Fitting the Suffolk Latch

The Suffolk Latch can be fitted at any convenient height on the door; approximately two thirds from the floor will be suitable in most cases.

Having decided on the height, mark the position of the latchguard on the door. The door will generally open into the room and the handle will be on the push side of the door, therefore the latchguard will be on the ‘ledged’ side.

The position of the latchguard on the door will govern all other measurements: the lever of the latch, the keep, and the position of the latch pivot nail.

Use the two 40mm screws temporarily to fit the latchguard and then offer the latch so that it rests on the lower inside ledge of the latchguard. With the latchguard in position, use a level to ensure that the latch inclines a few degrees upwards towards the keep position.

Whilst keeping the latch resting on the lower inside ledge, mark the position of the pivot nail on the door through the pre-drilled hole in the latch. Apply wood glue to its contact points and fit the latchguard, using 40mm screws.

Using the latch in position as a guide, draw a line below it on the door and mark a point on the line 2.5ins from the latch-guard. This will be the position of the lever projecting through the door. Mark another point 20mm immediately below the previous point & from a piece of card cut a template with an aperture 30mm in height and 10mm in width. Then remove the latch and locate the lower edge of the template aperture on the lower point and mark a 10mm x 30mm rectangle on the door.

Now cut a clean aperture through the door and make sure the lever will pass easily through the door. You will now have an aperture which is approx. 20mm below the latch at rest and extends 10mm upwards behind the latch. This 10mm is the ‘travel’ when the latch is operated.

Offer up the handle so that the lever protrudes through the aperture, rest levelly and works freely. Mark the position of the handle on the door and drill pilot holes through the door and into the handle.

With a 5mm bit enlarge the pilot holes (in the door only) and ensure that the 50mm screws will pass through easily. Using a 3/8inch (or 10mm) bit, drill part way into the door to counter-sink the screws heads.

Apply wood glue to the handle contact points and fit the handle, making sure that the lever is level and works freely in the aperture. Drill a pilot hole into the door to take the pivot nail for the latch, and hammer the nail part way, making sure the latch will work loosely on the nail. If the nail protrudes through the door, either trim off the excess or bend the nail-end and hammer it into the grain of the oak.

If architraves are fitted to the frame, an appropriate section must be cut out to allow space for the keep and the travel latch. Apply wood glue to the contact surface of the keep and fit as indicated in the diagram, using the 50mm screw and a 40mm nail below. Fit and glue all the 3/8” plugs and sand off excess.

Finally, ensure that the lever will not foul against a wall. If it does, fit a door stop. Fitted properly the door should pull closed without the need to lift the latch.

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