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gardengal 01-27-2012 03:30 PM

replacement door knobs and plates ONLY (no latch mechanism)
I just removed the plates and knobs on four doors to get ready to paint the doors. They are the kind that are screwless -- the knobs slide off with a release button and the plates snap off. The latch mechanism itself has the screws.

It would be nice if I could get updated knobs and plates. The "knob" itself is hollow.

Is this worth pursuing? I couldn't find any sources online.

It would be a whole lot easier and I think less expensive. The latch mechanism is the drive-in type and they are quite a pain to remove and/or replace (need mortise, etc.). Would just as soon leave it all in tact and just replace the decorative parts.

user1007 01-27-2012 06:08 PM

I can help you with antique door hardware but with contemporary stuff I would suggest you look online at the lines available by the current manufacturer. They may have replacement knobs and plates that would be compatible.

Donnig 01-27-2012 10:28 PM

Sounds like you have a standard cylinder lock latch set, generally these can be replaced if you go to your local big box you can find replacement handles and plates you do need to determine the manufacturer like Schlage or kwickset

joecaption 01-27-2012 10:33 PM

Post a picture of what you have there's hundreds of differant styles of latches you could have so it's hard to make a suggestion on how to fix it if we do not even know what you have.

gardengal 01-28-2012 08:01 PM

I tried to determine the manufacturer but no clues on the latch or the knob. However, I stopped in to my local True Value today and was browsing their (pathetic!) selection of hardware.

An older fella (former house builder) was very helpful when I described my doorknob and age of the house (25 yrs). He said it was probably Dexter. He said that was a very popular builders selection back in the day, but no more. We were looking around and I spotted a Schlage package called "Decorative Trim" that had just the backplate and a knob. ( It was almost as ugly as the one I was replacing :-).And it also had screws & screw holes, not concealed screws like I do.

But that gave me good search terms to use. Dexter/Decorative trim. And voila I just found online that Schlage bought out Dexter and carries a Dexter line. And Dexter has decorative trims. So I have an option. Well, maybe. Its got potential. if it fits. It's not as attractive as a whole new knob, but its cheap (Amazon carries them!) and (hopefully) it will slip right on. Could go with antique brass or aged bronze.

I will take a pic of what I've got and maybe we can determine if we think it will be compatible.

joecaption 01-28-2012 08:27 PM

By the specs that's just what's called a dummy knob. It's just the knob with no way to connect to what you have now to reliece your latch.
If that's what your looking for fine but your going to have to use a ball detent, or magnetic latch to hold the door closed and still may not work because one you remove your lock there's no place to attach it.
There made to be attached to an unbored door.

gardengal 01-28-2012 08:27 PM

Here is what I have. I am terrible at indoor pictures in artificial light, but this is the best I could do.

gardengal 01-28-2012 08:30 PM

the 2nd picture points out to me that I have to go with antique brass and not ORB because of the brass lock button. Even AB with B may not look good.

I do not think the Schlage link I posted is a dummy knob. They have those but then they also have this as "trim" that goes over an existing latch.

joecaption 01-28-2012 08:33 PM

You would be far better off to just change the whole thing.
I just changed 12 of those in under an hour last weekend.
The old Dexters and new Scledge are not compatable.

gardengal 01-28-2012 08:46 PM

They are Dexter (by Schlage), but I'm starting to think that too. I really don't care for those anyhow. My problem is the drive-in latch is problematic. I removed 2 in the past downstairs. One was horrendous. Really wedged in badly. One came out not-so-bad. However, both of my new mortises were awful. One replacement took several days (in pieces). The other took an entire evening. Lots of paint touchup required.

You want to come here and do 6 in an hour? with mortise. :-)

joecaption 01-28-2012 09:15 PM

Put a screw driver inside the the latch mechanism, tap the blade with a hammer againt the side of the blade. The latch will just pop right out.
Take the new latch and slide it into the hole and insert the two screws to hold it in place. Use a razer knife with a new sharp blade to mark out the area needing to be removed.
Remove the screws and the latch.
Use a very sharp chisle (go buy a new one if you have to) Get one that's the same width as the width of the latch plate.
Tap the chisle a couple of time at right angles to the door (to drive it straight in) I tend to start in the middle of the area near the hole and work down then up when that part is done.
I use the chisle with what you might concider being upside down. It will give you more depth control.
When I work near the hole that's the thinest part and close to the door skin so I use the razer knife to clean out that area.

Donnig 01-29-2012 08:10 AM

Joe is correct replacing the whole mechanism is highly recommended. Plus the new lever sets are a lot more functional and decorative (especially to open with an armful of anything)and I think are better looking. You can purchase a door installation kit that would allow you to redrill the holes which may make it easier to reassemble if paint, swelling, or warping is a problem.

gardengal 01-29-2012 08:20 AM

Thanks for the tips Joe, but been-there-done-that, don't want to do it again. Some of the drive-in latches do not come out easily. The screwdriver method did NOT work in the past on one of mine. Not enough leverage. I figured out another implement that worked better. So taking them out is not a blocking issue, but still a pain. However, new well-done mortises are definitely out of my skill-level. I did all that you said before and they are still a mess.

However, the Schlage locksets that I got before did come with new drive-in latch covers as a mortise alternative. I might just go that route for the new 6 doors to save time and effort. Hope to get to HD today to take a look at selections.

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