Discussion in 'Fine Living, Home, Design & Auto' started by Douglas, Jan 31, 2012.
They cost a fortune, though.
This is one of my current dilemmas, too. I have some ~60 year-old brass door knobs in my house, but their internals are pretty shot. I get the appreciation for the "authenticity" of the patina on them, but they suck as door knobs. Frankly, I think they were the builder grade door knob of their day. I would love to replace them with something reasonably high-end such as Emtek, but the cost per unit is too much for a small-timer like me. I will probably end up replacing them with one of Schlage's brass finishes. A $20 Schlage is probably a higher-quality door knob even if it has a cheesy faux finish.
Not always, There is a local supply near me that is opposite of the Home Depot type stores where the everyday stuff that they do not sell often is marked up, but the builder supply materials in the mid-higher quality are very reasonable, plus they give worthwhile advice.
Dah, have you considered having them restored? With the current interest in antiques I would not be surprised if there was a local locksmith who could really fix them up.
Have you considered having a locksmith service them? I think you'd be surprised how durable they are with a bit of time. Worth keeping, IMO.
We may be talking about different products, but what I think your talking about are those young/soft wood more solid doors that still feel pretty cheap to me. You know that redwood feel where you can get your thumbnail in it if you tried?
I'm talking about really heavy hard wood doors that make a nice thunk when you close them. They cost like $500-700 a piece.
You'd think I would have a little goodwill by ths point.
Also, redwood is a softwood. I don't expect that you can buy quality for $50, but there is not one door builder near you that can build you something decent and reasonable?
'Solid' wood doors are actually most often constructed of what's called stave core, which is a group of very stable hardwoods glued together with the specified wood on the exterior and interior edges, they're faced with very heavy veneers and do infact qualify as 'solid' wood. I see doors in this method advertised at $250-$350 .
Most places want nothing to do with a truly solid hardwood door, because they are often very problematic, so I can why you would get a price like that.
Thanks, I had not considered that. I'll have to look into that although I would imagine such a service must cost more than new mid-range door knobs.
Ya, but you cant replace the quality and patina. Antiques often cost more to restore than to buy.
Search youtube for DIY, may be something.
When I said solid brass, I just meant the metal making up the knobs was all brass. I didn't mean the globes were solid all the way through. Don't get me wrong, I like the feel of study, thick metal, but you can get that today-- just it's usually going to be white metal with a thin finished layer.
As for doors, you can get solid-core interior doors for a modest price from the big box stores, you just have to order them. Yeah, they're basically cardboard, but very heavy and good sound insulators. I replaced a number of doors in my last house with 1.75" thick, solid core 6-panel, prehung replacements. I think they cost about $90 each special ordered.
Don't places like Baldwin still make solid brass knobs and levers?
I'm sure they do, but at $100+ more per knob for a buck of copper (at the most)? There's probably cheaper ones out there since it doesn't cost much. But it's not really worth it. Yeah, brass is marginally stronger than white metal and a little heavier, but it doesn't make much of a difference if they use a good zinc alloy. I mean, I recently replaced some chrome plated solid brass bathroom hardware with midrange nickel-finished zinc that was much heavier and almost certainly just as strong. It just doesn't make much of a difference when the failure point is the fancy factory applied finish. Who cares whether it's brass or zinc under there when the hardware is ruined once the finish wears off?
We have a Victorian flat that has been butchered over the years. We're not going the full on restoration route, but I do want to restore some of the original detail. The room that we now use as our bedroom had lost its door over the years, and I struck finding a matching door at the local salvage yards. The only prefab door that was a match was a shitty job from China for $400; the mouldings were glued on and starting to fall off of the floor model. We wound up going with a custom solid alder door from a local door and window shop. I bought an antique lockset with crystal knobs and figurative plates from www.historichomehardware.com. They assembled a set (including knobs, mortise lock, rosettes and plates) to my specifications that I am extremely happy with. We hired somebody to install the door.
The final cost of that door was 2x what I paid for my first car.
But good for you for doing it right. It kills me to see old houses with historical charm butchered like that; I'm glad you are taking the time to make it right whenever you can.
That Corbin Ceylon hardware is awesome.
Separate names with a comma.