The putting on of the hardware, when applied to woodwork, should always be included in the carpenter's specifications.
To apply the hardware trimmings so that they will work properly, or the best that they are capable of, requires some skill and much care, and, as a rule, the better the hardware the greater care should be exercised in putting it on. The first hardware to be applied is usually the sash pulleys and the cords and weights. The only way in which the sashes can be properly balanced is by weighing each sash, which, although tedious, is necessary for a good job. The next in order are the butts and mortise locks. The putting on of the butts is apparantly a simple matter, but it is one that requires considerable care to get them so that the weight of the door will be borne evenly by each butt (see Section 206), and so that the door will hang perfectly true. If one butt is set further out than the other, the door will not remain in its position when opened, but will either swing back into the jamb or around against the wall. The mortise for locks should be cut of the exact size for the front, and so that the case will not bind in the door. The usual height for locks is from 2 feet 10 inches to 3 feet from the floor to the centre of the hub.
Sometimes it is necessary to vary this distance on account of the arrangement of panels. (See page 361.)
The balance of the trimmings should not be applied until the woodwork is finished, painted or varnished, as if put on before the painters or finishers are through, the exposed parts are quite sure to be daubed with paint or varnish, which cannot usually be removed without injury to the hardware. In putting on the escutcheon plates, care is required to place them so that the spindle and keyholes will be exactly opposite each other, otherwise the spindle and key will bind in the lock. The knobs should also be carefully adjusted, so that they will not slip back and forth through the lock. Swivel spindles require particular care in adjusting, for if the swivel does not come exactly at the centre of the lock, the knobs will not work properly. In putting on the striking plate for the lock, carpenters sometimes place them either a little too high or too low, so that the bolts or latch will not enter the holes provided for them. As the partitions are apt to settle more or less, the striking plates should be set so that the centres of the holes will be opposite the centres of the bolt and latch, thus affording a little play for settlement.
Sash fasts are also often carelessly set, so that they will not lock easily, or will not draw the sashes closely together.
All finishing hardware is now packed with screws finished to match. These screws are often rather small for the work required of them, and their holding power is often still further diminished by the carpenter driving them in with a hammer. This should not be permitted ; every screw should be turned in its full length with a screw driver, and so that the head will fit neatly into the screw hole.
If the specifications are written on the second method, described in the next section, the superintendence will consist principally in seeing that the goods furnished are of the kind specified, and that they are properly put on.
Some hardware, notably the Yale goods, is stamped or marked so that the architect can tell the make at a glance, but a great deal of hardware can only be told (except by an expert) by the label on the box in which it is packed. This is especially true of plated goods, and of many makes of locks. It is very difficult to distinguish some plated hardware from solid bronze by merely looking at it, and plated cast iron from plated steel. The superintendent should also remember that there are many imitations, of the Bower-Barff finish.
Plated goods can be distinguished by scratching with a file on the back, but it is not so easy to tell plated cast iron from plated steel. The labels on the boxes, however, will usually be a sufficient guide.
Many manufacturers of tumbler locks make several grades, which cannot easily be distinguished from each other, except by examining the inside parts, so that the maker's name on a lock cannot always be taken as an indication of the quality.
Unfortunately most builders do not appreciate the importance of good hardware, and are apt to try to work in inferior articles.
When the doors are about to be hung, the superintendent should examine the doors, finish and specifications, to see that butts of proper size to enable the door to swing back (see Section 207), have been specified, and that the butts are of proper size for the weight and thickness of the door. If these points have been overlooked, they should be corrected before the butts are put on, even if a small "extra" is incurred.
Finally every door and window should be tried to see that they lock and swing perfectly, and that the sashes are properly balanced.
If the specifications make an allowance for certain portions of the hardware, the selection should be made by the architect or owner, preferably both together, and it is important that the architect shall have a pretty good idea of the actual cost of hardware, otherwise he may be imposed upon.