A couple of weeks ago, one of my Allegion coworkers pointed out a problem with the images on a post from 2009. The post was announcing a *new* finish called aged bronze (643e), which was created as an alternative to US10B – oil-rubbed bronze (613). Since people continue to access the 2009 post, I think I can safely assume that hardware consultants are still being asked to specify the US10B finish, and using the photos in the post to show what can be expected over time.
Allegion’s Knowledge Center includes this information about the US10B – oil-rubbed bronze finish:
The BHMA 613 (US10B) finish is not intended to be color-fast and has been specified for many years by architects who wish to have an antique look with their hardware. To make this finish, the brass or bronze base material is dyed and oxidized to a brown color, and then satin polished and oil rubbed. The oil slows the acceleration of the antique look until it reaches the job site. Once the product is installed to the door, the oil should be wiped off so the antique effect can begin quickly. After a period of a few weeks, the brown oxidation will wear off, due to handling, which will expose the base material underneath and achieve the desired results.
Depending on the desired look, either aged bronze or oil-rubbed bronze may be the right finish for a particular project, but it’s important to know what to expect. With the US10B finish, the hardware will change color over time, especially wherever it is touched or cleaned. As I walk the streets of Copenhagen, I am seeing A LOT of examples of bronze hardware that demonstrate the effects of the oil-rubbed bronze finish:
Have you had experience with the oil-rubbed bronze finish? Tell us about it in the comments. 😀
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In my formative years ( think rookie) we use to call that finish “Church Colour ” as a great many of our houses of worship had this 613 or 612 finish .
Funny but it’s now right up there with Black as a designers choice . My how things change
Hi David –
I have not heard of that term (“church colour”) but I get it…US10B was used on one of my favorite (and most difficult) projects – the undercroft at Trinity Church in Boston. For that project, the architects definitely knew what they were getting, but I have had so many projects where there were complaints about the finish because someone didn’t know what to expect.
15 years or so ago the firm I was with designed a new school, and oil-rubbed bronze hardware was selected to harmonize with the wood door species. The school district’s project manager approved the selection, and the maintenance department didn’t look at the finish selection in 08710.
Well, the PM and the Architect had their ears burned by the maintenance department later. “We only ever allow stainless steel so we don’t have to stock additional hardware in different finishes! How could you do that to us?”
However, either because the children really liked to go to their new school, or because the HVAC system used almost all new air (heat exchangers, and full exhaust of old air), OR because the little kiddos were touching copper-containing (and thus germ-killing) door pulls and lever handles, the absence rate was about 1/4 or so of a “normal” elementary school in that district. Very few colds kept children home.
And, of course, the maintenance crew watched us like hawks on the next school. Their convenience outweighed the educational benefits of having students in classrooms.
That is really interesting, Joel…it seems worthy of more study regarding what affected the absence rate. I feel for the end user though, using a different finish from what they typically use in the district adds a whole level of complication. Often I will see replacement parts in the end user’s standard finish installed on doors where the architect specified a different finish. I once visited a school where the architect had specified US9 – bright bronze (my favorite!) – and when I saw it there was an audible gasp. 🙂
Seems like a lot of the pictures show original solid brass finishes, or solid bronze finishes that have aged naturally.
Oil rubbed IF hand finished will always be troublesome.
Hi Dan –
I agree – a lot of the hardware here is very old and is not today’s 10B finish, but it reacts in a similar way. There is a photo of US10B in the Knowledge Center link, and several more in the link to earlier post on iDigHardware. I just wanted to share some of the hardware I’m seeing here, along with a reminder about the current bronze finishes.