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door latch

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I have been asked to make a latch set for a big front door . The style called a Suffolk latch has been rejected because it leaves a hole right through the door where the thumb bar goes. This has been deemed unacceptable.

 The other possible style ( I have only seen pictures of it ) is called a cottage latch and has escutcheon plates on both sides and operates with a twisting action to operate the latch bar. The handles on both sides seem to be a ring as often as not. My problem lies in finding a good blacksmithy way to put this together (rather than drilling tapping setscrews etc).

 I am also open to suggestions as to any type of latch which  might work while being fairly air tight.

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The Suffolk style latch can also have escutcheons and can be a lever latch or a twist ring as easily as the cottage style!  The easy way is to use a standard door latch set and replace the handles and escutcheons with hand forged ones... I've done that and it works nicely but is not quite the same as having a fully hand forged latch set.  I see no big advantage to one style over the other as far as fit is concerned, THAT magic is in the details!  The making of such items is quite technical and there are several books which cover it... seems like you need one.  Doing a custom latch set for a big door is a pretty challenging way to get started!!! Expect to make several and sell the best one.  

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I tend to agree with bigfoot on the serviceability of one style over the other, but for some illustrations which could show you some construction techniques I'd try Early American Ironwork by Sonn.   

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