Old Porcelain Doorknobs: How to attach to a board?

I bought a bunch of these great porcelain doorknobs at an auction. I want to take a nice board, attach a few of the doorknobs to it, and use it as coathanger rail. (Like a peg rail, only with knobs.)
Of course, I have no idea how to do this. The knobs have a square hole, and I’m wondering how to attach them to the board? (Obviously, I have NO experience with this type of thing.)
Thanks for any input!

I’m sure there will be a suitable glue in your local hardware store. Personally I’d use Araldite® – it comes in two tubes, you squeeze out the same amount from each tube, and mix thoroughly before use.

The square hole might be more of a hindrance than a help, but you could drill through the board first and push some wooden dowels through the holes. Pick some that fit snugly into the holes in the doorknobs.

Get some epoxy at the store, the kind where you mix two chemicals together and it then hardens within a few minutes, mix some up, fill the square hole with it, set a bolt into the epoxy so that the fat end(end where you would normally apply a wrench) is secured in the knob. After the epoxy hardens, you can run the bolt through a piece of wood and use a nut on the bolt to hold it in place.

I hope that made sense…it did to me.

Oh, well. See? It never even occurred to me to use glue (or epoxy). I’ve spent the last few days trying to figure out how to attach a screw to something with a square hole. Heh.

Now I’m kind of embarrassed. Maybe you all could just pretend I was asking for a friend of a friend.

Any other ideas for these nifty things? They’re great, and I have a whole box full of them!

Thanks! I knew y’all would have answers for me!

I am very jealous, karol. I am always on the look out for door knobs ( glass or other purty ones) to use as hangers.

I would have thought you would have to use a screw -board - washer-wingnut thingie to make the thing work.

Asking Mr. Ujest about such issues is not relevent to him. He does not grasp ‘purty functional’ things like this. and it has to involve expensive tools to get the job done. Using just glue would be beneath him.

Maybe when you are at the hardware store you can ask one of the guys there for their suggestions. I wouldn’t think that glue/epoxy would be strong enough for repeated abuse from hanging coats. But, then again, I could be wrong.

nice knobs :smiley:

Oh contrare, those epoxys setup like hard plastic, some are even semi-suitable as temporary steel repair (BJ Weld for example).

Doorknobs always have some mechanism whereby they’re attached to a ppost that goes through the door.
Are the square holes threaded ? Some are.
If not, do they have an setscrew located on the side that can be used to clamp them to a shaft ?

In either case, take a representative knob down to your local hardware store (not home despot, or Menards, a hardware store) and look for a bolt, probably 1/4", that will fit in the square hole. Depending on the knob, you can either screw the bolt in or tighten the setscrew onto it. If worst comes to worst, epoxy will work. If you can’t figure it out, ask one of the clerks at the store. Buy enough bolts for all the knobs, and when you get home drill some holes in the wood, put the bolts through, and attach the knobs.

You could use some of the extra ones to make yourself a boleadora and start an exciting new career as a professional ostrich hunter :wink:

I think you mean JB weld… not BJ weld… so did the Nice knobs comment have you thinking of other things billy?

Well, since you do not have the spindles that came with the knobs
glue or an epoxy would do wonders.

You could find the spindles at your local hardware store(I think)
so you can insert them into the knobs then run them thru the board and tighten them down with a bolt.

Sounds like the epoxy/glue idea is best. Just make sure to let it harden properly.

I did know a man who used to get the old brass or metal knobs from the antique doors polish them up real pretty then acid etch a pretty design then sold them for a nice chunk of change.

If you have children, have them paint critters or such on the ends of the knobs before you glue them on. It will give them something to do and makes a unique and fun coat hanger for their rooms.

I have seen them made into the pommel of a nice hardwood walking cane. Get a pretty piece of hardwood, carve into a cane, run a dowel into the knob and into the top of the cane.

I’m a little dubious of the epoxy solution (and somewhat unsettled by the idea of BJ Weld ;)). While an epoxy will bond very tightly to the surface of the board you attach the knobs to I suspect that eventually they will tear off a thin layer of wood if stressed.

Bodypoet, you mention a square hole in the knobs, is there a small screw hole near the end of the knob that would touch the door? Many old style door knobs had a square metal rod running between the knobs on both sides of the door and the screw holes in each knob let you fix the knobs to that rod. If you could find any of those rods you could perhaps cut them to length passing through the board. If the hole they pass through is tight enough you could glue the rod in place and fix the knob to that rod with a screw through the hole on the side.

Alternatively you could cut a square dowel of wood about an inch or so in length that fit very tightly in that square hole. I’d use a little glue to help the “square peg” slide in and later to hold it, and tap it in with a hammer. Then pre-drill holes in the board you are mounting to and use suitably sized wood screws from the back of the mounting board into the wood plug you placed in the square hole in the knobs.

Sorry to be unbearably geeky about it, but it’s French, and spelt: “au contraire”.

There, now you can tell someone that you learned something today.

If you were near me, I could set you up very easily. I made a coat hook out of some old door knobs many years ago. I installed threaded inserts in the square holes. An insert is threaded onto a tool and placed in an appropriate sized hole. The handle is squeezed and the insert expands and locks into place. Here is an example of the tool I have. I used some epoxy too just to be safe. My kids found out that the doorknobs held coats just fine but would not support their weight too and a couple of them were broke off. I should dig it out and fix it.