Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Tuesday Tip: Avoid Sash Locks

Or maybe it's just me.

I thought I'd come up with a clever solution to securing and powering my liftout between the Old Saybrook Wye and Essex.

Old Saybrook end

Essex end
The idea was you'd be able to drop-in the lift-out, turn the locks to secure it in place and the locks would transfer the electricity from the main bus to the bus on the liftout. I was so confident this would work that I opened all four packages - and $18 worth - of hardware.

First problem was that I needed to add scraps of plywood to the top of the 1x3 on the wall at the Essex end to bring it up level to the top of the plywood on the liftout. You can see one of those scraps under the latch on the left in the pic above. And you can see the damage to the wall from having to drill pilot holes so close.

Second problem was that the "metal" locks wouldn't conduct electricity(!) Turns out, they're clear coated, so I'd only have to wire brush the contact areas between the hook and latch using my Dremel.

But before I did that, I encountered my third problem: the latches wouldn't keep the rails in alignment! I used four latches not only for added security, but primarily since I'd attach each side of the bus to each of them - the left latches would carry one side of the bus, and the right latches would carry the other side. But every time I latched the latches, the rails would pull out of alignment, no matter which order I latched them.

So, off came the latches. I decided to use the same method I'd used elsewhere. It's much less clever, certainly less aesthetically pleasing, but it works and is bullet proof.

More on that next time!


  1. Sash locks?... don't believe I'm familiar with them... but theoretically, if I had tried them, last November for instance, I would also install blocks on each side of the benchwork to serve as stops to prevent the gate from any sideward movement, much the way that a window frame holds each window sash in place... but that's entirely theoretical, much like the idea of using a hydraulic closer as part of a drop down gate... but that conductivity premise is a novel one, albeit not entirely issue-free... I'm anxious to see the bullet-proof version - JF

    1. These are otherwise known as window latches or window locks. I thought I'd be clever - but real clever would have been to think of installing blocks as you described. Heh, maybe next time. :^) Thanks for checking in!