Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Rollin' Rollin' Rollin'

For those of you not keeping up, the past few weeks has been spent working on the “new” and stupendous “Pocket Doors”. I put Pocket Doors in quotations because they are not really pocket doors, but at this point I’m not going to quibble over details. I got the doors, they’re spectacular, and that’s that. You can go back if you want and read the harrowing tale of their discovery. There is a fair young maiden involved, some deception, and a triumphant ending. A bunch of Hollywood so and sos are vying for the movie rights as I write.

Anywho, I’m generally pleased with the way they are coming out. Today, if luck holds, I will be hanging the doors. There are 7 pieces of hardware needed to hang the doors properly. There are 2 rollers per door, one guide per door, and a wooden tack in the wall that the rollers roll on. The guide is screwed to the floor and there is a groove on the bottom of the door that moves along the guide. It just keeps the door from swinging back and forth and banging in to the trim.

When I opened up the wall and discovered the pockets with no doors I only found a half of one roller and only one guide. With the exception of some small wooden stops the tracks in the wall were complete and in good shape from what I could tell. I’ll know for sure once I hang the doors (fingers crossed). The missing stops are simple wooden blocks and should be easy to duplicate. On the half of roller I had was the name “Ives”. The hunt was now on for the missing pieces.

I checked Ebay religiously but also contacted any other site I could find that dealt in antique hardware. Years went by with no luck. It is very odd that I could find literally dozens of locksets and pulls for pocket doors on-line, but there were fewer doors, and the rollers and tracks were almost non-existent. Do a bunch of people remove pocket door locksets and just throw the doors and tracks away? It is very perplexing!

Finally, after more than 2 years of searching a set of 4 Ives rollers came up for auction on Ebay. I sprang in to action and bid an absurdly high amount of money on the rollers. I was determined to win the auction at any cost, well, almost any cost. I’m not made of money. Regardless, I bid high. In the end, after many sleepless nights, I was the only bidder and I got them for about $50.00. At the time I didn’t notice it but there was a 5th piece in the auction. It was one of the guides. My missing guide. How odd, I got exactly what I needed.

When the rollers arrived I found an 1888 patent date on the bottom. They were an exact match to the half roller I had. They were in good shape but needed a cleaning and they were missing two of the adjusting screws. Fortunately the powerful machine screw guilds on the 19th Century imposed thread standards and it was easy to get two new screws at the hardware store. Now it’s just a matter of slapping them on the doors and hanging the doors. It’s all so exciting. For the firs time since 1926 my parlor will have a proper set of pocket doors.


Kristin said...

It is so exciting! Hey, I'd go see that movie! What serendipity. :)

Chris Shortall said...

it's probably been a while for you, but I'm in the same situation with your pocket doors... i have a wooden track in the wall, no doors, and parts of the top rollers, but they are a different manufacturer than Yves. how easy would it be to use the existing track and install the yves rollers?

please email me with advice.