Tuesday, September 3, 2013

A Gate Latch Modification

This old gate latch is rugged, and it works ok.

It has this neat feature of being padlockable.

If you slide the latchbar over fully to the left, the latchbar becomes a bolt that can be padlocked. That's all well and good, but I've never had need of that feature, and the ease with which the latchbar is dislodged from its normal operating position makes for a bit of a nuisance at times.

The simplest solution would be to install a single screw through the latchbar, at a point where the screwhead will limit the leftward travel of the latchbar, like so.

Note the black, T30 socket-head screw that I've added. That's a 10-32 x 3/8" screw that I drilled and tapped the latchbar to accept. The screw does exactly what's needed, and it seems to cause the latchbar to operate perfectly smoothly and consistently on closing -- much better than it used to. In the unlikely event that I ever need to padlock the latch, I can just temporarily remove the screw to regain the use of the padlocking feature.

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