Nothing like an entrance to your evil lair that proclaims “Mad Scientist At Work!” to thwart angry mobs or worse – roommates. I’ve devised a basic solution: valve door handles like the ones found on a Submarine hatch.
This handle gives the impression that there is dangerous substances sealed within. This also could be mistaken for a bomb shelter or a panic room. All three impressions would mess with people actually.
The basic doorknob one is functional, the large one affixed to the middle of the door is for decoration. You could even paint the door silver and glue a bunch of bolts to the perimeter to complete the look.
I was very surprised that the valve doorknob handle does not exist – commercially or as a homebrew device. I figured the Steampunk community would have beat me to it by now. You’re asleep at the wheel, Steampunkers! Ha. Wheel.