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Country Discussion Topics
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Really Obscure: antique door knob screw size
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Tom A    Posted 03-13-2001 at 03:26:14       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Hi all. Got a tough one for ya, I think.

We live in a 100+ year old farm house, with many of the original fixtures intact. I want to replace some of the screws that hold the old door knobs on, but can't seem to find the right size. Guy that owned the place before me used whatever was handy in several of them and they look bad so I'm tinkering...the old place seems to deserve better.

I compared some of the original ones to modern screws and they appeared at first to be 10-24 x 3/8" oval heads...had trouble finding that size, but I got flatheads that look better than my predecessor's until I could find the exact right ones. Anyway, they wouldn't screw in easily and I got to looking closer...and low and behold the pitch is very slightly different from the originals.

Anybody know what the right size is, and where I might be able to get some? I like this place a lot and am trying to get it looking like it did in it's 'glory.'


Jim Easley    Posted 07-24-2002 at 17:32:18       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I ran into the same problem. I thought the knob screws were #10 x 24tpi until I couldn't get them to fit. I haven't read other responses to your message, and it's many months after you posted your message. But I tried my local lock shop and they sell them by the individual screw ($.80 each!!!). The shop is Carl Zipf Lock Shop, Inc.; 161 E. Fifth Ave.; Columbus, OH 43201. Phone=614-299-7303. I looked at the bag as he counted them out. His source appears to be Ilco Unican Corp. Also written on his source's label was "Lock Smith Supply" and "knob screw." He hand wrote "760-04" on my receipt. Jim Easley

Tom A    Posted 03-14-2001 at 05:35:53       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Thanks to one and all for the help, I've got a few avenues to run down now.

Dreamweaver: I would like her address, if you would. Just email me, I guess.

Yep, old houses (and barns, tractors, lamps, cars... stuff) are lots of fun but can be expensive and frustrating. Thanks again for the help!

Dreamweaver    Posted 03-14-2001 at 11:57:49       [Reply]  [No Email]
Tom, for some reason when I click on your blue name, it says I cannot e-mail. That goes for anybody. You can e-mail me at and I'll send it back to you.

Good luck. I know she has nails, even wooden peg ones.....

Spencer Greely    Posted 03-13-2001 at 10:41:35       [Reply]  [No Email]
Are you talking about the screw at the base of
the knob, that sets against the square rod?.

Just re-tap with a snub nose tap. Find a screw
that will go in, take a hacksaw and saw a slit
in the end of the screw then cut off at 1/2 in.

I'm doing the same. House built in 1915 and
some knobs are marble (50.$ a pair here) and some are ceramic. Don't have any glass ones though.

Had to rebuild edges of doors by adding dowelled pine to square up the doors again cause
I jacked up the first floor. The beam was sagged
2 inches.


Jason    Posted 03-13-2001 at 10:24:16       [Reply]  [No Email]
We recently bought a house built in 1851 and had some door hardware that needed replacing. Is yours like mine which there is a large mechanism that slides into the end of the door and 2 plates on the outside? We found replacements at our local Ace Hardware for about $15. That was for the whole thing, the mechanism, 2 knobs, 2 plates. I do remember them having just the knobs there. Maybe you can take the knobs there and try several screws or you might have to retap them. Hope this helps.

InVermont    Posted 03-13-2001 at 03:55:45       [Reply]  [No Email]
Tom A- Old hardware can be really difficult- Have you contacted a renovators supply? (either by phone or in person)If you are in a rural area, you may need to take a picute of the fixture and send it somewhere so they can identify it and give you what you're looking for. I know- sounds like a lot of trouble for something that should be easy to fix- welcome to buying an older home- Also, in the previous owner's haste, he has probably stripped the hole that the original screws went into. If it's the wood of the door, you can make a handy repair with toothpicks and wood glue- if he stripped the metal part of an old face plate you'll have to do the best you can with it. Hope this helps.

Dreamweaver    Posted 03-13-2001 at 13:03:00       [Reply]  [No Email]
My uncles are contractors, and my aunt travels the country buying old run down homes that are going to be demolished for the hardware, glass doorknobs, bathtubs, mantles, and even flooring. Believe it or not, this stuff is highly sought after in million-dollar homes. They even use sell things like old iron gates and fences, etc. She has a regular house of treasures collected. I'll be glad to forward you her addy and phone number if you want to check with her. What a cool job! She gets to travel all over the country and buy deteriorating houses literally filled with priceless treasures from the past! How cool. People even pay top dollar for disintegrading bricks and stones off chimneys!

InVermont    Posted 03-14-2001 at 04:16:47       [Reply]  [No Email]
People actually pay for old bricks?? I have a few I'd like to sell her, but they're not from the 1800's- more like the 1940's..... maybe I should wait another 40 years....

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