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BRONZE & NICKEL DOORS- REPAIRED, RESTORED, REFINISHING AND REPLICATED BY OLEK LEJBZON CO. TRUSTED SINCE 1950


Bronze doors are restored before Bronze doors are restored after


Bronze doors are restored and replicated by our fine European craftsmen. We machine, weld cast, and forge doors and their hardware to preserve or restore the grandeur of historic landmark buildings. Without the proper maintenance, nothing lasts forever, even doors and hardware made of these most durable of metals. Hardware wears out, starting the process of door deterioration:

 

          
  •  Hinges wear, allowing doors to drag on the saddle and hit each other.


  •  Locksets wear out, or fail to function with displaced brass doors.


  •  Maintenance is too often shoddily done, causing worse damages in the future, for temporary fixes.


  •  A properly maintained bronze, nickel or aluminum plate door should last for many centuries.


  •  Building settlement can distort framing of headers and jambs, causing great damage to doors if ignored.



  • Proper maintenance is done by our craftsmen with the experience, education in metallurgy and engingeering, and intelligence to understand the structure of such doors, the limitations of the metals and materials composing the door, the original techniques used in fabrication, and the resources to make effective repairs. Welding was not widely used in non-ferrous doors until after the 1930's. Earlier Historic doors relied on forging, milling or lathe machining, casting, drilling, tapping and screwing doors together. Solid bronze could be used, or often clad in sheets over a steel frame. To effectively repair such works, a mechanic must respect the techniques used, be thoroughly familar with them, and able to recreate any of the components needed.

     


    The projects below show typical conditions encountered, where ignorant repairmen (often working for reputable companies selling critically important hardware) caused more damage than the conditions they were paid to fix. This is a common situation. Owners should diligently inquire of the qualifications of any repairmen they trust to repair such treasured doors. The damages inflicted by poorly executed repairs are more costly to fix than a costly repair done properly once.

     



    RESTORATION- STRUCTURAL REPAIRS AND HARDWARE MAINTENANCE ARE ESSENTIAL FOR LASTING PRESERVATION:



    Original 1/8' steel framing behind bronze cladding had been replaced with 1/16' aluminum plate Original 1/8' steel framing behind bronze cladding had been replaced with 1/16' aluminum plate Original 1/8' steel framing behind bronze cladding had been replaced with 1/16' aluminum plate


    Original 1/8" steel framing behind bronze cladding had been replaced with 1/16" aluminum plate to the left, removed on the right. New single piece welded steel plate 1/4" - 1/8" thick replaces existing aluminum patched support. Bronze TIG (tungsten inert gas) used to repair damage with a welded Dutchman inlay or patch.

     

    New single piece welded steel plate 1/4 inch - 1/8 inch thick replaces existing aluminum patched support New single piece welded steel plate 1/4 inch - 1/8 inch thick replaces existing aluminum patched support



    Replacing the internal steel framework removed previously by previous shoddy repairs, required tungsten inert gas TIG welding to repair the damages to the 1/16" thin bronze cladding of the door. Now strong as new

     




    Center Pivot Stile Repair - Before Center Pivot Stile Repair - After


    Before- Center Pivot Stile Repair
    After Repair


    Bronze door bottom before repair


    Bronze door bottom before repair





    x Bronze plate removed, deformation hammered out


    Bronze plate removed, deformation hammered out.

     



    Other side of door bottom by floor pivot hinge, door sagging and dragging on sill mounted closer

     



    During repair- cladding removed, to replace broken steel angles. Internal framing seriously corroded, note broken original angle that was supposed to keep the frame square. Original 1/8" angles replaced with 1/4".

     





    Medallions and ornaments disassembled. Various repairs needed, from repairing split castings, to repairing worn holes and threading. The holes enlarged from the weight of the medallions supported by small machine screws, stressed by the force of holding the medallions while the door opened and closed many tens of millions of times . Larger holes drilled, then tapped and new screws inserted to fill the holes, and soldered. Filling of old extraneous holes from abandoned hardware then had the screws cut off and ground flat. Original holes were then re- drilled and tapped to the original size, and then the ornaments reattached.

     



          Elongated hole                  Split bronze casting




    The granularity of the bronze paint covering the solid bronze doors is visible, before restoration with a clear finish.

     





    Faint silver solder rings visible around holes prior to polishing. After polishing the rings disappear.

     



    All screwed ornaments loose and flopping around before All screwed ornaments tight as new after repair

    All screwed ornaments loose and flopping around before
    Tight as new after repair

    Strike plate and stile broken, missing elements Dutchman inlays TIG Welded, ground and polished, as new

    Strike plate and stile broken, missing elements.
    Dutchman inlays TIG Welded, ground and polished, as new.


    The stile crack is visible after repair and reinforcement less so after welding, then disappears during polishing

    The stile crack is visible after repair and reinforcement
    less so after welding, then disappears during polishing.




    Views of the cleaned and stripped bronze, and stages of polishing are shown below.

     





    Refinished and Restored San Remo Apt. North Entry Doors- 146 Central Park West

     



    Under the bronze paint, the bronze had tarnished to a dark color, appearing blackish during paint removal above. Rather than strip the clear lacquer and polish out tarnish, maintenance personnel carelessly sprayed paint.

     








    Installation


    Old closer replaced with same model Rixson floor mounted heavy duty closer, with winter fluid for consistent closing year round. Closer installation must be precise, anchored in the proper materials. The plaster found around the existing closer was deteriorated, broken and cracked, and contributed to the hinge problems and misalignment of the doors. Special epoxy and high strength mason cement were used to set the closers.

     










    Bronze Molded Solarium and Entry Door Restoration, ca.1875



    Bronze Framed Solarium missing moldings, and recaulking of all glass. Requires new moldings milled and approx. 800 custom Jackson head screws cut down on a lathe to replace weak originals that break on removal, and mismatched prior replacements

     



    Screws for Bronze Frame


    mis-sized locksets cut into door, to be replaced and restored with appropriate lockset, and refinished


    Solid bronze entry door had molding elements cut away to install closer, and mis-sized locksets cut into door, to be replaced and restored with appropriate lockset, and refinished.

     



    Molding hinge made


    Matching moldings milled




    Replicas fabricated of bronze and steel. Original to left of replica.


    Original oversized thumbturn knobs broken and missing, overstressed by activating Cremone Bolts for 7' doors since their 1875 fabrication. Replicas fabricated of bronze and steel. Original to left of replica.

     



    Holes welded closed, special wide backset locks machined to fit into close to original locations on door lockset housing


    Original lockset housing had extra holes cut for mis-sized replacement locksets. Holes welded closed, special wide backset locks machined to fit into close to original locations on door lockset housing.

     





    Solid bronze 18' high radius window frames restored for this ca. 1875 Solarium. All bonze moldings and all radius glass removed, restored, new glazing putty installed for weatherproofing, and 800 new custom-machined "Jackson" head screws lathe-turned in our machine shop to replace original crystallized screws for replacment of moldings.

     



    Iron & Bronze Doors Gallery


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