Latches come in so many varieties and styles - from the rustic to the ornate. The materials used to make latches are only limited by your creativity and needs. Their uses are as diverse as their materials and latches secure buildings, keep livestock in or out or simply keep the wind and weather from blowing open a gate, window or door.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Gate eye latches, spring optional
- Scrap wood or strapping
Collect an iron strap hinge. Use the available hole or drill a new hole at one end. Screw this to the wall, loose enough to swivel. Find an iron keeper or bend a piece of metal into a keeper shape. Drill holes in the back of the keeper and screw it into the door or gate.
Use a spring hook and eye set. Screw the spring hook into the wall. Align and screw in the eye into the door, window, cabinet or gate.
Cut a piece of scrap wood or strapping into a long rectangle, 1 inch by 6 inch or desired size. Take a scroll saw or band saw and cut a pattern or shape to the wood. Use wood carving tools to carve designs into the wood. Screw the wood into the wall loose enough for the wood to swing. Screw a block of wood onto the door for the latch to catch onto. Carve a trough, or add another piece of wood to make a trough, for the latch to fall into.
Make a simple gate latch by tying loops on each end of a rope. Bring the rope around the gate posts or pickets. Tie a dowel or tree branch section, birch or other attractive wood, to the post or picket. Thread the dowel or decorative tree branch through the holes of the ropes. Simply tie the rope in a ring and slip it over the meeting gate posts.
Screw a handle to the door and one to the wall. Take a chain and thread it through both handles. Clip the chain with a snap, hook or lock.
Tips and warnings
- Spring eye-hook latches add more security since the hook cannot pop out of the eye.
- Visit salvage stores for interesting iron and metal pieces that could be used as latches and handles.
- Use driftwood or tree branches, like white birch, hickory or cherry, to add a rustic element to the latch.
- Consider the use of the latch before choosing styles and materials. Door weight, wind/weather conditions, security and livestock use guide which type of latch should be made.
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