Door knob problem

Our home is approx. 120 years old and has nine doors using the glass doorknobs with threaded spindles. The problem is that with time, the knobs pull off the spindle and no amount of resetting and tightening the set screw on the knob will keep them in place for longer than a week or so.
At one point I wrapped a few rounds of teflon plumbers' tape around the spindle thinking that it might increase the diameter enough to create a better hold. This lasted a few weeks longer than usual but eventually the knob pulled off the spindle.
I'm tempted to wrap some epoxy resin putty around the spindles for a permanent solution but shudder at the thought of ever having to replace them. Does anyone have a better solution?
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Are the threads in either the knob, on the spindle or both worn to the point where the knob just pushes on? If so, your f***ed onless you can replace both from someplace like Restoration Hardware. The set screws are not designed to hold the knobs, just prevent them from turning.
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Rich Greenberg Marietta, GA, USA richgr atsign panix.com + 1 770 321 6507
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No, even replacement sets from local hardware stores fall off after a couple of weeks.
One solution, albeit very expensive, would be to buy ones identical to what our hardware stores sell, from architectural antique hardware sites. (We're in Canada so there's the exchange rate as well as the extra cost of shipping and Customs duties to consider.)
Then there's no guarantee that they'll be any better than what I've bought recently.
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Circe,
I'm not sure I understand your problem. When you say " No, even replacement sets from local hardware stores fall off after a couple of weeks." do you mean that your are replacing the spindle and both door knobs? If that's what you mean then you need to figure out why the threads are failing. Basically the spindle is a bolt and the door knob is a nut. What you describe sounds as if the thread of the "nut" or the "bolt" is failing within a couple of weeks. This would be most odd. If you mean that the knobs unscrew and come off and the replacement set is a new setscrew then the setscrew thread in the doorknob is stripped. Get a tap and a slightly larger diameter setscrew.
Dave M.
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Dave M. .......
I can buy recently made glass door knobs and spindle in a set from local hardware stores that are identical to those sold by architectural antique hardware suppliers, for around the same price.
I'll buy a new set, screw on the knob making sure that it's in the right position so the set screw will be in contact with a flat side of the spindle, and tighten the set screw. After a few weeks, the knob rattles around in the door and after another week, if I pull on the knob, it will come off in my hands leaving the spindle and knob on the other side, in place. So I'll screw the knob back on, tighten the set screw and two weeks later the knob slides off the spindle again.
I don't think the threads are failing, it looks as if there is a fraction of a millimetre too much space between the threads of the spindle and those inside the knob.
Loctite sounds like a great idea. I'll give it a try before epoxy resin as a last resort.
Many thanks too all for their help, I do appreciate it.
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circe wrote:

The set screw pushes the spindle against the knob threads. Unless it is an entirely wrong and sloppy fit or the threads are stripped, that's not it.

You would regret using epoxy. If it didn't work, or for whatever reason you wanted to change something, refinish the door, whatever, you'd have to cut off the knob and ruin the knob, escutheon and spindle. Use the Loctite and move on to the next battle.
R
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I've seen replacement spindles in locksmith catalogs. Also sometimes the insides of the knobs strip out.
I've got a b unch of old spindles in a box some where in my shop.
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Christopher A. Young
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snipped-for-privacy@treadles.ca wrote:

Loctite threadlocking adhesive. Don't use the red, it's way too strong for your needs. Use the green, it's made for set screws and such. http://www.loctiteproducts.com/products/detail.asp?catid &subidH&plidi5
R
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On Sun, 04 Dec 2005 08:15:10 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@treadles.ca wrote:

It's not the spindle !
It's the locking screw.
Use LocTite on it.
<rj>
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wrote:

Get new set screws that use hex wrenches. Then get a hex socket wrench. You can tightem them better than a flat screwdriver type.
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snipped-for-privacy@treadles.ca wrote:

I tried it on 1 and did the other 14. I took apart the set, brought the set screw to a machine shop and picked up some with same thread but slightly longer. I bored out the spindle deep and wide enough to take the new set screw. So in through the door handle and into the spindle where it was bored out - perfect and no more "jiggley" that the couple around the house that don't fall off.
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I have a few that I've drilled for screws that go through the spindle instead of relyiong on the original setscrew.
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Larry Wasserman Baltimore, Maryland
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On Sun, 04 Dec 2005 08:15:10 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@treadles.ca wrote:

Drill a dimple in the spindle for the set-screw to sink into.
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Take a business card, and cut a strip about 3/8 inch wide. Put that into the knob hole, and then thread the knob on. Tighten with screw. Rip the last of the cardboard off.
works for awhile. Thats' what I do.
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Christopher A. Young
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