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  1. #1
    Senior Member anticlimatic's Avatar
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    Default Ask a tradesman anything

    If anyone is curious about the building trades as careers or has any questions or need of home repair tips from a mechanical engineer graduate, experienced woodworker mechanic electrician appliance, and a licensed mechanical (heating) and plumber, I’m all ears.

  2. #2
    Let me count the ways Betty Blue's Avatar
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    Awesome thread!

    I have so many questions.

    Will start with an easy one.

    I have some new handles on doors after recent decoration/home improvement.

    One of the handles keeps coming off. The door has lots of holes when the handle should (previous screws) be placed and I'm at a loss as to how to put it back on again and get it to stay on, what do you advise?

    Maybe glue in the holes, to fix the screws in?
    "We knew he was someone who had a tragic flaw, that's where his greatness came from"

  3. #3
    Senior Member anticlimatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Betty Blue View Post
    Awesome thread!

    I have so many questions.

    Will start with an easy one.

    I have some new handles on doors after recent decoration/home improvement.

    One of the handles keeps coming off. The door has lots of holes when the handle should (previous screws) be placed and I'm at a loss as to how to put it back on again and get it to stay on, what do you advise?

    Maybe glue in the holes, to fix the screws in?
    Plenty of options! First a few more details. Are these regular door handles that you twist to open to change rooms, or are they static handles like for a closet?

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    Let me count the ways Betty Blue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by anticlimatic View Post
    Plenty of options! First a few more details. Are these regular door handles that you twist to open to change rooms, or are they static handles like for a closet?
    Internal doors, they were turn handles but I have replaced one side with more decorative handles which are static. I could take a pic if useful ?
    "We knew he was someone who had a tragic flaw, that's where his greatness came from"

  5. #5
    Senior Member anticlimatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Betty Blue View Post
    Internal doors, they were turn handles but I have replaced one side with more decorative handles which are static. I could take a pic if useful ?
    A pic would be very useful! It's always the small details that matter most when it comes to which approach to use to solve physical problems.

  6. #6
    Let me count the ways Betty Blue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by anticlimatic View Post
    A pic would be very useful! It's always the small details that matter most when it comes to which approach to use to solve physical problems.
    Pictures attached. You can see where the current holes have worn, and also where previous holes have been filled ….. what to do for an easy fix?


    door.jpg

    handle.jpg
    "We knew he was someone who had a tragic flaw, that's where his greatness came from"

  7. #7
    Senior Member anticlimatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Betty Blue View Post
    Pictures attached. You can see where the current holes have worn, and also where previous holes have been filled ….. what to do for an easy fix?
    Ah yes, I see your dilemma. Most interior doors, to make them light, are hollow and made from wood that's just a little thicker than paper in most places. Because of that, the screws will probably keep pulling out. The easiest fix, with the lowest projected durability, is just to rotate the handle to a point where all three holes have fresh wood beneath them. From there:

    1. Hold it steady and stick a pencil in each hole to mark it.
    2. Drill a tiny hole the length of the screw with a drill bit that is a little smaller than the thickness of the screw on your marks.
    3. Screw your handle on without over tightening.

    A better solution, if possible, depends on what that metal object I see inside the door is- and if the twist handle on the other side is still there, or needs to be there. Typically with those kinds of doors you get two matching handles, and screw them to each other through the door. That way the screws basically just hold it against vertical forces, and the handles are connected by the force of squeezing themselves instead of tugging on the fragile wood. In one-sided handle situations, typically I would recommend substituting the other handle with nuts and large metal washers to simulate the same effect, so long as it was out of sight.

  8. #8
    Let me count the ways Betty Blue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by anticlimatic View Post
    Ah yes, I see your dilemma. Most interior doors, to make them light, are hollow and made from wood that's just a little thicker than paper in most places. Because of that, the screws will probably keep pulling out. The easiest fix, with the lowest projected durability, is just to rotate the handle to a point where all three holes have fresh wood beneath them. From there:

    1. Hold it steady and stick a pencil in each hole to mark it.
    2. Drill a tiny hole the length of the screw with a drill bit that is a little smaller than the thickness of the screw on your marks.
    3. Screw your handle on without over tightening.

    A better solution, if possible, depends on what that metal object I see inside the door is- and if the twist handle on the other side is still there, or needs to be there. Typically with those kinds of doors you get two matching handles, and screw them to each other through the door. That way the screws basically just hold it against vertical forces, and the handles are connected by the force of squeezing themselves instead of tugging on the fragile wood. In one-sided handle situations, typically I would recommend substituting the other handle with nuts and large metal washers to simulate the same effect, so long as it was out of sight.
    Oh I already know how to put on a handle, the issue is that there are no more spots to drill into. The inside of the door has a lever handle and there is usually a spindle but I took it out for the purposes of taking pics. I was thinking maybe of putting a two part wood filler into the existing holes and leaving it to set when the screws are in the correct position? I do not want to have to change the whole door.
    "We knew he was someone who had a tragic flaw, that's where his greatness came from"

  9. #9
    Senior Member anticlimatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Betty Blue View Post
    Oh I already know how to put on a handle, the issue is that there are no more spots to drill into. The inside of the door has a lever handle and there is usually a spindle but I took it out for the purposes of taking pics. I was thinking maybe of putting a two part wood filler into the existing holes and leaving it to set when the screws are in the correct position? I do not want to have to change the whole door.
    I would not recommend replacing the whole door. Unless you get a solid core door, or at least one with a solid core where the handles are usually installed (not sure these exist), the loose/falling off handle issue will persist. I would also not recommend investing any time or money into attempting a wood filler solution. That stuff is usually meant for solving aesthetic problems, and does not hold up under physical forces for very long. It might last a week. A month if you’re lucky. But my money would be on no more than one or two pulls before it came undone. The bottom line is that those three screws are not a viable option for holding a door handle onto this door, regardless of current or former damage. There is a solution but it will require a different approach.

    What does the other handle on the other side look like? Does it still function? How is it attached? What does that door lead to?

  10. #10
    Let me count the ways Betty Blue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by anticlimatic View Post
    I would not recommend replacing the whole door. Unless you get a solid core door, or at least one with a solid core where the handles are usually installed (not sure these exist), the loose/falling off handle issue will persist. I would also not recommend investing any time or money into attempting a wood filler solution. That stuff is usually meant for solving aesthetic problems, and does not hold up under physical forces for very long. It might last a week. A month if you’re lucky. But my money would be on no more than one or two pulls before it came undone. The bottom line is that those three screws are not a viable option for holding a door handle onto this door, regardless of current or former damage. There is a solution but it will require a different approach.

    What does the other handle on the other side look like? Does it still function? How is it attached? What does that door lead to?
    It a bathroom door and has a very old basic lever handle on the other side, but it works, and has done for approx. 30 years. When the bathroom is decorated in a couple on months i'll likely be changing that handle too. There is an internal latch lock inside the door, similar to the image below.


    "We knew he was someone who had a tragic flaw, that's where his greatness came from"

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