How to Make Wooden Latches


Woodworkers frequently require specialized hardware pieces to finish projects. Ready-made metal hardware latches are the simplest solution for keeping doors and drawers in the closed position. Bright metal finishes can clash with wood finishes, however, especially on vintage or rustic pieces, and a simple wooden latch can be just as effective. Use plywood to cut latch pieces from to minimize splitting when drilling and fastening small latch pieces.

Things You'll Need

  • 1/2 inch plywood
  • Tape measure
  • Square
  • Band saw
  • Sandpaper
  • Drill
  • Machine screw
  • Washers
  • Locking nut
  • Wood screw

Making Parts

  • Use a carpenter's square to draw a rectangle 2 1/2-by-1/2-inch, one square 1/2-by-1/2 inch and a rectangle 1/2-by-1 inch on 1/2 inch thick plywood.

  • Draw a line dividing the 1/2-by-1 inch rectangle into two 1/2 inch squares. Draw diagonal lines between the corners of one of the two squares in the rectangle in both directions to find the center. Do the same for the single 1/2 inch square. Draw a line to create a 1/2 inch square at the end of the long rectangle and mark it similarly.

  • Drill a 3/16 inch hole centered on the x in the end of the longest rectangle with a cordless drill. Drill a 1/8 inch hole in the center of both of the remaining x's.

  • Cut the 1/2 inch square, the 1/2-by-1 inch rectangle and the 1/2-by-2 1/2 inch rectangle from the plywood using a band saw. Sand the pieces with 150-grit sandpaper.

  • Glue the 1/2 inch square to the 1/2-by-1 inch rectangle and tape them together. Set them aside to allow the glue to dry for one hour. This will be the latch cradle, or catch.


  • Locate the position of the latch arm (the longest rectangle) so that it is on the door, 1 inch in from the edge. Drill a 3/16 inch hole through the door and thread a 3/16 inch machine screw with a rounded head through the latch arm and hole in the door, with a smooth nylon washer between the latch arm and the door and a second washer between the screw head and the arm.

  • Open the door and fit a fender washer over the end of the screw. Fit a locking nut on and thread it finger tight, so that the arm moves easily.

  • Close the door and position the arm horizontal, 90 degrees to the edge of the door. Mark the bottom edge of the arm onto the face of the project piece beside the door.

  • Fit the catch into position beside the door, so that the square is underneath and its top edge is on the line you marked from the arm. Drive a 1 1/2 inch wood screw through the catch into the face of the project piece with the drill to fasten it in place.

  • Close the door and swing the latch arm around to fit into the catch to lock it in place.


  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/ Images
Promoted By Zergnet


You May Also Like

  • How to Install a Wood Gate Latch

    A thumb-operated gravity latch is easily installed on a wood gate. This type of latch is easy to operate and closes a...

  • How to Make a Wooden Latch for a Shed

    You can add a rustic touch to your wood shed by making a wooden latch for it. Wooden latches can be simple...

  • How to Make Wooden Hinges

    Fine furniture and other fine woodworking projects are enhanced by handcrafted wooden hardware. Wooden hinges accent wooden furniture and wooden doors and...

  • How to Make a Sliding Wood Latch

    A sliding wood latch is a simple and durable device used to make sure doors, window covers and gates are closed securely....

  • How to Make Secret Latches

    A compartment with a hidden latch is an effective hiding place for anything you want to keep secret. The concealed compartment can...

  • How to Make Wooden Door Handles

    While most doors in contemporary residences are equipped with bronze knobs, vertical wooden door handles, also called Norfolk or Suffolk latches, were...

  • How to Make a Small Wood Chest

    A small wood chest can hold anything from jewelry to spare keys to small trinkets. Wood chests are great for placing on...

  • Homemade Gate Latches

    If you are installing a fence with a gate, you will need a latch to keep the gate closed. You can run...

  • How to Find the Area of a Rectangle

    A rectangle is one of the most common geometric shapes. It is a four-sided figure with four right angles and opposite sides...

  • How to Build a Wooden Gate Professionally

    Design and hardware are what make a wooden gate operate well for decades. The key is understanding a few basics about gate...

Related Searches

Read Article

Make an Ikea Lack Table Look Expensive With This Cheap Hack

Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!