fixings for a handle to a hollow door

Postby Wendyywillis » Sun Jan 04, 2009 11:09 am

I have been searching for something to fix a handle to a hollow door but am struggling to find someting that fits.

I have heard that plasplugs are good but they seem too long. I have also heard about interscrews but they seem to short.

My door is 35mm deep and I have 2 standard-ish handles on either side. It's not just one door that needs replacing - it's every door in my house and this is starting to get very expensive.

My husband now want's to replace every door in the house - but it'll be the next century before we do that!

I'd be very grateful to anyone that can help me.

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Simply Build It

Postby stoneyboy » Mon Jan 05, 2009 4:46 pm

If you want to fix into a hollow door the plasplugs "hollow door fixings" are good but they depend on whatever is being fixed to the door having a surface which is flush with the door surface.
If your doors have been fitted correctly there should be a lock block where the handles fit ie the door is not hollow where the lock and handles fit.
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Postby Wendyywillis » Mon Jan 05, 2009 8:09 pm

Thanks Stoneyboy,
My doors were indeed fitted by proffessionals. Therefore there is no lock box. Having tapped the door at either end I'm beginning to think that the doors may have been hung back-to-front and am contemplating filling in the door handle holes and re- hanging but if I can find an easier solution I'd prefer it.
I should probably mention that every door in my house is like this - although it's still more satisfactory to blame the builders!
Any more suggestions?
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Postby jackthebuilder » Tue Jan 06, 2009 10:16 am

Hi Wendy

I'm surprise that the 'professionals' would fit your doors without including any handles!! Can you clarify what has happened??

I've never come across an 'off the shelf' hollow door WITHOUT a lock block - and that's a different thing from a lock box - with respect, read stoneyboy's post again carefully!

If your 'professionals' made the doors from scratch WITHOUT a lock block, they should be locked up! If they are 'off the shelf' doors, sounds like they have been hung the wrong way round - but, given the law of averages, it's difficult to believe that they are ALL wrong!

Take one door off and look for printing on the end of the door - unless the door has been trimmed to fit, it should clearly state 'LOCK' at one side. If it's on the hinge side, that's the problem, coz it should be at the handle side!

Remember the lock block MIGHT not be in the centre of the door - if you tap the door along it's length about 3 inches in from the edge, you will clearly hear where the lock block is. And make sure you try and find how far the lock block extends in both directions - some manufacturers can be 'economical' with timber, and it's sometimes not that big!

FWIW, I've actually created my own lock blocks before - but it's a bit fiddly and needs equipment, accuracy and patience! Carefully drill/cut out about 8 inches of the edge timber where you want the block, remove as much 'eggbox' insulation inside as necessary, insert a piece of 5" wide timber cut or planed to EXACTLY the same thicknes as the edge timber you've removed, and 12" long. Use lots of glue, overlap the timber inside your 8" opening, secure with a couple of countersunk screws through the edge timber, using a temporary screw in the new timber to hang onto, then clamp the door faces. Replace the 'missing' edge timber with a piece exactly the same size, glue and clamp. Sand/plane/fill to finish.

Hope that's of help - let me know how you get on!

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Postby Wendyywillis » Tue Jan 06, 2009 5:18 pm

Sorry Jackthebuilder - I meant lock block. I'm still learning all these terms!

All my doors were fitted with handles - but none of them are on securely - they're all hanging off.

The builders that built this house were terrible and there was a right to-do on the estate when the houses were first built. I think the builders practically lived in the residents homes. Unfortunately I didn't but this house brand new so am finding faults left, right and centre!

Thanks for your suggestions - I might try the lock block on one door before masssacring them all!

Gonna go and unhinge a few doors now and look for the lock sign!

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Postby goghat » Wed Jan 07, 2009 11:32 pm

wendy, forget about turning around your doors, there are lots of door handles that bolt right through the door to the handle on the opposite side of the door, they then have a cover over to hide the nuts and bolts. obviously new handles are required but this is the easyest option.
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Postby toptips » Thu Jan 08, 2009 5:57 pm

hi,the inter screws you looked at could have been for kitchen cupboards,they are shorter than ones used on doors,the handles suggested by goghat in fact use these,
try some with your handles before changing the handles.
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Postby Wendyywillis » Fri Jan 09, 2009 5:59 pm

Thank you. I'm going to go searching for these tomorrow! Apparantly there is a shop that sells them near where I live. Interscrews here I come....!
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Postby jackthebuilder » Fri Jan 09, 2009 6:39 pm

I would be a wee bit concerned that any form of inter screw or bolt arrangement would distort the door faces when tightening them up - depends on door skin thickness and resilience of deadening inside.

You may already have all the handles - they might need drilling out to take the thicker inter screws or bolts, and unless they have a cover plate arrangement, might look a bit messy.

Just in case you don't know what we're talking about, example of an inter screw at

How are you getting on?

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Postby Wendyywillis » Sat Jan 10, 2009 5:23 pm

Went to get interscrews today and have fixed 2 doors. They fit really well and actually on talking to one of my neighbours - they told me they'd had the same problem and used the same thing!
Unfotunately none of the door handles are straight - probably due to the fact that the original screws were too long to go against each other so they were going in next to each other (one door handle tilted towards the right and the other the other way). For that reason the jobs a bit longer than I expected but should get round the rest of the doors tomorrow.
Anyway, all's well that ends well - at least I can pull my handle and the door opens rather than me being left holding the handle!!!

Thanks all for your help.

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Postby jackthebuilder » Tue Jan 13, 2009 3:19 am

Glad to hear that Wendy!

If you get to see this, could you let me know exactly what you got and where? The Screwfix ones I mentioned are the only source I know, and it would be uselful info to have to hand, given the thickness limitations of 28 - 36 mm for the Screwfix ones.

Just don't go slamming the doors too hard!

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Postby Wendyywillis » Tue Jan 13, 2009 4:14 pm

These are from scewfix - size is M4 adn I then had to purchase a different screw that was longer to fit the door and handles.
The interscew was called Interscrew nickel M4 and the additional screw was REC CSK MT SCREW BZP M4X40 - which I'm guessing to be a countersunk screw - size M4 and length 40mm?
Anyway, I'm a happy bunny who can now shut doors! I hope this helps other people in the same predicament - especially if they live on my estate!!

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Postby jackthebuilder » Wed Jan 14, 2009 10:56 am

Thanks Wendy.

Of course! The female part is a standard thread which will take any length of M4 machine screw! Why didn't I think of that?? :-(

Just a final comment for anyone who is still remotely interested in this diatribe... many years ago I dismantled and reassembled a Victorian telescope. Amazingly each of the small bolts, which looked the same, had been individually cut and threaded, so you can imagine the nightmare on re-assembly when I had a tin of 50 bolts or so, and had to find the original hole for each of them!

To this day, when dismantling something, I still (sadly, perhaps) lay out the screws or bolts on a workbench so that each one goes back into it's original place!

Thanks for the chat - and don't move house for a while! Jack.
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