Sunday, April 02, 2006

A Leg Up

Man, I can’t believe I forgot about April Fools Day. I missed an opportunity to write a really fun blog entry. There were quite of few of you out there who remembered, and they were fun to read, but I didn’t believe any of it for a second. Oh well, there’s always next year, right?

My left knee has been giving me some real problems lately so I’m moving a bit slow around The Old Petch House these days. This really sucks because a few months back I was diagnosed with tendonitis in my left foot and that was just getting back to normal. This time it’s my knee. I still had one refill left on the anti-inflammatory so I was able to get a fresh supply of my drugs.

The funny thing about my knee problems is that I think it is in some part due to my good posture. Back in my 20s I had a series of very minor back strains but it was a wake-up call. I became very aware of how I lift things. I’ve even had one person recently refer to me as “The guy with good posture”. Of course, if you have good posture and you lift with your legs, then your knees take a beating. What should I do now, lift with my ankles?

Despite my dire medical condition, I did get some things accomplished around here. I finished stripping the outside trim around the “new” side door, and after that I was able to finish caulking. I put on a weather strip at the bottom and I bought spring bronze for the jamb. I think I’m going to wait on the spring bronze until after I paint, though. I also got the mortise lockset, face plates, and door knobs on. This stuff is all historically accurate – it’s actually old - , which means that while it works, it’s not very secure. I need a deadbolt.

I looked locally just for the hell of it and found the usual assortment of Kwikset and Schlage. Nothing I really want to put on the door. If the door where already drilled for a deadbolt I would probably put a Kwikset deadbolt on it and be done with it. It pains me to drill in to a 120 year old door, though, so I figure it I have to do it want it to look nice.

I found the lock below at House of Antique Hardware. They are about $60 a piece, which is steep, but what the hell. I’ve ordered two and will have then keyed a like. I will use one on the side door and on the back door. The front door is a double door so I can’t use a deadbolt on it, or maybe I can. I guess I can get another one for the front door later if I can’t find a good lockset for it.

I also picked up a new back door yesterday. I found it last week when I was looking for a side door. The back door is 34X82 which is a big door. It’s not The Perfect Door, but it’s better than what’s there, and I have a plan to gussy it up. I’ll tell you more about that door tomorrow.


Doug K. said...

Nice deadbolt from House of Antique Hardware. Do you know how to age this using brass darkening solution (sold as, for instance "Brass Ager", or gun bluing, such as Birchwood Casey PermaBlue)? You could make it look less shiny.

Deadbolts are used on double doors. You put various types of vertical slide bolts on the other leaf (the "inactive" leaf). You should be able to find some Eastlake ones. There's some of them on Ebay, although the sellers often don't know what they are. Ebay item 7404216750 is one for the bottom of the door. You step on it to lock it. For tall doors, the upper bolt had a chain hanging down so you could reach it. I found one on Ed Donaldson Hardware, in the "Bolt" section, it is number 600-488 (I'm sure you'd spot the Eastlake one anyway).

These two both mount on the inside face of the "inactive" door leaf. Modern commercial doors use a bolt that mortises into the edge of the inactive leaf (look at your local school or other commercial building). I've seen Eastlake mortise-in slide bolts, which were too wide to put on the edge of the door, so I assume they were mortised into the inside the face. Ed Donaldson has some earlier plainer ones, but similar, item number 600-256, e.g.

Of course, you don't have to use a deadbolt on the front door if you can find an Eastlake mortise lock with a deadbolt.

Doug K.

Greg said...

Hey Doug,

That deadbolt is really just a Shilage (sp?) lock that someone made some cast brass face plates for. It's a good idea.

I do have the bolts you speak of on the inactive leaf of the double front doors. What I really need is a good mortise lockset for the door. Judging from the size of the mortise there used to be something large in there.

Right now it is just a interior lockset set in there with some shims. There is also one of those Ilco dead bolts on there. It works, but I need something nicer. Someday I'll get around to fixing that. It's on the list.