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Barn Door Latches

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  • Barn Door Latches

    I am working on finishing my barn and I'm looking for ideas for stall latches for Dutch doors. Where did everyone get their latches, and what works best? My mare is quite good at opening her door, so I'm thinking it would be nice to have some sort of latch on the bottom as well. Preferably something I wouldn't have to bend over and mess with every time I wanted to get in the stall. Someone had posted a photo of a latch they had on the bottom that looked like you could lift it with your foot. And for the top of the dutch doors, does anyone have ideas for being able to close the doors from the inside as well? I would love to see photos. Thanks!

  • #2
    For the mare that can open a lift and slide latch on a dutch door as quick and easy as I can, we have a carabiner on a chain that can be clipped onto the handle to prevent it from being lifted enough to slide.


    • Original Poster

      Thanks, Tom. Do you attach the other end of the chain to the other side of the door?

      I also read a previous post from you on barn doors. Maybe you could answer a question on that too. We built our inside Dutch doors out of an LVL frame with oak on both sides. In retrospect this might have been a bit overboard as they are really heavy. I just don't want them to warp. For our outside doors and sliding front doors, we are going to do it differently. Will 2x4s or 2x6s as a frame keep the doors from warping? They will have pine on one side and oak on the other. Thanks for the help!


      • #4
        Our barn has these things called Slam Locks. I tried googling it, but I couldn't find anything. There is no way a horse can open it and if you go in your horse's stall and shut the door all the way, you're locked in. As long as your stalls have bars wide enough to put your arm through, it's easy to get out. Basically, it take effort to open the stall door, but no effort to close it at all.

        I wish I could find that link for you! Frustrating!


        • #5
          We have had thumb latches on our dutch doors - we like them but have to replace them often. We just put in a pistol latch and really like it. search it - in canada they can be purchased from system fencing. I have two more dutch doors and I will be replacing those with the pistol grip latches shortly. Good sturdy latch and the horses can't open it - I have one that has totally figured out the old thumb latch handles.


          • Original Poster

            I was thinking of the pistol grip latches. Your horses can't open them from the inside? Which side faces in?

            The slam locks sound interesting. I'll see if I can find them.



            • #7
              Originally posted by BlueHorse2 View Post
              Thanks, Tom. Do you attach the other end of the chain to the other side of the door?

              I also read a previous post from you on barn doors. Maybe you could answer a question on that too. We built our inside Dutch doors out of an LVL frame with oak on both sides. In retrospect this might have been a bit overboard as they are really heavy. I just don't want them to warp. For our outside doors and sliding front doors, we are going to do it differently. Will 2x4s or 2x6s as a frame keep the doors from warping? They will have pine on one side and oak on the other. Thanks for the help!

              The chain is fastened beside the door opening next to the latch side. It's about 18" long and just hangs down when not used. To use it, you latch the door as you normally would and clip the carabiner on the part of the handle that you lift to slide.

              I've probably used every type of slide latch there is and there is no ideal one. Richard Wilcox makes a nice latch but it is not an ideal design either. There was a U.S. something?? that I liked but they quit making it.

              You have to click on download their catalog to tell what's what:

              It doesn't matter what you use for the frame unless it's been
              sitting around for 6 months or more and you can see that it's still straight. These days lumber is cut, sawn, kiln dried, and dressed all within 24 hours. You can take the straps off a bundle and at least half will have moved by next week.

              I still hand pick every piece-the reason I don't buy from Lowes or Home Depot-I hate their lumber racks for hand picking and I can't get my trailer beside the stack with my two helpers- and only get the straightest grained pieces I find. If I'm planning ahead, I'll buy stuff months in advance and stack it on sticks in a building to see how it moves. Buy at least 20% extra.

              Chances of getting 2x4s that will stay straight these days approaches zero. 2x6's may be a little better.

              I used yellow pine 2x8s for the frames of our dutch doors and racked them for months before picking the ones that remained straight. It only takes one board in the door, regardless of it's location in the build, that twists to make the door twist.


              • #8
                These are the kind we have at the bottom. Love them and I can just flip it over with my foot. http://www.vandykes.com/product/2016...der-gate-latch