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If you have ever attempted to install a new doorknob or repair one that is loose, you will understand the importance of proper installation. A loose doorknob can leave you standing on the outside with a knob in your hand and no way to enter. On the other hand, improper installation of a doorknob can leave you in a deadlock that will neither allow you to come or go through the door.

To properly install or repair a doorknob, you must first be sure you understand what type you are working on. The old fashion doorknobs have a small set screw at the base that secures it to a spindle which runs through the door. When the knob is loose or comes off on this type of doorknob, it is usually because the screw has loosened or come out. In this case you simply need to tighten the screw or replace it. Occasionally, with old fashioned doorknobs, the spindle will become so worn that the screw will not seat. If this is the case, you should rotate the knob 1\4 turn and try to seat the screw in a new spot. In order to maintain the proper tension you will need to do this on both ends of the doorknob.

When the knob itself screws onto the spindle, you will often have the problems of the threads becoming worn. You can use a bit of putty or modeling clay to fix this problem by placing it inside the knob and then screwing it back on. You can also wrap the spindle with plastic tape or thread tape to solve this problem. If neither of these solutions work, you will need to replace the spindle. If you are trying to save an antique doorknob whose spindles cannot be replaced, you can reposition the worn spindle on the doorknob and drill all the way through the base. You will then need to insert a bolt and cap it with a decorative nut. For worn threads on spindles that screw together in the middle, it is necessary to replace the whole spindle.

Most modern doorknobs are part of the latch assembly. These will usually include a spring catch and a lock. They should be installed according to the manufacturer's instructions. In most cases, one knob is attached to the spindle and an escutcheon or rose. The rose will include a pair of stems which penetrate the latch mechanism. These will be threaded inside to receive the mounting screws, which in most cases are attached to the other doorknob. Occasionally you will find that the assembly has no stems. When this occurs it is because the mounting screws go into a lock cylinder connected to one knob. In most cases when you have problems with this type of knob it is because the mounting screws need to be tightened. If you find that no screws are visible, look for a spring catch under the knob. Once this spring is depressed, the knob can be removed and the screws beneath it can be tightened.

If you are unsure of the terminology used in the directions of your doorknob assembly package, always remember: the set screw and spring lock are usually found on the underside of the knob. The rose is the metal part that covers the hole where the doorknob is inserted. Mounting screws hold the two doorknob pieces together and tighten their bond to the door. Stems are the long metal sections that the mounting screws go into. A spindle is the metal center piece that runs between the two doorknobs causing them to turn at the same time. The lock cylinder is the part that is mounted in the hole on the edge of your door and attaches by the spindle to the knobs.