Saturday, November 28, 2009

Gate latch design

I have learned that you cannot have too many gates, and that you can't have a gate that is too big.  For my own operation, I've found that a 14' gate is a good size.  Even though my tractor is only 7' wide, I'm often going through the gate at an angle, or carrying something big, or dragging something, and the extra space makes life so much better. 

A good source of relatively cheap gates for me is when there's an auction of a dairy farm.  They'll often put all of the gates up as one lot, and yes, it's a lot of work to take down 50 gates, but they're often very nice gates, and come complete with hinges and latches.  So that's what this post is about. 

The picture above is the latch from a 14' wide dairy gate that I bought; I think I paid $5 for this particular gate.  It's a cool latch.  You work the lever, and it inserts the two flat pieces into the end post, about 4".  That's plenty sturdy.  It also has a lock on it, and you can see the entire thing, so if something goes wrong you can fix it. 

Here's a closeup of the lock.  This is in the "locked" position.  To unlock it you flip that piece of round stock up. 

Here's the latch in the "open" position.  I don't know who made this design -- this gate is probably 50 years old -- but whomever it was was pretty clever.  I'll be glad to add another decade or two to its useful life. 

The hinges are pretty beefy, too.  They're made out of 1/8" stock.  Big, tough gate.  If I were to buy the gate and hinges new I'd be out something like $200.

No comments: