Showing posts with label Hardware. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hardware. Show all posts

Can anyone identify this Dining Room Table Extension Leaf Catch?

I've done a few google image searches to try to find a vendor selling this hardware, or anything similar, to no avail. This hardware is from a dining room table fabricated in Italy, approximately 15 years ago. This is the catch that holds the extension leaf gap closed.

Table Extension Leaf Catch - Seeking Vendor Source

Table Extension Leaf Catch - Seeking Vendor Source

Table Extension Leaf Catch - Seeking Vendor Source
If anyone out there recognizes this hardware, please leave a comment below, or send me a message. Many thanks!!!


Self Closing Yard Gate Upgrade - TruClose Hinges & MagnaLatch for Pool Safety

I wanted to upgrade my yard gates to be self closing to increase safety for our backyard pool. Our galvanized steel fence is 4' high, and the two gates to the yard were hinged with two pins into support plates and the latches needed to be manually opened or closed. With the kids going in and out of the yard all the time, it was not uncommon to find the gates left open, despite the warnings to the kids. 

So - it was finally time to take care of this project. 
The completed MagnaLatch and Truclose Latch and Hinge Installation
I decided to go with Magnalatch top pull safety gate latches, and their TruClose gate hinges. These are available at Lee Valley Tools, mail order, among other suppliers. This was going to take some work - because my gates did not have a full frame, the frame was open on the hinge side. So - I went to my local metal supplier and purchased a length of 1-1/2" galvanized square tubing, took it to a local welding shop, and had the tubes welded to the gates to close the frames.
Gates modifed with square tubing (on right side) to permit installation of the TruClose hinges.
Detail of the Welding.
With the gates modified, it was time to cut off the old hinge and latch hardware - first with a jigsaw and metal blade, then grind the remaining metal and weld off with a grinder.
Gate latches ground off.

Gate hinge and latch weldments cut off the gates and posts
I got to exercise a few new tools with this project, my Dewalt 20V angle grinder and reciprocating saw. I'm almost now fully converted to Dewalt 20V cordless tools - and have pretty much sold off most of my corded tools.
Dewalt 20V Grinder and Reciprocating Saw - They still have that new tool smell. 

The convenience of cordless is really apparent when you're working around the yard in various places.
Time to start grinding
With the gates squared away, I painted the areas affected by welding and where the tabs were ground off with some spray galvanizing compound. Then it was a simple matter to install the hinges and latches using the instructions provided. Sharp drills, using the hardware supplied, made for a very secure installation.

MagnaLatch top pull magnetic latch installed. 

Another view of the MagnaLatch top pull installed. The top pull was adjusted so that it was 54" above the ground for security.
All of the grinding, cutting and welding was touched up with cold galvanizing spray - it's a zinc rich coating that's designed to maintain the zinc cathodic protection on steel parts.

TruClose hinges installed. The cap with phillips screw removes to give access to the spring adjustment knob. You can easily increase or decrease spring pressure for reliable closing. 
The back fence isn't quite vertical - but I was able to increase the spring pressure of the hinges to firmly close this gate even with a slight uphill slope on the gate travel. The hinge adjustment is impressive. 


So - one more project completed. A nice feature of the MagnaLatches is that they are key lockable, so if I need to I can lock the gates closed. Very well made, professional grade hardware, I'm very satisfied with these latches.

Sources and Links

I hope you found this post useful. Feel free to ask questions in the comments section below. I answer all questions. If you're interested, you can help support this site by using the following links to in the United States.


BMW 535xi Touring E61 Tailgate Hydraulic Strut Popping off the Ball Joint - Set Screw Repair

My BMW 535xiT is my daily driver - use it for going back and forth to work every day and running all the errands to keep the household running. So - the tailgate and back window get lots of use. The car was manufactured in September, 2009 and now has 175,000 km on the odometer, and since BMW hasn't inported the 5 series touring to North America since 2010 - it looks like I'll be hanging onto this car for a while longer. The 3 series touring is too small, I'm not an SUV kind of guy, and I'm not ready to go to a Mercedes E series wagon just yet...

The completed set screw repair - neat and flush. 
So - about 6 months ago the hydraulic strut in the tailgate stopped lifting all the way to the top of travel - it started sagging and making ominous noises. So - I took the time to dig out the hydraulic pump and reservoir, replace the fluid with the BMW service kit, change the 10mm strut ball and get the tailgate functioning well again. I wrote about all that here.

Well - it took about 3 weeks until the hydraulic strut started popping off the ball - you can see the state of the bottom socket on the hydraulic cylinder here, there was finally enough wear that it wasn't going to stay in place.

This is not good....
This isn't good either....
So - just to keep the socket engaged, I cut a piece of styrofoam to jam in behind the strut to try to keep it in place - that worked fairly well for about a month, then the strut would pop off about every time I opened the tailgate, and it was time to make a more permanent repair.

There was a good discussion on the forums, the idea that I decided to try out was a set screw. I did a bit of research and found some really nice ball tipped set screws and decided to try them out. 

5mm ball tipped set screws
So - I ordered a lot of these set screws and set out to do the repair.

To drill and tap a 5mm hole - you need a 5mm tap, and a 4.2mm tap drill bit
First step is to dismount the strut from the tailgate - you need to remove the plastic trim on the left side of the window. There's a small clip you need to get out of the way to get the trim off. 

Lift the trim underneath the window to get this clip out of the side trim.
Removing the lower half of the left hand tailgate trim - once this is removed, you can remove the hydraulic strut. 
With the hydraulic strut removed, it was time to set the hole placement for the set screws, and drill two holes - one on each site. I put a small sheet of plywood on top of the security screen - was very useful to support the strut during the machining.

With the strut removed, it's easy to rotate to drill and tap the set screw holes. The plywood makes a good work surface.
I aimed the drilling to intersect close to the steel circlip. Very important to use a pilot drill to locate the holes properly - a pilot hole of 2.5mm would be perfect before drilling out to 4.2mm which is the tap drill size for a 5mm tap. 

Drilling each side of the strut base. 
The first hole on the top side - this hole walked a bit because I didn't use a pilot drill hole - don't make the same mistake I did...

Aim for the steel ring clip...

With the first hole tapped to 5mm - testing out the set screw. 
With the holes drilled out to 4.2mm tap drill size, it was very easy to tap the holes - this is a fairly soft steel part and it cuts well. 

Strut replaced, and the set screw does a great job holding the strut in place. The bottom set screw is easily accessible.
To access the set screw on the top side - its easiest to access with the window open and the left side trim off.
A dab of blue Loctite will hold the set screw in place, keep it from backing out. 
In case anyone is interested, I've created an eBay listing to sell the surplus set screws from the lot that I had to purchase - you can purchase the set screws here at eBay listing 183298383219.