Door Hardware at Vikingsholm

This summer for our family vacation we went to beautiful Lake Tahoe and had a great time with the kids. On one day we went over to tour a cool old castle called Vikingsholm at Emerald Bay which is on the southwest shore of the lake. This place was fun to visit and had some interesting history, and of course I checked out the architecture and cool door hardware there.myphome 1020

Vikingsholm was a summer home built in 1929 by Lora Josephine Knight. She bought a big chunk of land at Emerald bay, including Fannette Island, for $250,000. That’s around 3.5 million in today’s money. The home was built out of materials found locally at Lake Tahoe. Granite stones for the foundation and outer walls were quarried on site, and the timber for the structure was cut from that area too. The foundation was laid in 1928 and the rest of the building was completed the following summer. She had hired 200 craftsmen who lived in temporary barracks while they built the home. Vikingsholm was crafted to replicate scandanavian buildings from the 11th century. myphome 1021The workmanship on this place was amazing. Some of the more memorable features are the wood carvings on the structure of the home, paintings on the ceilings and walls and the hand crafted furniture. Some parts of the heavy timber construction were done with tightly fitting joinery with no nails or pegs consistent with the methods used in 11th century Sweden.

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Entrance door lock interior

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Guest bedroom door locks

Check out the door hardware from the main entrance. The handle on the top left draws the latch. The little face on the top of the lock is attached to a pin that drops down in the lock, I couldn’t tell what the function of that was. Keyhole at the bottom to lock or unlock.  All of the guest bedrooms had these sweet looking locks imported from Sweden according to our tour guide. The locksets have a latch that can be opened from the inside, but can only be locked from the outside. Apparently the idea on security at the time was that the hostess would lock all of the guests into their rooms at night and then she would lock herself into her own room. Doesnt seem too safe by today’s standards, but I guess there were less problems if everyone was locked into their room for the night.

All of the doors had the cool old strap hinges on them.myphome 1035 These hinges, along with the fireplace screens and metal light fixtures were forged by hand on site.  Vikingsholm was an amazing place. Much to be admired there as it was built in the early 1900’s by skilled craftsmen. The detail on this place was unbelievable. Today Vikingsholm is owned by the State of California, its been very well preserved and is a fun place to visit. Also plan on a short hike to Eagle Falls and playing at the sandy beach, or rent a kayak right there at Emerald Bay.

Weekend Project: Alternative Garage Door Weatherstrip

Not pleased with the standard vinyl weatherstrip that is installed on most garage doors? Me either. It seals well enough but they discolor, you can’t really paint them, and depending on how they are installed they often warp and just look bad. When I had some new garage doors installed last year I asked the door company what other options I had. They told me if I didn’t like the standard weatherstrip i should just not install it. I’m in a cold climate, and I like to use my garage year round so I couldn’t just go without. I ended up ordering the plastic stuff because i didn’t know what else to do, but I just wasn’t happy with it and never put it up. It’s still in a box in my garage if anyone wants it, i’ll give you a great deal.

The other day I decided I was going to do something about this situation before winter hits again. I ordered some Pemko Bronze colored weatherstrip (Pemko Q102D 121 Inch Length Weatherstrip) that is generally used on exterior man doors. We don’t have it on our website, but we can order some in for you if you like, just contact us. It’s relatively inexpensive weatherstrip and just mounts into a saw kerf.

My doors are trimmed out in Smartside siding, so I orders some 1×4 Smartside trim for this little project. Using my table saw I cut a 5/8″ deep kerf in the edge of the 1×4.

Saw Kerf in 1x4 Smartside

 

With the kerf cut it’s really easy to install the weatherstrip, just press the ribbed edge into the kerf all the way down the 1×4.

Installing weatherstrip in saw kerf

 

I debated for a couple of months if this type of weather strip would work on a garage door. I was worried that as the door came down it would push the weatherstrip down and out of the kerf. However, if you watch your garage door close it comes down at a slight angle towards the ground and the door isn’t completely vertical until it hits the ground. I closed my doors and lightly tacked the 1×4 with weatherstrip against the door making sure it was compressed slightly between the board and the door to assure a good seal. After opening and closing the door a few times, testing the seal and making sure it wasn’t obstructing anything I used some longer finish nails to solidly attach the 1×4 to the jamb. I just need a little caulk and paint and we’ll have a nice clean seal with no warping or discoloring. This was a simple project to do and really not very expensive. weatherstrip installed

Quality, Modern Style Handrail Brackets

Handrail brackets aren’t something a lot of people think too terribly much about. But there are many among us that are hardware snobs due to our various professions whether it be home builder, interior designer, architect or hardware retailers like myself. If you know much about hardware, you know that the standard handrail brackets work, they just aren’t the most attractive. So what do you do when you’re building a multi million dollar home, or a really high end office? Linnea makes a great quality modern style handrail bracket that looks great and is nice and sturdy. We’ve sold a slew of these to designers and builders working on luxury type projects where the standard bracket just won’t do. More spendy? yes. But some times you get what you pay for. In this case it’s better quality and a clean sleek look worthy of high end projects.

Linnea HRB12 Handrail BracketLinnea HRB10 Modern Handrail bracketLinnea HRB11 Modern Handrail Bracket