Finish Hardware Technology Finish Hardware Technology Finish Hardware Technology Services Recent Projects Links About Us Contact Us News & Tips

May 29, 2009

FHT Moves to Its New Office

Filed under: Miscellaneous
Posted by Jon Thomasson at 1:12 pm

Finish Hardware Technology has moved to a new location after more than 20 years in the same 2nd story office on Saticoy Street in North Hollywood, CA.  Effective June 1, 2009, we will open for business at our new office just over 2 miles away in Panorama City.

We’re excited about this move and believe we’ll be able to serve our client base more effectively from our new office area specially designed for our firm.  Our new space is brighter, encourages collaboration, and offers an even better work environment for our staff.  We have built in infrastructure for voice and video conferencing and hope to have those up and running soon.

For our clients involved in airport or government work, we will still have our DBE certification in the new location.

In addition to our address, our phone and fax numbers are changed.  (Our old phone number will automatically forward to our new number for some time.)

Please take note of our new address, phone and fax numbers:

7967 Varna Avenue, Panorama City, CA 91402
Tel: (818) 387-6083  FAX: (818) 386-8738

December 12, 2008

Rixson Heavy-Duty Floor Closers – The Best Choice for Hard-working Storefront and Glass Doors

Filed under: Door Hardware Application Tips
Posted by Jon Thomasson at 6:01 pm

It constantly amazes me that the cheapest, lowest-quality door hardware is often installed at the most prominent and most used doors in the building–at the aluminum storefront and glass entry doors. In fact, more expensive and better hardware is typically applied to the janitor door than the beautiful glass entry doors. Why? Because often the General Contractor will split off the door hardware for the storefront and glass doors to the company that is also supplying the doors. The curtainwall or glass company will invariably try to substitute the cheap door hardware that is on their shelves in lieu of the specified products.

The first point of impact is the door closer. There are five (5) basic types of closers that can be specified for storefront and glass entry doors:

  1. Heavy-duty multi-sized floor closers (only Rixson makes these)
  2. Light-duty thin slab sized floor closers (Dorma and Rixson both make these)
  3. Multi-sized overhead concealed closers (only Norton and Yale currently make these–I am purposely excluding Jackson’s low-quality multi-sized overhead concealed)
  4. Sized overhead concealed closers (LCN, Dorma, Rixson, International, Jackson)
  5. Surface closers (Norton, LCN, Yale)
Jackson Overhead Concealed Closer - Don't Use This!

Jackson Sized Overhead Concealed Closer

Dorma BTS-80 Sized Floor Closer

Dorma BTS-80 Sized Floor Closer

Norton 7900 Multi-Sized OHC Closer

Norton 7900 Multi-Sized OHC Closer

LCN 4040 Multi-Sized Surface Closer

LCN 4040 Multi-Sized Surface Closer

FHT strongly recommends using only multi-sized closers at exterior doors.  That means the spring power can be adjusted over a wide range of opening and closing forces.  Since accessibility codes require low opening forces (currently 5 lbs. in California), the building owner may need the option of re-adjusting the closer’s spring power to ensure that the door closes and latches.  With a sized closer, if you need a stronger closing force, that typically means buying a new door closer.  The multi-sized requirement knocks out the thin slab sized floor closers and the sized overhead concealed closers.  Surface closers work well, but have an aesthetic and practical drawback on storefront and glass doors.  Overhead concealed closers that are multi-sized require a 4-inch high frame head.

Rixson 27 Offset Floor Closer

Rixson 27 Offset Floor Closer

Rixson heavy-duty floor closers (their 27 offset hung and 28 center hung) offer the architect and building owner many benefits:

  • The substantial weight of the door rests on the floor closer (and, therefore, the floor), thus preventing door sag due to failing hinges.  Rixson floor closers models are available for doors weighing up to 1500 lbs.
  • The helical torsion spring creates an incredibly efficient door closer (over 80% efficiency).  This means Rixson heavy-duty floor closers can be set to open with 5 lbs. opening force, yet still have 4 lbs. closing force.  Surface closers are typically only around 60% efficient (3 lbs. closing force if the closer is set to 5 lbs. opening force.
  • Rixson heavy-duty floor closers have a built-in hard stop that is factory set at 85°, 90°, 95° or 105°.  With adjustable hydraulic backcheck, this ensures that the door will slow to a cushioned stop when swung open by pedestrians or wind.  Light-duty overhead concealed closers (think Jackson, International, and Dorma) purport to stop the door from overswing, but you’ll soon see a sticker on the door for 24-hour closer repair because of their propensity to leak and lose control.
  • The massive Rixson 27/28 floor closers are designed to withstand daily use by hundreds and thousands of pedestrians.  They are the most durable closers available.
  • Of course, one of the most obvious benefits is that the closer is almost completely hidden in the floor, leaving nothing to detract from the beauty of the door.

Rixson heavy-duty floor closers do take some time and effort to coordinate because of their 4″+ deep case, but the result is well worth the effort.

We’ll address coordination tips and floor closer options in future postings.  We welcome your comments.

October 31, 2008

Why Hire an Independent Door Hardware Consultant?

Filed under: Miscellaneous
Posted by Jon Thomasson at 9:36 am

Independent Consultant (FHT)

Vendor Consultant

Agreement Type

A written legal contract between the consultant and the architect. (Note that sometimes we are contracted directly by the building owner.) The consultant becomes an official member of the design team.

Non-binding verbal agreement.


Liability, errors and omissions.

Typically none.

Financial Motivation

Seeks to perform well for client so as to earn future business.

Seeks to gain maximum commission from hardware manufacturer.

Product Selection

Competitive specification written with products trusted by the consultant and meeting the project’s functional, aesthetic and durability requirements. Owner’s and architect’s preferences are respected and integrated into specification.

Proprietary specification in represented products. Because products are limited to specific brands, project requirements often receive secondary consideration. Higher cost products are often specified (thus generating higher commissions).

Cost to Owner

Slightly increased design costs. Lower build costs due to competitive specification and appropriate products.

Slightly decreased design costs. Higher build costs due to proprietary specification and, in many cases, inappropriate or excessively-costly products.

Design Fees

Set fees agreed to in contract. The hardware consultant fees are typically the least of all consultants on the project.

Free. The hardware manufacturers pay the salary of the representative.

Welcome to FHT’s New Website

Filed under: Miscellaneous
Posted by Jon Thomasson at 8:59 am

Finish Hardware Technology welcomes you to our new website and news/tips section.  We will be posting news and architectural door hardware tips reguarly, so please check back soon.