Aug. 1, 2007
The D&D Technologies LokkLatch Deluxe with the optional external access kit (EAK) keyed lock mechanism simplifies the unlocking and locking procedure for a family of four's gate lock requirements

Security needs for residential back and side yards can vary dramatically depending upon the configuration of the home and surrounding yard, the neighborhood and access requirements.

The subject home for this article houses four persons: husband, wife and two teenagers. Access into the home and yard is normally gained through the front door. There are two large sliding glass doors, one in the living room and one in the family room. These doors face the backyard, equipped with standard keyless locks that come with the stock sliding glass doors. There is also a side door exiting the home into the yard.

In addition to the residents, the gardener, and the electrical/water and the natural gas companies who have meters on the side and the rear of the home require access into the yard.

Access into the yard is through two inswinging gates. One is located adjacent to the sidewalk. The second gate, used by the gardener, meter readers and occasionally the family, is on the side of the attached garage.

Prior to the installation, both gates were equipped with a standard latch lock, secured with a coated wire extending through the wooden fence post and providing access when unlocked for those persons not tall enough to reach over the fence and unlock the latch. For security, both gates had key-operated padlocks, not a very convenient form of security as the gate itself is approximately six feet tall, making it impossible for most family members to unlock and remove the padlocks.

To take out the trash cans and to provide access for the gardener and meter readers, someone had to remove and then re-install the padlock from the gate adjacent to the garage.

The D&D Technologies LokkLatch® Deluxe is a latch style gate lock with a rekeyable pin tumbler lock cylinder that replaces the need for a padlock to control access. The LokkLatch Deluxe is designed for installation on wood, metal or vinyl gates and fences.

The feature that was most interesting to the family was the optional external access kit (EAK), a key-operated method of locking and unlocking the gate lock from the driveway side. Both sides of the gate lock contain a lock cylinder. In the unlocked position, the gate lock can be opened from either side. In the locked position, the gate is locked from both sides. The external access kit can be installed onto fence posts that are up to six inches deep.

This EAK eliminated the need to either be tall enough to unlock the padlock from the driveway side (or hop the block wall fence) or have to enter and walk through the home in order to remove the padlock from the gate latch.

The LokkLatch Deluxe with the optional EAK was installed onto the gate adjacent to the garage door. In order to install this lock, two modifications had to be made to the fence. First, the 2 by 4 bolt on post was replaced with a 2 by 6. This positioned the gate at the closed position parallel with the face of the block wall. The problem was an extension block approximately the size of gate latch lock was added to the 2 by 4 in order to properly position the latch lock. The 2 by 4 itself could not be repositioned. The second problem was the wood stop mounted onto the 2 by 4. The stop was too small to accommodate the external access kit. A piece of redwood was attached to the fence post for the stop during the installation.

The LokkLatch Deluxe is manufactured of molded of high strength polymers and 316-grade stainless steel components including the striker bolt and the tongue. The latch and striker bodies have oblong mounting holes to permit vertical adjustability. The striker bolt is long enough to accommodate approximately one-half inch of horizontal adjustment for gates that have a larger than normal gap.

The post bracket and striker body are secured to the post with screws that mount onto faces of the posts as well as the sides of the posts. Not only does this provide stronger mounting, but also it can resist removal of the lock without first opening the gate.

The D&D Technologies LokkLatch Deluxe was installed onto the gate and fence post adjacent to the garage. The approximately four by five-foot gate is made of redwood tongue and groove boards approximately six inches wide. A “Z” shaped 2 by 4 frame secures the boards and is used to position and secure the hinges onto the gate. The striker body was mounted onto the upper horizontal 2 by 4 on the swing side of the gate providing the most secure mounting location.

With the striker body located on the gate, the hinge body with the post bracket aligned for the gate swing was placed onto the fence post. When aligned with the striker bolt, a pencil was used to locate the post bracket and the striker body. The post bracket was separated from the latch body and replaced onto the fence post between the pencil marks.

A circle was drawn in the lower hole of the post bracket. This was to locate the hole through the 2 by 6 fence post in order to accommodate the push rod protected by the PVC pipe. An 11/16” diameter hole was drilled level from rear to front. The PVC pipe and push rod were installed into the fence post with the fixed end facing the EAK housing.

Because the EAK has a side lip, the gate stop had to be cut to accommodate this lip. A battery powered circular saw was used to cut this opening after locating the position of the EAK using the push rod in the pipe as the guide.

The EAK body accommodates the supplied “C” keyway or KW1 keyway pin tumbler lock cylinder installed into a polymer button housing for right or left handed inswinging gates. The lock cylinder can be removed from the button housing for service or replacement. The EAK bracket is installed in order to keep the button in position.

The EAK housing was mounted onto the fence stop and post using the supplied screws. The push rod was removed and the PVC pipe was cut slightly recessed to the fence post. The push rod was inserted into the pipe with the fixed end facing the EAK housing.

The pushrod was cut at 3/16” extending from the fence post. The white guide was used to guide the cut. This length for the pushrod was required in order to accommodate the operation of the EAK pushbutton.

The post bracket was mounted onto the latch body using the three supplied Phillips head screws.

Next, the key was inserted into the EAK lock cylinder so the push rod could be turned to seat into the opening in the latch body. When the latch body with bracket is placed against the fence post, turn the key slightly if it does not lay flush against the fence post. Once flush, the latch body was secured onto the fence post using the supplied screws.

The pushrod interconnects the EAK to the latch body. The pushrod operates the blocking plate in the latch body. The blocking plate can only be rotated using a key from either side of the gate lock. When blocking plate is in the locked position, the tongue is obstructed from being raised. The blocking plate keeps the striker bolt locked in place, not permitting the tongue to rise enabling the gate to swing open. When the proper key is used to move the blocking plate to the unlocked position, the tongue can be raised releasing the striker bolt. In the unlocked position, pushing the button in the EAK or lifting the tongue on the latch body releases the striker bolt. This action permits the gate to be opened.

For more information contact your local locksmith wholesaler or D&D Technologies, 7731 Woodwind Driver, Huntington Beach , CA 92647 . Telephone: (800) 716-0888, ext. 233. Web Site: