This section is from the book "Cyclopedia Of Architecture, Carpentry, And Building", by James C. et al. Also available from Amazon: Cyclopedia Of Architecture, Carpentry And Building.
Of greater protection than locks on a door are bolts, which, being operated from one side only, are secure against picking. The simplest and least noticeable of these are the mortise bolts which set into a hole bored in the edge of the door and are operated by a knob or key on the face. Chain bolts are a protection in localities infested by tramps or undesirable intruders. These consist of a strong chain which is secured to the frame, and hooks into a slotted plate on the door, allowing the door to open only to the length of the chain, which cannot be dislodged except by again closing the door. (Fig. 90.)
The many small fittings such as coat hooks, drawer handles, cupboard latches and the like, should be selected for strength and utility rather than for effect, and are the most satisfactory in plain bronze metal or brass, and can be obtained of good manufacture and materials at moderate prices.
The inspection of hardware is an important matter, whether it is furnished by the owner or the builder, as any changes made after fixtures are once applied are sure to produce defects of some kind. What purports to be bronze may be some baser metal skillfully bronzed or lacquered on the face. This may be detected by scraping the back with a knife or file The faces of locks or bolts may be plated instead of being solid. Knobs may be poorly secured to the shank, and may lack proper washers to prevent rattling, and hinges may be furnished with no washers and will soon wear and creak. In the application of hardware also it is necessary to keep a sharp watch. Even in so simple a matter as putting on door hinges there is a right and a wrong way, for if the butts are not directly over each other, the door when opened will either swing back or forward.
Fig. 87. Cylinder Lock.
Fig. 88. Rim Lock.
Mortises must be accurately cut so that the locks will neither be loose nor be so tight that they cannot be removed if required. Roses or escutcheon plates must be put exactly opposite each other or else the spindle will bind in the lock. Knobs must be carefully adjusted by means of washers so that they will not slip back and forth. Striking plates for latches (Fig. 91) must be carefully centered and adjusted. While all hardware is usually packed with screws finished to match, the screws are often too small and their efficiency destroyed by being driven in with a hammer by careless workmen. This should never be allowed, but every screw should be set with a screwdriver. Good sized screws are especially important in door hinges, and the hinges themselves must be of ample size to allow the door to swing entirely back. The greatest vigilance is necessary to insure from defects of selection or application, and nothing will reflect more credit upon the superintendent than a good job of hardware.
When the inside finish has been put up, the rough under floors should be gone over and all holes and broken boards repaired and the floors cleaned off, ready to receive the finished floors. The laying of these, if they are of hardwood, is sometimes let out to a regular floor-layer, but in general this is done by the carpenter. For the carpeted rooms a good quality of spruce flooring not over four inches wide will be used laid with square-edged boards. If possible, the boards should be laid in one length, and if this cannot be done, the joints should be broken as often as possible. With boards of the same width they can be broken every course, but when the boards are of unequal width there will be a straight joint through three or four boards. The nails of a square-edged floor are driven through the face of the board and sunk with a nail-set, to be puttied or not, according to whether the floor is finished or left bare, and a line should be drawn where nails are to be driven, over the center of the joist below.
Fig. 89. Plate and Escutcheon.
Fig. 90. Chain Bolt.
Between the upper and under floors it is well to lay a deafening of paper. This may be an asbestos felt, which is valuable on account of its fire resisting qualities, or a common floor paper may be used, and should be put down in two thicknesses.
Where finished hardwood floors are used, it will be necessary to have the floor boards matched so that the nails may be concealed. Blind nailing, this is called, and by this method the board will be nailed only on one edge, and the matching depended upon to hold down the other edge of the board. For this reason the floor should be laid of narrow strips each with a tongue and groove, the grooved edge being forced over the tongue of the preceding strip and the tongue in turn nailed diagonally. (Fig. 92.) The under floors, where a nice, handsome upper floor is desired, should be in narrow widths not over four inches wide, for each board in shrinking will compress as many strips of the upper floor as may be upon it, together, leaving a wide crack over the crack in under floor. This defect may be overcome by laying the under floor diagonally or at right angles to the upper floor.
Stock, Of flooring stock in general, quartered oak makes the best floor for appearance and wearing quality, but birch and maple are used to a great extent, and rift hard pine will make a good floor for ordinary use. Quartered oak is sawn from the trees as nearly as is possible on radial lines (Fig. 93), and shows an even, straight grain with irregular streaks, upon a ground of fine parallel lines. In rift hard pine the parallel grain is more pronounced and of a coarse growth. All flooring must be kiln-dried and laid hot from the kiln, or as soon as possible after delivery. To obtain a perfectly even surface the floor must be "traversed", that is, planed across the grain so as to bring the floor to a perfectly level surface. A thin floor which is only 5/16-inch thick is used to good advantage over an under floor which is in good condition. This floor is skillfully handled by a professional floor-layer, and is often laid to a more or less fancy pattern. Being too thin to match, these floors are nailed through and the nail holes are so cleverly puttied up as to be almost invisible. It is a good plan to keep artificial heat in the building while the floors and finish are being put up, which should be maintained until occupancy. This is especially necessary in the case of parquetry floors.
Fig. 91. Striker.
Fig. 92. Blind-Nailing.
A number of different points connected with the finishing of the house will now arise, and the superintendent will do well to inspect the work constantly to see that every visible detail is completed as it should be. Thresholds should be carefully fitted, cornices, chair-rails, and picture-mouldings run level and true. Sashes must be tried to be sure that they are accurately balanced and hung. Every sash-fast, lock and knob must be examined and all drawers, slides and other movable fixtures tested and left in good working order.