Funky Applications

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

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.  :-(

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

Stairwell Doors

I think I've seen so many non-code-compliant doors that I'm becoming numb to them.  In the old days I would be spurred into action by the sight of a blocked exit or propped-open fire door.  Yesterday I was at the local bagel joint and I saw their marked emergency exit blocked with stored high-chairs.  No surprise.  I went to my chiropractor's office and in the 3-story stairwell, two doors were propped open by the construction crew doing a 2nd-floor office fit-up, and the third floor door's latchset had been removed and replaced with a push plate and pull.  Ho-hum.

By |2014-04-14T11:34:19-04:00April 1st, 2010|Fire Doors, Means of Egress|4 Comments

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

Interesting Place for an ASA Strike

I have heard from some code officials that annual fire door assembly inspections aren't feasible because there are too many fire doors, or aren't necessary because the building inspectors and fire marshals already have it covered.  The application below caught my eye on the way into my hotel the other other night.  It's the fire door that separates the wing my room is in from the lobby and the other three wings. The door is in rough shape, most likely because the panic device has been replaced several times and there's nothing left in the door to attach it to.  Someone decided that an ASA strike is just the ticket...they used it kind of like a giant washer.  Not to mention that the replacement panic is not fire exit hardware and is equipped with dogging which allows the latch to be held retracted.

By |2012-01-27T22:08:05-05:00December 30th, 2009|FDAI, Funky Applications|1 Comment

Stainless Steel

Last week I was able to squeeze in one last visit to the Museum of Fine Arts before security became so tight that I wouldn't be allowed inside until I could enter as a paying customer sometime in 2010.  After working on this project for almost 5 years, it gave me a thrill to see art arriving in crates and in multiple pieces.

By |2012-01-27T22:08:05-05:00December 29th, 2009|Funky Applications|11 Comments


I'm having a couple of days of R & R in Burlington, Vermont, but the Doors of Burlington post will have to wait for a day when the weather is less inclement, or at least when I have a designated driver so I can hunt for doors from a moving vehicle. It has been tough to go door hunting when I'm on my own with three kids, a dog, and our two new Christmas kittens. In other words, I've got my hands full and I'm headed off the deep end (in my case, R & R does NOT stand for rest and relaxation!).

By |2012-01-27T22:08:05-05:00December 28th, 2009|Doors & Frames, Funky Applications|0 Comments

Not a Door

The cool thing about writing a blog from my little office within a very large company is that I write about whatever strikes me at the time. Unlike many corporate bloggers, I am not told what to write about and my posts aren't approved before they're posted. I'm grateful that I have that freedom, because I use this forum to teach people about doors and hardware, and my favorite topic - codes related to openings. At the same time, I am constantly learning by answering questions, looking at applications, and researching new requirements.

By |2014-10-08T09:18:31-04:00November 30th, 2009|Funky Applications, Reader Photos|5 Comments

Build Boston

I spent 10 hours yesterday attending seminars (or waiting for the next one to start) at Build Boston, the largest regional convention and trade show for the design and construction industry. There were over 200 workshops and 250 exhibitors, and I saw lots of architect and specifier friends, not to mention enough door and hardware applications to get me through the next week of blog posts.

By |2015-11-11T10:32:59-05:00November 20th, 2009|Funky Applications, Panic Hardware|5 Comments

A Pair and a Half = 3

A couple of weeks ago, someone asked me why hinges traditionally come in pairs. I asked two of my favorite hinge experts - Matt Bouchard and Bob Jutzi, and they both gave me a variation of the same answer. In the 17th and 18th centuries there were 2 hinges on a door, so they were sold in pairs because you'd never use just one. In the early 1950's it was determined that a 3rd hinge would supply additional support and that became the standard. Our industry called that "a pair and a half" of hinges. There's some great hinge history at in case there's other hinge trivia you've been wondering about.

By |2023-03-22T12:59:07-04:00October 28th, 2009|Hinges & Pivots|5 Comments

“Look Out Beloooow!!!”

Just when I think I've seen it all, someone always surprises me.  I received this photo today, and at first I couldn't really tell what was going on.  Then I realized that the pipe has been cut to length to act as a hold-open.  That's a first!  When I asked what was holding the pipe in place, I was told that it's the pressure from the door closers!  I pity the fool who leans against the door (especially if his friend leans against the other one)!  BONK!

By |2012-01-27T22:09:56-05:00October 13th, 2009|Door Closers, Funky Applications, Reader Photos|0 Comments

What’s wrong with this picture?

If you regularly check this site to find out what's new and exciting in the world of doors and hardware, you may have occasionally experienced a server error.  Yesterday I asked the web hosting company to move the site to a more stable server to avoid these errors, which they agreed to do at midnight.  I was very surprised to go to the site this morning and see the website for the Philanthropy Advisors of New York at our URL!  Everything seems to be working now, so thank you for your patience.

By |2018-10-18T11:25:19-04:00September 24th, 2009|Funky Applications, Panic Hardware|12 Comments

Colonial Williamsburg Revisited

During Chip Falcon's Road Trip we visited Colonial Williamsburg, and you may have seen my slideshow of the doors and hardware there.  I received quite a few questions from readers about the hardware at CW, so I sent an email to the Architectural Research Department there and I got a return email from Mr. Kenneth Schwarz, whose title is Blacksmith, Master of the Shop.  Ken has been a wonderful source of information about the hardware at CW, and I'm looking forward to meeting him and hopefully getting a behind-the-scenes tour the next time I'm there.

By |2015-05-20T09:22:43-04:00September 7th, 2009|Funky Applications, Locks & Keys|19 Comments


When this photo arrived in my inbox, I immediately thought the panic was mounted in that position to be operated by someone's foot.  I couldn't quite wrap my brain around the latching/unlatching situation...I really think it's just being used as a pull bar and that there's no strike installed.  On my next road trip maybe I'll swing through Alabama so I can check it out.

By |2015-07-02T10:54:30-04:00September 1st, 2009|Funky Applications, Panic Hardware|5 Comments

Every Door Needs a Stop

Last weekend I opened the door to a sports facility where my son was attending a birthday party, and I saw an interesting (to me) application.  My three friends scattered when they saw me whip out the camera...I still don't know why it's so embarrassing to be seen with someone taking a picture of a door, but it seems to be a universal reaction unless you hang out with other hardware people.

By |2017-05-30T15:59:08-04:00August 24th, 2009|Door Closers, Funky Applications, General Info|3 Comments
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