Window Latch




About: I make and create anything that comes to my mind from skateboard hooks to garden rooms. And I footle around with electronics and instruments at night....and I have a passion for reducing waste packaging by m...

A super simple pair of window latches to firmly secure a hinged sash.

Inspired by the traditional Scandinavian window latches, they take the essence of these window latches using simple materials and metal working tools.

...all finished of with a window stay in the same aesthetic...lets create...

Step 1: Design

I wanted to recreate the type of window latch know as Fönsterhake in Sweden, these are often found on traditional houses + huts all over Scandinavia.

A simple little camming latch that snaps into place.

I have basic metal working tools and knowledge and so needed to make a stripped down version.

By using 4mm steel rod a simple finger pull can be bent and attached to a back plate...

...a wire nail acts as the retainer on the window frame.

The bent form of the finger pull acts a little like a spring holding the window firmly in place.

Super simple, elegant and works so well.

Finished off with clear lacquer to stop rust.

The dimensions given are approximate and will depend on finger hole size required and bender formers that you have to hand.

Step 2: Get It Together

Materials for making x2 window latches + x1 window stay

4mm steel rod - approx 700mm long

2mm x 15mm steel plate - approx 275mm long

3no. 100mm wire nail

Fixing screws - 7no. 16mm x 2.5gauge

Clear coat lacquer


General metal working tools - hacksaw, files...

Metal bender


Metal grinder + flap discs

Drill + drill bits


Step 3: Get Bending

To form the parts to the latch will require the steel rod to be bent to shape.

The best way to achieve this is to use a metal bender.

Step 4: Bend the Small Loop

First select a right angle former and bend a ninety degree bend...

...then using the smallest round former, bend the end around leaving enough space to fit the back plate loop.

Step 5: Bevel

Before bending the finger pull, grind a slight bevel into the other end...

...this will locate on the wire nail retainer and help keep the finger pull in place.

Step 6: Bend the Finger

Select a former that will make the finger pull fit your finger nicely, a 25mm diameter one worked well for me...

...bend the end of the rod right around...

...finish off with a hammer so it sits right up against the rod.

The finger pull is ready for a fixing plate.

Step 7: Fixing Plate

Now to make the fixing plate...

Mark off the length of 25mm onto the 15mm wide steel bar.

Punch marks for the loop rod positions...

...and punch mark the screw fixing holes.

Drill out the holes with the appropriate sized drill bits...

...and countersink the front screw fixing holes.

It is worth countersinking the loop holes from the rear ready for welding.

Step 8: Loop

Select the smallest diameter former on the metal bender and bend some loops.

Cut off to length...

...and place into position on the fixing plate metal bar.

Step 9: Weld

Weld the loops in position by welding the back side...this allows the front to be clean of weld.

Grind off nice and flat.

Step 10: Fixing Plates Are Ready

Cut to length and clean up...

...all ready...

Step 11: Put It Together

Fit the finger pull to the fixing plate...

Slip the hook of the finger pull through the fixing plate loop and press together in a vice.

Step 12: Fit

Position the two latches on the opening edge of the sash window...and screw into place.

Close the window and mark the position of the retaining nail on the window frame...

Drill a hole slightly thinner than the nail...

...cut the nail to length and hammer in leaving proud for the finger latch to snap over.

The head of the wire nail stops the window latch from slipping off sideways.

Simple and satisfying.

Step 13: Easy to Use

So easy to use!

Step 14: Window Stay

A super simple window stay that reflects the aesthetic of the window latches.

Cut a length of the 2mm x 15mm flat bar to about 200mm long.

Mark out and drill three fixing holes, one at each end and one in the middle...and countersink.

Mark out at equal intervals a series of 5mm holes for the stay to latch into.

Countersink these holes just to take of the arris.

File and grind to a nice finish and spray with a coat of clear lacquer.

Step 15: Stay the Sash

Make a stay in a similar way to the window latches, this time leaving the 'finger pull' part flat and long with a small right hand bend at the end...just enough to locate in the metal strip.

Screw the strip to the window frame...

Screw the stay to the window sash.

Drill out the latching holes to the strip with the 5mm drill to enable the stay to sit nicely.

Mark a hole for a retaining wire nail to hold the stay in place when not in use...drill a slightly smaller hole, cut a nail to length and hammer in.

Step 16: All Ready for Use

Use + enjoy!

How about making some door furniture? Check out the video for barrel bolts!

I am entering this project into the Metal Competition and if you have enjoyed this project, I would really appreciate your vote...thank you so much.

This project is part of my YouTube channel where I try to make cool and interesting projects.

Please check out my channel if you want to see more of the projects, if not there will be more coming to Instructables soon.

Why not check out what I am up to on Facebook and now on Instagram!

Metal Contest 2017

Runner Up in the
Metal Contest 2017



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    17 Discussions


    1 year ago

    Very nicely done, I could not watch the videos because of our bandwidth limit, but the pictures and explanations were very good. I like the simplicity of your design and have just one little modification that I would suggest for those who live in areas that have higher crime rates. The locking latch you showed looked like it solved it, but for the simple elegance of your cam latch a little bit deeper indent where the finger loop comes up to meet the top round stock might keep it a little bit more secure from bump type attacks on the window frame. I worked in security and around law enforcement long enough to see all sort of bizarre ways criminals get into houses. It was definitely a wonderfully put together presentation and I am going to watch the videos just as soon as I get to a higher bandwidth access. Thank you for posting this.

    3 replies

    Reply 1 year ago

    Kenneth good point made, these latches are not high security, they will definitely keep a window closed tightly and I would think would be difficult to prise open though with the right tools and skill anything is possible. The garden room project that these were made for also had timber shutters on the outside that are padlocked, so the security came from these.

    Your idea of making the notch deeper would help, also to improve things, a second nail in the window frame that is located within the finger pull may help in stopping them being flipped open?

    I hope you get to see the video.


    Reply 1 year ago

    Thanks for the reply. :) They looked like low security windows, but the idea just occurred when looking at the pictures. I love the fact that you put locking shutters on the outside, that is what I want to do to our house for two main reasons: high wind/tornado/hail damage prevention, and in West Texas the grass fire risk. I have been kicking around some ideas for steel cored shutters to resist the wind and heat.

    I like the idea of the second nail, that could be filed into a decorative head or upset slightly and shaped to a pyramid or other shape head. :) Nice ideas.


    Reply 1 year ago

    Decorative nail it happens I am at this very moment editing an upcoming video that may be of interest to you, not quite in the use that you mentioned. Check out my YouTube channel over the next few weeks, I think it is really cool and I haven't seen anyone else do it yet!


    1 year ago

    I clicked on the red Vote! ribbon at the top right. Great item and presentation.

    1 reply

    1 year ago

    I love the practical elegance of this latch. You are also an excellent instructor; your steps address every question I might have.

    1 reply

    Reply 1 year ago

    Cat I am glad I had thought of all of the answers, probably more luck than planed! Thank you.


    1 year ago

    1) Absolutely gorgeous! 2) that satisfying snap when it locks into place - great attention on the detent! 3) Awesome production value on the instructable.

    1 reply

    1 year ago

    I absolutely love the simplicity of both the window latch, the barrel bolt and the window stay, the more so since simplicity is mostly a forgotten concept in the world we live in.