Small Box Latches, how to secure drawers

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Forum topic by Walker posted 03-10-2018 12:48 AM 781 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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385 posts in 1249 days

03-10-2018 12:48 AM

This coffee grinder hardware is available at woodcraft by itself, you build your own box. I bought it on an impulse today. I’d like to make something like the one pictured, with a little drawer that holds the grinds.

The plan is to gift it to one of the touring bands I work with who have an affinity for coffee. So it will sit on the counter in their tour bus. The bouncing and shaking can get a little crazy while the bus is in motion and anything not nailed to the floor can go flying, cabinet drawers swing open, things fall out of bunks. So I need to secure it. I’m thinking suction cups to hold it to the counter. But I’m looking for a way to hold the drawer in.

The typical latches and hasps that are made for boxes this small don’t seem to hold very well. Magnetic cabinet latches may work, but also may fail to hold when the bus takes a sharp turn. Anybody know any good ones? Another thought I had was to design a clever little latch I could make out of wood somehow. It would need to hold the drawer in place against the rigors of the road, yet still be easy to open to access the drawer. Any ideas?

-- ~Walker

7 replies so far

View 000's profile


2859 posts in 1676 days

#1 posted 03-10-2018 01:02 AM

Food for thought.

View Lazyman's profile


5446 posts in 2164 days

#2 posted 03-10-2018 03:58 AM

Maybe just a door magnet on the back inside to hold a metal washer or plate on the back of the drawer.

Bullet catch

Lee Valley has some magnetic catches that might work,41399,41403&ap=1

Instead of a door magnet, put this one on the back of the base and mount a metal plate on the back of the drawer.,41399
This one has a 10 lb pull but turning a knob will release it. I’ve used one to hold a wood base for my dial indicator to my table saw top.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View JADobson's profile


1448 posts in 2888 days

#3 posted 03-10-2018 04:14 AM

Rare earth magnetic should be plenty strong enough to hold it in place. Put in two if you want more holding power. I saw some where if you put the magnet ina metal cup that increases the holding power even more.

-- No craft is very far from the line beyond which is magic. -- Lord Dunsany — Instagram @grailwoodworks

View Walker's profile


385 posts in 1249 days

#4 posted 03-10-2018 09:57 PM

Hmm, I do have various rare earth magnets lying about. Just need to experiment and find the balance between strong enough to hold the drawer in and ease of opening. Maybe a small wooden gate latch with some magnets for added hold if the latch bounces itself open.

Or a small quarter turn latch that is spring loaded to hold in one position unless force is applied. I’m all over the place. I can see it in my head but trying to zero in on the correct search terms.

That on/off magnet from Lee Valley is really interesting. I wonder how the mechanism works on the inside. How is it moving the two magnets around?

-- ~Walker

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 4425 days

#5 posted 03-10-2018 10:28 PM

If you wanted to have fun with it you could
put a pin through the side of the box that
engages a depression, hole or slot in the
side of the drawer.

I think a magnet will do but a little home made
mechanism can have charm and be fun to

View Walker's profile


385 posts in 1249 days

#6 posted 03-10-2018 11:07 PM

Through the side!! Aha! Thanks Loren. That opens up a lot of possibilities. Here’s a crude and dis-proportioned drawing just to illustrate. I could use a spring to make a very simple mechanism. Pull on the knob and the drawer would slide out freely. Let the knob go and it would hold it in place

-- ~Walker

View Steve's profile


2082 posts in 1359 days

#7 posted 03-12-2018 04:25 PM

I think it would be neat if you could add a small crank similar to the metal one that would allow the drawer to open

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