve heard that’s better for locks.

  2. Patrick says:

    Kind of sucks that in order for that lock to serve its intended purpose it has to spend its useful life out of sight and hidden inside the chest. It’s beautiful work.

  3. Kelly says:

    I think that your title is an understatment. That is one nice looking lock sir.

  4. Chuck N says:

    Well of course I want one. But if I keep ordering and waiting for the *special* stuff to show up, my tool chest will never be done.

  5. megan says:

    That is gorgeous – and I want one. You are a bad influence.

  6. Scribe says:

    Will there be an escutcheon for the keyhole?

  7. David Pickett says:

    There’s one component missing.

    The key needs a string, probably round your neck. The key must NEVER be placed in the top tool tray….

  8. Mike Dyer says:

    When this piece is brought to “Antiques Roadshow” in a few years, the expert will explain that, based on the use of walnut for drawer parts and some secondary wood, all hand made dovetails, and all iron handmade hardware, and milk paint (taste….yes, this IS milk paint) this piece was made in Boston around the turn of the 19th century, by at least four different craftsmen.

  9. Henrique says:

    Hello Christopher,

    Is there any Peter Ross book in the Lost Art Press plans?

    I think he (or we) deserves that! Don’t we?



    • Dave from IN says:

      God lord, then I would have to buy a forge! As good of a book as I am sure it would be, please don’t give me an excuse to try and convince my wife that my garage needs a coal hopper. (In all seriousness, from what I have seen of his work on Roy’s show and the interwebs, I would buy a copy just for the insight into how a craftsman of his talent approaches that craft. Absent the fact that I have no idea how large of a market this may have, it definitely sounds like a winner!)

      • robert says:

        If you want to learn more about what is possible with metal and flame, I make the following recommendations:

        Several books are available about Albert Paley, a remarkable blacksmith and metal sculptor – . His stuff can way out there, but really shows what is possible.

        Locate a local blacksmith like my friend Jeff Gawell who owns the Forge at Cedar Hill in Fairfield County, Ohio – . His work is more restrained, but beautiful non the less.

    • Tim Henriksen says:

      I’ve often wondered the same. I haven’t seen many general titles on this subject and had no knowledge whatsoever before I met Peter. I still have almost no knowledge about what these craftsman do with their flames but I have a sweet pair of holdfasts that actually work now.

    • Or, at the very least, we need a Bob Ross book. That way, we can paint happy little clouds on our traveling tool chests.

  10. Auguste Gusteau says:

    Christopher, how much dollars have you spent for this decorative lock?

    • lostartpress says:


      As I stated in the blog entry, Peter is still trying to figure out the retail price of the lock. You can contact Peter, as also mentioned in the blog entry, or send me a personal e-mail and I’ll tell you the price I paid.

      I can buy vintage crab locks for about $85. The new one costs more.

      Thanks for asking!

      • Auguste Gusteau says:

        I do not understand, Christopher, is a state secret how much did you paid for this beautiful (I’m genuine here, this lock is more beautiful then your whole chest, it is a pity to hide it inside) decorative lock?
        Best regards,

Comments are closed.