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Old 09-23-2012, 09:38 AM   #1
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One side of doorknob won't turn?


We are long-term house sitting my mother's house. She has all old glass door knobs on her doors, and the one to the bedroom isn't working from the outside. The inside knob turns just fine and will open the door. But if we try to get in from the outside, the knob will not turn at all. I've taken the knob off and the threaded spindle thing looks fine, but won't turn (using hands or pliers to grip it). We've had issues with this handle for awhile (again, only from the outside) where we had to sort of "jiggle" the knob to get it to engage, if that makes any sense.

One of the doors in the house has had the old glass knobs replaced with regular contemporary knobs (read: plain and ugly). But these take away from the home's old charm, and I know my mom didn't want to replace that one, so I certainly don't want to replace this one if there's any way to avoid it.

I'm fairly handy, but in a girly, I-can-handle-easy-stuff sort of way...so if you need any more info, let me know and I'll do my best, but no promises

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Old 09-23-2012, 09:50 AM   #2
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One side of doorknob won't turn?


The set screw that locks the door knob is loose or broken.
It also have to be sitting right over the flat spot on the shaft your talking about.

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Old 09-23-2012, 10:32 AM   #3
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One side of doorknob won't turn?


Is the set screw the screw that turns into the outside of the knob? If that's it, it's neither loose nor broken...only because that has been the problem in the past, and the screw from the inside looks exactly like the outside one (length and threads). At first I wasn't sure I was "landing" it correctly on the flat part of the spindle, so I unscrewed the knob far enough that I could see the spindle and know exactly where it should land. Still no luck.
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Old 09-23-2012, 10:39 AM   #4
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One side of doorknob won't turn?


If there's some sort of insert inside that knob that the shaft screws into, it may have came unglued so the insert is turning inside the knob.
If you can get it out you may be able to super glue it in place or just replace the knob it's self.
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Old 09-23-2012, 02:48 PM   #5
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One side of doorknob won't turn?


Wouldn't that mean the knob would turn, but not open the door? The knob doesn't spin at all (sorry for the delay in responding).
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Old 09-23-2012, 02:51 PM   #6
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One side of doorknob won't turn?


Post a picture of the knob you have. Should be a simple fix.
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Old 09-23-2012, 03:57 PM   #7
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One side of doorknob won't turn?


Ok, first pcture is the doorknob itself, obviously.

Second picture is the screw, unscrewed...when screwed in tight it is flush with the handle.

Third picture is with the knob off...the spindle is rectagular, threaded, with flat sides for the screw to meet up with.
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One side of doorknob won't turn?-doorknob1.jpg   One side of doorknob won't turn?-doorknob2.jpg   One side of doorknob won't turn?-doorknob3.jpg  
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Old 09-23-2012, 04:01 PM   #8
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One side of doorknob won't turn?


And please, fortheloveofPete, ignore the cracks and crayon marks. Please.
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Old 09-23-2012, 04:13 PM   #9
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One side of doorknob won't turn?


Remove the knob, grip the brass part in one hand and the glass in the other, do they act as one piece and turn as one piece?
Now look inside the hole and turn the screw in, does it screw all the way in to block the hole?
Is the screw loose in the hole and just slips when you try and tighten it on the shaft?
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Old 09-23-2012, 04:24 PM   #10
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One side of doorknob won't turn?


The glass part and brass part are firmly connected. The screw does go all the way into the knob, completely blocking the hole. Inside the knob, I can see maybe 2-3 threads of the screw "inside", if that makes sense...so the screw is definitely reaching the spindle. I've taken a picture of the screw put all the way in...the small goldish-looking part inside the knob is the reflection of the threads.
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Old 09-23-2012, 04:28 PM   #11
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One side of doorknob won't turn?


It's like something in the actual mechanism inside the door is malfunctioning (sorry I don't know what that part is called). I can see/find nothing wrong with the actual knob, on either side of the door; they both look/attach exactly the same way, yet inside turns and opens, outside doesn't.
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Old 09-23-2012, 04:37 PM   #12
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One side of doorknob won't turn?


And because I know you'll ask I've taken pre-emptive pictures of the inside mechanism. These are both pics of the side that doesn't turn, if that matters.
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One side of doorknob won't turn?-doorknob5.jpg   One side of doorknob won't turn?-doorknob6.jpg  
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Old 09-24-2012, 09:27 PM   #13
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One side of doorknob won't turn?


The first thing that I would do, just to eliminate the possibilty of the problem that Joe mentioned, is remove the shaft that the knobs fasten to, reaffix both knobs, hold one knob in each hand, and make sure that they are tight; just a moderate grip is all that you need. Then remove the guts of the mechanism, and see how freely it operates. Put the shaft through the square hole, and it is perpendicular to the mechanism, right? Now, while using the shaft to operate the mechanism, rock the shaft off perpendicular, so that you are setting up a slight bind, and see if it continues to operate freely, as sometimes it is a simple matter of excssive wear at certain angles, caused by years of wrist action on the handle. Now look at the square hole itself, particulaly checking for any burrs consistant with the threads on the shaft. Sometimes, over a lot of years, the threads on the shaft will cut grooves inside the square hole, so that, when the knob is turned, it actually draws the knob toward the mechanism, binding it as you described. If that is the case, you may be able to correct it, at least for a while, by dressing the inside of the hole with a small three sided file (sorry, but it's late, and I'm drawing a blank on the darned name for the file!). If the mechanism is shot, you won't find any at your local big box, nor at the big name hardware stores, but some of the small town hardware stores still have a few of them kicking around, or you might happen across some at a Habitat Restore or other local reused building material store.

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