Graphical Construction Glossary >> Doors. >> Door Hardware >> Night Latch
Nightlatches are a type of small and specialised rim lock that are used in their millions around the world where cast effective and basic security is need. They are not intended to be the ultimate and uncrackable lock.
They are designed for their intended use which is to be locked when the building empty and then opened and left open while the building is occupied during the day and then in residential situations they are locked at night , thus getting the name night latch.
All these latches can be used on left or right hand doors by simply turning them the other way. Just be aware that the cylinder hole is not exactly in the centre so if you want to keep all the locks exactly the same height then the holes will have to be slightly different, left to right.
Again the lock can be opened and the bolt reversed to suit opening out doors or opening in doors. the one above had the latchbolt set for a door that open outwards. The lock below is set for a door that is opening inwards.
Here is a budget style lock that has a feature which I like. The fact that the strike plate has a return into the jamb so that extra screw fixing can be used. Obviously it is a little harder to fix but I think the extra fixing is worth it. This type of lock has a snub. The small button to the right of the knob. This is used at night-time to lock the latch firmly. (Think about not being able to open it with a credit card).
Note! A real trap for beginners. The metal tab H and the fixing screws that come with the lock almost always have to be cut to length (unless you have a really thick door). So you need a hacksaw and clamp on hand to cut them to size. This size has to be accurate! If it is just a touch too long the bar H binds against the knob G and the latch just doesn't work sweetly. Cut it too short and it is back to the store for a new one. "Been there and done that" many times, (Of course I'm a rough old sod... you'll be OK :-)
So look at the lock and the instruction sheet. Don't assume it is the same as the last one that you fixed as they do differ from maker to maker. The old saying "Measure twice and cut once" is never truer than when cutting these fiddly connections from lock bodies to cylinders.
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