Saturday, February 16, 2008

Swing Door Comes Full Circle

In a post last week, I wrote about the unexpected, sudden decline in the health of my swing door hardware. I set out this week to order replacement spring hardware for my swing door.

It dawned on me that I had probably been a tiny bit Polly Anna in assuming that the new hardware would be the same size as the old hardware. So, I carefully removed the face plate of my exisiting hardware to take some measurements.

Thank heavens, the old and new springs are the same size.

The new face plate comes in two flat pieces and fastens at the four corners. The old face plate was in two pieces that kind of wrapped around the door's back edge with a little strip on the door's hinge edge. The plates fastened across the top & back edge.

One of the problems the PO had in reinstalling the face plate, was that the holes in the door had been stripped by the screws and the screws just slid in and out. They tried to solve this problem by using obnoxiously long screws. I'd have to fill in these old holes in the door, but with the new plate they wouldn't need to support screws.

The only glitch in a could-have-been-seemless replacement is the floor plate. The new floor plate works the same, but is an inch smaller in length & width. The oak side of the floor (the dining room side is oak, the kitchen side is maple) has been refinished, so I'd have to perform some cosmetic repairs with the new plate.

One thing that gave me hope is that the screws used to hold down the old plate are Phillips head screws. The old house obsessed know that Phillips head screws were invented in 1936. Quite a while after StuccoHouse was built. This means that the screws in the original floor plate were replaced. And this could have been done when the hardware was removed to refinish the floors. Meaning a shorter plate, may not be overly obvious.

But here's the thing. Once I removed the old face plates (and for the record, yes, I cleaned up all of the old dust you see in the photos).....collected all the remaining escaped ball bearings......the old hardware worked fine. It closes correctly and holds open at a 90 degree angle. Without 11 ball bearings (I probably vacumed one up before I realized what was happening).

You know how I am about the original hardware. So, now I've back tracked. I've decided to fix the old screw holes with epoxy (note to self: buy stock in Abatron). Oil the old spring. Clean up the old face plates and reattach them with proper slotted screws. I'll add a 2008 penny behind the plate :-) As I see it, the worst that could happen is one day the door refuses to open and I once again shop for new spring hardware.

2 comments:

Omar said...

That's a beautiful swing door, looks just like mine. :) Thank heavens I haven't had problems with the little balls falling out of mine. That sounds like a major pain!

Tiny Oak Park Bungalow said...

Our swing door is in the attic and there is no hardware to be found anywhere. We had doors at our front and bedroom hallways too and they are gone - which is fine since the doors would make our tiny house seem even tiny-er.

Is there a way to fabricate a thin metal plate, the same size as the existing, that would mount under the new mount plate? It would cover the problem area and I'm sure it could look like it is part of the hardware - or maybe it is just easier to do some cosmetic repairs to the floor.

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