Changing a doorknob so I can get out of the bedroom
June 19, 2005 2:59 PM   Subscribe

Is anyone familiar with removing old doorknobs?

I'm trying to change the doorknob on my bedroom door. It's a very ordinary doorknob without a lock, but most doorknobs I'm familar with fasten onto the door with screws in the trim (the ring of metal between both doorknobs and the door), but there are no screws in this doorknob's trim. The pages I've found through google suggest "gently prying" it off. I've tried that, but all I'm doing is gouging the door. And I've tried unscrewing the screws on the strikeplate and going in that way, but that won't budge either. Any ideas?
posted by JanetLand to Home & Garden (8 answers total)
If memory serves, the escutcheon on an older doorknob is held in place by the knob itself. If you've removed the knob from the spindle, the escutcheon should just fall off, unless paint or varnish is holding it in place. So prying is, indeed, the method. But first you might try working your way around the edge with a putty knife to loosen all parts of the edge.
posted by bricoleur at 3:06 PM on June 19, 2005

That is, slide the blade of the putty knife under the escutcheon at one corner, and then, keeping the blade flat against the door, work it all away around under the edge of the escutcheon.
Just had to say "escutcheon" a couple more times.
posted by bricoleur at 3:12 PM on June 19, 2005

The door knobs I have in my place require for the panel on the front of the handle to be removed...I'm too stupid to explain what I mean by the "front panel", so I hope you understand. (I tried googling for such a handle, but no luck) But it takes a flathead screwdriver to remove it, once this panel is off, there is one screw that goes through the center of the door handle, holding both sides together

If your door handle is solid and has no such "panel" ...then I hope someone else can help.
posted by Sonic_Molson at 4:09 PM on June 19, 2005

That sounds about right - two pieces joined together in the center. I've also seen knobs that were on a shaft with a square profile held together with a set screw on one of the handles.
posted by plinth at 4:48 PM on June 19, 2005

I replaced some a few weeks ago. I had to depress a small button in the spindle that runs from the knob to the door with a screwdriver. I then could pull the knob off and had to pry the plate that went over the spindle and against the door off with the screwdriver which revealed screws that allowed me to remove the whole thing.
posted by prjo at 8:30 PM on June 19, 2005

Older (probably more than 50 years old?) knobs somtimes have a tiny flathead screw in the handle's narrow part. It can be hard to spot if you're not expecting it. Look for a slot that's flush with the surface, probably on the underside. Once the knob is off, the faceplace willl proably still be attached, but it becomes easier to pry off without scratching/gouging the door.
posted by nakedcodemonkey at 8:56 PM on June 19, 2005

Another possible design: Inspect the circular plate that touches the door, and look for a small gap with a tiny metal tab that holds the plate onto the door surface. It may be found on one side and not the other. Push or lever that tab in while gently prying the plate from the door, and the screws will be underneath.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 11:13 PM on June 19, 2005

Our old doorknobs have set screws in the shaft of the knob itself. Look for this, and unscrew it all the way out. Then, the knob must be turned counterclockwise... a lot... until it falls off. Then the rest of the stuff slides out away from the door.
posted by odinsdream at 7:29 AM on June 20, 2005

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