The parts of a Suffolk latch
- A – Suffolk latch handle
- B – Thumb latch
- C – Lever bar
- D – Latch bar
- E – Latch bar plate
- F – Keep
- G – Receiver
The Suffolk latch handle sits on the closed side of the door – i.e. as you would open the door you would swing it open away from you. The thumb latch is combined/attached on all Suffolk and Norfolk latches.
On the opposite side of the door or gate you will have the latch bar (this pivots/hinges from the latch bar plated), the keep which is there to stop the latch bar from dropping too far down and finally the receiver which fixes to the door frame or post and as the name implies receives the latch bar to keep the door shut.
Where to fit the Suffolk latch
You can usually fit the Suffolk latch wherever you require on the door, however if fitting several Suffolk latches to several doors then you would tend to keep the height of the latches all the same – can look at bit odd if they all differ.You would also aim to fit the latch onto a stile (vertical upright of a door), horizontal rail or ledge (horizontal member of a door or gate), if fitting away from a rail (or ledge) then you may need to fit a block to take the Suffolk latch depending on the construction and thickness of the door/gate.
Fit at height that is comfortable for you to operate – you don’t want to be bending all the time or stretching up all the time to open the latch. Anything between waist height and just below the shoulder line would normally be ok.
Traditionally Suffolk latches were always a bit higher up the door than the door handles that you more than likely have in your property today.
- Cordless drill/driver,
- 10mm twist drill,
- 3mm twist drill,
- Chisels (1/4”, 1/2”, 3/4”)
- Rounded file
Fitting the Suffolk latch
Marking out, and cutting the slot for the Suffolk latch
- A – Shows the edge of the door
- B – Visible edge of door when closed
- C – Centre line in width of door stile
- D – Height at which the thumb latch will be
- E – Second horizontal line 25mm below line ‘D’
This is the side that the thumb latch part of the Suffolk latch will sit on.Next mark a horizontal line at the height that you want the thumb latch to be (line D)
It looks a bit messy but we clean this up with a chisel. What you can do first is place your rule vertically up the two edges of the now drilled holes and draw a straight line on each side – this give you a guideline for straightening up the longer side of the holes.Score up the edge of the holes using your half inch (12mm) chisel first to avoid any splitting and then carefully chop the waste away (from both sides of the door), only going just over halfway through the thickness of the door.
Personally I wouldn’t bother squaring the top and bottom of the hole, but you can do if you want.
An alternative to squaring the holes up is to leave them rounded (which I think looks better!) and running a rounded file or sandpaper within the top and bottom of the slot to clean them up.
With the Suffolk latch I am using there is a bit of a bulky weld protrusion on the rear so to make sure the Suffolk latch sits flush you need to cut out for these on the door. You only need to do this on the side of the door that the Suffolk latch handle sits on!We’ve now completed the slot for the lever bar to go through the door. If you’ve got this far then you’re on the home straight now as there is no more chiselling out to do (unless you need to sink the receiver into architrave on your door frame that is!) – it’s just drilling for screws and screwing the latch and assorted bits onto the door!
Fitting the Suffolk latch handle & receiver
Fixing the keep
So we position the keep onto the door so as the door loses it engages with the receiver and lifts up and drops into place – to get the correct position for the keep hold it on the door whilst closing the door to check whether it engages and drops into the receiver.Once your satisifed that the keep is positioned correctly, mark holes and pre-drill and then screw into place. When complete give the door a test by closing it to double check that the latch bar engages and drops into place, if not then adjust as required.