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.