Printed from the blog of Lori Greene, AHC/CDC, CCPR, FDAI
Allegion
Email: lori_greene@allegion.com, Blog: www.idighardware.com or www.ihatehardware.com


Aug 01 2011

Today’s the big day!

Category: Door Closers,VideosLori @ 12:13 am Comments (18)
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A couple of weeks ago I told you about the significance of August 1st – it’s my birthday (big deal), and also the day that the features of the LCN 4040XP are incorporated into the standard 4040 closer (BIG DEAL!).  Every 4040 closer ordered from today forward will be shipped as a 4040XP – with the larger and stronger pinion, bigger bearings, and stronger teeth geometry.  If you have questions about the changes, check out this FAQ document.

I’d like to take this opportunity to address a rumor I heard recently, which was passed from a manufacturer’s rep for another company to one of our local customers.  The rep told our customer, with assurance that it was absolutely true, that LCN closers are now made in China.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  LCN closers are made in Princeton, Illinois, as they have been since WAY before I was born.  Maybe the rumor was based on one of the 4040 knockoffs…here’s another one that was recently sent in to LCN for warranty repair (the arm looks like it has seen better days) – it’s a knockoff mounted on an LCN drop plate!

I’ve been to Princeton a couple of times, and I was most impressed by the passion of the LCN employees.  They put together this video to share that passion and commitment with everyone who hasn’t made it to Princeton (yet).

18 Responses to “Today’s the big day!”

  1. Nabil Hanna AHC says:

    LCN history is an historical documentation that all of us should be proud with this innovation.

  2. Rachel Sama says:

    Happy Birthday Lori, hope you enjoy your day, doing something other than digging hardware! 🙂 Rachel

  3. cda says:

    Happy 25th!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Jamo Ladd says:

    Lori, Wishing you a very Happy Anniversary of your 25th Birthday. Hope you have a wonderful day with many blessings

  5. Joseph Vaida says:

    Happy Birthday Lori! And thank you so much for helping spread the word about the Real Deal! Looks like we are going to need a lot more hats…

  6. Sarah Back says:

    Happy Birthday Lori!

  7. Steve says:

    Happy Birthday Lori and many, many more to come. I wish that I could build a new door closer or ext device or maybe a lockset for your birthday but I can’t. Sooooo, again

  8. Steve says:

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY !

  9. Charlie Hobbs says:

    wishing you Happy Birthday.

  10. Jess says:

    Hello Lori and HAPPY late 4º4ºTH!! ( hahah closer joke)

    something interesting today, (while i was starting to type this) i was invited to go out on the river, where i about 5 or so miles down, i find a SCREEN DOOR. (yes, in the river, and sadly, i could not take it out of its watery resting place since i was in a plastic tube and im pretty sure the 80 something year old bus driver would think i was nuts to be floating down the river with a screen door LOL.

    4 things stand out on the knockoff LCN in the photo that I immediately notice.

    1. look at the valves, compare the sweep and latch ones with the backcheck, the one pictured above the sweep and latch valves are light gray and backcheck appears to be same shade as the cast iron “block section” of body

    2. spring tube:

    a. the end that the spring tension adjuster is on, the end of it is smaller around on the one pictured, the real deal is a big hex flat nut shaped end with allen key or 3/4 inch adjuster in the middle. (real deal)

    b. look at the label, all the 4040’s I remember, there was an address to contact LCN and the warning “do not back valves out of closer or a leak may result”

    3. arms, the main arm at elbow portion, reminds me of an arm used on a NON-Ir product

    4. body itself, it looks like someone mixed in the body features of a “light ballast” style body with this type. real deal (4040XP) there will not be a thick line going the full length of the “block” shape of the cast iron body (cylinder)

    5. i am pretty sure a different angle of this closer would show) the end cap, im pretty sure this one its a 3 hole flat end instead of 3/4 inch hex end (which is flat with surface (new LCN’s made after 2003?)

    -Jess the door (closer)doctor

  11. Joseph Vaida says:

    I think Jess can officially change her signature from “Jess the Door Closer Doctor” to “Jess the Door Closer DETECTIVE”!

    JESS – if you can tell me what the “C” stands for in LCN, I’ll send you a FREE LCN “What can you find in Princeton, IL” Real Deal T-Shirt!! The one pictured in Lori’s post above. Just repost your answer and the T-Shirt is yours…

    – Joseph
    LCN Marketing Manager

  12. Jess says:

    Joseph at LCN, its Carey, Lewis’s middle name is Carey.

    i remember middle and high school where my interest in them all started going on the computer when LCN closers history page or (another brand bearing the same last name) before they revised the history of Mr Norton on their site, every soo many years, the webmaster or whoever is in charge of web design for LCN will redo the website and change the history book section and leave out the middle name.

    Jess the door closer DETECTIVE (doctor)

    • Joseph Vaida says:

      CORRECT!

      LCN stands for Lewis Carey Norton. Lewis Norton created the first closer for the Trinity Church in none other than Boston, Massachusetts! He utilized a beer pump (yup!) and fashioned a device that trapped air when the door was opened, and used a spring to assist on closing. He received a patent for his invention the same year Edison patented the electric light bulb in 1880.

      That’s an interesting PDF you attached in the additional post as well. I noticed our friend Chuck Barth in the photograph. He spent a long time with LCN, and was our product manager who helped develop the LCN Snap On cover. He spent years in our sales organization, and was a trainer, and created the snap on cover when he finally joined the team because of his annoyance with “naked closers” as he liked to call them. The article is correct though, our castings come from a supplier in Michigan that we have a great relationship with. Our engineers are incredibly strict on any machining process, and wanted to be sure that whoever makes our castings are within driving distance of our Plant in LCN. They don’t mess around!

      Please send your mailing information to Lori and I’ll ship out the shirt within the next 2 weeks. Our whole team will be down at the ALOA Trade Show next week promoting the 4040XP, and I’m going to save a shirt to send to you! Congratulations and thanks for all your support

      • Jess says:

        Hello Joseph, thanks for the reply, i found out about the beer pump mentioned in the history books when i was in the technical school (high school years) but never thought about to mention the parts that developed the first closer until you mentioned it, the cylinder section and piston (and rod) of the closer was the beer pump parts.

        I do believe the very first version Mr Norton made was very similar in looks to a large bore version of the common every day pneumatic screen door closer (google patents, found it was made in 1880)

        the device from what i read back in 2001-02, that it only took Mr norton to make the device in a few days/almost a week

        wasn’t until 1882 that he started mass production of them and included the arms so it can be mounted on either the pull or the push side of the door

        about the naked closers, it seems BOTH the 4040 and 4010/411* (astrisk means the general size of the closer for that series) they also are frequent offenders of stripping their covers off.

        i have sat in a classroom for half a day in middle school and once witnessed the classroom closer’s (a 4040)cover falling off, lucky it didn’t hit anyone, but in the (8th grade) classroom, it was a bit funny for the door to go at its smooth closing pace just to go into the latch then the closer shed it’s cover.

        if it’s possible, since most of the 4000 series closers use a spring tube, that the snap-on cover could be marketed with the 411*/4010 (the handed and sized at factory closers) I say this because most of my 11th and 12th grade years at the technical school was doing just that, checking on closers and fixing ones that had problems and it just got too tedious to take off the 2 screws to get the cover off the body.

        I’m sure that any closer with a spring tube and is not too long in length can have a snap on cover used on it. just an idea.

        if that snap on cover was out back then (the closers I worked on were from 1970’s when the school was built, and they are still closing well like the day they were made) it would have made working on the closers ALOT easier……….but technology changes every day, and nobody has thought to put a snap on hook on inside the cover to make covering and uncovering a closer easier

        speaking of the 4040 xp, i watched and favorited the video that you are featured in (someone really did well with CAD to make the graphic of pinion and piston moving as well as the closer that goes across the bottom of the screen next to the people’s names,

        I had one question, did they recently also change the design of the end cap of the closer?? I have noticed over the years it has changed from a hex with a raised rim around the hex section to being a flat part with 3/4 inch hex (like some knockoff “light ballast” style closers) to now what appears to be a 3/4 inch hex nut recessed in the end of the closer body. (shown in the “REAL DEAL” video at 1:13 the closers on the belt moving away from the camera)

        if this is true, I in my opinion don’t think that design is the best, if it’s a hex nut (such as like what you find on the old traditionals made by LCN from long ago) it’s just too easy and tempting for a DIY’er that got a closer off ebay/locksmith/contractor to get the end cap off with a socket and ratchet set even if it had thread locker (lok-tite) and risk damage to the closer, or in some cases, injury.

        other then that, LCN MAKES THE BEST CLOSERS i have seen!

        and like sometimes i say on here, if anyone (including yourself Joseph) has any questions about LCN closers or problems i will me more then happy to help fix the problem.

        (please feel free to let product support manager (Tim Murfin) know that I am more then happy and willing to help with technical questions about the LCN products (4000 series mostly) if they get stuck in a “jamb” and need help.

        speaking also about Mr Norton, a few months ago i had a door closer service company in Nashville,TN ask me if i knew how to install one of those ORIGINAL LCN closers that came from Boston Trinity Cathedral)

        im starting to get this feeling that if i was in princeton IL, I would probably be hired on-the-spot to work for LCN if i visted the factory.

        (i have had at least all 3 door closer rebuilding agencies I am friends with (becuase of my strong passion for door closers) ask me if I ever made my Hajj” to Princeton, IL to the “Mecca” (LCN plant) of closers. Becuase of distance (east coast) I would have to wait for a good time to plan on making my hajj to participate in one of the in-person courses or to just watch the closers being machined and be turned into the end product in the box ready to ship out.

        Lori: if you want to, please feel free to tell Joseph my email address

        -Jess the door (closer) doctor

        • Joseph Vaida says:

          Jess – good catch. The end plug did change about a year or so ago, not many people have noticed the subtle difference. Well, subtle to most, but not subtle to you! There are MANY advantages to having a plant, process, and people with the amount of experience LCN does, but it does pose some challanges. This change is an example of LCN having to update some of our equipment. Most of the machining and process is older than me, and when it needs to be updated it goes on without any change to the appearance or process. This was something that unfortunately made the closer look a little different, but functionally is identical.

          • Jess says:

            Hello Joseph,

            not only the change of end plug effect the looks of the closer (to those who look at that end and say something) but also the facilities that are certified in the warrentee repairs (such as New England Door closer, Belmont door closer service, mackenzie group…..(list goes on) of these closers if and when a 4040XP shows up. now that the end plug was changed, all the facilities that want to continue and start being able to perform the rebuilding on the redesigned XP, they have to do same as LCN did, get special tools to be able to remove the new end cap/plug and over time will make the current rebuilder’s tools for LCN closers obsolete or not be able to fit the 4000 series units.

            -Jess the door (closer) doctor

  13. Kelley Buscetto says:

    Happy belated birthday Lori!!! Hope you enjoyed it, thanks for all that you do, our customers really love this site! See you soon 🙂

  14. Jess says:

    Lori, (Joseph, this may also be interesting to you as welll)i forgot to add…

    i saw on a PDF that the cast iron cylinders are not actually cast at the LCN factory, but assembled and shipped to distributers from there, the body castings (cylinder casings) are made in a neighboring state, Michigan, a foundry in Michigan makes the bodies and ships them to princeton, il where they are assembled, painted and shipped

    the evidence of this, as of 2008 when the 4040 xp was introduced to the general public

    Streat Talk Newsletter

    ^if the link works, please scroll down to the end of page 3 on left side in the paragraph under the yellow forklift truck lifting a steel box of 1260 closer bodies,

    (next to those wire crates the bodies are put in during assembly process)

    the current source of the closer body castings may or may not be the same foundry.

    it may or may not have changed since 2008, but rest assured to anyone who reads this……….the real deal LCN closers are made right here in the USA, NOT overseas at some labor camp or sweatshop.

    -Jess the door closer doctor

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