I'm building a chest (about 3' wide, 2' deep, 2' tall) where the front folds up over the top (270 degrees), then the front/top fold again to the back (another 270 degrees). I need to know how best to latch it closed.

I'd like the latch to be spring loaded. It does not need to lock. I would like it to latch itself when the chest is closed, rather than needing to pull the spring back then move the front into place.

I was thinking of something along the lines of a laptop lid, where there's a hook that latches itself when closed, and a lever to slide the hook out of the way so it can open. The catch plate would be on the bottom, and it would latch when the top/front is put down (rather than the front being swung into place alone). I wasn't able to find anything like it online, probably because I have no idea what it's called.

The other idea I had would be to use something like a door latch on both bottom corners, which would latch when the front is swung into place. Instead of a knob, you would slide the latch open. Like this but furniture quality.

I really do not want something industrial/utility looking like this.

Can you help me locate something like what I'm looking for (or something better I haven't thought of)?

(I don't know much about hardware terminology, so please forgive me...)

2 Answers 2


Sounds like you want something like a tambour door lock like this:

Tambour Door Lock

You can find it here.

  • that's very close. do they make something similar that slides instead of turns? and/or without a key?
    – Jon Slaven
    Commented Jun 20, 2011 at 2:12
  • Tried, but couldn't quickly find anything without a lock. You'd think someone would make one with a knob instead of a lock. You could try a window sash lock. A little bulky, but that might work.
    – billoreid
    Commented Jun 24, 2011 at 13:08

How strong does the catch need to be? Would Rare Earth Magnets suffice? You could counter sink them into the wood and super glue or Epoxy them in place. I would recommend a very strong glue because these magnets are ridiculously powerful.

  • Thanks for your response Bernhard. It really has to be a physical latch, I'd be afraid it would open if it were being moved and the contents shifted.
    – Jon Slaven
    Commented Mar 1, 2011 at 14:30

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