antique doorknobs on modern doors

gamecock43February 16, 2009

I recently purchased a 1920's craftsman and am in the market to purchase a few unique doorknobs to jazz the place up a bit. The house has 2 old interior doors with modern doorknobs but has a painted over key hole for a "spindle? lock", and the other doors are normal doors. Can I purchase antique doorknobs and easily install them on my doors? I like the looks of the glass doorknobs or old brass knobs...but don't want to spend $50.00+ per door to find that they are difficult to install. Thanks in advance!

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I'm glad to see this thread. I'd love to get the expert lowdown on using old door parts in refurbished (by former owners) doors.

Some of our old doors have the lock part filled in and newer knobs installed and my dh says we can't even use the old faceplates that I come across here and there cuz they are made to go with the knobs that go with the old lock box which was removed and filled in. This was a big disappointment cuz I wanted these doors to match others int he house that are original. Game cock I suspect yours had lock mechanisms filled in too, look at the side of the door where the latch is and see if they still have the 6 or 7 inch long metal side of the lock mech. or if its been filled in and a short modern one substituted. Ours have typically been painted over and the actual lock doesn't connect to anything, but I'm glad that many of them are there.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2009 at 7:17AM
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Circus Peanut

There's a store on eBay (linked below) that sells retrofit kits in many styles that will let you use the modern style of door locks with the older spindle knobs.

Alternately, you can have a good carpenter install older mortise locks into newer doors. That's what I did for the most part when I had to replace some doors in my bungalow; got new doors and had the old locks set into them.

Gamecock, it sounds like you need to do a little archaeology to see what's under there, and if it's the old mortise whether it can be cleaned out or replaced with a new "old" mortise-style lock. They are readily available for less than $50.

Here is a link that might be useful: retrofit kits for using antique knobs in modern doors

    Bookmark   February 17, 2009 at 7:11PM
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