Architectural Ironmongery Suppliers

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Architectural Ironmongery Suppliers

  • How to choose the right door closer for your building

    Since it’s invention in the late 1880s the humble door closer has come on leaps and bounds with plenty the introduction of concealed in door, in frame and in-floor options. And while door closers have evolved over the years their purpose remains the same which is, in essence, to close a door for security, fire protection and access control reasons. In this blog, we’ll take a look at how to choose the right door closer for your building based on common considerations.

    Traffic volumes

    As a building manager or specifier, one of the first considerations is the amount of traffic that will be using the door. In the UK in order for door closers to be compliant with BS EN 1154 they must be certified for 500,000 test cycles. This means overhead door closers are suitable for medium to heavy traffic locations and thanks to their durability they are an excellent choice for both interior and exterior doors.

    Fire protection

    In the UK there are two types of door closers, those that are suitable for use on fire/smoke door assemblies and those that are not. For building regulation compliance door closers need to be fitted to all fire doors in order to help ensure that buildings are correctly zoned and that fire escape routes are safe. Fire doors help to ensure that if a fire breaks out in one part of a building that it is stopped from passing to other zones and that occupants of the building are able to safely escape.


    At its most basic level, a door closer can help to keep a building more secure by ensuring that doors are properly closed and not left open. Their applications are wide-ranging from schools and offices to banks and commercial properties. In fact, a door closer is an effective way to improve security for all types of buildings.

    Internal or exterior door

    Another consideration is the location of the door. Internal doors will not need any corrosion resistance while door closers that will be used on external doors which are subjected to the weather will need moderate to very high resistance to corrosion. As well as the location of the door the type of door will have a big impact on your choice of door closer as for a glass door you will want to use a floor-spring closer which is concealed.

    Types of door closers

    Once you’ve worked out your needs based on traffic, fire protection, security, location and type of door you can now choose the best door closer for your needs. There are a few main types of door closers which break down as follows:

    Overhead door closers

    These are the most common type of door closers and are widely used in commercial properties, schools, offices, hotels and all types of public building. Within this category, there are three main types of overhead door closers which include:

    Regular arm – Also known as a standard arm closer, the regular arm overhead closer is located on the pull side of the door (normally the exterior side). When closed the arm projects out perpendicularly from the door and this is the most power-efficient option.

    Top jamb – Like the regular arm top jamb door closers arms project perpendicularly but the spring-loaded box is mounted on the face of the doorframe rather than the door. These are normally chosen for aluminium or glass storefront doors which have narrow top rails with no room for a regular arm door closer.

    Parallel arm – This is the most aesthetically pleasing option as the parallel arms sit on top of the door when it is closed. Unlike the previous options, the parallel arm’s spring-loaded box sits at the top of the push side of the door which makes it popular for exterior applications where improved security is key.

    As well as overhead door closers there are also a number of other types of door closers which may be specified depending on the type of door and aesthetic reasons. These are roughly broken down as below:

    Concealed – This is a great option for hiding the door closer and keeping the aesthetic beauty of your doors. Concealed door closers are best suited to internal doors that are lightweight, and these closers are available in spring-loaded or hydraulic versions.

    Surface-mounted – Surface-mounted door closers offer a cost-effective option with a bar fitted to the backside of the door which can be colour matched to the door. These are not totally concealed but there are no protruding arms to detract from the style of the door.

    Floor-spring – When working with glass doors then floor-spring door closers are the option of choice. They are mounted in the floor and are completely concealed from view with the closing bar located on the underside of the door.

  • Everything you wanted to know about hand forged ironmongery

    Have you ever wondered how mild steel products are hand-forged? Hand forging is also known as blacksmithing and it is one of the simplest forms of forging. It is a great option for low volume products as these can be made more cost-effectively by hand than other production methods. In this blog, we’ll look at the tools used as well as the seven techniques for hand forging ironmongery.

    Blacksmithing tools

    The practice of blacksmithing has been around for hundreds of years and the tools used in hand forging have largely remained unchanged during this time. So, let's take a look at the essential tools that are needed to hand forge ironmongery.

    Anvil – The anvil is a versatile and essential piece of equipment which has a flat face and rounded horn for shaping and bending metal as well as a step for making cuts and holes for placing tools.

    Hammer – A blacksmith’s hammer is used to shape the metal during forging and can be used with punches and chisels to create holes and cut metal.

    Tongs – There are different types of tongs all of which are used to hold a piece during the forging process.

    Swage block – This is a mould that is used on the anvil for shaping metal as well as bending, forming and heading.

    The seven techniques used to hand forge ironmongery

    Before hand-forging can be carried out the metal to be forged needs to be heated to the right temperature. For mild steelwork, most work is done when the metal is bright red or bright yellow in colour.

    Drawing down – This is the process of lengthening a piece of metal by hammering on the flat anvil face or curve anvil horn. A fuller can also be used to help speed up the drawing of a thicker piece of metal.

    Shrinking – The opposite of drawing down, shrinking is used to reduce the size of a piece of work while making it thicker.

    Bending – When iron is heated to a yellow heat it can be bent as if it was more ductile. This can be done on the horn or by using a bending fork placed in the square hole.

    Upsetting – Making the metal piece shorter is known as upsetting which creates thicker metal in one dimension while shortening it.

    Punching – Punching is the technique used to create a hole in a piece as well as adding a decorative pattern.

    Hot cutting – This is commonly carried out using chisels while the metal is at a bright red heat. The metalwork is placed on the step of the anvil or a suitable metal shield and cutting is done with a chisel and hammer or sledgehammer, depending on the thickness.

    Welding – Used to join two metals together, welding is the process of heating two metals to welding heat which is intense yellow with white sparks. During the welding process, the blacksmith takes great care to avoid the oxidization of the metal which will weaken the join. Hand forging ironmongery requires a lot of skill and the use of a combination of the techniques above as well as finishing to produce the final product. The result of hand forging is mild steel products which are stronger, more durable and longer-lasting than machined or fabricated products. They are also generally more in keeping and are often a requirement for listed buildings.

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