I'm building an outdoor chest out of wood (frame) and PVC sheet (sides), it is approx 2 1/2 ft wide, 1 1/2 ft deep, 1 ft high. The box opens from the top like a toy chest, blanket trunk, etc. I need a lock for the top (lid). I'd like the lid and associated lock to be appropriate for exterior conditions (e.g., rain), not require a key (a combination lock, ideally digital or some form of keyless entry), and lock when the lid is closed (i.e., not require the user to actually lock the chest, it is locked whenever the top is closed). All of these characteristics are very important, especially that the lock engages whenever the lid is closed and requires no additional actions by the user. I've been looking at a few options but none of them quite meet my needs. Cam locks and mortise chest locks are either for interior use or require the lock to be engaged (rather than locking as soon as the lid is closed). Rarely do I see a lock that is not keyed. Can anyone assist?

2 Answers 2


Maybe look for some hardware for truck boxes? They typically have the 'shut and go' feature, are rainproof, and lockable or not...


  • Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. Thanks for the answer; keep 'em coming. And, you should probably take our tour so you'll know how best to contribute here. Commented Oct 23, 2019 at 10:22

Pretend the horizontal cover is a door and install a door handle/lock.

There are battery-operated door handle locks with coded entry access. They can be set to lock on closure and open with a code. Some even have a remote control.

Water resistant? Find one made for outside use.

If you can't find a water-resistant model, you could install a hinged plexi box (or a hinged upside-down tupperware container) with a shallow gutter for drainage & inner-space air circulation.

  • This might have a way of working, but even exterior locks are not meant to have water driven into them by gravity (installed horizontally in a wet area). If the box will be under a cover and will very rarely have any rain on it, you'd be in better shape.
    – JPhi1618
    Commented Oct 22, 2019 at 15:34
  • The water issue concerns me too, but I appreciate this response for getting me to think of alternate approaches to the setup
    – jnk7711
    Commented Oct 23, 2019 at 2:30
  • Another idea... There are several varieties of waterproof & water resistant boxes, many sizes. you could attach with screws and a silicone bead around the edges. Cut an opening in the back for the door handle & install.. Commented Oct 23, 2019 at 10:23

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.