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View Full Version : Anyone familiar with St Charles kitchen cabinet latches?



J Tiers
12-19-2017, 10:31 PM
We have a "St Charles Kitchen", which we like, and are not interested in replacing the metal cabinets with chipwood ticky-tack.

One of the cabinets has a bad latch. I'd like to get it out of there and see if it can be fixed, and if not, might be able to swap it with a cabinet that will not be needed in the new kitchen we want to have put in.

The latch looks like this, but I cannot see how it comes out. It might pry out, but so far I have not wanted to do that, since it seems to be pulling pretty hard on the surrounding metal when I try it. I think there is something holding it in.

http://i.imgur.com/hKNcIA1.jpg?2 (https://imgur.com/hKNcIA1)

The two holes do not seem to have any special purpose, they are not for screws, and there do not seem to be tabs etc behind them. The latches were clearly put in after the doors were assembled and painted, though, so they might come out the same way, unless something was bent over inside that I cannot see. There is a "bar", or "rod" visible inside through the holes, but I cannot see what it does,

We are going to have these repainted, since we have bought a number of additional cabinets, which are of all colors, pink, yellow, lime green, etc. We will have them all made the same color (to be determined). All the latches will need to come out for painting, and one needs fixed.

I have not located any new ones...... The kitchen cabinets are probably more than 50 years old.

Robin R
12-19-2017, 10:59 PM
Is it possible that the two holes are for something like a peg spanner, then perhaps rotate it through 90 degrees.

alanganes
12-19-2017, 11:13 PM
I'm not specifically familiar with those latches, but just looking at the photo you posted, maybe those two vertical bars you can see through the holes are "ears" that spring outward when the latch is pressed into the hole in the door. It appears that the sheetmetal of the cabinet was notched to expose or allow access to those bars.

I'd try to gently pry them inward towards the center of the latch with two small screwdrivers or something similar.

J Tiers
12-19-2017, 11:17 PM
That was my first thought. They might rotate, but they did not seem to do that, it seemed very tight. The bars are pretty solid.

I am unwilling to sacrifice a cabinet to find out, so I have not used brute force. Most of the existing cabinets use a plastic latch, but several of the ones we have bought to add to the existing ones have the metal latch as illustrated above.

The cabinet doors were pretty obviously assembled when the latches were put in, since they were already painted, and the doors appear to have spotwelds.

The latches could have been turned, they could have been just pressed in and "snapped" in place. It is possible something was bent outward to retain them, most likely accessed through the holes. There is a bar visible behind the holes, which appears to be part of the door, but could be some part that holds in the latch.

Basically, that's why I am looking for someone who actually KNOWS about the doors and latches.

3 Phase Lightbulb
12-19-2017, 11:23 PM
That was my first thought. They might rotate, but they did not seem to do that, it seemed very tight. The bars are pretty solid.

I am unwilling to sacrifice a cabinet to find out, so I have not used brute force. Most of the existing cabinets use a plastic latch, but several of the ones we have bought to add to the existing ones have the metal latch as illustrated above.

The cabinet doors were pretty obviously assembled when the latches were put in, since they were already painted, and the doors appear to have spotwelds.

The latches could have been turned, they could have been just pressed in and "snapped" in place. It is possible something was bent outward to retain them, most likely accessed through the holes. There is a bar visible behind the holes, which appears to be part of the door, but could be some part that holds in the latch.

Basically, that's why I am looking for someone who actually KNOWS about the doors and latches.

I don't know anything about those. Never seen them before but they they do look like 1940's or maybe 50's era. I assume they are not stainless so maybe a small magnet could be used as a latch replacing the current catch.

RichR
12-19-2017, 11:46 PM
That was my first thought. They might rotate, but they did not seem to do that, it seemed very tight. The bars are pretty solid.

Maybe they're rusted in place. I agree with alanganes, looking through the "mounting holes" there appear to be clearance slots if the bars will move.

flylo
12-20-2017, 01:02 AM
Can you use magnetic or "load stones" as there known down there?

J Tiers
12-20-2017, 01:20 AM
They do not appear to be rusted in, the body of the latch seems to be plated. Might be some deposited cooking grease, condensed oil vapor......you would not believe the stove that we made the previous owners remove and get rid of as a condition of purchase.

Might be that I am supposed to poke something into the hole and push the visible "bars" to the side. I have not tried that, but it would explain why there are holes at all.



Can you use magnetic or "load stones" as there known down there?

Sure, but what for? Ah nevair heard nobody callin them no lodestone... whatcha mean?

Ries
12-20-2017, 06:58 AM
those are usually called "push latches"
I remember that style, I last saw them in the seventies.
the newer ones usually have either a rectangular plunger, or "ears", but work the same way- the springs hold the plunger in place.

I would guess the two holes were for screws, but your particular cabinet company just ignored them routed a larger hole, and friction fit the latch plate in there.
The two springs just push against the plunger, and hold it in place with friction- there is not any more mechanism inside there.
I think the plate will come out if you pull it directly outwards.
I suppose its possible there is some glue in there, but I highly doubt it.

flylo
12-20-2017, 07:04 AM
They do not appear to be rusted in, the body of the latch seems to be plated. Might be some deposited cooking grease, condensed oil vapor......you would not believe the stove that we made the previous owners remove and get rid of as a condition of purchase.

Might be that I am supposed to poke something into the hole and push the visible "bars" to the side. I have not tried that, but it would explain why there are holes at all.




Sure, but what for? Ah nevair heard nobody callin them no lodestone... whatcha mean?

Many people in the south call magnets "load stones", never heard that?

reggie_obe
12-20-2017, 07:07 AM
Doesn't answer the original question, but these are the cabinets in question: https://retrorenovation.com/tag/st-charles-kitchen/

vpt
12-20-2017, 07:44 AM
Have to get into those little holes and push those tabs inward. They might be jammed real tight after the years but they do move inward and the latch pulls out then.

J Tiers
12-20-2017, 08:26 AM
Missouri is not "the south", it just wants to be.


Doesn't answer the original question, but these are the cabinets in question: https://retrorenovation.com/tag/st-charles-kitchen/

Almost. Ours have the wavy handles. But same idea.

Doozer
12-20-2017, 09:29 AM
https://retrorenovation.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/frank-sinatra-house-st-charles-kitchen.jpeg

Metal kitchen cabinets seem just awesome to me.
Too bad most women don't think the same.

-Doozer

J Tiers
12-20-2017, 09:38 AM
At an estate sale I once saw an entire GE kitchen..... the whole thing was done in 50's/60's metal cabinets, obviously a complete installation, even to the hanging refrigerator unit. Looked like the day it was put in, hardly a scuff on it.

The people running the sale said that the folks who were buying the house had already done the "back and forth hand wave" (you have probably seen that action), and said "all this junk has to go".

My wife is totally on-board with keeping the cabinets and adding to them. She HATES the ticky-tack chipwood stuff as much as I do.


Have to get into those little holes and push those tabs inward. They might be jammed real tight after the years but they do move inward and the latch pulls out then.

Good info. I will give it a try. Thanks

flylo
12-20-2017, 10:38 AM
Real wood cabinets aren't chip board. We have an 1880 home & when we redid the kitchen we left the wood cook stove & I bought a 1929 Monitor Fridge with the round unit on top & a '30s gas stove. We have a pantry off the kitchen we planned to putting the new appliances in there. But my wife did like it so we sold the stove & the fridge is going on Ebay but the wood cook stove & gas light remain.

CCWKen
12-20-2017, 10:43 AM
Why not just get on that Retrorenovation Blog and ask there?

J Tiers
12-20-2017, 10:52 AM
'Cause I did not know about it! Search never found it.

We need to agree here on colors, but here is a rendering I did of one part of the new setup without any colors involved, and lacking some of the lighting setup.

We actually have it mocked up, I got hold of some surplus (free) lab counter top and cut it to shape so we could have a decent working mockup. So far we like the basic arrangement, just need to deal with colors and find a couple more cabinets of the size we want. I have one that is the wrong width by 3 inches and there is another vertical wall type we need to find.

http://i.imgur.com/jvUrds0.jpg (https://imgur.com/jvUrds0)

J Tiers
12-20-2017, 07:10 PM
Why not just get on that Retrorenovation Blog and ask there?

And there is not really a "forum", dunno just what the deal is there, not familiar with that. No need to make a blog comment, and they don;t seem to really know that level of detail anyway.