As in the last post I have only a picture to show for the moment (taken from the same Buiders Guide) but please note the similarities to the Convergent from the previous entry. It appears the only difference between a Convergent and Mr Adams Spring Hinge is one is double action and the other appears to be single action.
I have as yet only had a call to identify today's blog entry, that being the Robert Adams Convergent, one I have not shown before.
At the moment I have only a picture to show you scanned by Google from Laxton's Builder's Price Book. I believe the Convergent was produced in or around 1872 and I hope to bring you the report on it in the future.
Readers, should by now, have come to the conclusion, among other things, that not all floor springs are equal...
...I hope therefore the message is clear.
All the best
Above is a tired old Monarch supplied by the famous and one of the oldest established ironmongers in Britain (if not the world) Quiggins of Liverpool. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quiggins
Above is its replacement, just about to be sent out to David at LCM Group for fitting.
I began MFS with £50 (the fee for setting up a website), an idea and extensive knowledge about what it takes to keep a floor spring functioning gleaned mainly from many years working for Derby City Council, Derbyshire County Council and Nottingham University...
Today I have been to Totley, near Sheffield to meet Bruce (a retired Dr) with a view to service two Monarchs and a Smith, Major & Stevens Ltd Janus at the English Martyrs, Catholic Diocese of Hallam. Although a more modern Church than some I have worked at it had a nice feel to it and has a congregation of nearly a hundred I was informed.
The floor springs are from the early 1960's and are just at the point where they could do with a service. Bruce would also like me to alter one of the Monarchs so it will hold back on one side from about 85 degrees rather than the usual 90 degrees.
Regular readers will know and as can be seen above the 1960's Janus has somewhat changed in its 150 odd year existence.
To be truthful I am dying to know what's beneath the main cover plate, I hope I get the job!
I have been contacted by Adam Rogers who lives in America and has what appears to be the floor spring below, patented in 1904. I have posted about Joseph Bardsley's fantastic floor spring previously on this blog but the one I have is different (slightly earlier) to Adams and therefore I am unable to take a pattern from mine for Adam.
So hopefully I am going to try and use the power of the internet to see if perhaps somebody out there has either parts, a salvaged one or has a Bardsley that is still functional and is willing to let measurements be taken from theirs with a view to then manufacture the parts required?
As can be seen there is little left of Adams' poor Bardsley.
I contacted Jess the Door closer Doctor (also lives Stateside) who regularly takes a little time out to post on this blog and has stated that Yale did a version of this closer, known as the Yale/Bardsley, providing the picture below (I believe the Yale was also sold in England with Nettlefolds & Son being the agent as well as obviously America).
Now that Adam has somewhat cleaned the brass top plate you can easily read:
No1 1/2 Checking Spring Hinge J. Bardsley N.Y. Patented
I feel Adams is possibly earlier than the Yale because it appears Mr Bardsley patented it and later Yale manufactured it, probably under license.
I seem to remember reading somewhere that the Bardsley was originally $4 or $5 in or around 1900, how times change eh!
If any readers can help with Adams' Bardsley problem then please get in touch.
Whilst working at the Star and Garter Home I bought a new sat nav from Halfords, putting the workshop address in of 49 Barroon, Castle Donington under HOME as 85 percent of the time that is the address I return to after work to drop off closers, tools etc.
A little over 7 weeks ago I was returning from London, following the sat nav to HOME from the sat nav history. I came up the slip road at junction 24, oddly on this occasion it did not direct me along a short part of the A50 and left toward Hemington and Lockington and on to Castle Donington (HOME) as it always does when traveling North on the M1 but right at the Junction 24 island into Kegworth.
Along the main road it pointed and then miraculously told me to turn right again toward where I actually live. The trouble is I was not going to either home, mine or the HOME that was set into the sat nav (from brand new and not been changed as I live close to the workshop and therefore know where I am going and never needed to change it), I was continuing on to pick up a friend of mine who I often look after as they are epileptic, which is along the A6 toward "My Charnwood" as advertised on the signs.
After picking up my friend I returned back along the A6 toward Kegworth expecting to be directed to now turn left by the (nearly got it right) mind reading sat nav, but it had reverted back to its old self and was now telling me to carry on as if going to the original HOME (set into the sat nav from the start of the journey via history and as said from new). Talk about dazed and confused, scared and not amused!
I wonder if it reverting back was anything to do with the text I sent to Opinion Outpost UK?
More stories of odd occurrences and electronic gremlins to follow........
This is the the third of my collection from the Dormas RTS range, all have the same problem and all have been replaced because they are obviously not functioning correctly because of this problem.
Despite this all shall be made to work again in the near future. Are you able to spot the differences between the three in the range?
Note the differences between the previous blog post (RTS 75), which is pin and access.
Although they differ the RTS 85 has the same problem as the the RTS 75 and so has the RTS 88 from the next blog post.
This is another from my collection, a Dorma RTS 76 removed from the University of Nottingham Hospital otherwise known as the Queens Medical Centre.
This is also not working at the moment but as soon as I can work out how to upload videos I will show you a before and after repair of it.
Interestingly, note the shaped pin and the means by which this one can be got into. compared to the next!
The "Torpedo" is not a customers and comes from my collection, it is not working at the moment but it will, I'll keep you posted.
I have received a lovely vintage door closer to repair/service, that being the Yale 62 overhead/surface mounted door closer.
The 62 is about the same physical size and strength of the much talked about Briton B. I will discuss what I like about the 62 and show the differences between it and the B as time goes on.
Here is a quick picture for now.
Well, I now know what was wrong with the customers Yale YR 62...its in pieces!
It isn't now.
Thanks Gabriel for sending me the videos.
Interestingly this door closer is known as a shoe spring rather than the more usual floor spring I tend to discuss on this blog, for obvious reasons, it sits in the shoe.
This is the final one of the various door closers I will be working on at Rugby Council offices in the near future.
It and 13 other have completely lost their checking abilities and are violently swinging passed centre.
This floor spring was produced by Josiah Parkes & Sons Ltd known throughout the world more for the manufacture of locks under the Union trade name, this floor spring is also known under the generic name of ACME as are some other floor springs mentioned in previous blog posts.
The story of Josiah Parkes & Sons can be found below:
Whilst at the Rugby Council offices I also found another 600 but this time supplied by Stedall & Co Ltd London, more on this and the Locwil in the future along with the next two blog posts.
For those interested I would like to introduce you to William Newman & Sons Patent single action floor spring, meant for internal doors only, but in this instance these are on external doors at the Cripps Hall, Nottingham University, it uses a "bottom feeder" check, one I have not showed you before.
The floor spring that I usually find for external doors when the Envoy is around is our old friend the Britannic.
It appears that someone has recently been before me to get these working (because the oil is new and clear) and they appear to have failed as one is slamming and the adjacent one is not checking till the last five degrees or so.
You can see in the picture below what was once known as the "newfit" pin, it was Newman's name for the oblong pin which came after the earlier square pin in or around the 1950's.
This is not the way to raise a door, the big washer, it does damage to the shoe as I have said before.
Interestingly it uses a spring within a spring, within a spring, has a real smooth, progressive check and will open to about 110/115 degrees, meaning it can be hooked back onto the wall as can be seen in the shot below.
This is the third "Pelham" I have shown you now and all with different floor springs beneath (900, 600, 400).
The "Pelham," 900 or Envoy, whichever suits, have been in the ground since 1959 and will still be there in 2059 now!
Just a quick post before I get back to the BT, I was called to Rugby Council House to take a look at their floor springs. Here I found the LOCWIL a floor spring I have come across in many guises and on many occasions. As can be seen the name LOCWIL is formed from the first three letters of the company Lockerbie & Wilkinson.
Manufactured 1960, possibly last adjusted/serviced 1991, meaning possibly 31 years before it needed any attention and possibly another 16 years to me being called to service/repair it. Possibly value for money?
I know of many modern floor springs for one reason or another come nowhere near to offering the service life that these do!
Whether the 'heritage' aspect comes into it or not a fantastic money saving strategy for Councils, Museums, Schools, Universities, Hospitals, Hotels, MOD properties, offices, Woolworths, Debenhams, House of Fraser, Marks and Spencers, businesses in general, etc etc, in my opinion, is right at your feet.
Good for the customer, good for the environment, good for the pockets of most is to give your existing floor spring a service and if it does break then replace it like for like.
You look after them, they'll look after you.
As can be seen the broken floor spring I received in exchange for mine was in quite a state. Interestingly the casting of the Canadian claw (along with a number of other parts) in comparison to mine on the left was of far less quality even on the faces and needed considerable filing and smoothing to get things to run as smooth as they ought.
I guess this question is for you Jess, any ideas why the hole is in the claw in the first shot?
All repaired and ready to go again for another 75 plus years!
There were by the way some slight differences between the one I sent to Canada and theirs, can anyone spot them?
Whilst waiting to hear from the Manchester Museum about their Ben Turner/Gibbons floor springs (along with much else) I have had a call to repair Nigel and Julies BT door springs.
Their Ben Turners control doors from a small entrance hall leading into their lounge and are believed were originally controlling the doors of what were once the main doors to the converted shop they now live in, parts of which were built in the 1600's, the doors themselves are mahogany.
The BT door springs were invented around 1872 and as you will see they will not be an easy repair especially as the whole spring mechanism and arms are missing from one and I believe the spring in the other is broken.
From looking at the patent, the spring is a clock type spring which I imagine to be quite wide.
The hole from whence it emerged.
More to follow as investigation progresses as to what exactly is the problem other than the obvious missing parts.
The broken spring above as suspected.
As I have already shown you the 1872 patent for the above door closer in a previous blog post I will show the 1875 Ben Turner patent for his top hinge, slightly different to Adams (edit: Nigels) and Julies above, but similar. I do have one of the exact top centres in the patent and will show it in due course.
Getting to the heart of the matter to find out the problem can often be very difficult!
As always please feel free to ignore my efforts to enlighten you all on the wonderful world of floor springs and door closers.
Late last year I was called to Manchester museum to assess their floor springs with a view to repair as necessary. As can be seen above at first glance they appear to be manufactured by James Gibbons of Wolverhampton. However to my surprise when taking off the brass cover plate I discovered, on the reverse side, what I know to be Ben Turners trade mark.
I presume therefore that James Gibbons took the Ben Turner designed door closer (not known if this was in conjunction with Benjamin Turner or not) and improved it with the ultra hard wearing phosphor bearings as mentioned on the brass plate.
As can be seen a number of the museums floor springs were missing some parts entirely and these will have to be sourced or manufactured.
Below is a link to Graces Guide where you can find a little more information about Smith and Turner (Turner being the Ben Turner of above).
And here you will find the 1872 patent
And finally a picture of a pneumatic Gibbons from the Museum, very similar to those found at the Royal Star and Garter Home if not identical.
Here are a few shots showing some before and after Gibbons we supplied to Simon at Humberside Glazing Ltd for one of the the entrances to the TATA steel works site, Scunthorpe.
For this inquiry we also included our own bespoke stainless steel floor boxes and stainless steel top plates.
Above are the NOS straps plus our refurbished Gibbons (to replace the old, salt damaged, ones) and below is a close up shot of our top plate.
On Christmas Eve despite having a bulging disc in my back (which is very painful) bought about by undoing over tightened screws from the previous Saturday at the Royal Star and Garter Home, I provided and fitted an original cast iron Briton C at the Birmingham based MG Physiotherapist Practice.
The Practice is led by Michael Garmston, former head physiotherapist to the British Athletic Olympic teams Barcelona 1992, Atlanta 1996 and Sydney 2000.
The Briton C was fitted to the inner entrance door of the Grade 2 listed Georgian property that Michael and his Team practice from.
As can be seen from the pictures this is a large door, even the Briton C looks small against it and it was in fact debated if a Briton D may have been required, the D was eventually and obviously deemed to be unnecessary as the pictures show. It should be noted however that due to the previous installation it was decided to position the C slightly off from the normal siting position so that it utilises the existing mounting holes (Jess ; ) ).
This in no way affects the actual performance of this medium to heavy weight performer!
For those interested this is a shot to show the comparative size ratio between some of the Briton range.
This beautiful bronze/coppery top plate is from a property in Mayfair, London.
I was contacted by Chris Duke of CD Property Care about repair and service to the internals of a Sceptre No 21.
The internals were sent to me and I was surprised to find that the Sceptre was different to the Sceptres I have in stock as can be seen below (Chris's Sceptre is on the right). Both the carriage/yoke differs and the piston is a more 'squat' version (This may be because Chris's is the single action variant).
We got around this by swapping the springs from our Sceptre and putting them on the yoke of Chris's Sceptre, we were also sent a pin that was longer than the one in ours but fortunately we had one from elsewhere that we were able to supply.
Readers may be interested to note the similarities between our Sceptre, Chris's Sceptre the Gibbons we repaired below from a property in Harrow (already featured in a previous post) and beneath that what appears to be a heavy duty Sceptre from a recent enquiry concerning Free Mason's Hall, headquarters of the United Grand Lodge of England (which I hope to have the good fortune to be able to feature in a future blog post).
Comments are always looked forward to and appreciated.
I have been so busy of late that I have been unable to update my blog for some time and have rather missed it.
I still do not have a great deal of time at the moment but just to keep readers interested here is a shot of a post war Briton 'B' prior to being rebuilt. This is after a strip down to service it and change the broken spring for one from our stock.
After moving to new premises we are hoping in the near future to be able to offer our customers this service on a larger scale than we currently do. This will include sizes O, A, B (as can be seen), C, D, and E. We then hope to extend this service to cover all models from most major brands as we grow.
As there is so little information out there with regard to door closers, especially vintage and antique model floor springs, I thought I would start this blog.