Sunday, May 29, 2011

Broken gate latch: SUCCESS!!

This is the gate into my back yard.  I love this gate, or at least the idea of this gate.  The gate itself kinda sucks.  It doesn’t really fit into the frame and the latch is super crappy.
This is the latch:

note extra screw.

When we moved here (last year) I bought a new latch.  Clearly that’s as far as that project ever went.  Now that I have a blog, I finally have a reason to fix things.
First, I opened the package to make sure that the latch I bought matches the one I am removing.  It was not the exact same, but it was pretty close.  Close enough for my style of fixin’!

Next I removed the old latch using my trusty leatherman.  Clearly, there have been a number of latches installed here before this one.

Now I need to install the handle that faces the outside.  The instructions say that I should use a lag screw on top, but they give me a regular nut and bolt for the bottom, stating that the bolt should go through the gate and the nut should screw on from the inside of the gate .  This won’t work for my gate, as there are too many layers of wood and the bolt they gave me isn’t long enough.  This seems silly to me.
I decide to install the top and deal with the bottom later.  In order to install the lag screw on top, I need a ½” socket wrench, so I turn to my tool box.  I notice that I have all of the pieces to my socket set, as I am a firm believer in ALWAYS returning tools to their place!
Once that is finished, I moved on to the other side of the door.  For this step I need my drill.
I discover that the battery is cashed from whenever I last used it, so I plug in the battery and take a break, fixing stuff is exhausting!

Once my battery is reacharged I attach the inside part of the latch.  There isn’t much to this, since it just lines up with the lever from the front.
Next, I measure where the latch attaches to the wall and notice that I will need to drill new holes for the screws.

After a few minutes of drilling, I realize that I am not going anywhere, and my drill bit is covered with metal shavings.

I decided to buy a special drill bit, one made for drilling into masonry.  But first, I make dinner for my family.

After drilling the holes, I insert a couple of plastic anchors and attach the rest of the latch.

The last step is to deal with the bottom of the front handle, remember the nut and bolt?  When I was at the hardware store, I picked up a package of lag screws.


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