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I am pleased to announce that I have been nominated to receive this year’s Most Ridiculous David Mamet Allusion award. Also: I dig the no-BS approach of this traditional weighted gate closer from Snug Cottage Hardware. No springs, no strings, no pulleys. A pretty easy remake, too, if you can find a cannonball.

Sean Michael Ragan

Sean Michael Ragan

I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and makezine.com. My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c’t – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.


  • Rajio

    It looks like a great way to ensure that your gate will slam noisily every time its opened. Theres got to be some kind of cushioning or padding or both your gate and your ears will take a lot of punishment.

  • bem

    They do this all the time in Colonial Williamsburg. Some gates close noisily, but none harder than your standard spring screen door.

    • Jay

      I was just going to say the Colonial Williamsburg bit. I am sure they sell them there too, and I’m sure they are not $82. My wife says “maybe $15 or $20, and I can’t remember specifically… so that sounds about right. Maybe $22 sounds just right.

      Includes chain and ball, already welded together.

  • St.Eligius

    $82? A bit much I think.

    • Sean Michael Ragan

      I agree. It’s the idea I’m about, not so much the particular product.

      • St.Eligius

        Thanks for that observation.

  • Anhizer

    Looks like a standard fishing cannonball weight used for ocean fishing…. most decent tackle shops should have them

  • Alex Smith

    Using the same principle, a rock is cheaper, freely available (here in the Lake District in England) and only requires a hammer drill and an expanding bolt to achieve the same thing.

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