Door Furniture Spindles FAQ
Q. What is a door furniture
A. A spindle, used in door furniture, is a length of square metal bar
which connects the door handles on either side of your door together. The
spindle, located in the square holes found at the back of your door handles,
passes through the tubular latch or mortice lock fitted into the door. When the
levers of your door handles are pressed, the spindle rotates and operates the
latch inside the door, allowing the door to open.
Q. Are all spindles the same
A. With the introduction of the European Common Market, 8mm (5/16")
square has become the "standard" for spindles. However most british spindles are
still 7.6mm (19/64") square. To allow for the difference in sizes found, UK lock
manufacturers all produce locks with 8mm followers as standard. (the follower
contains the square hole which the spindle passes through). The length of
spindles can also vary. Those usually supplied with door handles are long enough
to pass through a standard fire door and still have enough length to locate into
the back of the door furniture. Situations can arise where it is necessary to
use a longer spindle, for instance with an unusually thick door. In these
situations it is possible to purchase longer spindles and cut them down to the
required length with a hacksaw. Care should be taken not to cut a spindle
too short as this can lead to it dislocating in one of the handles causing the
affected lever to become inoperative.
Q. Does one spindle fit all
styles of door handles?
A. Whilst a plain spindle is the most popular type used, unfortunately,
different styles of handles can use different types of spindles. Here are some
of the most popular types and their typical uses:
A plain spindle is used with door handles that rely on their rose or
backplate fixing to take the pulling force when operating the handles. The
spindle passes through the door and locates into the square holes in the rear of
the handles. The spindle is not fixed in any way to the handles, and once one
handle has been removed, the spindle can easily be pulled from the door. Whilst
the pulling force on the handle is taken entirely by the handle backplate or
rose, bolt through fixings can be used if necessary to transmit this force to
the backplate on the opposite side of the door.
DRILLED & TAPPED
This spindle has a series of threaded holes drilled into it. The spindle is
located into the back of the door handle in the usual way, but then a grub screw
is fitted into the neck of the door handle and located into the threaded hole of
the spindle. This results in the handle being firmly fitted to the spindle and
this type of fixing is typically found on round rose lever furniture. The
pulling force is safely transmitted to the opposite handle giving less reliance
on the rose fixing screws.
This type of spindle is mainly used on rim furniture. One knob is fixed
permanently to the spindle by means of a grub screw through the neck of the
knob. The other end of the spindle and opposite knob is threaded so that this
knob can screw on to the spindle and subsequently adjust for door thickness.
Once the correct position has been achieved, a second grub screw locates into a
plain groove along the threaded end of the spindle. As with the drilled and
tapped spindle, the pulling force on either handle is safely transmitted to the
opposite handle. This is essential with rim furniture as there is no rose fixing
to contain this force on the lock side of the door.
This type of spindle is slotted at both ends. A self-tapping or hardened
screw is fitted through the neck of the door furniture and located into the slot
of the spindle. The point of the screw is driven into the slot and serves as a
wedge, opening up the spindle slightly for a more secure fixing and to contain
the pulling force.
A "Taylors Spindle" is normally used in situations where only one door handle
is being fitted, such as on a cupboard door, and the handle is not required to
operate a mortice lock or latch. In this situation the circular end of the
Taylors spindle is screwed to the door and the door handle is fitted onto the
spindle in the usual way. Because the spindle is screwed to the door, the door
handle or knob used will not be able to rotate. Instead of a latch, a ball catch
is normally used and the door is pulled open and pushed closed.
Q. How will I know what
spindle I will need for my new door handles?
A. All sets of door handles are supplied complete with the relevant
spindle required. You would only need to replace a spindle if the original one
supplied has been lost or is not long enough to fit an unusually thick door.
Q. My spindles are too long,
what should I do?
A. It is quite common for new spindles to be too long, especially when
used on thin interior doors, as they have been designed for a range of door
thickness which necessitates them being long enough to cope with thicker doors.
It is simply necessary to hold the spindle in a vice and cut it down with a
hacksaw, but be sure not to cut it too short. Whilst in use, plain spindles can
move out of their location holes in the back of one handle into the opposite
handle. Once they have disengaged out of the handle your lever will no longer
operate the lock or latch - a bit embarrassing if you end up trapped in a room!
Ensure your spindle is long enough to fully locate into the handles on both
sides of the door at the same time. Drilled & tapped spindles have a
series of holes to cope with different door thickness and threaded spindles will
also adjust, although it may be necessary to slightly shorten the threaded end
on very thin doors. Be sure to leave enough thread on the spindle to locate the
handle properly. Similarly slotted spindles can be shortened slightly, usually
by taking an equal amount off each end, but be sure to leave enough of the
"slot" to locate the handle screw properly and retain the wedging action.
What is meant by a split spindle?
A. A split spindle is used on special locks and latches where the handles
are required to operate independently of each other. The lock/latch will have a
special split follower to facilitate this function.
Bernards makes every effort to ensure that the information contained in our FAQs
is correct and accurate. We can however accept no responsibility for any errors
or omissions or their subsequent effects. Indeed if you find any please let us
know, we appreciate any advice or comments to improve these pages.
Copyright � 2000 [Robert Bernard & Son Ltd]. All rights reserved.
Revised: January 12, 2015