Cow magnets revisited...

Several weeks back, before the series on Magic Wands of Exotic Wood and Extra ParaNormal Properties, charlie b and son chas were making a cabinet in which to stash a semi-precious (to chas) collection of what we, in the Internet Age would call 'content'. Other than the rather significant depletion of Dad's fancy wood stash, the significant design discussion placed before the wReck was one of hidden locking mechanisms. The idea was to hide from casual view the means to access the contents of the cabinet. A sliding magnetic latch, documented on charlie's web site was the eventual outcome.
I now have a similar challenge facing my household. In an effort to support the continued education of a talented daughter-in-law, who is also the mother of our first, and so-far only grandchild, my wife has volunteered to care for this young fellow. He's 15 months, in the healthy body of normal 2 year old size, and has all of the immense curiousity you'd want in a growing child.
But we really think he should be excluded from the contents of the entertainment center/china cabinet. Not so much that I can't replace the various crystal & glass bits which have accumulated over several generations - he's just not ready to be running with the Mikasa vase his grandmother took from him this morning.
The cabinet is a commercial one. My wife wasn't ready to wait for me to build this this, and I didn't have the time or skills when we bought it.
Rockler sells some magnetic child locks, which have three negatives: They look seriously cheesy. They don't look sturdy enough to slow this young fellow down. And some (much) of the 'content' behind the cabinet doors is on magnetic media. Rare earth magnets, as in charlie's design, would be a bad thing (tm ms)
Any ideas? Any references? They can't be cheesy looking. They need to be sturdy. It would help if grandparents didn't need to find the bifocals before attempting to open the cabinet. It would also be really good if I didn't have to tear apart the cabinet to mortise something into the edge of a veneered door.
I went through the paper version of the Lee Valley catalog before sitting down to petition the wReck,and didn't find anything that seemed to solve the problem. And Robin, scanning your website seems to have a negative effect on my accounts payable. ;-)
We're certainly not the first to have this problem. I know I don't want to solve it as Red Green would, with duct tape. Well, at least not in the front room.
Patriarch
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On Fri, 27 Aug 2004 04:31:27 GMT, patriarch
... snip

Take a look at "Toys R Us", or "Babies R Us" or some similarly child-oriented store. They sell plastic (gasp!) latches that go on the inside of cabinet doors, aren't very visible and can be removed when the little delinquent reaches college age :-) These latches allow the door to open slightly, allowing an adult to push the latch down with their finger to open the door the rest of the way (i.e. mount above child height).

Not exactly duct tape, it's not totally elegant, but it is more or less reversible.

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<snip>

Yeah, said daughter-in-law is learning 'tool independence' by installing these in my wife's kitchen. If only they weren't so 'bright white'. Maybe some brown ones exist.
Plastic isn't so awful. Some of my wife's favorite things are plastic. ;-)

Given that this one child is unlikely to be the only one of his generation, these may turn out not to be particularly temporary.
Thanks, Mark.
Patriarch, hoping for elegant, willing to settle.
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patriarch < wrote:

No, those little plastic latches are temporary; they only last for one toddlerhood. They lose their flexibility, start to droop, and don't hold the door/drawer closed. They have slots on the sides for vertical adjustments, but now mine have to be up so far to lock that they prevent the door from closing.
They worked fine for my first son, but now that he is out of toddlerhood, my second son is starting. And I have to go around replacing all the latches.
Aren't little ones fun? :-)
--

Christian Groth

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Try NOT using the duct tape on the furniture and instead use it on the young one.... <grin>
"patriarch snipped-for-privacy@nospam.comcastDOTnet>" <<patriarch> wrote in message

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On Fri, 27 Aug 2004 04:31:27 GMT, patriarch

I don't have kids or grandkids, but my mom has both. what she does is tie a string around a pair of knobs. it won't work on all kinds of knobs, and it takes two doors together in a pair, but it does a pretty good job of keeping those doors from being opened.
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patriarch <<patriarch> wrote:
[[.. munch ..]]

[[.. munch ..]]

Drawing on another recent discussion in this newsgroup, have you considered an electric fence?
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Robert Bonomi wrote:

POTM.
Chuck Vance
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3M blue tape? T'would not look good but for a stop gap and it is easily removed (for company) and doesn't leave a residue.
On a serious note though, we did the child gates as our layout lent itself and the gates were removed within a short (OK short as in a low number of years) period of time.
UA100
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My wife says that one of the more memorable, and happier days, in her role as a mother, was the day that she realized, standing in the diaper aisle at Safeway, that we didn't need any, ever again. After 10 years.
I built a child gate for the apartment where the kids live, to keep the grandson from climbing stairs before he's ready. Basicly, a couple of kitchen cabinet style doors, on Blum self-closing hinges, with a hotel- style security flip latch on the back side. It worked well when he was crawling. Now he's big enough to reach over the back. He's almost got the operation figured out.
Our home is an open plan. The entrance to the front room is 8' wide, and right at the front entrance to the house. Gates and/or doors aren't going to work.
I did like the electric fence idea, though. ;-)
I'm working on a latch idea, using removeable dowel pins and plates. When I get through this weekend (huge family party), I'll try to get a drawing/prototype together which may work for this cabinet.
For today - blue tape.
Thanks, all!
Patriarch
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