Can't open our door!

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kandersen
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Can't open our door!

Postby kandersen » Tue Sep 26, 2006 7:44 am

Hi all,

Our house's front door consists of double doors, each having a door knob in the middle. I love the look, but find it impossilbe to open the door! I always end up directing guests to the door off the carport. I think I have a hard time opening the door b/c I can't get enough leverage due to the position of the door knob. Any suggestions, ideas, tips for making it easier to open the door. I'd love to be able to use the front door. Thanks!

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Nathan
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Postby Nathan » Tue Sep 26, 2006 9:03 am

I think there are solutions here...but posting a pic of the doors in question would be enormously beneficial... N

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kandersen
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Postby kandersen » Tue Sep 26, 2006 9:12 am

Here's a link to the only picture I have of the doors. I know it's not terribly helpful. I keep meaning to take more pics. I'll try to post some later.


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tig64105
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Postby tig64105 » Tue Sep 26, 2006 10:40 am

i want your house. even with it's crazy european middle of the door doorknobs.

problem = solved.

now i just have to pack up and move to where? indiana??!! awww jeez...

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Tony
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Postby Tony » Tue Sep 26, 2006 11:49 am

I think the best solution is to hire a butler!

Have you tried replacing the hinges? Maybe they are old and worn and so the doors are no longer in balance.

Nice house!

Tony
Tony Merchell

Architectural Photographer
www.glassandsteel.com

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Nathan
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Postby Nathan » Tue Sep 26, 2006 12:09 pm

My initial impression -- the doors should be taken off and the hinges should be cleaned and oiled and lubricated. But don't replace the hinges, as they're original. I'm guessing big ol' honkin' cast bronze Japanese style.

Do the knobs actually turn? In which case you have a mechanism that runs through the middle of the door to the latch. You could take apart the door, not as hard as it sounds if you have someone good, clean and oil that mechanism. No reason these shouldn't work fine.

Do they bind anyplace? Are they sticking? They might need an edge trimmed if the house has settled.

If there's weatherstripping on the doors, a common practice out there, the 50yo weatherstipping could be binding the door. New weatherstripping might be in order.

tg
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Postby tg » Tue Sep 26, 2006 1:56 pm

Personally, I would just replace the doors with some that have knobs on the sides. Function ought to be the most important part of a design. If the door can't be opened, is it really a door?

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Postby moderns-r-us » Tue Sep 26, 2006 7:32 pm

"Better Living Through Modernism"

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SDR
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Postby SDR » Tue Sep 26, 2006 8:28 pm

"I laugh in the face of danger! Then I hide until it goes away." Bender

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L.A.kevin
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Postby L.A.kevin » Tue Sep 26, 2006 9:32 pm


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Postby SDR » Tue Sep 26, 2006 10:17 pm


BOXOUTBM
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Postby BOXOUTBM » Wed Sep 27, 2006 6:18 am


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kandersen
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Postby kandersen » Wed Sep 27, 2006 6:41 am

Thanks for all the great tips and compliments! I welcome all of them.

I don't think the problem is with the knobs since they turn easily. I think we will start with finding any raised spots and sanding/planing those downs. We'll check the weather-stripping and hinges too.

The doors are pretty massive and heavy, so I may have to put some extra "oomph" into opening them no matter what we try. We definitely want to keep the doors and the impractical placement of the door knobs. My main reason is that we have the coolest peep-holes in both doors. It's hard to explain them (I know, must post pictures!), but I think they're called "magic eye" and you actually press a little lever to open them.

I don't know about the house being a Usonian, but it is rumored that the architect studied under Wright.

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Postby moderns-r-us » Wed Sep 27, 2006 7:28 am

Lovely House!

More pics would be great!

Some kind of Wright influence is certainly evident!
"Better Living Through Modernism"

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KateT(CA)
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Postby KateT(CA) » Wed Sep 27, 2006 12:28 pm

I had a similar problem opening our front doors - although the doors & all hardware were in excellent condition, the knbs were too close for me to get any leverage (and I only have 1 working hand, so that made it harder)

We replaced all the doorknobs with plain brushed steel levers. They look gorgeous and work so well!
Best regards,
Kate at Studio 85

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L.A.kevin
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Postby L.A.kevin » Wed Sep 27, 2006 1:11 pm

It looks like some of those early Usonians that Wright called the "Automatic Usonian"... if I'm not mistaken.

Wasn't there a webpage or story a couple of years ago about the guy from Domino's Pizza restoring a similar Wright house? I think it was one of the houses that were transistional between the Textile Block and Usonian.

ARrrgggh! My brain is full! :x

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SDR
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Postby SDR » Wed Sep 27, 2006 6:30 pm

Until you mentioned it, I wasn't aware of Mr Monaghan's connection to the Turkel house. Here's some reference to the house; click the HERE link following the last photo on the page, to see more of the house. You're right, there IS a resemblance to kandersen's. . .

http://www.savewright.org/talk/viewtopi ... ght=turkel

More from the same site:

Posted: Fri Jul 15, 2005 2:27 am Post subject: Turkel House (S-388)
From a article in the Detroit Free Press newspaper August 2, 2004 by Joel Thurtell -
___________________________________________________________
The home was for sale by a Re-Max Real Estate Agency with a listing agent named Jeff Darwish (As I recall Mr. Darwish specializes in homes with distinguishing character within the city of Detroit). The article said the home was sold by Thomas Monaghan (a big time Frank Lloyd Wright aficionado and a one time owner of the Detroit Tigers baseball club and the Domino's Pizza chain) to the current owner for $187,000.00 a dozen years ago. The home was listed For Sale at $550,000.00. I do not know if the home ever sold, but I don't think it did.

Anyway, back to your question. The article indicates the owner selling the home at that time was a gentleman named Ivan Doverspike. He said of the house in the article that "I restored it and lived in it a couple years". He goes on to say "It's not a very luxurious or comfortable house, but it's functional and it's very unique, that's for sure". If you can find Mr.
Doverspike, he may have a answer for you.
___________________________________________________________

The Turkel house is one of a half-dozen or so Usonian Automatics to be built; the term refers to Wright's hope that this system coud be used by an enterprising owner to build his own home. Dating from 1955, the house (and its type) are late rather than early Usonians, and are not to be confused with the four Textile Block house built in the LA area in the early 'twenties.

SDR :cheers:
"I laugh in the face of danger! Then I hide until it goes away." Bender

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L.A.kevin
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Postby L.A.kevin » Wed Sep 27, 2006 8:03 pm

Thank you, thank you Thank YOU, SDR. I knew I had seen something similar. I can sleep tonight.

K


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