Types of latches for sheds

Written by shane grey
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Shed doors don't require the most attractive door hardware but latches must be strong, weather-resistant and capable of housing a padlock. A visit to the hardware store reveals a broad range of suitable utility latches. Shed latches generally consist of a set of two plates; one plate attaches to the shed door's jamb and the other attaches to the shed door. Components such as hinges, pins and bolts connect the separate plates and prevent the door from opening.

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Simple and utilitarian, hasps consist of a set of thin, rectangular plates. One of the hasp's metal plates hinges at its centre and other plate features an extruded ring or bar at its centre. A slot on one side of the hinged plate fits directly over the extruded ring of the opposite plate.

To mount a hasp onto a shed door, a builder fastens the hinged plate to either the door frame or door jamb, aligns the hinged plate's slot with the extruded ring and fastens the ring-bearing plate to shed. In the closed position, the hinged plate's slot fits directly over the ring. A padlock or pin placed within the ring secures the door in a closed position.

Sliding Bolt Latches

Although sliding bolt latches appear in various sizes and styles, nearly all types of sliding bolt latches consist of a rounded bolt that slides within a barrel-shaped cylinder. Both bolt and cylinder protrude from flat, metal plates. The plates mount to adjacent surfaces, such as a shed door frame and shed door jamb. When the bolt slides into the barrel, the latch keeps the door shut. When the bolt slides out of the barrel, the door can swing freely.

Automatic Latches

Suitable for bath gates and shed doors, the automatic latch consists of a door-mounted peg and a jamb-mounted latching mechanism. The latching mechanism has a set of hinged jaws that open upon contact with the door-mounted peg. Once the peg passes through the latch's jaws, the jaws slam shut, automatically closing the door. The automatic latching mechanism is pre-assembled, so that an automatic latch set contains only two pieces: the peg and the latch.

Thumb Latches

Like an automatic latch, the thumb latch's mechanism automatically clamps shut around a peg. The distinguishing characteristics of a thumb latch are a decorative handle and thumb-operated opening mechanism. A thumb-operated button sits atop the thumb latch's vertically-oriented handlebar. To use a thumb latch, you simply grip the handlebar and depress your thumb against the top-mounted button. As with many residential entry locks, depressing the button causes the thumb latch to unlock and the door to swing freely.

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