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Metal Latch Easily Closes Wire Gates
Like most cattlemen in South Dakota, rancher Bob Orwick has opened and closed hand made woven wire gates hundreds of times. And even though he’s a strong guy, he’s had more than his share of pinched fingers over the years as he puts a tightly wound wire from the wooden or metal gate post over the wooden anchor post.
“I used to lay my shoulder into an end post and slip the wire over the anchor post in a split second,” says Orwick. “One day I realized there was probably a much simpler way to get the job done.”
Orwick’s son Sam built a handy metal latch for a high school vo-ag project. He used 1-in. square tubing, a piece of flat iron bent into a 90 degree angle, a ¼-in. bolt and a 2-ft. piece of cable with a bolt clamp. Those parts assembled together into a simple lever pulls a gate post tight to the anchor post and holds it securely in place. It’s not affected by weather or livestock.
“It took Sam a couple class hours to make the first one, and another 10 min. to put it in place,” says Orwick. The 2-ft. length of square tubing has a 3-in. piece of tubing welded about a foot from the base, which has a 3/8-in. bolt hole. That end slips into a U-shaped piece of 1/4-in. metal welded to a piece of strap steel about 10 in. long. The 3/8-in. bolt anchors it in place. The metal strap is bent 90 degrees so one end about 4 in. long fits over the back of a wooden anchor post and 6 in. extends across the top. The anchor is held in place with lag bolts or large pole barn nails driven into the top of the post. A piece of 1/2-in. cable acts as a strap from the gate post to the anchor post. Once the correct length has been determined, a forged wire U-bolt cable clamp holds the1/2-in. cable tight.
Tension on the connector is released when the handle is lifted, then the cable can be removed from the gate post. One person can easily pull the gate tight enough to re-install the cable, then pull the lever over center to tighten the cable and hold the gate snug.
Orwick says the idea sure isn’t anything fancy, but the devices are simple to build, they’re adjustable, and they make opening, closing and tightly securing a gate a lot easier, even for young cowboys and cowgirls.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Bob Orwick, 16782 Twilight Road, Newell, S. Dak. 57760.

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2019 - Volume #43, Issue #6