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Thanks for buying an Open Bar Holder

Open 2x4 bar holder galvanized steel front

Had a nice order from Fort Collins CO today! Thank to the CSU Rams fan (an assumption).

The order was for 4 open bar holders which will look very sharp since they don’t have UGLY exposed screws like the ones you buy in Home Depot or Lowes.

I believe I have a superior design to what is available in the market an I’m 100% American made. I host my web site out of a Houston web hoster. I use wordpress which was designed partly in Houston. I live in Austin TX. They are manufactured in Hutto TX by a little metal working shop.

My customers are helping me “make America great again” by doing the simple act of trading together!


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Add a Padlock locking tab to a secure 2×4 bar holder and shazzam…

Traditional 2x4 Bar Holder without ability to lock
Traditional 2x4 Bar Holder without ability to lock
Traditional 2×4 Bar Holder without ability to lock

When I first made my 2×4 bar holder setup with traditional 2×4 bar holders, I made about 3,000 trips to Lowes and Home Depot trying to find the right stuff (slight exaggeration).

Once I put a handle on my 2×4 bar and I had a nice setup for sliding the bar back and forth and removing, I discovered that there just seemed to be no good way to add something so simple as a padlock.

While a padlock won’t keep VERY determined crooks out of my shed – they could bring a circular saw or saws-all and get in – it would “up the ante” on difficulty at least. In fact if you want to think about security in the correct way, you have to assume it is a bit of a marginal returns versus marginal cost concept. In other words, the value of what you’re protecting must be at least worth the COST to criminals of going for it. If you think about an extreme case, the use of encryption causes crooks to have very expensive ‘cracking’ capability, both in computer hardware, time, and expertise. So the point is to make it hard enough that they’ll just move on to an area where they know the score is easier. That is all.

So here is a bulleted list of the escalation in security and the higher cost (equipment/speed) to break your security for a shed.

  • Standard shed hardware – Simple crowbar to bust and about 15 seconds.
  • 2×4 bar holder with some jerry rigged lock – electric screwdriver and about 2 minutes.
  • secure 2×4 bar holder with some jerry rigged lock – crowbar on the lock – 15 seconds.
  • secure 2×4 bar holder WITH special 2×4 bar holder with lock tab – circular saw on bar – 10 minutes + power source + noise risk.
  • NOT SOLD YET HERE (as of Dec 2016) – Steel 2×4 bar with Secure 2×4 bar holder kit – Now we are in blow torch territory!
  • etc.
  • etc.

So you see you can make each step harder and by adding a locking tab to the secure bar holder I can make the job quite a bit harder for a crook.

Here is my original closed bar holder drawing with a locking tab:

2x4 bar holder with padlock tab for high security
2×4 bar holder with padlock tab for high security


Here is the secure bar holder kit in action – without a padlock on m own shed. (I do wished I was a better carpenter).

Secure 2x4 Bar Holder Kit Raw Installed on my shed (poorly I might add)
Secure 2×4 Bar Holder Kit Raw Installed on my shed (poorly I might add)

Here is a gallery of my current designs using the secure locking tab:

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How the BearMar Makes it harder to remove the bar



Old Style 2x4 Bar Holder Showing the Exposed Screws
Old Style 2×4 Bar Holder Showing the Exposed Screws

When I first decided I would use a 2×4 bar to close my shed instead of a combination of a latch and “something” to hold ONE of the doors closed, I went and bought “ordinary” 2×4 bar holders from Lowes or Home Depot (you can also get a traditional 2×4 closed bar holder or a traditional 2×4 open bar holder from Amazon (these are affiliate links)).

I was pretty happy with these for the most part except that  I only had a 2×4 to fasten the bar holders to. This meant I had to add extra wide wood pieces so that I could fasten to my shed. Since I did this “post shed construction” it looked like crap – even after I painted it.

I thought it would be really nice if there was a DIFFERENT kind of 2×4 bar holder which could be installed in only a 2×4 width. I couldn’t find one so then I designed one. Since there were both OPEN and CLOSED 2×4 bar holders in market I created a design for BOTH the open and closed in my compact (because it only takes a 2×4 width) and secure (because you can’t unscrew the screws with the bar in place) 2×4 holders.

Notice that since I have the screws UNDER the bar when it is installed you simply cannot use a screwdriver to remove the bar if the bar is in place. I had to create the holes in the front to get a screwdriver through. This is what makes my 2×4 bar holders so much better than the current bunch.

Here are the drawings which I made using only Apple Keynote to create. It was faster than using a 3D drawing program (at least for me).

Closed Small Compact 2x4 Bar Holder - Drawing & Dimensions
Closed Small Compact 2×4 Bar Holder – Drawing & Dimensions
Open Compact 2x4 Bar Holder - Mechanical Drawing Dimensions
Open Compact 2×4 Bar Holder – Mechanical Drawing Dimensions

I ended up with actual products that look like this below:

Find these innovative Bar Holders here!

Or Find them on Amazon here!

Or Find them on eBay here!


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You have to have special latches for one of the sheds doors

One of the reasons I came up with the secure 2×4 bar holder or the secure bar holder idea was because I received an 8×12 shed for FREE. All I had to do was move it.

When I got it placed on my property, I noticed that the doors didn’t close all that well. In fact, they were never constructed very well – sag was something that would set in on my doors. It is worth mentioning that the doors were on the 8 foot side and there were two doors that opened in the middle.

I knew I wanted to fix my doors, but I kept running the following thought around in my mind: “There HAS to be a way to fasten these with a single type of latch.”

I detested the idea of having to make it so that one door is always shut fairly solid by having special latches on the inside of the door. Even worse, the special latches had to be at the very top of the door or the very bottom of the door. At the top, Sheri had trouble reaching the latch. At the bottom, it kept getting bumped and interfered with because it was sort of easily bumpable.

I must have tried 6-7 different latches from Lowes. None of them worked. I even kept 1 or 2 of my failed experiments because Lowes was starting to eyeball me when I brought stuff back.

That is how I decided that the only possible solution for me was the idea of a bar. If you don’t know what a bar is, I wrote about what a 2×4 bar is here. Briefly, it is a long “something” – in this case a 2×4 that goes across two swinging doors to create a simple method to keep the doors shut.

I was pretty darned happy with my 2×4 bar, with one exception.

I decided I wanted to put a padlock on my bar to make it just one step harder to get into my shed.

That was when my odyssey began.

But until then, you can see the pictures on this page that show where you need to put those silly latches that are necessary with most 2 door sheds.

(You can just see my invention by visiting the bar holder on my shop page here).

(Or you can see my invention at my secure 2×4 bar holder page on Amazon).

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What is a 2×4 bar holder?

closed 2x4 bar holder that is NOT secure

If you want to “bar your door”, or bar the castle gate, you need to have two things:

  • A big bar – I wrote about “what is a bar” earlier
  • Something to hold the bar – which is called (drum roll please) a “2×4 bar holder”.

So a bar holder is just a “thingy” or device made to hold a bar. Many people think of these as a door security bar brackets. Many people want to use a low cost 2×4 with door security bar brackets.

I our modern times, the most popular, in fact the only type of bar holder that I have found any real supply of is a 2×4 bar holder. That is what I have pictured at the top of this article. In fact, the lowest cost solution is to buy your own 2×4 and simply buy the brackets.

There are two main types of 2×4 bar holders.

  • Open 2×4 bar holder
  • Closed 2×4 bar holder

In my house, we used two open 2×4 bar holders across our closet door to create a pretty darned tough safe room. I chose the OPEN 2×4 bar holder because after we close the door I wanted to be able to place the bar across the door VERY rapidly, even when tired. I hope I remembered to bring in the cell phone. Bad guys would find it extremely difficult to break into our closet because of the bar.

There are also CLOSED 2×4 bar holders, which I find MORE often on Amazon and other places than the OPEN 2×4 bar holders. I find this odd as I think for most indoor security applications, the open bar holder is much much faster and easier to deploy and use.

The closed 2×4 bar holders are great when you want the bar to stay in place. For example, I used a closed bar holder on my shed because I just wanted the door bar to be more like a latch rather than something I removed. Or you might be in a situation where you have a really smart horse or cow and they could open the open bar holder.

The bar holders you see in this article are what I first used to solve my problem of latching my 12×8 shed with a bar rather than a bunch of unreliable flimsy locks.

These bar holders have several problems which my secure bar holders solve. Here is how MY bar holders from this site are BETTER. First I just wanted to define what in the world a bar holder is.

If you just want to see what Amazon has available for 2×4 bar holders, I’ve found them for you here: