Straight cupboard locks are perhaps the most easily fitted of any kind, as instead of being cut into the wood they are simply fastened on the back of the door. Their position is in fact the reverse of the cut cupboard lock, as what in this is the external plate is against the wood, the remainder projecting. From this it may be imagined that the straight cupboard lock is not a desirable one when neat appearance is a primary consideration, and its principal recommendation is the ease with which it may be fitted. It is made as a right or left-handed lock, or with keyholes cut both ways, so that it may be used as either.
Wardrobe locks are specially made for the pieces of furniture they are named after, though in general principle they are closely allied to others. The chief difference is that they have in addition a spring bolt which is turned by a spindle connected with the fancy brass handle which is generally used on wardrobe doors. It may be interesting to note that till these brass handles came into vogue within recent years the spring latch was above the lock instead of as now below it. The principal wardrobe locks are the cut latch, the link plate, and the single bolt latch lock. This latter has only one bolt, which, when free, acts as a spring catch, and is secured by means of the key. The one bolt, therefore, serves both as a spring catch and lock bolt. These, as other door locks, are made right and left handed.
Nettlefold's piano lock is an ingenious contrivance for withdrawing the bolt as in a drawer lock, and at the same time allowing it to fasten a lifting top, as in the case of a box or piano fall. This is managed by two side catches shooting out from the main bolt when this is projected.
Spring catches are made in great variety for various purposes, but as they are simple and easily obtainable it is unnecessary to specify more than a few of them. The most important is probably the pedestal catch, which is similar to those of wardrobes, except that it has a spring merely and no key, the latch being withdrawn by means of a spindled handle. The 'cut' form is now generally used - the link-plate being an older fashion.
Bale's ball catches consist, as their name indicates, of a ball instead of an ordinary latch. From this peculiarity they may be used where it is only necessary to keep a door closed, so that it can be opened without turning a handle, as a slight pull forces the rounded bolt inside the casing. Flush rings and catches are very useful occasionally, as the ring or handle when not wanted to withdraw the latch lies flush or level with the surface of the wood to which it is fastened.
Flush bolts are used to fasten one door of a pair, in order that the lock fastened in the other one may act securely. These bolts are let into the edge of the stiles at top and bottom, or in the case of small doors at one of them only. The bolt shoots into a hole for it in the top or bottom of the carcase. Various contrivances have been devised to do away with the awkwardness of flush bolts, but none of them have come into general use or superseded the ordinary kind, though in some of them closing the second door automatically bolts the first one.
Castors are made in great variety, both as regards size, shape, and the material of which the bowl or wheel is composed. Castors with brass bowls are sometimes used, but those most generally seen are with vitrified china bowls, which are made either white, black, or brown, to harmonise to some extent with the colour of the articles on which they are used.
Socket castors are those in which the leg fits into a kind of cup, whence their name. The size of castor is reckoned by the diameter of the top of the socket. For these castors the wood should be somewhat cut away to fit within the socket, which should not be simply put on a gradually tapering foot. The amount to which the wood is cut away of course depends principally on the thickness of the metal. Sockets are to be had in various shapes, the most usual being round and square.
Screw castors have a screw and plate instead of a socket. The screw is driven into the leg till the plate fits against the bottom. In the plate are holes for further fastening it with ordinary screw-nails.
Pin castors are the same as the last, except that a plain pin takes the place of the screw. This gives them additional strength, and when they can be obtained they are generally to be preferred. The pin should fit moderately tightly within the leg, and the plate be well secured with screw-nails. The size of these and screw castors is reckoned across the plate, and, like sockets, they are to be had both round and square.
In connexion with these castors rims of brass are commonly used. They serve not only to diminish the risk of the leg splitting, but give a finish which without them is wanting. They are made in a considerable number of patterns, and in sizes to match the castors. They should be tightly fitted just at the ends of the legs and slightly sunk in them.
Dining-table castors are more direct bearing than the ordinary small ones, but beyond this and size there is little difference, as they are made both with sockets and otherwise. Very similar to them are pivot-plate castors, which may almost be considered the same thing, only smaller in size. They are sometimes preferable to the ordinary kind for such things as washstands, which are heavy in proportion to the substance of their legs.
Iron plate castors are only used where they are not seen, as in pedestal writing - tables, etc, where they are hidden by the plinth.
As there are obvious defects in the general shape of the ordinary castor, or, in case this is considered too sweeping an assertion, let me rather say, that their strength is not so great as it would be were the weight immediately above the bowl, many attempts have been made to overcome the difficulty by direct bearing. In castors of the direct-bearing class a ball working in a socket takes the place of the ordinary bowl. As a rule, however, these ball castors are very unsatisfactory in use, for they get clogged up with dust and fluff from the carpets till they are little more effectual than a rounded-end leg. Many of them, no doubt, are very ingenious, and I by no means wish to indiscriminately condemn all of them. I must, however, caution the amateur especially not to place too much dependence on the practical utility of most of them till they have stood the test of use. A mere trial in the hands to see that the ball works easily is not sufficient. The only ball castor which I can recommend is Wright's patent, which is superior to any other of the kind, and free from the objections which are commonly - urged against them, and is doubtless as good a one as can be devised. As there is a good deal of 'old-fashioned' furniture now made, it may be well to say that castors with sloping sockets are sometimes useful. These are known as paw castors, presumably from the fact that they are, or rather were when they originated, often ornamented by giving them a resemblance to the paw of a quadruped.