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Sep 30 2014

Hardware Finishes

Category: General InfoLori @ 8:08 am Comments (44)

When I worked for a hardware distributor back in the 80’s, I had a secret hiding place where I kept my prized possessions…including a small cardboard “book” that contained samples of each of the common finishes used for hardware.  I had to keep it hidden, because people were always trying to steal it or rip out the little metal pieces to send as finish samples.  Once the finished piece was gone it was impossible to replace, and the finish sample books were really difficult to come by.

I just received a package from our AWESOME and accommodating marketing manager, Melany Whalin, and inside the box were 10 of the new Allegion finish sample binders!  I could hide them away, but because of my generous nature I’m going to send them to 10 of you!  All you have to do is leave a comment below telling me something you’d like to see added to, or something about the site that helps to make your job a little easier.  I will pick 10 names at random and you can start looking for a secret hiding place to keep your new finish binder.

Image Binder Front  Finish Binder Open

The finishes included are:

BHMA # US # Finish
605 US3 bright brass
606 US4 satin brass
609 US5 satin brass, blackened
612 US10 satin bronze
613 US10B dark oxidized satin bronze, oil rubbed
619 US15 satin nickel plated
625 US26 bright chrome plated
626 US26D satin chrome plated
629 US32 bright stainless steel
630 US32D satin stainless steel
643e aged bronze

If someone finds your secret hiding place and you need to replace one of the finish samples, you can contact your Allegion Architectural Services Rep, or call 866-809-7605.

A complete chart of the BHMA finishes is available on the BHMA website.

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44 Responses to “Hardware Finishes”

  1. Lee Francisco says:

    Good morning Lori!
    I’d love to have a finish sample binder. I use your site to help train our new detailers. I make sure they have your site bookmarked and suggest they visit everyday.

  2. Todd says:


    I totally feel you on these finish samples, somehow they mysteriously disappear from the drawers of my filing cabinet. I’ve never had an Allegion one, they look nice! I use your site for brushing up on my own knowledge especially with tricky code interpretations, and finding pictures of hardware applications to send to architects. I’ve also sent your articles to architects when trying to explain some of these code situations, like the infamous stairwell locking. I had an owner who was pushing back bigtime on using electrified locksets on a high-rise, telling us that he has had no problem using mechanical locks in the past. I passed out your article to everyone in the meeting, and tried to explain WHY these codes are in effect, to protect lives. They finally agreed that even if they somehow got away with it, it was not in their best interest.

  3. Cathy says:


    I have a few of the finish rings that Schlage used to send out! Yep, I keep them hidden also 😉

    I love your site and how personal and quick you are to answer our questions when we’re in a bind.

    (Don’t add me to the giveaway. I’m all set)

  4. Jay says:

    Your site provides some enjoyable comic relief/frightening life-safety issues/shaking my head moments in the form of your Wordless Wednesday section. I need the mid-week distraction. I also learn a lot, using this sight as a reference source for creative code compliant solutions for unique applications. Just last week I pulled 2 articles for a customer looking to dog the panic hardware on a set of FR double doors. I offered him the solution of electric dogging with fail secure latches, which thankfully, I was able to back-up with an article from this site.

    Knowing “why they do that” when it comes to F/R openings so the customer can understand the need for certain applications and to also help justify the cost of those applications, not just in $$$, but also in potential human life/property damage/liability costs. I regularly refer to this site to educate myself in order to know what to do, and more importantly, what not to do.


  5. George Everding says:

    Aaron showed me his sample when we had lunch a while ago. Much nicer than the ring of cylinder covers. Architects are going to love these. (BTW, nice to see you guys again in Baltimore, and hope you are planning on St. Louis next year)

  6. Gary Huizen says:

    Lori always makes me smile with her hardware blunder pictures, I realize all the hardware butchers aren’t located in Michigan, plus she’s a GREAT resource when you have a question.
    I’d love to have the finish samples in my case.

  7. Andy Swanson says:

    I use your website every day and I tell our customers to check it out as well. I even tell my ASSA customers to check it out.
    I want a finish book! Very cool.

  8. Brandon Smith says:

    Put Dan’s drawings up so we can all agree on how under-ratedly hysterical our industry jargon is!!

  9. Jack Ostergaard says:

    Thanks for all the great information that I have gotten from you over the past few years. You asked for suggestions on future articles and I’ve got an issue that keeps coming up again and again. Can you discuss automatic door opening system? I need to get the architects to remember that actuators are needed and that space needs to be provided on both sides of the doors. And then there is the issue of linking a credential reader into the mix.

  10. Alan says:

    I have an extremely old Hager sample set that I will never part with! Having an Allegion set would be a great addition for my library.

  11. Elias Saltz says:

    Hi Lori,

    I have a little chain set of Schlage plates in various finishes, but having a binder with finish samples would be fantastic. It was great to join you for the bloggers’ panel at CONSTRUCT.

    I always learn something from IDigHardware, especially when IBC changes its rules or when you describe the minutiae of electronic egress. I know you do write about this from time to time, but it would be interesting to see a feature about the specific requirements for healthcare facilities.


  12. Bob says:

    You don’t know how handy that would be. I don’t know how many times folks come and ask me about finishes. Oh, the pains and joys of being the “door guy” in our office. More webinar opportunities for architects would be great. I did one you advertised, regarding access control on fire doors. It was helpful and informative, right up until the 45 minute discussion on wiring and jumpers. Keep up the great work, Lori!

  13. Leonard Bankester says:

    Installation videos or instructions would be helpful. I just watched an installation video for Steelcraft welded door frames and although I have installed quite a few over the years I did pick up some helpful pointers. It would be even better if more carpenters viewed the same video. I enjoy your site.

  14. Linda says:

    I remember threatening people if they messed with my finish sample book!! I would love one to show architects now that I am consulting. As to why I love IDigHardware/IHateHardware, there are a number of reasons. One is the title as I switch back and forth, minute to minute between hating and loving hardware so the name hits home! I always can find things easily on your site and the information is clear and concise (well, as clear and concise as can be when codes are involved). And who does not love that you are one funny woman!! I really enjoy reading and looking at the unbelievable photos you come up with. Between the extraordinary doors from your many travels and the insane fix-its and code violations, I look forward to all of your updates. Thanks for being entertaining and information all in one fell swoop!

  15. Todd Brady says:

    i read your blog daily. The web-site has been a great resource and you have helped me with some of our issues that we encounter on projects. Maybe in the future you could provide some pointers on how to become and AHC. Thanks and keep up the great work.

  16. Marc says:

    Since I found your site, I’ve greatly broadened my understanding of life safety codes by reading your reports. It’s great to see the pictures of doors done horribly wrong, and see how it could be done better. It’s also been invaluable to have so many real life examples about school safety with documentation to back it up. I work primarily with schools, and I often share your articles with facility and safety managers. The response has always been positive, and recently convinced one school to take a new, much safer, direction in updating their hardware.

  17. Deb says:

    I would love to have a finish sample binder. I utilize your site when working with difficult issues, to find a solution. Especially when I need an example or quick picture to explain issues.

  18. John Dalrymple says:

    How about “AS-Builts” and their importance to the maintenance and repair of existing openings, especially the electrified openings. A particularly helpful part of these is the operation description, system riser diagram, and point to point wiring diagrams Of course these should also include detailed listings of the hardware items used with their manufacturer part numbers and the manufacturer’s installation instructions.

  19. Julia says:


    Oh I would love to have one of the finish sample books! The one we had in the office is gone. I find your site to be very informative; especially about code issues! It is a great learning tool for us to utilize when trying to get end users to understand why they cannot just use any hardware they please on certain openings.

  20. Jeffrey Rapp says:

    I had one of those sample boxes back in the 70’s. I wish I had it today to educate some of the young people here on the availability of finishes…….Not alone the BHMA and US nomenclature.

  21. Bobby says:

    I am fairly new to the industry and I use your website to both supplement my formal education and learn more about code-related debates with which I am not yet familiar. As someone who is fairly new at this – I personally find the pictures of “less than ideal” fixes to be quite informative!

  22. Daniel Davis says:

    Thanks for your posts and such an awesome website! I enjoy getting email notifications for when you upload something new. It’s nice to have an outlet to share pictures of the obscene world out there, and to see others as well. Don’t get me wrong I do appreciate seeing a nice installation. I feel that I stay a little more up to date with the industry through your site. It creates good conversation with my fellows and help create awareness. I would like to see more pictures of failed fire doors to use in creating awareness.
    Daniel Davis FDAI

  23. Bill B says:


    You could try handcuffing it to your wrist but then everyone would know you had it. Probably best to secure it in a locked or secret space. I really enjoy the wordless wednesday pictures. They help to lighten my thoughts and put the job at hand in perspective. Thank you.

  24. Bryan McKeehan says:

    Where is “652 Chrome-like Coating” and what exactly does chrome-like coating indicate?

  25. B. Holt says:

    I truly enjoy your site as it give perspective to the codes and hardware applications we use daily…and… you find a way to bring in the beauty, whimsy and humor of our hardware industry. It is an excellent resource for both the novice and veteran alike. It has helped me tremendously to hear the experiences and see the application issues that others face in the field and learn from those who have ‘been-there-and-done-that’. And yes, I too, would like to have my very own finish sample binder.

  26. Tony Calistro says:

    Was that old black finish sample book from The Stanley Works? I too had difficulty hanging on to them, The architect was my culprit, even though it was me handing them over to them. Those were the days when we dealers spent our time writing specs for architects and there were few boiler-plate specifications. The sample hardware finish book was a great selling tool.

    Tony C

  27. TJ Quintana says:

    I use the website for examples of what bad repair jobs look like. I use it to demonstrate poor code conditions. There are many teaching topics that you offer everyday, especially some that one doesn’t usually think about(For example, the doors painted to look like a Coke bottle). I love the site! I also love finish sample binder by the way!
    TJ Quintana

  28. Jolene says:

    Hi Lori,

    I appreciate many things about your site. I have used the new reference guide many times and your articles are applicable to situations I run across often. I share the info with coworkers, customers & architects.

    Those new finish binders look great. I only have one really old one left and it’s the one Schlage used to have; the round ones on the ring (it’s missing a few finishes, but I still use it) 🙂

  29. Rich says:

    Wow. You are getting lots of feedback to compete for the prize. I really appreciate your work to promote fire doors and code compliance. You have probably been personally responsible for saving at least one life because or the work you do. Please keep it up.

    • Lori says:

      Awww…I hope so! I’ll probably never know for sure but I’m just going to operate under that assumption. 😀

  30. Lars N says:

    I have only been in the door hardware business for about a year. Your site has helped and amused me greatly. The best part for me is the “What’s wrong with this picture”. Seeing other’s mistakes has helped me see the proper way to get things done. Thank you for your site and your time. As a newbie in the buzz, I would love an finish sample binder.

  31. Lars Nielsen says:

    Thanks for the site. Over my first year in door hardware, your site has helped a great deal. Favorite part is the “what’s wrong with this picture”. I would love a finish binder, as a newbie to the field, it would nice to have. Thank you and keep up the great work.

  32. Tony Klagenberg says:

    You have caused a firestorm with finish samples offer. It is hard to think of improvements. You have done so much with this site. I share your posts with a coworker nearly everyday. I really enjoy the code discussions that include IBC. I took my DHI code class when BOCA was the standard and DHI focused on NPFA 101 and 80. Being aware of IBC codes is a great help. I have used your site to find code articles. I love how it is easy to search for past articles.

  33. Kelly Chimilar AHC,FDAI says:

    Hey Lori

    Those finish samples look excellent. My old leather book (probably from the same manufacturer as your secret one was from) is getting old and tired.

    I’d love your new version of an old classic. So I can show to my customers.

    As for what I’d like to see on your site – how about some Canadian content!

    From Kelly – up in Canada!

  34. Cliff Couture A.H.C. says:

    Hi Lori Sign me up.I too have the Cylinder head finishes on the chain. Its a great specifying tool to show architects and owners. i think these flat plates will be great and it’s long over due. I hope the marketing will add more finishes like 626 AM and 630 AM.

  35. Tyler J. Thomas says:


    Have you ever considered adding a section with sourcing information on publications adopted on a state by state basis and/or each state’s addendums to major publications?

    Might be a good launching point for people to learn about their state’s, and possibly local, requirements.

  36. Sheldon says:

    I remember my first hardware finish book; it was about the same vintage as yours. I guarded it carefully, and took it with me to two more offices, then lost it to the interiors group. I picked up a second one along the way, but it isn’t as nice as the old one, which had black felt flaps over each side. The keyring sets are useful, but not as nice as the bars.


    We are too small to have a rep call on us even though we have been in business for fifty years (20 under a different name). So if you have an extra one that one of the
    Big Boys doesn’t need, we would love to have it. I enjoy your dig/hate work. Regards to Jeff T. He supervised my AHC exam…which I passed.

  38. Adam says:

    This would be so handy! I hope I am not too late!

    A question I get pretty frequently from other people that could use a code annotated explanation I can point people to is “so it turns out this door needs to be fire rated.. how do I know exactly which components in my hardware set need to be rated, so I know what has to change?”.

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