lizard door knobs


This year to celebrate the 4th we decided to re-create or more accurately embellish the flag with some of our signature door hardware pieces.

We recreated the flag in Photoshop by replacing the 50 stars with 50 moths and by replacing the white stripes with hidden daisy flowers. The daisy cabinet knob is one of the pieces in our flora collection and using an over-exposed front view we wove together many of these to create a textured banner but you will have to search hard to find these daisies. For the red stripes we created a row of walking or is that crawling lizards and we added a red hue for whimsical effect.

lizards in a line.jpg
daisy knob.jpg

Last year we celebrated the 4th by adding colored bands to our raven sculpture.

Enjoy the 4th.

RAVEN 4th JULY.jpg

How a Door's Stile Can Influence Your Style of Door Hardware

Yes the pun is intended this is not a typographical error. For doors that have a raised panel or glass panel, the flat unencumbered surface has a direct impact on the size and style of the door handle back-plate or escutcheon. The stile will also impact the back-set of the latch that is being used with the door handle whether it be a passageway or privacy latch.

What to measure?

You will need to measure both the outside width of your back-plate and the net width of your door stile, meaning, the flat area that is free of any molding or beading. You will also need to consider the door stop which is typically part of the door jam and which will overlap the door stile when the door is closed.

When measuring a decorative or asymmetric back plate or one that is uneven we suggest taking the measurement from the reverse flat side.

Where to position the escutcheon on the door stile?

To center or not to center the decorative trim will determined by factors discussed above and by the differing back-sets offered for tubular versus mortise latches. The back-set is the distance measured from the edge of the door to the center point of the lock and these are available at  2”, 2 3/8",2 ¾”, 3”, 4” for tubular latches and at 2 ½”, 2 ¾” for mortise latches. Narrower 1 ¾” and deeper 3”-5” back-sets can be found but usually are custom made.

Working examples

Interior Door with a 4 1/2” stile and with a 3/8” door stop using a back plate that is 3” wide. The center point of our door is 2 ¼” and center of our escutcheon is 1 ½ and the nearest back-set for a tubular latch which would position the trim at just over center point is a 2 3/8" back-set. The trim would be almost centered (1/8" off center) but  it would yield a  1/2" clearance from the edge of the plate to the door stop. If we used a deeper 2 3/4" back-set latch then our trim would be off center by 1/2" and a narrow 2" back-set would bring the trim too close to the stop with a mere 1/8" clearance.

 Patio Door with 5” door stile and 3/8" door stop and 3” back plate would have corresponding center points of 2 1/2” and 1 ½” so would work with tubular latch back set of 2 3/4” or a mortise latch of 2 3/4”. In the image below you can see how this would look with our lizard door lever set.

Lizard lever and knob on door stile.jpg

Levers ,Knobs and Handing

While the door stile will largely determine the maximum width of your  back-plate and how it will be centered on the door, the handing of the door and whether you use a door knob or lever should also be considered. Door levers pivot away from the edge of the door and can be operated with less hand engagement than knobs which tend to be enveloped by the hand making knobs more problematic for door jams that have wide door stops.




Color in Nature and Hot Patinas for Door Handles

The green anole lizard was the inspirational basis of Martin Pierce’s lizard door lever. The lizard’s vivid pea green color is however a challenging finish to capture as a bronze patina and one that requires considerable dexterity and access to a blow torch, so hobbyists should proceed with caution.

While the lizard door knob is not of the anole family, as you can see from the photo below he is often specified by customers who want a similar finish to match his mate.

In an earlier post we described how to create an antique patina on bronze by using Birchwood Technologies' M20 product and how this chemical solution, through chemical conversion, creates a brown black patina that penetrates and bonds with the bronze. The cold patina process is a necessary first step that has to be taken before moving on to create a  hot green patina as without it, the green solution will tend to slough of the surface of the bronze. Once the blackened piece has dried it is then gently burnished to remove some of the cold patina from the lizard area. We mix white, pea green and yellow dye oxides, available through Sculpt Nouveau, to create the right shade of green which is applied several times to the handle to achieve the right hue. Throughout the hot patina process the handle is kept at a temperature of about 200° by using a blow torch.

Nature inspired door handle.jpg

The vivid greens are used by many creatures as camouflage that allow them to blend in with surrounding flora as is the case with this praying mantis that was wonderfully hidden in the variegated tones of this begonia vine.