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736 Mackville Rd.

Finishes, Fastenings and Installation

Finishes | Fastenings | Door Jambs | Hinge Installation
Latch Installation | Materials | Name Stamp


The offerings in this catalog have a boiled linseed oil and beeswax finish over the forge scale, turning it black (except where noted). This is excellent for indoor use and will rust with time outdoors. Often exterior pieces were painted over when (if) the building was painted. Rust, for the first couple centuries, is only an aesthetic concern and quite traditional.


Clinched nail cross section The strongest and most common way to attach pre-industrial hardware was by clinching, either using clinch nails or a thin taper forged as part of the piece. These are driven through the door until the point just peeks through. A heavy, smooth hammer is then held in front of the point as it is driven home, turning the point back into the wood.

Even today this makes one of the most rugged fastenings available. In fact, the disadvantage of clinching is that it is usually impossible to un-install without causing damage. If you plan to use the clinch method, please include the thickness of the door so your nails and integral tapers can be made the correct length.

Sometimes the tapers are made long enough to drive in but not through. These parts are referred to as "drive" hardware - as in "drive staple."

People not doing strict, historically accurate work often use screws. Though not as strong or permanent, screws are more familiar to use, easier to remove and cleaner looking. It wasn't until the late 1700's that machines were invented to mass produce wood screws and they didn't become common until the mid 1800's.

Door Jambs - Flush Mount

All of this early American hardware has been made for flush mounted doors -- jambs made so that the door will hang even with the front of the casing. This is not standard procedure today, but old houses were designed this way and early hardware evolved to be flush mounted. If flush mounting is not possible, hardware can be custom made to fit.

Hinge Installation

Strap hinges for light, interior doors may be used with either drive pintles or surface mounted pintles that attach to the casing with screws. Strap hinges for normal use have a simple turned barrel. Large, heavy, exterior doors may require custom made hinges with a welded barrel. It is best to use drive pintles on heavy doors.

To hang the door, place it in the opening and wedge it in place with the correct space on all sides, allowing for sag. Position a hinge on the door and mark its place. Attach the pintle first by drilling a slightly under-sized hole and hammering it in. Be careful that the pintle does not twist as it is being hammered in. Put the strap on the pintle and attach it to the door.

Thumb Latch Installation

The mortise for the thumb piece is generally placed 36" from the floor and 2-1/2" from the edge of the door. Drill two small holes about 3/4" apart and chisel out the center. Attach the handle so the thumb press moves easily. Fasten the latch bar so it is horizontal when resting on the thumb lift. Allow the end of the bar to project only slightly past the catch. Put the staple on near the edge of the door making sure that it is almost, but not quite, touching the bar. Attach the catch so that the bar just rests in the bottom of the groove.


Except where noted, all items are made of mild steel. For more information on materials see the Smithing page.

Name Stamp

All pieces that are large enough have "Lucian Avery" stamped on them.

Lucian Avery name stamp