This hack will have you channeling your inner MacGyver because you never know when you’ll find yourself having dinner alone in a seedy motel while hiding out from “the bad guys”, and then suddenly having to improvise a lock for the bathroom door to hold them off while you escape out the window!
In real life, a fork lock could come in handy for broken restroom door locks, closets or while staying in a guest room. If you don’t want to use your own fork you could pick one up for cheap at a yard sale or thrift shop. Phil Crockett only paid a quarter for his! A good fork for this hack should have long prongs, anywhere between 1 3/4″ and 2″ long. The handle should be flat and taper so that it’s narrow near the fork’s head and wider at the tail.
Stick the fork into the latch hole and mark the prongs with a marker so you know how deep it is. Then clamp the fork by its prongs in a vice and line it up to the mark. With a hammer, tap on the prongs to bend them to a 90-degree angle at the mark. Then cut the handle off with a saw.
The handle piece should slide into any of the slots in the fork head. If it doesn’t, use a file or grinder to flatten the high spots that are preventing the handle from fitting into the slot. Once you can fit the handle into the slot your fork lock is ready to use.
Insert the fork head with the bent prongs into the latch hole, close the door to secure it in place, and slide the handle into one of the exposed prong slots. It should span the length from the door handle to the door frame. When someone tries to open the door, it will immediately hit the handle, pressing it firming into the fork head which is lodged into the latch hole.
Of course, it’s not meant to withstand brute force but at least it will buy you time to let the intruder know that the restroom is occupied or get out of bed when you hear the noise. Phil says he uses his most often for public bathrooms that have broken locks.
Here’s how he made his fork lock: