Where to get parts for a centered front door knob

front-doors-centered-door-knobsWhere to get replacement parts to fix — or create — a centered door knob / door set? This question comes up several times a year, and now, thanks to reader Emma, we have an answer. Two answers, in fact! Above: The gorgeous front doors on this stunning 1961 time capsule house. [Photo by Mike McCaw/Spacecrafting.]

Responding to a question about this that came up in our story about Rejuvenation’s reproduction escutcheons, Emma wrote:

…You actually CAN get brand-new keyed knobs that have a long enough backset to be centered on a door (usually 15-18 inches, depending on your door width) . In my research, I found only two extended-backset offerings, both from commercial lock companies: Sargent’s “8 Line”, and Yale’s “5400 Series”.

Sargent’s knobs offer backsets up to 18 inches, and Yale can do even LONGER backsets – up to 42 inches (I’d love to see THAT door!). Both companies’ knobs come in common MCM finishes: brass, brushed bronze, and chrome.

schlage door knobs

Schlage’s door knobs are pretty groovy looking….

Being commercial-grade, the knobsets are pretty expensive ($250 to $350+ per set), and the long backsets likely make them special order items. However, you may consider total lock replacement a worthy investment, if it means keeping the period look and functionality of your door without modification.

Here’s PDF files for each company’s extended-backset offerings:

Yale (from their commercial line website; backset info on page 3):

Sargent (8 Line Series knobs are on page 3; this PDF is from a lock supply company):

Woot! Thanks, Emma — great find!

Want to research more:


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  1. Marc says

    Adding a centered knob makes a strong architectural statement. Well worth the up-charge from a traditional lockset in the right setting.

  2. Matt says

    It’s not centered, but for a 5 inch backset (useful with vintage escutcheons) Schlage A-series work. The 5″ extensions are commonly available, and they offer satin bronze through their commercial line.

    To put it all together we went with a satin bronze escutcheon (ebay), NOS unkeyed, exterior satin bronze knob in either Orbit or Plymouth (Habitat), and a new commercial deadbolt in satin bronze that was keyed to match the lock to the garage. The new satin bronze is the same shade as the old. We’re happy because it all matches and we have one key to get in and out from either door.

  3. says

    Every time I see a pair of those centered lock sets I think of Mr. bill’s swanky New York apartment from Family Affair. I’m so glad to see they are still being installed.

  4. db says

    We acquired two doors with long (9″ and 7″) but not centered backsets, and wanted to replace the locking handle (for which we didn’t have keys) with a non-locking entry knob and new deadbolt.
    We replaced the knobs with a commercial-grade non-locking tulip design from Schlage and then just re-used the original knobs’ backset links with the new handle and latch mechanism.
    Possible option if you’re interested in the greater security of a deadbolt, and recycling parts you already have!

  5. says

    If you want to maintain the look of the centered knob but upgrade to the security of a deadbolt I think it may work to reverse the deadbolt so that the cylinder is mounted in the door frame and the bolt slides into the door. Schlage offers deadbolts for applications up to 4″ thick. You could potentially recess the cylinder flush with the door frame which would look pretty slick.

  6. Chris says

    Another use for these knobs…. There’s a bar in Shanghai and the owner has a great sense of humor. One of the things he did is put the door knob on the hinge side of the bathroom door. The hinge is on the inside so the customer doesn’t know that until they get into the bathroom. If you try to open the door by pushing on the handle then you can’t get in – unless you know the trick and push the opposite side of the door. It’s fun to see new customers try to figure it out – and the expression on their face when they see how the door really works.

  7. Torey says

    HELP! Yale and Sargent no longer appear to sell 18″ backsets and we need them badly. Any new ideas?!?

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