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OT - need help with gate latch

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  • OT - need help with gate latch

    Up at Dad's house in Methuen, Mass, I put in a fence for the dogs. One of the guys who was here working on the siding back in April made 2 wood gates for me, he called them basic farm gates. One is 3 foot wide, the other is 6 foot so the man I have mowing can get his riding mower in the enclosed area. I need help with latches. I have taken photos of the 2 gates. As long as the ground has not frozen, I can move the green metal post closer or further away depending what is needed. Both gates, we mounted the hinges so the gate swings both ways, in and out. The wood part is about 2.25 inches. The guy used the green plastic fencing for the gate (my idea) and I've painted the gates to match the new siding.

    The small gate is my critical problem. I am using wire twists to hold it closed and that keeps loosening up. So the dogs can and do get out. The 6 foot gate is not as easy for them; due to its weight, I have a brick under it to support it so all the weight is not on the top hinge. This keeps it rather immobile. I also had to put wood at the bottom, my dogs are small and potentially could wiggle out.

    I think my best option is a butterfly latch, available at Home Depot. I realize it may not work 100% in that it won't swing closed and latch itself -- the green metal post is higher than the gate and I am not concerned about this enough to figure out how to cut the metal. The fact that I can latch it and open it either in or out is what I like about the butterfly latch.

    I do not know which size latch to get, and I do not have a clue HOW to attach it to the gate. I would appreciate help on this.

    This is the small gate:

    End on, this is the part I measured as just a tiny bit over 2.25 inches

    This is the outside of the gate, that is Tasha in the background.
    Last edited by Freedom2be; 11-03-2013, 10:18 AM.

  • #2
    Fortunately, on both gates, if I need to loop something through that top triangle space, the plastic is well inside the wood, so whatever is going through will run / hit wood not plastic.

    This is the wide 6 foot gate

    The wide gate meets the metal post differently, but as I said I can pull up the posts and make the gap smaller as needed.

    On October 19th, my 3 year old dog, Tony, got out the small gate, ran 3 streets away, and was hit and killed by a car. This past Saturday, the same small gate was open a bit and my 10 year old dog, Willy, was through and in the yard beyond, I was able to call him back in and retwist the wire tighter. So I really need to do something about this issue before another dog gets hurt or killed.

    I will likely have to ask a neighbor to help me with this project. I can hammer in a nail, but I don't think I could get screws in to the wood, even with an electric drill, as I have never done it in the past and a life - or - death issue is not one I want to practice on.

    Thank you for any and all help ideas and suggestions.


    • #3
      All you need to do is make a loop out of baling wire that goes through the triangle part on the gate in the very top corner. Size the loop to go around the top of the green post, but draw the post close to the gate. To open, simply lift the loop up from around the top of the green post and swing the gate. To close, drop the loop back over the top of the green post. Similar to what you have now without the tying and untying.


      • #4
        I use @10" of light weight open link chain fastened to either the gate or post and a screw in hook on the other. Fast, simple and works great.

        Edit; If you put the chain on the gate you could use another hook to hold the gate open, which is sometimes very handy
        Last edited by Abner; 11-03-2013, 11:06 AM.


        • #5
          First you need to put in real posts for your gate, those green drive ins just don't cut it. I personally would put in 9' posts that are buried 2 feet in the ground and the top would be connected by a cross brace on the top of the posts now you can put a proper gate in that the dogs can't get out of. I've been known to over kill jobs but I've never been called back to fix something that went wrong.


          • #6
            Yes..... the big gate (probably both) needs a heavier post, or better, an adjustable tie-back (turnbuckle) to a second post a few feet away in the fence. Basically a piece from near the top of the gate hinge post down to the next post. keeps the gate hinge post from leaning inwards and letting gate drag.

            Then the post on the latch side should be at least as big as the one that is on the hinges now. Then you can put on a decent latch and it will be solid.

            My preference is to brace the gate itself with a turnbuckle instead of that piece of wood going diagonal. Later, when (not if) the gate sags, you can tighten it and get the sag out.

            Keep eye on ball.
            Hashim Khan


            • #7
              I would say if you are hesitant to drive a screw into wood you might need some help on this project. As others have said you need better posts on each side of both gates.

              Also how secure do you need the gates to be actually? I know you are not looking for a security fence but what about kid safe as in the local kids not easily opening the gates and letting the dogs out?
              Location: The Black Forest in Germany

              How to become a millionaire: Start out with 10 million and take up machining as a hobby!


              • #8
                Come ON !!!!

                get those creative juices flowin ! Quit thinking about what the proper way to latch it
                is and start thinking about " what would keep the gate closed ? "

                The very fact that you are asking on this forum suggests that you "want" to be
                a creator.

                Anyways .. think of something simple like ..

                and .. yes .. you do have the freedom to be

                Good luck
                John Titor, when are you.


                • #9
                  Sorry to hear about the loss of Your pet. The fastest easiest most secure option would be as mentioned, a piece of light duty chain with a spring latch type hook on the chain. No tools required if You have the hook installed on the chain at the hardware store, the downside to that is it is a little fiddly every time the gate is used but is better than wire but everyone using the gate needs to remember to secure it.



                  • #10
                    The problem with a job like that is that a short wire fence is one of the hardest jobs to get right. Those metal posts are not near rigid enough for the job but a setup like yours can be used, and often is, for a temporary job.

                    The secret is to make the gates part of the fence in that they are tensioned to the posts, loose chain will not do the job. Wire in the right hands is actually better than chain as it can be twitched up.


                    • #11
                      The loop of wire or chain through the gate and then slipped over the green post will work BUT I add my name those suggesting that work be done with the posts on the side of the gate away from the hinge. For the small gate I would most likely put a wood post similar to the hinge side at the corner and another at what will be the latch side of the gate, for the reasons Artful gave. The hinge side of that double wide is going to needs something, J Tiers made some very good suggestions, long term IMO it is just too long to not sag, perhaps significantly.


                      • #12
                        That Butterfly latch you refer to is intended to work with a standard, ROUND fence post and to mount on a gate frame that is also made from round steel tubing. When used properly on the right sized, round tubing, it should be self latching. You will have trouble both mounting it and getting it to work on your gate and fence post.

                        Most hardware stores have a selection of fence hardware and you can probably get something more suitable there. But I would do as some others have suggested and just use a simple wire or chain loop fastened to one side and that hooks over the other. Simple, cheap, and effective. And the dogs will not be able to operate it. But if they are smart, they will start digging under.
                        Paul A.
                        SE Texas

                        Make it fit.
                        You can't win and there is a penalty for trying!