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.

What Door Hardware Do I Need for Exterior French Doors?

French doors or in other words double doors are commonly seen on many front entry ways of many homes now. We get asked quite a bit what type of hardware do you need to order for a set of double exterior doors? Exterior meaning you will want the door to have a keyed lock for security, but what else? Lets break it down to be little more simple.

French doors will have a fixed door and an operable door. It’s important to know which door is the active door and which door is fixed door, in other words is the active door on the left or on the right? This is important, because some levers and some handlesets require handing of the door. Here is a chart to help you figure out if your door is left hand or right hand.


If you want both french doors to open you can order either a few flush bolts (which are the most common) or surface bolts (which are more decorative) that are installed at the top and bottom of the fixed door to lock the door in place and then you can simply unlatch it when you want the fixed door to open.

The most obvious piece of door hardware you may think to order is a keyed lock set. That being a keyed door knob, a keyed lever or a keyed handleset. If you decide to go with a keyed door knob or lever, you will also want to purchase a deadbolt to go above the door knob or lever. Any of these you decide to go with will be installed on your active door. Handlesets are nice because the deadbolt is already included and they look super nice on exterior doors, but these are a little more expensive.

For the fixed door, remember your flush bolt or surface bolt liked I mentioned earlier. If you check out your french doors, the operable door should have a hole bored for the keyed lock set you chose to go with and the fixed door may not have a hole at all. You can choose whether you want to order a dummy set – a dummy door knob, dummy door lever handle, or a dummy handleset. Some people don’t order anything for the fixed door and it looks just fine, but then others like both doors to look symmetrical. It’s up to you!

*NOTE: Make sure that if you are ordering a dummy it is a set, because some dummy door knobs or levers are shipped with only one for one side of the door, in this case you will need to order 2 dummies for the fixed door.

What is a Door Hinge with a Non Removable Pin?

A door hinge with a non removable pin isn’t uncommon, but that’s not to say that it is common. Yes we get customers from time to time requesting this specific type of hinge, but why? I’m sure you have figured out what a non removable pin hinge is. It’s hopefully pretty self explanatory. It’s where the pin of the hinge can not be removed when the door is shut.



So why would you want this, why would people request this? Because it may be a little harder to install the door, some of the hinges will require you to have to take the entire hinge off along with the door if for some reason you are removing the door. There are some brands that have a screw that holds the pin in place and when the door is completely shut you can not remove the pin, but you can remove the pin from the inside when the door is open by removing the screw. This makes it easier to install the door(s). Now back to the question why most people even order this option. Sometimes you will find an exterior door where the door opens out, or in other words the hinges are exposed on the outside of the door. If you order regular hinges, an intruder could easily tap out the pin and get inside. They wouldn’t even have to think about messing with the lock. So non removable pins come in handy for this purpose. It keeps the owner worry free.


Most all the hinges come standard with removable pins. Non removable pin hinges are available with almost any Emtek or PHG hinge upon request. They do cost a few dollars more, but we can easily order them for you if you need. Just give us a call and we would be happy to help you order! 877-852-9449.

What’s New? – MaxGrade Brand

We have a new brand on the site called MaxGrade. This brand offers great quality forged brass door hardware as well as a great price no matter the item. The hardware is easily installed and fit standard door preparation. It’s super easy to order MaxGrade hardware. Some brands require measuring backset sizes, door thickness and lots of times you have to find out if your door is a right hand or left hand door. With MaxGrade, you don’t have to do all that. The backset is adjustable, the door thickness fits standard door preparation, and the handing is interchangeable, meaning you can switch it from left hand to right hand and vice versa. All you will need to know is if you want a handleset you can choose between a single cylinder handleset (keyed cylinder on outside, thumbturn on inside) or a dummy handleset (non functioning handleset or stationary handleset). If you are interested in a knob or lever, choose from passage, privacy, keyed entrance or dummy functions. If you need help determining what function you need look under order help next to the description tab on the item page. If you are interested in a deabolt, that’s super easy, most people order the single cylinder deadbolt which is a keyed cylinder on the outside and thumbturn on the inside. Some people do like the option of a double cylinder deadbolt which is a keyed cylinder on the outside as well as on the inside, so you would need a key to lock the door from either side. Double cylinders are used on door that have partial glass on or around the door, so in case an intruder were to break the glass, they would need a key to unlock the door from the inside. After you have chosen your item(s) and function(s), all you have left is to choose a finish. Simple as that.


Old Style Hinges and Locks

On vacation to the west coast this past week we (my husband and I) found a lot of old and interesting historical sites to look at. We started at the Redwoods in northern California and southern Oregon. If you haven’t had the chance to see the redwoods, you should. Pretty amazing. One of the trees we saw was about 22 feet across and 350 ft tall! That’s a big tree. And then we went on up highway 101 up through part of Washington. There are more lighthouses then one might think. We had a little bad luck when it came to getting tours to see these. Either they were being worked on and covered in tarps or they were closed that day. We even had bad luck with the sea lion cave. Long story short we didn’t get to see any sea lions. Even after all our bad luck, we still were able to  see a lot of cool and interesting sites like some of the Lewis and Clark National and State Historical Parks. Can you imagine what kind of door hardware some of these places had? Okay, you don’t have to imagine it… I will just show you.

First stop, Fort Clatsop:

Fort Clatsop has a replica that was similar to the one built by Lewis and Clark. They are confident they built the replica within yards of the original fort. The hinges and door locks were really interesting.

The wood hinges of Fort Clatsop were a little more simple than our day to day hinge we use now as you can see.

The locks look a bit more complicated than the hinges, but not too much. You can see exactly how the mechanism works, as the mechanism is right in front of your face. The mechanism for our door locks now are all hidden in the door, so I think it’s interesting to see with your own eyes how it all works.

Then it’s off to Fort Columbia to find more door hardware:

Fort Columbia is a military site that defended the Columbia River from 1896 to 1947. It became a state park in 1950. This was really cool. You could walk the entire site even the underground part, where I found more cool looking door hardware.

What’s New To Emtek?

Emtek is often coming out with new items of hardware. Everyone like something shiny and new! Like new styles of cabinet hardware, new styles of handlesets, the new CF Mechanism and the EMTouch series were really exciting and unique right? We haven’t had the chance to introduce the new modern brass bath hardware Emtek came out with. This isn’t one of their newest items, but these are way too good looking not to share.


You can choose from the following items:

  • Emtek Modern Brass 18″ Towel Bar
  • Emtek Modern Brass 24″ Towel Bar
  • Emtek Modern Brass 30″ Towel Bar

These are all available with either a Disk, Neos, or Square Rosette and available in oil rubbed bronze, satin nickel, flat black or polished chrome finishes.


Davos Stainless Steel Handleset

Give us a call if you would like to order these in the Stainless Steel finish. We hope to get these on the site soon!

  • Emtek Sandcast Bronze Keypad Entryset

Remember the Emtek Sandcast Bronze Electronic Keypad Deadbolt and Keyless Leverset? Now you can get this all in a Handleset with the Emtek Sandcast Bronze Keypad Entryset.

Deep Burgundy, Flat Black, Medium Bronze, Silver Patina are the finishes you can choose from for this handleset and there are many knobs or levers to pick from too.


  • The Emtek Rustic Modern Collection is fantastic!

Ridgemont Sectional

Emtek Logan

Emtek Brighton

And the two Mortise Rustic Modern Handlesets

Emtek Sonoma Mortise Handleset

Emtek Longmont Mortise Handleset

Ridgmont Deadbolt

*All Rustic series is available in either the Flat Black or Medium Bronze finishes.

Rustic Modern Knobs:

Sandcast Bronze Round knob, Sandcast Bronze Bristol Crystal Knob, Sandcast Bronze Hampton Crystal Knob are all available with either the #1, #2, #3, #4, #6 rosettes and available in a medium bronze or flat black finish.

Rustic Modern Levers:

The Emtek Rustic Modern Lariat and Yuma Levers are also available with any of the 5 rosettes and choose either the medium bronze or flat black finish.

  • Brass Designer Leverset and Classic Knob

Check out the Coventry Lever or the Norwich knob – each are available in 6 finishes and choose from several rosettes.

  • New Cabinet Hardware

Curvilinear Cabinet Hardware Collection

NEW FINISH! Polished Nickel


  • The New Emtek Modern Push and Pull Plates

*Available in 4 finishes


Ask us about any of these, we are here to help!

What Hardware Do I Need for a Pocket Door?

What is a Pocket Door?


A Pocket door is a sliding door that disappears when it’s opened all the way – it slides right into the adjacent wall.

Pocket doors are pretty popular in homes because they don’t take the up space like a regular door would. With regular doors, you would have to figure out what side and which way you want it to swing open and making sure that it doesn’t take up valuable space for furniture or family pictures. With a pocket door all you need is a wall that it can slide into and the proper prepping.

What Hardware Do I Need for a Pocket Door?

Emtek Privacy Pocket Door Hardware

Pocket doors can’t use any old door knob or lever. These special doors need special hardware that are flush to the door so it can slide right into the compartment when fully opened. And a pocket door also needs the special hardware so it can slide in and out of the wall, but we will get into that later. For starters, lets go over what kind of hardware there is to get a grip on the door. The hardware is called pocket door hardware, go figure.

There are several different brands of pocket door hardware to choose from like Sure-Loc, Emtek, Linnea, Kwikset, Schlage and Omnia. And many styles and finishes as well. There are square or rectangle styles (aka standard), like the one shown above, or you can find round, mortise, and other styles

The standard pocket door lock is the most common and used on a door slab with a notch cut out of the edge. These are pretty easy to install and include a finger pull on the edge of the hardware which is one of the reasons they are more popular. The round pocket door lock is a great option if the door slab you are using already has a hole bored in it for a standard door knob. If your door is already prepped this way, the other pocket door lock styles will not work for you. Third is a mortise lock box style. This type of pocket door lock is a nice, high end lock, but it does require more technical carpentry to prep the door properly. Neither the round style or Mortise style of pocket door hardware includes a finger pull so you may want to purchase one to be mounted above or below the pocket door lock of your choosing.

Make sure you are paying attention to whether it says privacy or passage in the titles and/or description. Privacy means it will have a little privacy turn button, so it can be used on a bathroom or a bedroom door. If you don’t need a privacy lock, look for the hardware that says it’s a passage, it won’t have any type of lock.

So now that we understand what is needed to get a grip, how about the hardware you’ll need for the sliding action? Check out the pocket door hardware kit from Stanley on the site. It’s designed for a 3′ wide and 6’8″ tall door opening. And includes: 1 header tracker, 1 pair of hangers, 2 guides, 1 bumper, 1 jamb stud set, 1 wrench, 2 end brackets, and 2 base plates. Now you should be good to go.




Weiser History

It’s interesting to find the background of the brands we carry on our site. Like for example Baldwin made some rim locks for the famous Jackie Kennedy. That’s pretty neat! I’m sure not all of the brands will have a famous background, but it’s still interesting to find out when and where they started and all that jazz.

Weiser started in 1904 as a family owned foundry (or a workshop or factory for casting metal) in California. Weiser has a little bit of famous background as well. When they started they specialized in custom designed hardware and some of these were featured in films and used in the homes of movie stars!

Later down the road in 1967 – 1985 Weiser was purchased by  Norris Industries Inc and merged with Masco Building Products Corporation. And then in October of 2003 the Black & Decker Corporation (a leading global manufacturer and marketer of power tools and accessories, hardware and home improvement products, and technology 0 based fastening systems) purchased Weiser.

Starting 1996 Weiser started introducing new products like the Powerbolt Keyless Deadbolt. This deadbolt provides quick and easy entry for families with just a simple access code. Then in 2000, Weiser built a brand new manufacturing facility in Mexico that was 285,000 square feet. 2001 they expanded their products with new styles and new finishes. And in 2006 they introduced their finest line of door hardware.

“We’ve taken 100 years of experience and crafted our most distinctive line of products, in the latest styles and finishes, with the highest level of security available for your home.”

“Weiser will continue to address your needs with innovative, quality products, a focus on fashion and style, exceptional customer service and a commitment to “go the extra mile”. After all, we have a second century to build!”

“Weiser… for a lifetime of innovative style & security.” –


Emtek – More Behind the Scenes

I know that it’s been mentioned a time or two that Emtek is made per order, but what exactly does that mean? Well let’s talk about that – it means that the Emtek items you chose to order on our site are built or put together right there at the warehouse after you place the order, which also means its customizable – or in other words you can make it how ever the heck you’d like. And I do mean how ever you like. At the blog they went into a little more detail of describing to us what exactly they can do. The things you can get from Emtek are a little bit different than what you find at your general store in town. What if you don’t want that lever that comes with that handleset, what if you want a different lever, or maybe a door knob – or maybe even a different finish on the inside? Check out Emtek!

{satin nickel rosette with flat black lever}

With Emtek you can order how ever you’d like. Not even kidding! You can order that lever you like so much for the inside with that door knob you didn’t want to part with for the outside. Order a satin nickel rosette with a black lever for all they care (you don’t have to go with these suggestions, I hope you picked up that these were just examples of how customizable you can get). That is what’s so great about Emtek, because it’s made per order and you get to customize it to fit your style for no extra special order cost! And!… you don’t have to wait 6-8 weeks for it either, it generally ships out anywhere from 2-5 business days – depending on what you’ve ordered.

You don’t have to settle for what you see on the shelf, jut mix it up until you’ve made your match with Emtek.



Baldwin’s Famous Rim Locks

Baldwin is one of the most trusted for safety, security, heavy duty, not to mention that it’s got class. I explored some of Baldwin’s history, where it all started…and it goes way back to the mid 1940’s! Severin Fayerman and his family came to America in 1945 and in January 1946, less than a year, they opened the doors to Baldwin.

Baldwin first started with simple letter boxes (or as we like to call them on the site – mail slots), then came the rest of the hardware – elegant door knobs, all the misc hardware like chain door guards, and later came the rim locks.

Rim locks are elegant small mortise style locks that are surface mounted to the door. We don’t quite have them on the site yet, we hope to someday soon, but we sure can order some if you are interested. Just contact us. Anyway, the reason I was so fixated on rim locks and the history of Baldwin is because I came across the short story of Jackie Kennedy and her request of customer rim locks. It was after President Kennedy was assassinated and Mrs. Kennedy later left the White House and decided to built a private residence in Martha’s Vineyard. She wanted a special finish for the Baldwin rim locks that she liked so much that was never going to be replicated except for her residence and Baldwin happily accepted. It was a brass rim lock with a white coating and they relieved the edges, highlighting the dull brass finish. It was very original and Severin Fayerman said, “everyone was proud and honored to be part of this and made a special effort to make it beautiful and it was beautiful”. He also said it was very original and was never repeated, just like Jackie Kennedy requested, and the finish is still known as the Jacqueline Kennedy finish.