Author Topic: Lock Escutcheon Size  (Read 4319 times)

rchampagne

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Lock Escutcheon Size
« on: August 20, 2009, 01:01:42 PM »
Hi all,
I am nearing the completion of my Newport style dressing table and have been waiting on hardware from Ball and Ball for two weeks.  The package just came (to my excitement) and when I opened it I found that I had received a lock escutcheon that is about an inch smaller than the pulls I ordered.  The piece I designed mine after has an escutcheon that is the same size as the pulls.  I debating whether I should return the small escutcheon for a matching one, as drilling the holes and mortising for the lock is holding up the completion of this piece.  The case is all finished and polished, and the drawers are just sitting there, ready for some holes and finish, and I would rather not wait another two weeks for the right piece to arrive.  I know some pieces have smaller lock escutcheons, and am basically wondering how other people feel about this look.  I think I would prefer the pulls to match the lock escutcheon, but am very tempted to use the one I have in hand.  I guess I am not the most patient....
Judging from originals, how typical is it to have a smaller lock escutcheon, especially on a Chippendale style piece?
Thanks,
Rob
(wishing he lived closer to Exton PA...)

Tom M

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Re: Lock Escutcheon Size
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2009, 01:12:00 PM »
Rob,

A couple years ago I completed some cabriole chair legs per a plan that didn't seem right.   I was rushing to get it done.  I now know the plan was wrong.  Well here it is a couple years later and everytime I see the chair I get a a sick feeling and think about the tremendous amount of work that would be required to replace the two legs.  And about the amount of time I spent building the chair compared to what it would have taken to make two new legs back then- DUMB DUMB DUMB DUMB.

I would not comprimise all of the work you did with hardware you may find unpleasing.

Wait two weeks, two months or even two years to get the correct hardware!


Tom
Tom Meiller, SAPFM Member #684

Mark Arnold

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Re: Lock Escutcheon Size
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2009, 04:01:10 PM »
Rob,

I agree with Tom. Its been said that brasses are like jewelry for furniture, but I think a tattoo is a more fitting analogy. Make sure you really love Lolita before you have her name tattooed on your forearm. Wait the extra week or two.
NBSS '96, Partial to the Federal Period.

mikemcgrail

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Re: Lock Escutcheon Size
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2009, 07:40:52 PM »
I always think about a fine piece just like a fine painting, the brasses are a very important part of the whole-do not chance it.

frangallo

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Re: Lock Escutcheon Size
« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2009, 08:43:34 PM »
Could you post a photo of the piece? I may be able to help. No, don't compromise the piece with bad hardware. I won't do it myself which is why I take a very critical view of Ball And Ball. Check out Whitechapel. More money but you get what you pay for. As far as what hardware was used in the day you must always consider the life and times of the cabinet maker of the 18th century. Not so different from us, he may have been not quite so choosy when completing a piece and may (or may not) have compromised on some detail. The greater sin here is to sit on a piece so near completion for the sake of a piece of brass, but then I don't know the pertinent details of the piece. However Newport furniture is my area.
Fran
There is a tide in the affairs of men which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune.

rchampagne

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Re: Lock Escutcheon Size
« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2009, 10:11:13 AM »
As a hobbyist furniture maker, when I get time to work on my pieces I just want to get out there and work.  As of yesterday this was the only piece I had going, and was pretty set on just moving forward.  Since then I got a request to build 8 36" long bookcases for my mother's Montessori school.  Not exactly the same level of enjoyment as polishing out the finish on my lowboy, but at least this job pays.  So, between glueing up untold number of 12" shelves to have the bookcases done by the first week of September, and working on a kitchen cabinet for my friend, I suddenly have a lot going on.  This gives me the chance to put off finishing the lowboy for a few weeks, if not a month.  That said, I brought the new brasses out to my barn and set them on top of the drawers, and the smaller lock escutcheon doesn't look too bad.  I guess I'll have a few weeks to think about it, and maybe I'll order the full size escutcheon to compare.  I think all the advice is sound, it obviously is silly to compromise on the brasses at this point in the game.  Fran, I'll get out there with a camera and post a photo or two of the piece and the brasses.  Your advice (as well as anyone elses) would be much appreciated.  Thanks again,
Rob

rchampagne

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Re: Lock Escutcheon Size
« Reply #6 on: August 27, 2009, 11:26:00 AM »
Well, I shoveled my way back out of the shop after milling all the materials for the shelves I am making.  In the process I had to resaw some 8/4 material on my antique bandsaw and made a duststorm in there too.  My shop is more geared to building one piece at a time, and on a budget, the dust collection system is a shovel and a big blue barrell.  Anyway, all that to say that I haven't had much time for my lowboy since I last wrote, and the piece is now so covered in dust that I am attaching a picture that I took prior to the dust storm.  I went ahead and ordered the matching size escutcheon, which I will probably use instead of the smaller one.  Anyway, here is the picture:

frangallo

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Re: Lock Escutcheon Size
« Reply #7 on: August 27, 2009, 08:12:39 PM »
Yeah, the lock escutcheon should be identical in size. That's what I like about Whitechapel. If they have the pull, they have the matching lock escutcheon. All are cast brass (or iron) and worth every penny. The locks they sell are also of the highest quality. Although the term "keyed alike" is a foreign term. Order blank key and there is no issue. If you make a cabinet with 8 locks you should assume they should all open with the same key, yeah? A blank key is basically the largest key that will operate the lock and selvage levers can be swapped or modified to accommodate the key you grind. A tedious task and what are the chances that a security risk is actually created. I just load them up with the blanks. Every body seems happy if the key fits.
Fran
There is a tide in the affairs of men which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune.

rchampagne

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Re: Lock Escutcheon Size
« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2009, 10:34:18 AM »
Sorry the photo is so small.  So now I have all the hardware (got a deep lock from Horton Brasses) and no time to work on it... I guess its feast or famine.  Fran, it sounds like you don't like Ball and Ball?  I have only gone through them and Horton, and cannot comment on White Chapel.  If I remember correctly, White Chapel was a bit more costly.  Do you feel the brasses are more authentic?

frangallo

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Re: Lock Escutcheon Size
« Reply #9 on: August 29, 2009, 05:14:04 PM »
Whitechapel produces a fine catalogue that is easy to use. All the photos are overlaid onto a 1/4" grid and there are descriptive paragraphs for everything. I have found B&B frustrating when I have tried to track something down. The staff, while extremely helpful, are either trying to avoid answering a question or simply don't know. When you talk to Whitechapel you get the impression the person you are talking to is walking around the stock room looking at original shipping information from foundries on boxes full of the best hardware they can find. There's lots of sources out there. Horton is good too. But I have never had any issues with Whitechapel. They cost a bit more but the discounts they give you balance it out.
Fran
There is a tide in the affairs of men which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune.