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

Jun 18 2018

WWYD? Key-Operated Surface Bolt

Dan Allen of Sakahara Allen Architects sent me these photos, looking for a key-operated surface bolt at least 24 inches long.  I couldn’t think of one, so I’m asking for your help.

These doors are serving a church, and there are currently key-operated deadbolts at the bottom of each leaf.  The deadbolts are too low for the reverends to reach comfortably.  The International Building Code (IBC) and the California Building Code (CBC) allow key-operated locks on certain doors, one acceptable location being the main door or doors serving a place of religious worship.  (You can read more about these requirements in this Decoded article.)

So – the locks or surface bolts need to be key-operated, readily distinguishable as locked, mounted at a height that can be operated by the reverends, and fairly easy to install on the existing doors.


You need to login or register to bookmark/favorite this content.

Recent Posts

23 Responses to “WWYD? Key-Operated Surface Bolt”

  1. Lach says:

    Rockwood has locking half and full height surface ladder pulls. Not sure how much the church wants to change the current hardware but it would put the cylinder at normal operating height, look good, and shouldn’t be terribly hard to install. I have scheduled them for double acting doors for conference rooms that they wanted to be able to lock. Also for full glass locking entrance doors.

  2. Aaron Perelstein says:

    A locking bar pull might work, but it may require changing out the handles on the door.

  3. cda says:

    Nice doors

    Any electric app controlled locks, that can replace the existing?

    May not indicate open/close, but I am guessing the current ones do not either.

    Plus, the Reverends, can take out the smart phones and unlock the doors.

    • Lori says:

      That’s an interesting idea but probably more than they want to spend and difficult to retrofit.

      – Lori

  4. Andrew says:

    With such pretty doors I am surprised they want to go with surface hardware. They could easily go with something like an Adams Rite 1877 and go with a longer rod as desired.

  5. Dave Snell, AHC says:

    Check out the Don Jo 1579

  6. Eric says:

    The Adams Rite 1877 would also be my choice assuming the door can be prepped for it.

  7. Raymond Holman, AHC says:

    I don’t know of anyone who makes a keyed surface bolt unless a padlock counts, but when I hear keyed flushbolt, I think Adams-Rite. Like the 1877. Standard height is only 13 1/2″ from the bottom of the door but they will do special heights. It is mortised into the door edge, though. Call a professional to do it. No volunteers from the congregation unless they do that for a living.

  8. Mike says:

    Richards-Wilcox has a 24″ cane bottom bolt and optional lock package for a padlock. Part numbers start with 0524.

  9. Chuck Park says:

    They are not the prettiest things out there, but Octopod makes bars up to 40″

  10. Carl says:

    Why not install a pair of header mounted GF3000 mag locks with a key switch for operation. You would still need to install the proper REX devices but it would look better than surface mounted bolts.

  11. Dan Allen says:

    Lori – thanks for posting! Thank you everyone for your suggestions.

    I like the Rockwood locking pulls, we’ll have to see how that prices out and if the church is willing to replace the existing pulls.

    On the Adams Rite 1877, that was my first suggestion to the owner but because the doors are existing, to properly prep for installation I assume the doors would need to be removed and taken to shop and temporary doors or a barricade would be required. The church doesn’t want to go to that expense or effort, plus they have had a hard time finding a hardware installer to quote that installation.

    On the Don Jo 1579, it is only 8″ long and I believe only 626 finish. We need at least 24″ long to mount at top of 8′ door and be reachable by the reverends.

    Ives makes a similar key locking surface bolt SB1830, but the factory confirmed they won’t/can’t make it longer.

    I’ve considered locking cane bolts, but that would be the least attractive and we’d need fire department approval of pad locks vs integral key. But if there are hasps for locking in open position, it does meet intent of code.

    Another option is Halliday Baillie key locking flush bolt HB1830 with HB1862 extension bolt. But also has similar install challenges to the Adams Rite 1877.

    My last option is to have a custom fabricator modify the Ives SB1830 to be longer, assuming the internal parts allow that.

    • Marcus Vandagriff says:

      The doors can be machined on site for the Adams Rite 1877 if you can find a company that will do it. I used to be a field tech in the DC, VA and MD area and have done some things in the field that most would think impossible. What part of California is this project located? If you would like I can reach out to our California branch to see if they know of anyone in the area that can do this type of field work for you.

  12. Howard Krutzler says:

    Major Manufacturing Octopod, I believe the 40 inch one can be shortened,

  13. Rich McKie says:

    Having spent many years working in high-end residential construction with custom doors that were often built without a thought to hardware I have seen similar issues many times.
    Using conventional American style hardware, I would router a channel in the edge of the inactive door and install Ives 458 US10B flush bolts with long rods.
    I would install a mortise deadbolt on the active door with US10B cylinders/turnpiece as required. This installation would be inconspicuous and strong. The router channel would have a filler strip applied after the hardware was in place.
    Another solution would be to router the edges of the doors and install European multi-point locks with built in top and bottom bolts and profile key cylinders also in a 10B finish. Back when I used to do that sort of install I could install a pair of multi-point locks in less than half a day. This would be a neater solution as the faceplate of the locks would totally cover the channel in the edge of the door with no additional woodwork needed.Cylinders are available either keyed both sides or Key-Turnpiece.

  14. Eric says:

    Keep in mind the Rockwood pulls that extend to the floor for locking are not ADA compliant (ADA requires the bottom 10″ of the door to have a smooth surface uninterrupted by hardware).

  15. Dan Allen says:


    It would be great if you had a source for machining on site for the Adams Rite 1877. You can email me at dan (at) sakahara (dash) allen (dot) com.

    As to other suggestions, thank you again. The owner prefers not to change the pulls so the Rockwood is out for now. I’ll keep the Octopod in mind as backup option to extended locking flush bolts by custom fabricator (I found a possible source.) The owner did get a price for mag locks, but with battery backup & request to exit was too expensive.


  16. Lach says:

    Please note that the Rockwood pulls do have an option to deploy the bolt up into the frame and do not have to be full height ladder pulls (as they make half high ones as well). So if ordered correctly for the application ADA should not be an issue. They also come with an option for a ADA inside thumb turn.

  17. Jay Devries says:

    Electric drop bolt?

  18. Richard Leibowitz says:

    I think someone should look at the code…2015 IBC section 1010.1.9.3 #2 (the main doors or door are permitted to be equipped with key-operated locking devices “from the egress side” provided: etc. etc.

    Are the locks on the egress side?

    • Lori says:

      Hi Richard –

      Yes – these locks are on the egress side. It’s a little confusing because the egress side has pull handles even though the doors swing out.

      – Lori

  19. ken davis says:

    Id put 24” surface bolts on one door and put deadbolt on other in the center of the push handle. love those doors

Leave a Reply

This website or its third party tools use cookies, which are necessary to its functioning and required to achieve the purposes illustrated in the cookie policy. If you want to know more or withdraw your consent to all or some of the cookies, please refer to the cookie policy. By closing this banner, scrolling this page, clicking a link or continuing to browse otherwise, you agree to the use of cookies.

This website or its third party tools use cookies, which are necessary to its functioning and required to achieve the purposes illustrated in the cookie policy. If you want to know more or withdraw your consent to all or some of the cookies, please refer to the cookie policy. By closing this banner, scrolling this page, clicking a link or continuing to browse otherwise, you agree to the use of cookies.