I love the character of the old glass door knobs in my 1920s Bungalow! They sparkle in the sunlight just like my wavy glass windows, but they are fragile in a lot of ways and for a long time I didn’t think there was a way to repair them when they broke until I experimented a little bit.
The most common issue with these glass doorknobs is that the glass base comes loose from the brass escutcheon. This results in a spinning door knob that makes the door very difficult to open.
In this post and video, I’ll show you a very easy way to fix this issue and give your doorknobs another lease on life. That way you can avoid trashing these historic treasure pieces and save some time and money. Anyone can do this!
How to Repair Glass Door Knobs
You’ll need to unscrew the doorknob from the post that holds it on the door and set it on a blanket atop a solid work table. Assemble the basic set of tools you need from the list below.
Step #1 Drill Out the Escutcheon
Set the doorknob upside down and drill thru the back side of the escutcheon until you get to the glass. You need to be extra careful and slowly sneak up on it to make sure you are not drilling into the glass or you risk breaking it. Just get through the metal so the backside of the glass is exposed.
You may need to use a flashlight to see when you have made it through the metal.
Step #2 Inject Epoxy
Clean out any metal shavings from the drill and then slowly inject the clear epoxy so that it fills the gap between the metal and glass. You may need to spin the glass doorknob a bit to make sure it gets enough epoxy into the back of it.
Be careful to not overfill the cavity or you may have trouble screwing the knob back onto the post later. Let it dry for 10-15 minutes and test the strength.
After the epoxy has cured you should have a nice tight fit like I did. Then you can reassemble the doorknob and put it back into service.
Check out the video below to see the process in action!
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I love old houses, working with my hands, and teaching others the excitment of doing it yourself! Everything is teachable if you only give it the chance.
2 thoughts on “How To: Repair Glass Door Knobs”
Aha. We have this exact problem in our 1930s house in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. I have kept the doorknobs on the doors because they look pretty. Now, we can make them functional, too. Thanks.
I was indeed wondering how to fix them. Indeed they are a splendour compare to the new ones.