Hand Tools Archive

Re: Opinions on magnetic closures

Steve Elliott
The magnetic latches I've used all seem to be loud and sort of abrupt in the way they let go of the door. The kitchen where I've lived for 30-plus years has catches with two rollers that spring open a little to capture a folded metal piece attached to the door. I've found that pinching the metal piece with pliers will make the action quieter and more gentle.

I've used the Lee Valley rare earth magnets in cups that had a screw to hold the cup into the wood. If the magnet and cup end up exactly flush with the surface of the wood a felt pad over them hides the magnet and makes the grip gentler. I've never used that type on kitchen cabinets, just on jewelry cases or other small projects where the catch needs to be subtle.

All the kitchen cabinets I make these days use self-close European hinges with a built-in soft close feature. It's what customers want.

If you decide to go the magnet-in-cup route I have a few tips for getting the cup exactly flush with the surface that I'd be glad to share.

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