Funky Applications

Carpet (Touch)Pad

I'm in Las Vegas for a meeting that starts in a couple of days, and I'm pretty sure I could find enough cool and creative doors here to last me for a few months. Today we visited Red Rock Canyon (not a lot of doors there), the Hoover Dam (more doors there than you'd think), and a weirdly beautiful building by Frank Gehry. Since I'm blogging from an iPad which is not that easy, I'll post some quick photos and save the longer posts for when I get home next week.

By |2012-01-27T21:58:46-05:00February 18th, 2011|Funky Applications, Panic Hardware, Road Trips|12 Comments

Casino Wrap-Up

Considering how many photos I took of doors during my Mommy's weekend at Foxwoods, it's a good thing I'm not a gambler.  I wouldn't have had any time to check out the doors if I was stuck at the slots.  I can't imagine what Las Vegas will be like...I hope I don't get arrested like this guy.  Now go get a cup of coffee while these 22 photos load.

Surgical Suite Entry

I have been amazed and touched by the number of people who actually read my Good News/Bad News post all the way to the end and took the time to call or email me about my daughter's surgery.  Thank you so much for your care and concern.  It has been a tough week and an extremely stressful day, but everything went perfectly and my daughter is doing really well.  We're still in the hospital but we hope to be able to go home tomorrow (actually today since it's 2 a.m.).

By |2013-03-01T11:14:40-05:00October 8th, 2010|Funky Applications, Means of Egress, Panic Hardware|5 Comments

Back to School

I received these photos last week and I didn't have much advice...maybe someone else does.  These are classroom doors in a school for autistic children, and the extra locksets are due to the special needs of the students.  The students are unable to retract both latches at the same time (if they can even reach the upper lockset).  While this keeps the children in the classroom (a good thing), it also prevents egress (a bad thing).

By |2012-01-27T22:07:29-05:00September 23rd, 2010|Fire Doors, Funky Applications, Locks & Keys, Means of Egress|7 Comments

The Coliseum

You wouldn't think that a fair would be a great place for door-hunting, but I saw the doors below at The Big E last weekend.  There's a lot going on here - sliding, folding, and swinging doors serving a giant assembly occupancy.  This reminds of many scenarios dreamed up by architects that I've advised strongly against.  No offense to all of the architects out there, but I'll bet the facility hates these doors.

By |2016-06-15T11:21:52-04:00September 21st, 2010|Accessibility, Funky Applications, Means of Egress|0 Comments

Force = Mass x Acceleration

Since it's one hour until Friday and I've had a very long week trying to catch up from being on vacation, here's some door-humor (yes, really).  It's an automatic door on the Columbia University Physics building.  The auto operator was being replaced with an LCN Senior Swing, but the installers were struggling through the installation without a wiring diagram, which can be extremely tough if there's other hardware involved.  I feel a site visit coming on.

Deer Stand

As I said in my last post, I'm on vacation and I just spent a long weekend in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont.  We're lucky to have friends who own a little piece of heaven and let us come to visit on occasion.  I spent the weekend taking naps, watching the kids swim in the pond, and going on photo safaris in the woods, with no intentions of looking for doors or coming up with an interesting blog post.

By |2012-01-27T22:07:32-05:00July 11th, 2010|Funky Applications|0 Comments

Fort Williams Park – Cape Elizabeth, Maine

I'm on vacation in Maine, and the doors are few and far between.  Today we went to Fort Williams Park, which has some really interesting buildings including the ruins of the Goddard Mansion, and the Portland Headlight (described as the most photographed lighthouse in the world).  Scattered around the park are various batteries and other buildings left over from the property's life as a military post.

By |2016-07-13T09:30:07-04:00July 8th, 2010|Funky Applications|0 Comments

Hospital Hardware

I'm sorry I've been incommunicado this week...sometimes life gets in the way of hardware.  When I agreed to lend a hand to my sister-in-law during the birth of my niece, I had no idea it would take 4 days!  The good news is that my niece has arrived, and I was able to spend 4 days wandering the hospital halls looking at the hardware.

By |2012-01-27T22:07:32-05:00June 30th, 2010|Funky Applications, Stops|2 Comments

Curved Doors

Here's another door from the Shalin Liu Performance Center in Rockport, Massachusetts.  It's actually a curved door from the existing building attached to a new door.  Because of the thickness of the two doors, wide throw hinges were used.  Wide throw hinges are typically used when more clearance is required behind the door when open 180 degrees, not to be confused with swing clear hinges, which move the door out of the opening when open to 90 degrees (see below for comparison).

By |2012-01-27T22:07:32-05:00June 20th, 2010|Funky Applications, Hinges & Pivots|1 Comment

Bungee Closer

I swear, this blog is not going to become a collection of photos that can be found elsewhere on the web, but since two people sent me this photo today and it's pretty horrible, I just have to post it.  It's another one from, which is a really funny collection of weird stuff that people do to try to fix things.

By |2013-02-13T18:58:31-05:00June 7th, 2010|Door Closers, Funky Applications|0 Comments

Another Gravity Closer

I'm off to Carmel this week so it's going to be a busy one.  I don't know if I'll get to the next smoke door post but I'll post some more application photos to tide you over.  Here's another gravity closer with a bonus padlock on a temperature rise egress door.  And before someone comments that these don't need to be temp rise doors, this opening is in Israel so I'm not sure which code was in use when they were installed.

By |2012-01-27T22:07:32-05:00June 7th, 2010|Door Closers, Funky Applications, Reader Photos|0 Comments

Gravity Closer

I think I'm onto something...asking everyone to send their vacation photos of oddball hardware applications has already netted me several, including this photo of a gravity closer from Quebec City.  The cable goes from the face of the door, through the pulley that the brown outfit is hanging on, then through another pulley and attaches to a weight that the green outfit is hanging on.  Complicated, but pretty inexpensive as long as you don't need door control.  ;-)

By |2012-01-27T22:07:32-05:00June 3rd, 2010|Door Closers, Funky Applications, Reader Photos|0 Comments

Retrofit Dogging Pin

I've seen lots of creative ways of dogging fire exit hardware, but this one gets an "E" for Effort (along with an "F" for Fail).  These devices are on fire doors in a hotel ballroom, and while someone went to great lengths on this modification, these doors are supposed to be self-latching to compartmentalize the building during a fire.  The doors also had kick-down holders, so they're not self-closing either.  :-(

Tiny Closer

I think these are about the tiniest closers I've ever seen.  One was obviously not enough to get the bathroom door closed, so another one was added.  The door still wouldn't close, so the closer was flipped around and mounted the opposite way.  The door STILL wouldn't close, AND the sound of the closers was horrendous!  (video evidence below)

By |2012-01-27T22:07:33-05:00May 21st, 2010|Door Closers, Funky Applications, Videos|2 Comments

TJ Bracket

When someone wants to install an electromagnetic lock on the pull side of the door, I feel like it's my civic duty to warn them that the installation will not be pretty.  I was finally able to get a photo of this application in the T.F. Green Airport today, so I'll be able to use it as descriptive evidence in the future.

By |2012-01-27T22:07:33-05:00May 19th, 2010|Electrified Hardware, Funky Applications|4 Comments

Dutch Door

I know I'm supposed to be talking about smoke doors but each of those posts takes quite a bit of research time.  I'm headed out of town tomorrow for a meeting about fire door inspection, so I'll get back to the smoke doors later in the week.

By |2012-01-27T22:07:33-05:00May 18th, 2010|Funky Applications|3 Comments

Please Do Not Sit

My old buddy George Nimee used to tell a story about a school custodian who put black grease on the top of all the closer arms in the school.  When the kids jumped up and grabbed the closer arm their hands would get all greasy, they'd wipe their hands on their shirts, and the custodian would know who'd been hanging on the closer arm.  Ingenious!

By |2012-01-27T22:07:33-05:00May 17th, 2010|Funky Applications, Reader Photos|1 Comment

Construction Zone

I know you're probably anxious for me to get back to the smoke series, but it's Mothers' Day so I'm going to take one more day off.  Instead I'm posting the photos below, which I took yesterday at the local college campus center.  Our school was using their function room for a fundraiser, and this door was the emergency exit for the room.  On the other side of the door is a construction zone, and neither door was operable.

By |2012-01-27T22:07:33-05:00May 9th, 2010|Funky Applications, Means of Egress|0 Comments

I'm Back!

I apologize for the shortage of posts last week.  I spent most of the week in Indianapolis (where our main office is located) or in transit to or from Indy.  Believe it or not, the hardware at the hotel wasn't really blogworthy, although I did see some fire-rated doors without coordinators (ho-hum).  The door to my room had a closer on it and closed most of the time.  It was not latched when I checked in and went to my room for the first time, but there was no boogie-man, just a lovely cheese plate left by the catering department.

By |2012-01-27T22:07:34-05:00April 25th, 2010|Funky Applications|0 Comments

Middle School Entrance

Last night I went to a presentation at one of our 3 local middle schools, which I'm guessing was built in the 70's.  What struck me right away was that the exterior doors are all about 10' tall, and the interiors are about 9' with a transom panel above.  What a strange application for a school.  They still seem to be working pretty well though.

Hotel Meeting Rooms

It's a little scary how excited I get when I find photos in my inbox...mostly because it makes the subsequent post pretty easy and I don't have to try to make the doors I see during my own wanderings meaningful.  I received these photos from one of our esteemed trainers, who travels around teaching people about hardware.  Any hardware people who have attended a class in a hotel meeting room can vouch for the scary hardware applications you can find there.

The Gift of Hardware

Long before I started this blog, I had a personal one for my friends and family to keep up on what's going on in our household.  Usually, I don't mix the two...most of my friends and family aren't very interested in door hardware, and I'm not sure I want my colleagues knowing that I sometimes squirt my kids with a spray bottle when they're misbehaving, but occasionally the lines get blurry.

By |2014-03-28T16:55:26-04:00April 5th, 2010|Door Closers, Funky Applications|1 Comment

Museum Hardware

Two of my defining projects as a hardware consultant have been the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas.  One of our other specwriters, Greg Thomson, currently has two museum projects in progress - the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard.

By |2014-11-25T23:21:47-05:00March 8th, 2010|Funky Applications|3 Comments

Full Surface Hinge

I've been writing a lot about fire doors lately, and specifically about what bad condition many existing fire doors are in.  The codes have always required fire doors to be kept in good working order, but with the specific requirement for the annual inspection of fire doors it will hopefully bring more of these deficiencies to light.

By |2012-01-27T22:08:02-05:00February 27th, 2010|Fire Doors, Funky Applications, Reader Photos|1 Comment
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