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Shop 4 Classics Old House Blog

The Shop 4 Classics Old House Blog is a forum for homeowners of old homes or new homes with vintage appeal. The Shop 4 Classics Old House Blog features tips and tidbits on clawfoot tubs, clawfoot tub faucets and showers, heat registers and cold air returns, antique reproduction door hardware, and many more products for classic homes. For more tips and anecdotes about the old home experience, take a break and visit the Shop 4 Classics Old House Blog or peruse the complete list of topics discussed on the blog at the Shop 4 Classics Old House Blog Archive.

Fri, 12 Dec 2014 15:06:00 +0000
Antique Revelry Brass and Cast Iron Floor Registers: Home Improvement That's Right On Time
Officially, winter doesn't arrive for another week or so but for many of us it seems like winter is already here.  Autumn passed without giving us much of an opportunity to prepare for winter.  Better late than never.  That is what frequently late people like to say.  Better late than never.

Celtic Cross Cast Iron Floor Register (left) and Celtic Cross Oil Rubbed Bronze Floor Register (right)

If you missed the opportunity to prepare your home for winter, Shop 4 Classics has good news for you.  We just introduced a new line of cast iron floor registers and brass floor registers from Antique Revelry.  The Antique Revelry floor registers are offered in four stylish designs and three popular color options.  They range from vintage cast iron heat registers like the Celtic Cross, Heritage, or Victorian designs to modern brass heat registers like the Linear design.  The cast iron floor registers are offered in traditional matte black finish.  The brass heat registers are offered as either brushed nickel floor registers or oil rubbed bronze floor registers.  These new heat registers are available in the nine most common sizes in residential heating and cooling systems.  All of these floor heat registers include a multi-louver damper to control air flow.

Heritage Brushed Nickel Floor Register (left) and Heritage Cast Iron Floor Register (right) 

Rather than spend the next few months looking at your old heat registers and thinking to yourself, "is it cold in here?", why not replace them with a stylish new Antique Revelry heat register and think, "it's kind of cold in here but that new heat register looks awesome!"

Linear Cast Iron Floor Register (left) and Linear Brushed Nickel Floor Register (right)

As always, Shop 4 Classics provides free shipping for orders over $100.00.  Save an additional 5% on Antique Revelry register orders of $500.00 or more with the HARDWARE5 coupon or save an additional 10% on Antique Revelry heat register orders of $1,000.00 or more with the HARDWARE10 coupon.  Visit Shop 4 Classics today for Antique Revelry heat registers.  It's never too late.

Victorian Vine Oil Rubbed Bronze Floor Register (left) and Victorian Vine Cast Iron Floor Register (right)

Thu, 13 Nov 2014 19:56:00 +0000
Flat Track Barn Door Hardware: Your Barn Door Is Open

Cast Iron Barn Door Roller Strap

In a former job, I once witnessed an industry expert make a lengthy presentation on the importance of quality.  All the while his barn door was open.  It was not one of his finer moments and certainly was not an effective technique for promoting Six Sigma quality.  The phrase "your barn door is open" can create great angst when it refers to your pants zipper.  In the literal sense, however, the phrase "your barn door is open" can instill great pride.  Today, we review quality crafted iron flat track hardware for sliding barn doors that will make you exclaim, "Hurray, my barn door is open".

Sliding barn doors are a type of track door.  Rather than swing on door hinges, track doors slide side to side.  Hinged swinging doors can create space and configuration issues that are eliminated by a sliding track door.  Like pocket track doors, rolling track barn doors hang on carriers that roll on an overhead track.  Pocket doors slide in and out of a pocket in the wall.  When a pocket door is open, the door and its hardware are hidden in the pocket between the walls.  Conversely, when a sliding barn door is open, the door and its hardware is exposed.  In this case, exposure caused by an open barn door is appreciated.  The flat track and rolling carrier hardware add a rustic charm that appeals to homeowners and interior designers.  Unlike a pocket door, installing a rolling track barn door doesn't require ripping out a wall to create a pocket.  The exposed track is mounted to the wall with lag screws instead.

In addition to the barn door, there is some specialized hardware required to make barn doors slide.  Obviously, there is a track.  The track is mounted to the wall with "stand-offs" which also serve as spacers allowing the door to slide on the track without rubbing against the wall.  Wheel and carrier assemblies (or "roller straps") attach to the top of the door.  The roller straps have a wheel that rides on the overhead track permitting the door to roll side to side.  Stabilizers can be used on the bottom of the barn door to prevent swing.  Anti-jump blocks are used to prevent the door from jumping the track and end stops are used to prevent the door from rolling off the end of the track.

Shop 4 Classics offers complete rolling barn door flat track hardware kits that include all of the hardware required for a single door installation.  The rolling barn door flat track hardware kits include track, standoffs, wheel and carrier assemblies, stabilizers, end stops, and anti-jump blocks.  Each kit is available in various track lengths.  Track splicers can be purchased to join tracks end to end for a longer track or multiple doors.  Shop 4 Classics offers sliding barn door hardware kits in a smooth iron finish or distressed iron finish.  Color choices include traditional black or dark bronze.  Basic style kits have square end roller straps while the Designer style kits have rounded end roller straps.  All components are also available separately; although the complete kits are more economical and ensure that you have all of the correct parts to complete your project.

Visit Shop 4 Classics' Sliding Barn Door Hardware department for a complete selection of barn door flat track hardware.  Our quality crafted iron flat track hardware for sliding barn doors creates a memorable impression whether your barn door is open or closed.

Cast Iron Rolling Track Barn Door Hardware

Sat, 25 Oct 2014 00:38:00 +0000
Historic Bothwell Lodge: Part Castle, Part Craftsman bungalow, and Surprisingly Green
This past weekend I took a detour from my four-hour drive along I-70 from Kansas City to St. Louis in order to visit the Bothwell Lodge StateHistorical Site, which is located just 15 minutes south of Interstate 70 along Highway 65 towards Sedalia, Missouri.   Center to The Bothwell Lodge State Historical Site is an impressive castle-like structure known as the Bothwell Lodge that sits atop a 120 foot bluff.    I had seen this massive stone structure from a distance over a decade ago and wondered what its story was.   By setting aside an hour to visit the site this past weekend, I discovered that the castle on the bluff held many surprises and stories to tell.

Castle Like Bothwell Lodge (above) One of Bothwell's Craftsman Style Outbuilding  
The Bothwell Lodge was constructed over a thirty year period beginning in 1897 by a prominent lawyer named John Homer Bothwell as his private residence.  The bluff facing the lodge’s façade was designed to resemble Scotland’s medieval Bothwell Castlebut I was pleasantly surprised that much of the lodge’s interior and all the outbuildings were rich with the hallmark features of the period’s Arts and Crafts movement.   Generous millwork throughout the lodge’s interior as well as interior doors were of richly stained grainy quarter-sawn oak.   Simple Craftsman style door and cabinet hardware was used rather than Gothic Revival style hardware that would have been keeping with its exterior.  Classic Craftsman architectural elements including low pitched roofs, decorative braces, dormer style windows, and distinctive windows are common to the garage, sheds, and a cliff-side bungalow built on the grounds.  
Dining Room's Closed and Open Door to Air Conditioning Shaft 

A tour of the Bothwell lodge revealed green features that Mr. Bothwell incorporated in its construction.   The clawfoot tubs and kitchen sink.   These taps brought rain water from the lodge’s roof into a separate plumbing system.   The sleeping porch off Mr. Bothwell’s bedroom included a feature that shows just how much he appreciated his home’s natural setting.   He had portions of the wooden porch’s walls hollowed out so that honey bees would build hives within the porch The current caretakers of the lodge had affixed a glass pane to allowing guests to view the porch’s very active beehive. 
most unique of these is a shaft that tapped into the caves within the bluff to draw cool air into the dining room and his bedroom.   This natural, ground-source air conditioning was hidden behind doors that opened to a stone wall with grated opening .   Another surprising feature was the extra water faucet taps on the two
Extra Rainwater Faucet on Clawfoot Tub and on Kitchen Sink

I left the Bothwell Lodge amazed that Mr. Bothwell built his home over a hundred years ago using the bluff’s natural stones and continued to use and embrace its natural surroundings in such clever and ecologically friendly way.   If you are in the area, stop by the Bothwell Lodge State Historical Site.  If you’re in the market for Craftsman or even Gothic Revival style hardware visit Shop 4 Classics.

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