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Latch for double-swing gate

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Forum topic by Rob_s posted 12-12-2016 01:59 PM 408 views 1 time favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Rob_s

171 posts in 461 days


12-12-2016 01:59 PM

We have a store-bought baby/pet gate that I’m looking to replace with a custom version. One of the reasons is the latch. The gate needs to be able to swing both directions and I’m going to use spring-loaded double-swing hinges to mount it to the wall. the spring tension alone won’t be enough to hold the door shut so I need a latch, but with the gate swinging both directions I can’t use some of the more basic gate hardware.

I have googled and come up with a bunch of horse-gate hardware, some of which looks pretty cool, but all of which is too bulky or farmy for in the house use.

Anyone have any hardware they can suggest?

-- www.facebook.com/therealbnrlabs


8 replies so far

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bondogaposis

4482 posts in 2190 days


#1 posted 12-12-2016 02:47 PM

Use a bolt latch on top of the gate.

-- Bondo Gaposis

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Rob_s

171 posts in 461 days


#2 posted 12-12-2016 03:21 PM

I guess I should also say that I’m looking for something that will self-latch. I don’t want to have to keep throwing the bolt every time the gate closes.

What would be ideal would be some kind of push-to-release latch I could put on the top edge of the gate that the dogs can’t reach. Then I would have to latch/un-latch anything.

-- www.facebook.com/therealbnrlabs

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JBrow

1275 posts in 759 days


#3 posted 12-12-2016 03:38 PM

Rob_s,

A couple of latch ideas are what I will call a bridge latch and a knife latch. Both of these latches would mount on the top rail of the gate and require a retainer block mounted to the wall.

The bridge latch would be U shaped and mounted to the top rail of the gate with a bolt on which the U shaped assembly rotates upward. The U shaped assembly would capture a rectangular block mounted to the wall. An alternative would be to mount the bridge on the wall. When in this orientation, the bridge would capture the gate when the bridge is hanging down.

The knife latch would be a straight piece of stock (the bar) that fits inside a centered slot milled into the top rail of the gate and held by a bolt on which the bar can rotate. The bar could be wide enough to set proud of the top rail so that it can be grabbed and lifted upward or a knob or tab integrated on the top edge of the bar would allow the bar to set flush with the top edge of the gate. A slot in a rectangular block of wood mounted to the wall would accept the bar, keeping the gate closed. The ends of the bar would need to be rounded so that the bar has clearance when pivoted up to unlatch the gate. Also the upper edges of the slots in the wall mounted block would probably need to be flared so that the bar will easy find the slot when closing the gate.

Both of these options would be a fair amount of work to implement. bondogaposis’s top mounted barrel latch would be a faster and easier installation.

A self-latching gate is a tough challenge when the gate swings in two directions. Perhaps the ideas I presented could self-latch if the wall mounted piece is wide enough to be mitred so that as the gate closes, the latch contacts the mitre and ride up the mitre and at the top of the mitre, the latching mechanism drops into place. But if the gate overshoots the wall mounted block, the latch may not catch and/or place added stress on the latch.

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Rob_s

171 posts in 461 days


#4 posted 12-12-2016 04:12 PM

I wonder if I could rig something up with some simple 1/4” plates and a bolt…. Let the bar pivoton the bolt in a slot in the top of the door and bevel the notched plate attached to the wall for the bar to ride up and drop into the notch…

-- www.facebook.com/therealbnrlabs

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JBrow

1275 posts in 759 days


#5 posted 12-12-2016 05:22 PM

Rob_s,

The diagrams illustrate the knife style latch I attempted to describe. I offer some slight changes to the current design.

The mitre angle on the wall plate may be too steep. A shallower ramp could keep the knife from hanging up. Obviously, the wall bracket would work best if the knife strikes the mitre, especially if the gate should every begin to sag.

If the slot in the wall plate is wider than the thickness of the knife (a slightly sloppy fit), I would think the knife would be more likely captured should some over-swing in the closing gate occur. Additionally when summer time swelling occurs,the knife could still drop freely into the slot. Gate over-swing is the biggest problem I see with this style of latch. But then if the spring loaded hinges eventually align the gate with wall plate, it should eventually latch.

The next idea would to eliminate the round knob and cut the extra wide knife to shape at the bandsaw (or jigsaw) to create a tab for the lifting handle. If some curves are introduced the tab could look nice and be a little longer and thus impart some added strength. I foresee some difficultly trying to attach the knob to the ¼” thick knife, whether done with glue or a screw.

I may be worth considering a cross-grain glue-up of the knife. If a split were to occur in the knife, you would be back in the shop repairing the latch. Two thinner pieces of wood face glued with the grain running perpendicular would greatly increase the strength of the knife. A similar consideration could be given to construction of the wall plate. The parts are small enough that I doubt wood movement from cross grain gluing would be a problem.

When fastening the knife to the gate, doing so in a way that would make latch repairable, should it ever be required, would be appreciated. This could be a screw with a bush installed in the knife rather than a dowel. The bushing would protect the wood from the screw threads and the screw could be easily removed. The bushing could be a piece of 1/4”copper or plastic tubing and installed in the knife.

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Rob_s

171 posts in 461 days


#6 posted 12-12-2016 06:03 PM

I thought of the shallower angle on the plate after modeling it.

I just stuck the round knob on because it was easy to model and because we have kids and they need to be able to operate the gate. Ideally I’d cut something like a wave shape out of the plate steel that makes up the bar.

In the model I have a 1/2” wide slot in the door and in the plate, and a 1/4” wide bar. I’m thinking a 1/4” bolt for the pivot with washers to center the bar.

I’d still much prefer a store-bought solution here, although I’m getting excited about engineering something, haha.

-- www.facebook.com/therealbnrlabs

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JBrow

1275 posts in 759 days


#7 posted 12-12-2016 10:36 PM

Rob_s,

I had not thought of a steel bar, which is a pretty good idea; that solves some problems.

Unfortunately I cannot think of a store bought option for the latch.

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plywoodman

12 posts in 379 days


#8 posted 12-19-2016 12:54 AM

Hi. I don’t know if this is an option for your situation, but what about a gate without any latch, using heavy pull magnets instead? Even if your gate is plastic, you can surface mount as many magnets as required.

-- Don, Arizona. " How hard can it be "?

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