Replacing Antique Door Knobs

Reply

  #1  
Old 10-29-13, 10:28 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 5
Replacing Antique Door Knobs

I recently purchased an older condominium which has older brass door knobs throughout the interior on all of the doors. I proceeded to the local hardware store, purchased some polished nickel door knobs and began the process of replacing. I removed the first existing brass knob and inserted the first new door knob pawl only to find it was about (+/-) 1/4" too long. This replacement door knob set was any common polished nickel knob you could find at a Home Depot, Lowe's, Ace, etc; for replacing interior doors knobs with. My assumption is that the standard distance between the face plate of the door and the center point of the door knob has grown over the years; which explains why current knobs will not fit these antique doors. Therefore, I'm under the impression I have two options:

1. Replace the entire antique door altogether, which I prefer not to do because they're in great shape and are really good looking.

2. Find some replacement "antique" knobs that have the shorter pawl length.


I'm wondering if anyone else can comment on their experiences with this and if anyone has been able to find some current, modern or contemporary knobs to fit their older doors.
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 10-29-13, 10:39 AM
Gunguy45's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 20,807
What is the thickness of the doors? Do the knobs just have the square shaft that fits through the morticed in mechanism in the door, or are they a typical more modern design with a round latch set into the edge of the door?
 
  #3  
Old 10-29-13, 12:31 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 5
I have not measured the thickness of the doors; but it doesn't seem to be an issue. Yes the pawl does appear to have square shaft; but so did the new ones. The new pawl fit fine in terms of the door thickness, it was just too long. I'm not sure if you can search for door knobs by pawl size, as well. I just assume there is an industry standard and because of the age of the doors, they no longer meet it. I wish I had more info.
 
  #4  
Old 10-29-13, 01:30 PM
Gunguy45's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 20,807
If they are just the square shaft that is held in place by set screws...and the rest of the parts are fine...cut them to length with a hacksaw. Maybe I'm missing something, but that would seem to be a solution.
 
  #5  
Old 10-29-13, 01:56 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 5
I had a similar thought too, even drilled a hole to push the prawl deeper into the door; but the problem is then that the square shaft that you run the knobs through is not centered in the hole, therefore your knobs are off center and won't fit.

Here's a pic of the old prawl. It's just a hair shorter than the new prawls.
 
Attached Images  
  #6  
Old 10-29-13, 02:02 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 5
Here's a rough sketch of what I'm trying to articulate. The distance between your center hole and the edge of the door appears to be shorter than the stander door today, therefore the prawl on most "buy off the shelf" door knobs is too long.
 
Attached Images  
  #7  
Old 10-29-13, 02:45 PM
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 4,297
Not a prawl, it's a latch.
The distance from the edge of the door to the center of the hole for the knob is called the back set.
Definition of a Backset Door Knob | eHow
 
  #8  
Old 10-29-13, 03:13 PM
Gunguy45's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 20,807
Ohhhhh...now things are much clearer. Very odd if you measurements are correct. Are you sure it measures 3" from center of hole to the plate?

The most common backset measurements are 2 3/8" and 2 3/4" though I know different lengths can be procured through locksmiths. Normally people need longer, not shorter.
 
  #9  
Old 10-30-13, 10:56 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 5
No, the prawl is 3" in total length. the centerpoint appears to be 2 3/8"; but the knobs off the shelf appear to be longer. These are just closet, bathroom, bedroom door knobs; nothing high tech.
 
  #10  
Old 10-30-13, 11:44 AM
Gunguy45's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 20,807
Well, the majority of what you'll find is 2 3/8" as you said. Most are now adjustable between 2 3/8 and 2 1/2 I believe. Just checked a set I've had around the garage for years and it will adjust to either.

Your terminology is sort of confusing. You say "the knobs off the shelf...", but your problem has nothing to do with the knobs? And it's not a "prawl or pawl"...I don't know where you came up with that. Its a latch or latch assy.

You buy a lockset from a store, it contains a latch assy and a handle or knob assy along with required screws and plates.

What you have doesn't appear to be all that old. I'd carefully re-read the instructions and maybe do a search online and go closely step by step. Re-measure everything and just re-check mortices and such.

If you can't find what you need off the shelf, you'll need to visit a locksmith for advice. You should be able to put the 2 latches side by side and see if they are different.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes
'