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Apr 11 2011

A Penny for your Thoughts…

Category: General InfoLori @ 12:12 am Comments (59)

A penny won’t get you too far these days…I have to bribe my kids with at least a dollar to get them to do anything.  So I’m going to up the ante.  I’m offering a chance to win 10,000 PENNIES!

It’s hard to believe, but almost 1,000 comments have been left on this blog.  The 1,000th comment will earn the lucky commenter 10,000 pennies, in the form of a $100 gift card for  In addition, I will choose two other winners from the comments left today, April 11th, who will each win a $25 Amazon gift card.  Anyone is eligible to win (except me).  If just a fraction of today’s visitors leave a comment, we’ll hit the 1,000-comment mark.

I have a few requests in regard to your comments.  Many businesses are trying to get their arms around this whole social networking thing, and I’m putting together a presentation for the New York Chapter of DHI on this topic.  I have plenty of stats about Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, but not much on blogging.

What I would like to find out is how you use this blog.  Here are some ideas to help get you started, but feel free to elaborate or make up your own topic:

  • Do you read the blog every day because you find doors and hardware fascinating?
  • Do you refer to the site when you have a question about a code requirement or an application?
  • Have you subscribed to receive a notification of each new post by email?
  • Have you asked a question, and did you receive an answer?
  • Has the site helped to make learning about codes and hardware applications less painful?
  • Have you told someone else about the blog, or have you sent someone a link to a post?
  • Do you have any suggestions about how to make the blog better?

Thank you, and good luck!!

59 Responses to “A Penny for your Thoughts…”

  1. Sam says:

    Do you read the blog every day because you find doors and hardware fascinating?

    Indeed! I’m not in any way working in the door/hardware/building industry, but I must admit to finding the whole thing quite intriguing. Thank you for writing this blog! 🙂

    • Lori says:

      Thanks Sam! It always amazes me when non-hardware people find the blog interesting. How did you first arrive at my blog?

      – Lori

    • Lori says:

      You can be one of the minions, Sam! I find it even more exciting when I can get a non-hardware person to look at doors on occasion.

  2. Jess says:

    Hello Lori, to start the comments off today,

    in respone to reading the blog every day, YES i do this, if its a question or article about closers or something interesting, i will leave a comment on it.

    YES i subscribe and recieve emails every time you put up a new article.

    YES I have told other people about your blog, John Rowland CML (Canadian friend), Neil S. (from New England Door Closer)and my friend in Germany, Doro.

    also when I have a camera around when at the beach or elsewere, (I should have taken the camera when I was at the arcade last) I think of and look at hardware and when not seen, take photos of them as well. (I know I did this alot in NYC when I went to the grand re-opening of Nintendo world store.

    I was at a Dave and Busters (arcade and restaurant) over weekend, not only is the place FULL of LCN closers, but there was this one lady trying to figure out how to get the power door to open (handicap access door)

    she just stood there like it was going to open itself (like doors on front of supermarkets) she didn’t think to look for the button.

    I do know that whoever installed the LCN 4040 in the ladies room there didn’t really read the adjustment instructions on the sheet that comes with the closer.

    not only was the closer that was mounted on pull side hard to open (because of arm angle (I don’t think it was pre-loaded or positioned on frame correctly (distance from closer pivot or hinge jamb of door) but it was acting like a door with the Eclipse snugger, as in rush to close then a smooth latch. I hope this thing gets fixed soon, or is ok with me offering to fix it (if I remember to take an allen wrench the next time I go there again)

    as for codes, yes I have learned alot about codes and identification of different series and brands of panic exit devices. (from Chip Falcon’s road trip from last year)

    as for improvements, i cannot think of anything better, you did well with making idighardware and explaining about codes and articles you write, you do really well with what you do (educating the public on awareness of HOW IMPORTANT a fire door is and the requirements for it to be up to code(although this may vary from state to state, but all under NFPA requirements)


    • Lori says:

      Thanks Jess! Your knowledge about door closers is very helpful to the blog readers!

    • Daniel Ferry, AHC says:

      Do not hesitate to offer to adjust a door closer. Nothing aggrevates me more than hearing a door slam.
      This past Saturday, I was at a local Jiffy Lube. Their 2 doors have slammed ever since I started going there. The closers were very old and appeared to be out of fluid. They finally got them changed out, but the doors were still slamming. So, as they were cashing me out after my oil change, I asked them if they would allow me to adjust their closers.
      I keep a couple of small tools in my vehicle and really only needed a screwdriver and an allen wrench set. The store manager then went into an explanation of all the things that they had tried and how aggrevating these doors have been. They had received numerous customer complaints, mainly from sleeping babies being startled by the slamming doors, but were at a complete loss as to how to fix the problem.
      I spent all of 15 minutes working on the 2 closers and did have to bend a top hinge, but after I was done, both doors closed nice and quiet. Had to reposition the arm where it attached to the closer so I could then pre-tention the arm slightly, then re-position the other arm lenth going to the frame. Both done with a #3 screwdriver bit. Then turned the adjusting screws in, both on the closing and latching speeds as they were both copletely open. Simply done. The manager was completly stunned. Every employee at the facility thanked me and the manager promised me that the next 2 oil changes were on him! Believe me, I did not go into this with any expectations, I just wanted to stop the slamming. So, I spent 15 minutes and it will save me close to $80.00. Honestly, the gratification from all of the employees alone really made it worth my few minutes.
      – Dan

      • Jess says:

        Dan, thats the most common problem i see with closers (mounted both push and pull side) its the arm geometry (angles) and the PRE-LOAD.

        for those woh landed on my comment as a result of googling about door closer arm pre-load angles, if the closer has:

        square pivot/spindle, preload it to 45º

        hex spindle/pivot, 15º (such as the LCN 4040 and other brands using hex pivots on closer body)

        pre-loading the arm during installation is important so the sweep and latch functions happen at proper times during the door swing, if not, the latch adjustment area would be really long, (appear as in more then 3 to 5 inches from latch jamb, and if too much preload, you MAY NOT see any latching function (a tech from a closer brand (was not LCN) only did for a guy was faxed him the instructions for installing the closer the guy gave up fighting and looked elsewhere for help with the situation and kept googling and found me, seems that tech from the closer factory OVERLOOKED asking about arm position (regular arm or parallel) or if the closer was on the pull or push side, the absence if a latch speed was all because he had too much pre-load on his closer

        great you did this for him, a little help goes a long way (2 free oil changes for adjusting the door closers)

        SET IT AND FORGET IT! may be true for the rotisserie cooker that used to be advertised on TV, but NOT true for door closers, even though many do require less service or inspecting for wear, but it’s never a good idea to install it and then forget it’s there until you gain a laundry list of complaints and the customers complain and then offer to fix the problematic door. during your googling, (when you get bored) and type in doordoctor, you may find some of my other postings about closers too (not just the post comments i have left on Lori’s site about IR related closers or identification of closers,

        if I was to offer to do anything for any closers, I would first try the veterinarian i take my dog to, (some of his date back to 1932!!!) theres this one (a traditional) that doesn’t close, and im too short to reach the gear thingy (called a ratchet) to check to see if its just freeswinging the arm or if the spring had broke in the past and they just let it go unrepaired. second place I would go, town hall, countless times I have went there and seen only the closer bodies on the doors BUT NO ARMS!!! please, someone get the closer arm fairy to my area!

        but the jackpot of closer repairs (it helps to be a teacher or a student or someone having to do with the school or well known to the area or an employee) school districts, being that’s were my interest in them started, they are LOADED with broken or improperly adjusted closers. long ago I used to watch maintenance crew go at it with a closer (LCN once, just ONCE)not only were the custodian crews taking all day and all night to figure it out, but they knew NOTHING about closers or how to remove the arm! but yet many custodians don’t want to open their ears to learn more about them from an expert (I have had an urge to go to maintenance room with a closer in hand explaining what the adjusters do and how to fix leakers…in one ear out other…. the LCN, them guys (all the maintenance guys) one day came up, took the cover off and stared up at the thing for 3 hours, then did it again for 2 more days (I was in a building maintenance class) and one day I just got fed up…. from the classroom I told the guys to leave it alone and I will fix it myself, welll by time I reached 12th grade year of school, teachers heard about what happened (taking soo long to fix a broken arm and the 3 day stare at a closer) they would not even bother to call maintenance anymore, they would send someone to come find me, I wasn’t paid a dime for any of the closers I have fixed, but it brought me joy to see the closers in better condition then they were when I started there in 10th grade (2000) hence the nickname (doordoctor)this talent of mine also has extended to the internet and I ended up with the nickname door(CLOSER)doctor.

        my other strength is on computers, I one day had intentions of just installing an all-in-one printer for a lady, by time I was done she had a faster, easier to use computer and I had $20 and a box of homemade chocolate cookies. (i didnt even ask to be paid, i did it because she was a computer beginner and she had no idea were to start with printers and her computer was slow.

        (sorry if too long or confusing to read, keep up the great work and who knows how far a simple fix will go, for you got you some oil changes (now lets hope the same manager is there when it comes time for your car to get the next 2 oil changes. sometimes jiffy lubes (or what i observed) they are sometimes managed poorly or by people who are under the age of 25 (like many fast food restaurants, no offense to any readers that work in these places who are 25 and below)

        -Jess the door(CLOSER) doctor

      • Lori says:

        Nice! You got free oil changes, I got free ice cream…the door closer fairy should make more appearances. I’m going to check the local jewelry store to see if their door is slamming. 🙂

    • Lori says:

      Thanks for all of your insight and participation, Jess!

  3. Rachel Smith says:

    Lori, not sure how I originally came upon your blog, but I do have it to where I get a notification when you post a new entry, and I always faithfully click on it. The ones with pictures are the most interesting to me, and your ability to shoot pictures of doors with your family members not getting mad at you even more so. Some of your code entries get a bit too detailed for me, but I skim all of them because I think I have learned more from your blog than I did in CDC class many many moons ago. But maybe that was because the info in the class was all so new to me, and you are like a constant refresher course.

    I have told other people about your blog and I have asked you questions on occasion that you have been wonderful about trying to get me an answer. Thanks for this effort and now that you are in the DHI magazine I hope more people have started subscribing to it.

    My company just got onto Facebook. You can’t write as much as you can in a blog, but I am posting pictures of unusual products that we have been making.

    Keep it up! You are a great service to our industry.

  4. Bob Caron says:

    I check in here every day so I don’t see the need to subscribe. Learning code information is a lot more interesting in blog form with the real life examples you use. If I have a specific question, I’ll check through the archives to see if it has already been addressed but if I do pose the question here, you are always pretty quick with an answer, so thank you for that.
    I don’t go around preaching the gospel on doors and hardware, but when the subject of fire and life saftey come up on other forums I participate in, I will always add a link back to here for more indepth information on what we were discussing. There really are a lot of people that are not aware of the complexity of fire doors and how they save lives when used and maintained properly. It looks like some of the code forums that you consult with could be rather dry for the lay person, so it’s nice to have this space to make it more interesting.

    • Lori says:

      Thanks Bob! It’s not always easy to keep it interesting, but I do my best. Thanks for linking back to the blog when you need to!

  5. Brad Keyes says:

    Hi Lori

    I try to read the blog every day but I must admit that time doesn’t always permit me to do so. I’m a consultant and when I’m traveling or with a client, there isn’t much time for anything else. I like the blog because it has frequent topics that involve the Life Safety Code, which is of special interest to me. I frequently take ideas from your blog and incorporate them into my consultation and education activities. So, for that reason, you are a wealth of information for me, and I thank you.

    • Lori says:

      Thanks Brad. I’ll try not to forget about 101 when I’m posting the IBC requirements on a specific topic.

  6. Cda says:


    2 yes/ yes

    3 yes

    4 yes

    5 nope, great. But will forward any ideas in the future

    Oh by the way did I tell you, you do a fantastic job

    Just in case there are are extra points for flattering the host

    • Lori says:

      Flattery could get you an idighardware souvenir keychain, but you weren’t then 1000th comment. You can try again though!

  7. B. Holt says:

    Hi Lori-
    I know I groaned a little when I was first asked to read this ‘hardware blog’ but soon realized just how interesting a blog could be….now I am hooked and now I try to catch your blog with each new post – I take a quick moment to review and come back when I have more time to digest the article. It is nice to see someone else’s view of doors and hardware – someone who also finds them COOL.

    Multiple people in my company now subscribe to your blog and I have even seen some commenting on your posts – it’s a great way to generate discussions on the merits of codes, or door design, or even the occasional faux pas in hardware application (or the lack thereof). We even intend to reference some of your posts and photos in our in house training – the visual impact of just how good a fire rated door can work is priceless.

    Keep up the good work Lori!

    • Lori says:

      I remember within a few days a whole bunch of people from DH Pace subscribed to my blog and I figured you guys were forced to do it under duress. 🙂 I’m so glad you have been able to find posts that interest you!

  8. Dan says:

    I do read this every time I get pinged, and after 33 years in the industry I have this sickness that I need to check out the door hardware no matter where we go. Frankly its amazing how many closers in the world are incorrectly installed and or adjusted – between that and Fire Door inspections there is a world of opportunity!

    Keep up thegreat work.


    • Jess says:

      i am guilty of this as well, no matter it be the boardwalk, a movie theater, a store, an amusement park just always have to look up at the closer and look t anything else that sparks my interest about it.

      Dan, what i mostly hear about is how often people forget to preload the arm, or when their “geriatric” closer starts to leak, usually a googling building owner will come across my comments on various sites or wordpress blog posts about them and sometimes will directly email me.


    • Lori says:

      I agree, Dan…there’s lots of opportunity out there. All that damaged and defective hardware has got to go!

  9. Deb Henson says:

    YES to the first 6 questions and “I don’t know” to the last one. I love this site so much it is my homepage. And it’s already better than I can imagine so I can’t give you any clues on how to make it even better. More people are going to the blog format now than a website but it takes a special kind of person to make a good blog. It has to be tended to every day as you do this one. It’s easy to follow and easy to find things. The information is incredible and the participation is good. Your writing style is conversational, warm and friendly and you’re probably the most prominent “face” IR has. The idea to do this blog was a good one…the idea to have you do it was brilliant! I’ve been in the industry for 33 years. You’ve brought the fun back and I thank you for that. I’m always learning something from here and look forward to hearing what you have found. On the very few days you don’t write, it’s like missing an old friend. This is a valuable resource for us. I love seeing what and how people around the country do things. It makes all of us smarter. Many thanks!!

  10. Justin Ritter CSI, CDT says:

    Lori, I get your e-mails so I don’t miss any interesting posts. Occasionally, I’ll read the intro, and think it doesn’t sound interesting, but when I click onto your site, I always find it interesting. I have used your blog, and your D&H Magazine articles to help architects figure out code situations (think you!). I do come here to look into code issues – most recently on pairs with manual or auto FB’s. I now have a facility that needs to change many of their existing pairs from manual to automatic. I still have an unanswered question (not your fault) about projections off the face of the door into clear width. Is it ANY projections off the door below 34″ or is it only projections that project into the required clear width? Either way, I appreciate this blog and the info it offers. I’ve contributed comments, questions, and even photos in the past, and will continue to do so.

    • Lori says:

      I guess I need to make my intros sound more interesting!

      That’s a good question about the clear width. The code language is a little unclear on this. In my opinion, you can’t have any projections off the face of the door in the bottom 10″ above the floor. Between 10″ and 34″ above the floor, I don’t think you can have any projections into the required clear width (typically 32″). Above 34″, you can’t have projections into the required clear width of more than 4″. This makes sense because if you have a 4′ wide door and only needed 32″ clear, why should it matter if your panic device projects more than 4″ off the face of the door? It should only matter if it reduces the required clear opening width by more than 4″.

      With that said, the codes don’t clearly state that the limitation is on how far the projecting item projects into the required clear width. When I asked the ICC about it, they suggested that I submit a code change proposal. An AHJ may have a different opinion than I do.

  11. Andy Lindenberg, AHC says:

    Lori – I started reading the blog to check out all the strange hardware applications you and your readers find, in your travels. It’s really amazing what some people can do with door hardware.

    I still enjoy all the strange applications, but now I also try and reference it for code application questions, as I did today. You’ve tried to train me to look here first, before bothering you with direct e-mail questions. I wish I was half as knowledgeable as you!

    • Lori says:

      I really appreciate it when people search here for an answer to a code question before emailing me. If you don’t find what you’re looking for, you can always press the help button!

  12. leftcoastpdx says:

    Lori, I don’t visit your blog each day, but usually catch up on recent posts when I do. I always find the photos interesting, and find myself slapping my forehead at some of them. And, by the way, doesn’t EVERYONE notice door hardware as they walk through a door opening? No? Maybe it IS a curse, after all. Keep it up.

    • Lori says:

      It’s hard to believe but some people don’t notice hardware at all. I try to tell that to architects who tell me they don’t want kick plates because they’ll ruin the design. Nobody will notice the kick plate, but I bet they’ll notice the scuff marks!

  13. Jess says:


    the normal average Joe may not take much note to the hardware more less the brand of panic/lock/closer or frame installed, or the rating on the label on the frame and door, but me, I’ve been noticing doors and their hardware since I was 12 for me I do not find it a curse, I felt happy to have found Lori and her site and even some of my friends who know me, they find themselves even looking up (and even taking photos) to see just what is installed above their heads. sometimes when you least expect it, you find a foreign one (no brand names mentioned) but there’s a brand that is in the UK or Germany and seen one in north jersey at a deli. in my area I commonly find both NON-IR and IR products.


  14. Rich says:

    As a specwriter and certified fire door inspector, I find your blog a valuable source of “all things hardware.” I especially like the insights on code issues and the very entertaining hardware installation pictures. Thanks and keep on blogging!

    • Lori says:

      I’ve got a bunch of reader photos just waiting for me to find time to post them, so check back Thursday!

  15. Michael Kaufman AIA says:

    Amazing that I found your site today, just as you are “closing in” (that’s a hardware pun) on an important milestone.
    In particular I was searching for information on smoke barriers, specifically ones that are simple suspended vertical surfaces, often at open stairs used to keep smoke from passing between floors. I have read the series on smoke (very well put together, by the way) and was wondering if you had any input on this variation of smoke barriers.
    Oh, and I’ve already added you to my RSS reader for regular updates.

    • Michael Kaufman AIA says:

      For anyone who is interested: I have requested information for a product that I located online, specifically the Pyroswiss SBS from Saint-Gobain and will post a follow-up once I have received a response.

    • Lori says:

      Hi Michael –

      I know the vertical smoke barriers you’re asking about but I don’t know anything about them unfortunately. Sorry!

      – Lori

  16. Charlie Hobbs says:

    Hi Lori,

    Yes to all questions I even entered the web site on my Linkedin profile.
    As I have stated before. “KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK”

  17. milena says:

    you do an incredible job, I expect your posting nightly and you never fail! How do you do it ? I confess I don’t always read the full posting, but at least make a mental note of the issue. I refer to the site when I have a question, and I do receive an answer, I tell everybody about the site, even my clients. I find hardware complex and fascinating. With photograhs of interesting and entertaining solutions, there could be a category of architecturally clean and technically exceptional solutions? You would be the best judge! Thank you!

    • Lori says:

      I’ll keep my eye out for some architecturally clean and technically exceptional solutions, Milena…let me know if you run across any!

      – Lori

  18. Michael Rebbec says:

    I found the blog… well because I work for a cool company and happen to have a friend in the company that spends a lot of time on this blog… and when I first asked her a code question i was sent a link to her post about it.


    It is very helpful – I have found answers to many code questions here, have asked you about many code questions and been directed to a post I hadn’t found on the blog, or have even learned cool application / installation tips from various posts/comments. Many times the comments are just as informative about a topic as the original post was – which is the beauty of a blog format.

    I don’t check everyday, but several times a week, or when I get the email notifications and have the ability to check it.

    Thanks for all the information you have given me, and much of the time you spend helping me!

  19. Darren Patton says:

    I read this blog daily and suggest it to people. I know we have some die hards at Isenhour that are subscribed and its often the topic of daily conversation. I forward your post and repost them on Facebook and refer back to them often.
    Once again thank you. There is no better place on the internet.

    • Lori says:

      I can just see you guys standing around the water cooler talking about the latest post on idighardware. 🙂 Thanks for reposting!

      – Lori

  20. Joe says:

    Lori, thanks for creating a blog about doors. I say doors and not hardware because you really do cover it all. Your posts not only hit on the questions we, in the industry, all have, but also bring a personal touch to such a common piece of architecture. Like you, I have many stories of people looking at me funny because I am inspecting a door. Those funny looks usually come from my wife.

    I check your blog daily or whenever I get an email that there is a new post. I also search your website when a code question comes up and I am looking for some background information. A lot of the information I get from your website has given me confidence in defending a position on a code interpretation.

    I have also emailed you a number of questions and you have always either replied to me directly or created a post that answers my question.

    Thanks for creating something that is interesting enough for someone outside of the industry to enjoy and informative enough for even the most seasoned veteran to learn from (and I am not a seasoned veteran by any means).

    • Lori says:

      Thanks Joe! “Seasoned veteran” sounds like O-L-D to me so I’m not a seasoned veteran either!

      – Lori

  21. Mojo says:

    Number 1000?

    I check your blog daily for updates and refer to your previous post for answers to door and hardware questions.

    Keep up the great work. Really enjoy reading your blog.

  22. Ken Adkisson, AHC, CDT says:

    Thanks for a great blog. We usually only see your levels of energy in small children! I refer to the blog often, i recommend it to people almost daily, i subscribe to your blog and read it whenever i get an email showing a new post. Thanks for keeping it up and running.

  23. Jess says:

    Daniel Ferry AHC, guess what,

    may end up doing a door closer housecall for the same woman i did the all-in-one printer for, she called tonight about a computer virus then we were talking about ways to do a hide-a-key in case her (non-ir product door closer, same inventor as LCN but not same brand) traps her outside again she was talking about slowing the door down, i told her not wise to remove it (for fire code regulations, plus its on her apartment front door in her living room, and she could be easily arrested or evicted for tampering with the door closer if she removed/disconnected the arms/body

    about the computer, it got a virus and im suppose to fix it soon, i wonder if this will get me more money and cookies…….

    (again I don’t ask to be paid, they just seem to be so thankful for no doors slamming and a healthy fast computer…)

    -Jess the door(closer)doctor

  24. Jess says:

    hello again, hope everyone has a wonderful night/day. good luck with the contest.


  25. Mojo says:

    No. 20?

    Great blog Lori!

  26. Mojo says:

    No. 19?

    Great blog Lori!

  27. Mojo says:

    No. 18?

    Great blog Lori!

  28. Dana says:

    I try to check the site every day, but don’t always get there.
    I have used some of the code information when advising customers.
    I have not subscribed, but probably should
    I have not yet asked a question, but when I was having a problem loading the side, I received a quick response.
    Yes, but you cannot remove all the pain involved in code questions.
    I have shown several people your site.
    Nope, keep it up.

    • Lori says:

      Thanks Dana! Another IR employee asked me a code question last week and I asked him if he had read my blog post on that topic. He kind of laughed, like a blog couldn’t be a good source of information. I think there’s a perception that blogs are just time-wasters, but I try to keep a good mix of technical and creative/interesting. I’m glad you’re finding the code info helpful.

  29. RCW says:

    You spend way tooo much time thinking about hardware

  30. Kim says:

    Hello Lori! I am learning the finer art of specs for the school district I work for and this is a great way to visualize what is right and wrong! I went to school for architecture so of course I am a visual learner – and from missouri so “Show-Me” works best. I would also love to do a blog someday. Thanks for your hard work!

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