Printed from the blog of Lori Greene, AHC/CDC, CCPR, FDAI
Email:, Blog: or

Oct 02 2015

FF: Unequal Leaf Pair

This is not how I would have specified the hardware for this unequal leaf pair.  I think the panic hardware on the small leaf actually results in an opening that is less safe, because the removable mullion makes the small leaf difficult or impossible to use depending on the size of the person.  What hardware would you specify / supply for this opening?

Unequal Pair

And just for fun, who knows approximately when these Von Duprin A devices were manufactured?  They still look like they’re in good shape and functional.

Von Duprin A Series

Thank you to Paul Goldense of Goldense Building Products for today’s Fixed-it Friday photos!

19 Responses to “FF: Unequal Leaf Pair”

  1. Bob Caron says:

    Like you say, that narrow leaf probably shouldn’t be giving the impression that it’s a safe alternative to using the wide leaf. How about getting rid of the closer and device and using flush bolts? That way, they can still open both doors and remove the mullion to move large objects through the opening.

  2. lach says:

    Still learning my hardware applications but could it work like I have listed? (assuming not rated)

    hinges as required
    auto flush bolts (inact)
    rim panic with 1609 strike (act)
    steel astragal supplied by steelcraft standard for pairs
    closers x cush x hold open
    weather strip

    That way no one mistakes the smaller door for egress. The smaller door cannot be unlocked by students as long as the active door is shut. And no need for a mullion to remove and lose as seems to be a problem.

  3. Ivan says:

    Mortise panic device + astragal for active door.
    Top and bottom auto flushbolts + ASA on inactive

  4. Deborah Cox says:

    The exit devices are Von Duprin 44-Series, which was the “economical … device for budget installations”. I’m not sure when Von Duprin began manufacturing that series, but it was discontinued in the 1980’s. Too bad the mullion didn’t wear as well as the exit devices!

  5. Jeffrey Rapp says:

    It appears the small leaf doesn’t meet the minimum width for an exit so I don’t know how this was allowed.

  6. Bert Axelson says:

    Current codes do not allow a mullion in any paired opening less than 6′ wide. I believe automatic flush bolts on the small leaf and a VR or Mortise panic (w/open back strike) on the large leaf is what some codes call for. Given my distain for automatic flush bolts I usually go with 2 vertical rod devices. This is generally how the architects in this area specify this type of door (right or wrong).

  7. Pete Schifferli says:

    The Von Duprin A2 rim device was first marketed in 1933. Interestingly, Von Duprin did not possess manufacturing facilities but contracted this work out until 1961. From [u]The Builders Hardware Industry 1830s to 1990s[/u] (c)1996.

  8. Joel says:

    I would have specified a deadbolt keyed on both sides of leaf since, because of removable mullion, it appears the use of the small leaf would be to move larger equipment through the opening.

  9. Bert Axelson says:

    I believe those panic devices were originally utilized on the Mayflower (or was that the Santa Maria?). They have since been repurposed on the doors depicted.

  10. Dana Hanson says:

    Here at Von Duprin Product Support, we have copies of old catalogs showing the A series from the late 20’s until late 50’s.

  11. Tom chin says:

    That large size closer on the inactive door would make it too difficult to open.
    They look new, guess had to reuse the old hardware on the new doors.
    Use equal pair doors would balance out the opening and look more uniform.

  12. rb says:

    Assuming the width is not needed for the egress load and it’s a B, F or S occupancy in a fully sprinklered building, I’d go with surface bolts. IBC 2009 exceptions permit it.

  13. Ryan Bradley says:

    I like the potential opening size here but the small door should have been fine with flush bolts (automatic if necessary).

  14. Tony Klagenberg says:

    First I would clarify the egress plan for this opening. If low enough, auto flush bolts x mortise exit. If both leaves required, SVR exit x mortise exit with open back strike.

  15. David Scott Kenyon says:

    Lori: I recently worked on hardware for a pair of doors exactly like those depicted in the photo. They were exterior doors and they were exit doors. There was a keyed removable center mullion because the DOT Authority insisted on Rim Panic Devices. I had originally specified around Von-Duprin but the Project went Assa Abloy with Sargent Devices. The active door was a 4 foot door, the inactive leaf was 2 feet. Due to security measures a overhead electromagnetic lock was incorporated for both leafs, a closer for the active leaf etc. Hardware spec looked as follows:

    HS 22A Uneven double exterior doors Door 1.34
    5 Hinges Stanley CB 1901
    1 Hinge Stanley CECB 1901
    1 Closer LCN 4111Cush-N-Stop
    1 Exit Device Sargent 70 55- 8844 x ETL-US 32D
    1 Push Plate Hagar 100T (4” x 16”) on inactive leaf
    1 Pair Surface Bolts Ives SB16 TB Blank US 26D on inactive leaf
    1 Dummy Trim Sargent 8295 x LW1L on outside of inactive leaf
    1 Removable Mullion Sargent 70-L980S{84’’h}
    2 Electromagnetic Lock See Section 28 13 00
    1 Card Reader See Section 28 13 00
    1 Push Button Override See Section 28 13 00
    1 Motion Detector See Section 28 13 00
    1 Power Supply See Section 28 13 00
    2 Door Security Switch See Section 28 13 00
    1 Threshold Pemko 2005 AV
    1 Set Weatherstripping Pemko 290 AS

    Any Comments would be appreciated since I always appreciate what you bring to my table. I have to admit – I love Fix-It Friday!!

    David S. Kenyon RA, CSi

  16. Ed Shimpock says:

    In situations where existing 5′ openings are being made to accommodate handicap individuals, it is quiet common to replace the old doors with a 3′ foot leaf, a 2′ leaf and a mullion. I’m not sure if VonDuprin still makes a 24″ 99 device. We have purchased them in the past. However, I know of three other manufacturers who manufacturer a 2′ flat bar device for this purpose. Local jurisdiction has always allowed for this in our area.

  17. James Marshall says:

    We have thousands of 5′ or 5’2″ openings, I almost always specify 3-0 x balance; fixed mullion and two rim panic devices.
    This is my compromise way of achieving ADA compliance without the security nightmare of less-bottom-rod. The ideal answer is to make every DD opening 6′ but on 60+ year old bldgs. that will never happen!

  18. Scott Foley says:

    Looks like the active leaf might be a 3′-6″. If so I would have increased the width of the in-active leaf wide enough so that a matching exit device can be installed. I think with a mullion it should be a net width of 24 3/8″ wide and the balance of the opening width to go to the active leaf.
    Matching up the exits with both doors usable and it should be good to go!


Leave a Reply