"the Cryptex Triple-hub" -burled Black Walnut, brass, synthetic ivory, and aluminum

The Cryptex Triple-hub is the current design that is available for purchasing.

This vessel is essentially a combination lock box: after dialing in a specific combination code, the center storage tube is released and able to be pulled out of the top of the main body. A turned stopper, complete with an air tight O-ring, can then be removed, revealing the stored contents inside. A four letter version, as shown above, stands about 24" tall.

These commissioned pieces are intended to be customizable, with the selection of different specie of ornate woods for the body, and the inclusion of different metal finishes (such as brass, nickel, or gun-blued steel), as well as various lengths of the overall piece. The variation in length is determined by the quantity of combination rings, as up to seven combination rings can be implemented, depending upon the user-specified code word. A mnemonic device, typically in the form of a riddle, can be engraved upon the top brass hub encircling the Cryptex body.

To fabricate this current Cryptex iteration, eight specific tool fixtures had to be designed and built. Some 16 machining steps are needed to complete a combination ring, with an additional 26 engraving iterations done with an old pantograph engraving machine. Also implemented is a ratcheting detente system that I designed for the rings, so the combination rings actually click and remain stationary as the combination code is spun in.

For questions about commissioning your own Cryptex, please contact me for details, or go to my ETSY store.

Photos by Curtis Almquist Studios.


"the Dual-Hub Cryptex " -burled Black Walnut, brass, synthetic ivory, and aluminum

Another design iteration with massive improvements. The sheet brass bands adjacent to the combination ring cluster in the previous incarnation have been replaced with machine turned billet brass hubs with integral machine screws. This was done to facilitate disassembly of the vessel for repairs if needed. The indicator plate has also been refined significantly.

Photos by Curtis Almquist Studios.

"Chuck's 75th Birthday Cryptex " -burled Black Walnut, brass, synthetic ivory, and aluminum

This is an earlier design. A significant leap forward from the original cryptex in regards to overall proportions, details, and materials. Also, a detente system was developed for the combination rings, and an integral pedestal was implemented.


"Katelyn's Anniversary Cryptex " -olive, maple, brass, and copper

This is the original cryptex, a piece I made as a surprise for my wife on our anniversary. I had family and friends pen love letters that were placed inside the storage vessel for her to enjoy. It went over well... :)