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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I stop grub screws working loose?

Answer:

Any fitting that uses grub screws is susceptible to the potential for the grub screws to work loose. This is primarily because the rattling and jarring that a handle experiences starts to “wobble” in its thread and work loose. If left unchecked the grub screw can work loose to the extent it may fall out and handles can come away from the door. Our recommendation is to add a small spot of threadlocker to the grub screw before fitting. Threadlocker is available from many stores and will absorb the rattles, preventing the grub screw from working loose. This is not glue so the grub screw can always be removed should you need to take the handles off the door.

Why should I use back to back fixings if they are available?

Answer:

A number of products (especially modern handles on rose) come with back to back fixings. It is easy to throw these away in favour of fixing using wood screws; however this is not the best option to take. Back to back fixings mean that the pulling force is transferred through the bolts to the backplate of the handle on the opposite side of the door, effectively acting as a nut and bolt which is much stronger than wood screws. It is also worth noting that on products such as modern handles on rose, the size of screw required in order for the cover plate to properly be fitted over them is quite small so the screws will not have much hold. In the majority of cases where these handles are found pulling away from the door, it is due to screws having been used rather than back to back fixings. Please note that if a product does not come with back to back fixings, the screw fixings it will allow will have been sized to give sufficient hold.

Do I need a door knob or a lever handle?

Answer:

It's hard to say what's best, as all situations are different. Generally door knobs are used in period/older properties, while lever handles suit more modern houses. Our blog on the pros and cons of each can offer more guidance: https://www.tbks.co.uk/blog/door/door-knobs-vs-door-lever-which-should-i-choose/

Can I find a door knocker with bolt centres the same as my existing door knocker?

Answer:

Door knockers can come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes and as such there is no standardisation with the bolt centres of door knockers. Even similar style designs such as the ring door knocker will not be the same from product to product as diameter and mounting plate design can vary. We always recommend filling existing holes to allow maximum choice for your new door knocker.

Can I find a letter plate with bolt and aperture dimensions the same as my existing letter plate?

Answer:

Letter plates are commonly made to popular overall sizes such as 254x102mm and 305x102mm. However, the positioning of the bolts and size of aperture are dictated by the manufacturer at the design stage and do not follow any standardised sizing. On two letter plates of equal overall size, the bolt centres could potentially vary by anything from 5mm to 30mm as an estimate. When choosing your letter plate please consider what possible adjustments may be needed to your door for the new plate to fit.

Locks and latches for un-sprung handles

Answer:

Lever handles and door knobs will in certain cases come un-sprung and as such it is important to note that the lock or latch you intend to use must have a spring that is strong enough to return the handle. Some levers and knobs may, and while a lighter sprung latch may suffice for light door knobs, we always suggest a heavier sprung latch for lever handles of all weights. For heavier levers and door knobs we always recommend heavier sprung latches. On an incorrectly specified latch an un-sprung lever will droop and not return to the horizontal position while a door knob will not return the its original position.

Are door knobs and levers sold in pairs or individually?

Answer:

Door knobs and lever handles to operate mortice and rim locks and latches are almost always sold in pairs. Some drop rings may be supplied as singles although the product listing description will state this if it is the case.

What's the best way to clean my brass ironmongery?

Answer:

Cleaning brass is actually quite easy, and most of the time only requires some warm soapy water, followed by a quality wax polish. You can find more information on cleaning brass in our blog post here.

How do I clean chrome & nickel?

Answer:

These two materials are relatively easy to clean, but keeping on top of your cleaning schedule will mean they last much longer. Read our cleaning guide for more information.

How do I stop grub screws working loose?

Answer:

Any fitting that uses grub screws is susceptible to the potential for the grub screws to work loose. This is primarily because the rattling and jarring that a handle experiences starts to “wobble” in its thread and work loose. If left unchecked the grub screw can work loose to the extent it may fall out and handles can come away from the door. Our recommendation is to add a small spot of threadlocker to the grub screw before fitting. Threadlocker is available from many stores and will absorb the rattles, preventing the grub screw from working loose. This is not glue so the grub screw can always be removed should you need to take the handles off the door.

SAMUEL HEATH CABIN HOOKS

Question: Samuel Heath Silent Pattern Cabin Hook Are these cabin hooks suitable for outside (in polished chrome finish)?

Answer:

Hi; thanks for the question These cabin hooks are made from brass as a base metal so will not be susceptible to corrosion and will be suitable for fitting externally. The various finishes available for this hook may tarnish at varying speeds but not rust. Chrome will not tarnish quickly at all and so is very suitable for external fitting. At the least you can probably get away with once in a while wiping the hook down to remove dust and dirt that will naturally accumulate in an external environment. Kind Regards The TBKS Team

What are the bolt centres of your window espagnolette handles?

Answer:

Our window espagnolette handles follow the industry norm with 43mm bolt fixing centres.

What is the difference between weather seal and non-weather seal casement fasteners?

Answer:

Windows will very commonly be manufactured with seals fitted around the perimeter of the window to help limit draughts and heat loss. All these seals will compress when the window is shut and some seals are heavier/thicker than others which, even with compression, will prevent the window from sitting right up against the frame. On traditional fasteners, the tongue may not be set back far enough to bridge the gap between the window and the frame as the weather seal is too heavy. Weather seal casement fasteners offset the tongue farther off the mounting plate, giving adequate distance to bridge the gap to the weather seal and allow the keep plate enough timber to fix to properly.

Which windows should I put locks on?

Answer:

As a general rule of thumb it is advisable to consider adding window locks to all windows on the ground and basement floors as well as any window accessible from a roof. If you are unsure always check with your insurer as some will have specific requirements, with some being stricter than others.

Locks and latches for un-sprung handles

Answer:

Lever handles and door knobs will in certain cases come un-sprung and as such it is important to note that the lock or latch you intend to use must have a spring that is strong enough to return the handle. Some levers and knobs may, and while a lighter sprung latch may suffice for light door knobs, we always suggest a heavier sprung latch for lever handles of all weights. For heavier levers and door knobs we always recommend heavier sprung latches. On an incorrectly specified latch an un-sprung lever will droop and not return to the horizontal position while a door knob will not return the its original position.

What does backset mean on locks and latches?

Answer:

Backset refers to the distance from the edge of the door to the centre of the square spindle that goes through the door, and the handles used to operate the latch mechanism.

My lock cylinder is stiff

Question: The cylinder is stiff and the key doesn't enter smoothly. What can I do?

Answer:

Lock cylinders can over time become stiff, making it difficult to get the key into the cylinder. This is in many cases the result of a lack of lubrication to the pins that move up and down in their chambers as the key goes into the cylinder. Liquid lubricants such as WD40 and GT85 are commonly used as a quick and easy solution; however these are not the ideal solution. These liquid lubricants allow debris to stick to them, which can make its way into the body of the cylinder effectively creating another reason why the cylinder may not work smoothly. The best solution is to use a graphite lubricant. This is not a liquid lubricant and instead allows the pins to move freely without subsequent quick drying out that happens with liquid lubricants.

Which windows should I put locks on?

Answer:

As a general rule of thumb it is advisable to consider adding window locks to all windows on the ground and basement floors as well as any window accessible from a roof. If you are unsure always check with your insurer as some will have specific requirements, with some being stricter than others.

Do I need to get someone in to change over my euro / oval profile cylinder?

Answer:

If your door is locked shut and you do not have the key to unlock it then you will need to call a reputable locksmith. A good locksmith will do all they can do minimise damage to your door. If your door is open and you simply wish to change the cylinder in order to renew your keys, this can be done in minutes with just a cross head screwdriver yourself. Below the bolt thrower on the end of the lock you will find the head of the bolt that holds the cylinder in the lock. Once this is unscrewed you can remove the cylinder and install the new one. Please note that the cylinder cam naturally sits off to one side of the cylinder body, so you will need to turn the cam with the key so that it is aligned with the cylinder in order to remove the old one and fit the new cylinder.

What is the difference between one way and two way action on latches?

Answer:

The difference between one way and two way action for latches is only relevant for door knobs and does not come into play for lever handles. One way and two way action refers to the possible directions you can turn a knobset to operate the latch. A one way action latch will only turn one way and will not turn the other way at all. It is advisable to ensure a one way action latch is fitted so that the knobset turns away from the door frame when operated. Two way action on latches is a more traditional arrangement and is more common on deeper depth cases. A two way action latch will operate the latch irrespective of the direction the knob is turned. This is more convenient for some as occupants may naturally turn knobsets in different directions to each other, so nobody needs to compromise.

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