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:

  1. Paul - CT says:

    I’m very sad to report that my 57 year old doorknow with the 14 inch backset completely failed. I could no longer open the door and the local locksmith could not get any replacement parts for it.

    So, here is a great solution the guy came up with: Use two dummy doorknobs in the center and just put in a new, sturdier deadbolt to replace the vintage one.

    That’s what I will do and it will save a ton of money but retain the look!


  2. Paul-CT says:

    I wanted to follow-up on this post to offer additional advice on a mid-century door knob replacement. So, first, I got two dummy door knobs at Home Depot, Nickel for the inside (I’m upset about not being able to use my original Walnut knobs) and Antique Brass for the outside. I was able to keep my original brass backplates for the outside and they sort of match. For the inside, the locksmith put in these awful thin shiny backplates that look like they were cut from tin foil. I ordered something nicer on Amazon and will have those installed but at least no need to paint!

    So all the new knobs are where the old ones were and look nice. The shocker was on the right door, the original dummy knobs didn’t go through the door like the new ones do so a hole had to be drilled.

    The dead bolt with key was placed into the old knobs backseat channel so it could use the existing channel (another hole needed to be drilled) and latching hardware. By doing this, I also kept the original dead bolt above and use it as a night lock. All in all it worked out and I retained the original look as best I could. It’s very easy to open and close the door but the door won’t stay closed unless I bolt it. $560 for everything! 🙁

  3. Lance says:

    I would like someone to explain how to drill a 18 or longer inch back set hole in a wooden door……….

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