One of the Top 10 *issues* I’ve consistently had to manage over the years is US10B – the oil-rubbed bronze finish. This has been the finish of choice when the “antique” or “historic” look is desired, and whenever I’m asked to specify it I make sure that the architect knows what’s going to happen after the hardware is installed.
I have new and used pieces of hardware with US10B finish that I send out as samples. If that doesn’t work I have photos, letters from manufacturers, and I do everything short of asking for a signature in blood to make sure that I don’t get the phone call complaining that the finish is coming off.
I still get the call on just about every job. I explain that the finish is supposed to come off and expose the brass/bronze base material, and remind them of my warnings, but it often still seems to catch people by surprise.
Once and for all, here’s what US10B looks like after it has been installed for a while. Don’t say I didn’t warn you…
I’m very excited to report that Ingersoll Rand (now Allegion) has announced a new finish called “Aged Bronze” (BHMA 643e) which provides the antique/historic look but remains consistent over time. The 643e finish is available on Schlage L, ND, AL, and A series locksets, B500/600/700/800 deadlocks, all electrified locksets by Schlage Electronics, Von Duprin 98/99, 33/35, 55, and 88 series panic hardware, as well as many hinges, pulls, and stops in the Ives product line. A complimentary powder coat finish is available on LCN closers. The Schlage Residential aged bronze finish (BHMA 716) is identical to 643e, for projects where suiting of commercial and residential products is needed.
Ask your local Allegion rep if you’d like to see a sample of this finish, and you can also view this pdf for more information.
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This is great, but the finish I really want is the finish that results after the US10B rubs off. The same finish appears after the lacquer rubs off of US10. This finish is the result of constant polishing with the oils from the hands of people using the hardware. If you could provide this finish “out of the box”, I would specify it as often as I could.
Actually, I’d rather have brass than bronze, which would be US3 or US4 with the lacquer rubbed off. But you can’t buy hardware with US4 minus the lacquer to save your soul, so I can’t even experiment with it.
For a non-laquered brass finish, try Baldwin finish #31
PVD vendors are now offering ORB matches as well.