I have a door that locks by using an electric magnet lock. I needed to have a switch in a handle on the door to cut power to the lock, or to disable the lock, so the door could be easily opened from the handle. And I wanted it to look and work like a fairly normal door handle. So I scavenged my supplies and 'parts and pieces bins' and this is what I came up with from items I had on hand. I ended up converting a Screen door handle into a electric door handle/switch.
Step 1: Gathering What You Will Need...
For this project you will need the following Parts:
- Push Button Screen Door handle (you will not use the spring shown in the picture... so you can save it for another project)
- Push Button Electric Switch "ALCO MSP205R" - I make a habit of taking good switches off of electronics that break or get disposed of... I have no clue the origin of this switch I used, it was in my collection for years I'm sure. However it is nicely marked "ALCO MSP205R" and I was able to find it for sale on the web still. This switch is 2 pole, with wiring options for either normally open or normally closed circuit. I needed my switch to be normally closed. That way when you push the button the circuit opens and "cuts" power to the electric magnet, thus 'unlocking' the door.
- Thick plastic "sheet" 1/32" thick or so. The piece I found in my collection for this project was a 'left over' piece from a cat door I installed once upon a time. Most people throw that stuff away... I collect it for projects like this.
For this project you will need the following Tools:
- Drill and drill bits
- Tin Snips
- Razor blade or Knife
Step 2: Making the Plastic Part to Hold the Switch.
The only piece that will need to be made is a plastic piece to mount the switch to.
- Lay the plastic sheet down in front of you.
- Place the 'push button' portion of the handle on the piece of plastic and trace around it using a pencil.
- Cut out the outlined shape you just made on the plastic using a tin snips. Using a knife or razor blade, carefully trim the piece to match the handle. (as you can see from the picture, mine was not so neatly cut out.)
- Drill holes for the mounting screw holes on the handle in the correct location in the piece of plastic you just cut out.
- Next, Mark and Drill a 1/4" hole in the plastic piece to mount the switch. Put the plastic piece in place on the handle and and put it down handle up in front of you. Looking down the hole where the push button goes, use your pencil and mark in the center of that hole on the plastic, then drill a 1/4" hole in the spot you marked. This will be where the electric switch will be 'mounted".
Step 3: Assemble the Door Handle - Project Complete!
- Strip down the switch by unscrewing the black push button, the Silver finish nut, lock washer and thin nut from the switch so the switch can be 'mounted' to the plastic piece.
- Put the bare switch through the hole you drilled in the center of the plastic piece. *note you will not use the thin nut.
- Put the finish nut back on the switch nice and tight to hold the switch in place on the plastic piece, then screw the black push button back on the switch as well.
- Put the push button for the door handle in place in the door handle.
- Line up the "switch mounted to the plastic piece" with the door handle. The push button on the electric switch and the push button on the door handle should line up perfectly with no space. If your handle is slightly different or they do not line up correct, you may need to adjust the 'height' of the switch on the plastic piece by adding back the thin nut on the switch or adding a spacer like a washer.
- Mount your handle and wire it up.