Finding the appropriate hardware for historic projects can be a challenge. We've asked industry expert and Director of Product Development at Nostalgic Warehouse, Bill Metzger to help with the answers.

Each month in our Building Blocks newsletter we will feature one question and answer. If you're not already receiving our bi-weekly newsletter, you can sign up here.

We'll archive all the questions on this page for easy reference and if you've got a question, please email us.

Ask The Expert - PH

What is handing and why is it important?

Door handing refers to the direction the door swings open. When determining handing, stand in front of the public side of the door. If the hinges are on the left, and the door opens inward, then the door is left hand. If the hinges are on the right, and the door opens inward, then the door is right hand. If the hinges are on the left, and the door opens outward, then the door is left hand reverse. If the hinges are on the right, and the door opens outward, then the door is right hand reverse. Handing is crucial when purchasing a lever-style doorset and mortise locks. Below are some images to further clarify:


Published on: April 26, 2018

What function do you need for your door hardware?

Functions indicate how your doorset will operate. There are roughly seven different types of functions including privacy, passage, single dummy, double dummy, mortise, entry set and deadbolt.

A passage function is the most common function for doorsets. Passage sets turn and operate a latch, but do not lock. This function is ideal for rooms that do not need a lock including closets, pantries, laundry rooms and hallways.

For interior doors requiring a lock, a privacy function is essential. Privacy locks do not provide security but do keep people from unexpectedly entering a room. They are only for use on interior doors. This function works well with bathrooms, bedrooms and any other room in your house where privacy is important and needed. All Nostalgic privacy locks can be locked using a push pin from the inside and can be unlocked from the outside using the emergency key.

Both single and double dummy doorsets are non-operating. These functions are used only on doors where a pull is needed–there is no latch and they do not turn or lock. Single dummies are surface-mounted on doors without any cross-bores (blank doors). Likewise, double dummies can be mounted on doors without cross-bores. But, double dummies are also available for doors with cross-bores. Dummy functions are ideal for pantry doors, closet doors or side-by-side French doors.

Typically found in vintage homes, an interior mortise lockset operates in the same fashion as a privacy lock, but uses a skeleton key instead of a push button or may have a thumb-turn on the interior. (Please note that interior mortise locks provide little security when used on exterior doors, as skeleton key locks are easy to pick.) However, installation is very different. A mortise lock requires a rectangular pocket to be machined into the door edge. The lock is then installed into this pocket.

Older mortise locks were made by many different lock manufacturers; therefore, the measurements can vary. If you want to replace the lock itself, or just the hardware trim on the door, you will need to measure several critical dimensions. These dimensions are shown on the link below. 

Example of a mortise lock rectangular pocket:


For entrance doors on a small building or office, the most common configuration is a combination of a passage function and a deadbolt. Many times, only a deadbolt and a pull are used.

Deadbolts are also used to provide security for businesses, and work great for all exterior and interior doors. They function with a key on the outside, and a thumb turn on the inside. Any number of deadbolts can be keyed alike, so one key will operate them all. Optionally, they can be keyed differently to limit access to specific doors. 

Published on: March 28th, 2018

What measurements do you need to know before purchasing a new set of door hardware?


Backset: A backset is the distance from the center of the cross bore, to the edge of the door. To determine the correct backset measurement for your door, you need to measure the distance from the edge of the door to the center of your cross bore. The two standard backset measurements in North America are 2 3/8 inches and 2 3/4 inches. At Nostalgic Warehouse, our default backset measurement is 2 3/8 inches, with 2 3/4 inches available by request.

Bore Holes: There are two types of bore holes in a door – cross bore and latch bore. A cross bore is the largest hole and passes through the door from one side to the other, and it is where the actual door knob is inserted and mounted. The latch bore is the small hole on the edge of the door for the latch itself. The standard measurement for a bore hole is 2 1/8 inch in diameter and the standard measurement of a cross bore is 1 inch in diameter.

If you have a door that already has a bore hole in it, measure the diameter of this hole to make sure the back plate or rosette will fit. If the diameter of the bore hole is bigger than the rosette or backplate, then it will not fit.

Door Thickness: The standard residential door measures 1 3/8 inch or 1 3/4 inch thick. For commercial spaces, the standard door measures 1 3/4 inch thick. Measuring a door’s thickness will determine if standard doorsets will fit without modification. Older houses tend to have thinner doors, and standard doorsets may not fit. Newer homes with custom doors tend to be thicker, and require thick door kits. Nostalgic Warehouse’s doorsets fit up to a 2-inch-thick door.


Faceplate Corners: There are two standard faceplate and strike options for your door hardware – square and radius (or round) corner. It’s important to check your doors prior to ordering doorsets, so you get the correct option.

Published on: March 2nd, 2018


Woodstone Co.

Manufacturer of custom wood windows & doors: wide array of wood species; coped mortise-&-tenon joinery; all shapes, sizes & configurations; screen doors & storm windows; historical & landmark specifications.