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Gate latch/opener design? Answered

I'm building a fence and having trouble figuring out how to do the latch for a walking/utility gate. I want the fence to be almost seamless from the outside, so with a quick glance you couldn't tell there is a gate right there; however, the gate needs to be able to be opened from the outside with a key.
The problem I'm having is that all the hardware I've found for gates use padlocks, so you could only open it from one side if it's locked, and the gate won't be thick enough to use a normal door handle or deadbolt.

The parameters are:
Opens from inside while locked from outside
Outer hardware is minimally intrusive (doesn't stand out much, preferably nothing more than a key hole.)
Actual latch can be surface mounted

So far the only thing I've been able to come up with is to frankenstein the key half of a deadbolt with half of a turn handle latch I found that forks like a regular door knob but can be surface mounted. The problem is that I am afraid that the spring in the handle will be too much tor just the key to turn and it will wear out quickly.
I would appreciate any ideas, and will try to clarify if there's anything someone doesn't understand.


Thanks for the suggestions, it seems like you got what I meant about it being non obtrusive. Ideally though, i'd like to be able to just open it from the inside, without having to unlock it every time.
Maybe another way to put it is that it should behave like one of those security door knobs, where if it's in the lock position, you can just walk out normally but once the door closes you can't get back in without a key.
it should always be locked from the outside, but at the same time, always be 'unlocked' from the inside.

wouldn't that just make the lock not work, or at least make it so you couldn't lock/unlock it from one side?

"it should always be locked from the outside, but at the same time, always be 'unlocked' from the inside."

....I took that to mean you always wanted it unlocked from the inside.....no lock to lock = unlocked !


It can't be electronic, part of the reason for this gate is actually because the driveway gate is going to be an electronic swing gate and the fire dept. requires a way to get in in the event of power loss. The property is going to be completely fenced off so the fire dept. has to be able to come through this secondary gate and go over to disengage the swing arms and push the driveway gate open.


7 years ago

I built this fence last year. I tried to make it as clean as possible but the pad lock just kills it. I think you may be looking for something like the stock photo in conjunction with something like this.....http://www.hardwaresource.com/hinges/GATE+HINGES+AND+HARDWARE/Gate+Latches+-+Gate+Locks/Key+Lockable+Latches+for+Gates/Gate+Nightlatch........ and the last stock photo kinda show how limitless the possibilities actually are.


7 years ago

Storm/screen doors have thinner latches. The doors are much thinner than normal doors. They also have key latches for them.