Introduction: Window Latches From Recycled Wood

About: Growing up in a rural area in the East of England I've always been interested in nature and trees and eventually found myself building things from the wood I could find. This has led me to follow my passion of…

As a follow on from my last Instructable where I made some window handles and locks, this time I thought I'd make some window latches to keep my windows open. I used a piece of wood from a cot last time, this time I'll be using a piece of bed frame....I'm sensing a pattern here.

There's a video of the build on YouTube and as always, instructions below.

I hope you enjoy it!

Step 1: Tools and Materials


- Pencil and rule

- Combination square

- Rip saw and tenon saw (or a table saw)

- Smoothing plane

- Wood chisel and mallet

- Drill, 8mm bit and 3mm bit (5/16" bit and 1/8" bit respectively)

- Screwdriver


- Piece of wood 22cm X 3.5cm X 2cm (8 11/16" X 1 3/8" X 13/16")

- A small piece of different coloured wood

- 6 X 8mm dowels, 6cm long (5/16" dowels, 2 3/8" long)

- Wood glue

- 4 X 4cm screws (1 9/16")

- Wood finish

Step 2: Cutting and Shaping the Latches

I cut the latch pieces from the piece of bed frame and then planed them down to get a uniform size and smooth them off. I then drilled three holes, one for the latch to swing on against the window and two more holes to slot onto the dowels, allowing the window to be open in two different positions.

Foolishly, when I drilled the adjustment holes I broke the wood out on the other side of each latch. This led to a change in my original plans where I planed an angle off the end of the latch to get rid of the broken wood. I actually rather liked the look and so included that shape in the plans. A happy accident let's call it!

The dowels I used were also part of the bedframe but because they weren't long enough to go all the way through the latch and attach to the window I decided to make a curved cut into the latch. This was another of those last minute changes that had to be made but now its made, I quite like it so once again I included it in the plans.

Step 3: Making the Latch Pivot Points

I cut two pieces of wood to the sizes shown on the plans and then marked where the holes would go for the screws and dowel. Firstly using an 8mm bit to make slightly countersunk holes in the two outer screw holes I then switched to a 3mm bit to finish the pilot hole off. The central hole for the dowel was 8mm.

I used two 40mm screws for each pivot point, making sure to place them on a part of the window where the latch would still easily touch the window frame when the window was opened.

Step 4: Attaching the Latch Holding Dowels

Placing the latch onto the pivot point and opening the window to the desired angle was the best way to find my first point for the first dowel to go in. When I had the window in the right place I put the 8mm drill bit inside it and made a mark. I then pulled the latch off and drew a straight line along the window frame so the next dowel would be in a straight line with the previous one. All I had to do after that was move the window until the other latch hole lined up with that line and made another mark with the drill bit.

I drilled those holes and then glued the dowels in, I repeated the process on the other side, making sure to keep the dowels the same distance from the front of the frame as the first side. They were too long once glued in so I cut them off and sanded them down.

Step 5: Shaping and Attaching the Pivot Point Knobs

To stop the latches just falling off the pivot points I had to make a knob to glue onto the end of the dowel. I drilled two 8mm holes into a scrap piece of sapele and then cut around them, making two little blocks. I then shaped them with a chisel in a way that matched the window bolts I made in my previous Instructable. I glued them on, making sure not to get any glue on the latch and left them to dry.

Step 6: Enjoy the Breeze!

When the latches were dry I finished them off with some beeswax and mineral oil, perhaps not the best finish but it was what I had at hand. When you open the window you flip the latch over and push it into the required dowel. When shutting the window you flip the latch back over and let it flop outside the window, when shutting the window it slides against the frame and easily falls back into position.

Thank you for checking out this Instructable, it was quite a fun an easy project and I am very thankful for the extra breeze I'm getting now that its blistering hot in the UK (for me at least). If you enjoyed that then please check out my YouTube channel and like my Facebook page.

Hope to catch you soon!