Custom hardware, door and lockset parts, and architectural elements such as moldings are made for historic building preservation, and for new building modern designs. Various techniques are necessary to create custom parts, including sand casting and lost wax casting, lathe work, milling, welding by arc, TIG, and MIG, silver soldering, drilling and tapping, as well as the old world technique of forging. Finishing is accomplished by grinding, chasing, tumbling, vibratory finishers, sanding, and polishing. Virtually any shapes may be created, any hardware recreated or replicated. Olek makes delicate precision hardware to restore half-lapped locksets, special screws by the thousands no longer available today to fit old architectural metalwork, ranging in size up to massive hinges for fortress doors weighing well over a ton for each door leaf, with six inch hinge barrels, and five foot long hinge straps- precisely the same as the original components.



University Club Paneling&Wainscot
English Oak Paneling Carving and Dutchman Inlay- Baruch College, Cuny, restoration

Few examples of over half-dozen cast iron ornaments necessary to replicate Grand Central Terminal Gates. Shown are pickets and Rosettes. The original elements were used to carve larger wood models , that would shrink to the desired size after sand casting.


These cast iron cornices throughout Grand Central Stations were replicas of the originals, discarded during an earlier "restoration". Made from shorter cast iron elements, these 1/2" thick castings were cut and welded using special high-nickel content welding rods, using an arc welding process. All the miter joints were created by cutting and welding.


Custom horizontally milled bronze architectural molding, to match original profile, prior to secondary machining, polishing and patination.



This magnificent 18' high Solarium is made with solid bronze curved windows, five double doors, and all bronze hardware- in 1875. The architectural moldings, door knobs, lever handles, thumbturns, even screws holding in the glass moldings were mostly missing, or replaced with modern components during the decades after conversion from a residence to a school. Now converted back to single family residential use, all inappropriate hardware was replaced with custom cast components matching the original, in bright bronze inside, and patinated exterior.


Door Lockset Thumbturns, showing rough lost wax castings, both before and after machining and partial polishing to match the original thumbturns to the new custom pieces.


Fabrication of Door Knob Escutcheons is a hand-formed process to rough in the shape, drilling and sawing to start, from bar stock.


Solarium Escutcheons, for mounting of Door Knobs and lever handles, after hand shaping, reaming, and soldering in of flat profile, to match original size. Face side above, back side below. Still to be polished. The silver soldering line in the upper escutcheon can be faintly seen under magnification.


Custom thumb turns and escutcheons matching originals, after polishing and installation of steel spindles.


One of Two remaining (of ten) Original Cast Bronze Lever Handles, rest to be replicated.


Lost Wax Cast Bronze Lever Door Handle, showing mold imperfections, before filing out of mold imperfections using tungsten inert gas (TIG) infilling, tumbling, sanding, polishing, machining for steel spindle, and finally chemically patinating to match the original handles.


Cast Bronze Lever Handles after drilling, being hand-tapped to thread the knobs to accept the spindles.


Door handles after casting, partial polishing, drilling and tapping for spindles and set screws for spindles.


Lever handles after tumbling below, and after hand chasing and polishing above. Ready to be patinated.


Door handles after machining and polishing by hand and by tumbler for rough finish matching antique handles, prior to patination.


Grinding stock to size for Door Spindles.


Lathe Turning of Split Spindles for oversized locksets.


Dummy Spindles after hand-tapping of threads for door knobs & lever handles.


Restored locksets, with custom machined spindles matching originals, for these solid bronze doors, ca. 1875.


Iron Bronze Casting Gallery

                Grand Central Station                                               



© 2012 OLEKLEJBZON Corp. All Rights Reserved