Product Idea |

Working Canal Lock


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Welcome to the Working Canal Lock!

The Idea

No matter on which vessel you're traveling the rivers and canals across the land, there will always be sections where the natural altitude differences have made it necessary to install locks to overcome them. So that's basically the whole idea behind this project: a canal lock made out of LEGO bricks that actually works in terms of being fully operable, so that vessels can travel both upstream and downstream the river. Beyond that, the attempt was also that the canal lock should not only work as a standalone model, but being fairly suitable for embedding into existing river landscapes, and therefore having the basic conditions for motorization or even automation.

The Build

The build consists of (please see also images 1 – 10):
  • Canal lock with lower miter gate and an upper sliding gate
  • Lock keeper's cottage with lock maintenance doors in the basement
  • Lock control hut with console for the signals and intercoms
  • Three functional lock wheels for steering the gates and alternating the basin's water level
  • Alternative central lock controls at the back with a three-gear transmission lever and a single drive input
  • Rubber dinghy, kayak, canoe and rowing boat
  • Lock keeper with his dog, lock mechanic, six boaters, water inspector, kid with its toy boat and fisherman

The Functionality

The functionalities are the following (please see also images 11 – 15):
  • Both gates can be operated either via the corresponding lock wheels or the central lock controls.
  • The lower gate can only be opened when the water level in the basin is equal to the lower level to prevent flood waves or boat accidents.
  • The water basin can be filled/elevated and emptied/declined either via the corresponding lock wheel or the central lock controls.
  • The upper sliding gate contains a flexible chain-driven mechanism to fill up the remaining space with water when it's opened, please see image 14 for the details.
  • The central lock controls can be very easily motorized or even operated completely remotely, please see image 15 for an example implementation.

The Data

Parts: 2999 including minifigures (without the additional parts for the optional motorization shown in image 15)
Dimensions: 44 cm x 31 cm x 20 cm

The Pitch

As far as I know, there has never been a working minifigure scale canal lock set in the LEGO universe, so if you also think that it's about time for such a crucial functional waterway building, I'd be very delighted to receive your support; and if you've got something on your mind about this build, please don't hesitate to leave a comment, every kind of feedback is truly appreciated!

Thank you very much for your attention and always have a good trip!
Baron von Barron

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