Monday, November 12, 2012

Don't Turn Around - a Door Knob project

Our house was built around 1955.  Sometimes with older homes, you're lucky enough to get some interesting hardware on doors and windows - I'm talking unique hinges, door knockers, and door knobs.  Unfortunately, sometimes they are just awful.  This is the case with our house.  The knobs are all an aged brass - which actually looks ok.  The bad part is that of the 9 or so doors with knobs in the house, only one or two actually functioned properly.  There rest were either sticky, totally stuck, or didn't really close.  We decided a while ago that the best course of action would be to replace the knobs one by one.
Today's project was to do the knob on Chris' room. 
This was one of the knobs that was totally stuck - it was stuck open so that the door would shut, but the little thingey wouldn't click or anything.  It was pretty useless for keeping a toddler in his bedroom for naps.

If you're lucky and your house is modern enough, you might be able to just swap out your hardware.  But if your house is older, you will need to make some changes, but don't worry, it's actually pretty easy.
Over at Home Depot's tool corral (love that place), you can find a fairly inexpensive kit that includes a drill bit and a jig of sorts. 
Here's the breakdown -
Remove the old hardware - basically a simple job requiring only a screwdriver.

Set up the jig on the door - screwing it in to keep it stable.

Carefully line up the drill bit and drill through one side.

Flip the jig (ours lets us keep it in place and just move the circular bracket).  And drill through the other side.
Now when we did this one, the two sides didn't line up perfectly and actually it worked out ok.  There's a little play with the knob set to get stuff to fit together just right.

It's pretty self explanatory to get the whole knob to fit together - there are basically 3 parts - 2 knobs and the inside locky thing (technical term).  And there's the strike plate for the door jamb.  For this door, we were able to leave the old strike in place - while it might look nicer to replace it, we kept the old one to save us some work.  The new strike plate is a bit bigger and thicker and would require us to chisel out a space for it, so if the old one works well enough, then I think it's ok to go with it.

And within about 15 minutes the whole project was DONE!  

And all the while the kids were just goofing off on the other side of the room:

It's so great to be able to totally close this door.  Now, we got a "closet door" set for this door.  It has no lock so that Chris won't be able to lock himself in his bedroom.  And we also put a knob cover on the inside so he can't sneak out, we'll have to change this once he's potty trained, but for now it's fine.

And because one good turn deserves another (get it, turn??) Jason did the doorknob on the bathroom door too!  The bathroom door had a sticky doorknob so it was easy to get a bit stuck in there, Sarah would sometimes call down for someone to come let her out.  Now it's just perfect!  YAY!!

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