How to get a doorknob apart

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I've even seen some of the older style locksets where one knob was permanently affixed to the shaft. I have those in my house now, actually.
nate
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On 2/3/2009 9:12 PM David Nebenzahl spake thus:

So it turns out that that knob is permanently attached to the lock body, with the escutcheon captive. No crimp marks, holes, pins: looks like it's pressed on somehow. I took the cover off the lock, the one that was secured with a cotter pin, but this only covers the cam mechanism.
So my problem now is getting the finish (which I assumed was lacquer, but may not be) off the knobs and escutcheons. Tried my non-toxic, eco-friendly stripper (3M Safest Stripper), which did pretty much nothing. Now I've got a knob soaking in TSP, will see if that does it.
Makes me nostalgic for those strippers of yore with the toxic, environmentally nasty stuff (methylene chloride) that actually *work*. (Not really, but I wish there was something more benign that would actually take the finish off in a reasonable time.)
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Try lacquer thinner. It thins lacquer even when it's solid. :)
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On 2/6/2009 12:52 PM SteveBell spake thus:

I know that; that's why I said I wasn't sure if the finish *was* lacquer, because I tried lacquer thinner on it and it didn't seem to do anything, where lacquer would just dissolve. Might be some other kind of varnish.
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Try rubbing it with #0000 steel wool. If it at least breaks the glaze it may help a chemical of some kind to finish the job.
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On 2/6/2009 2:24 PM 1D1OT spake thus:

>

That's the best advice so far in this entire thread. Thanks.
After applying the white goop (Safest Stripper), a little rubbing with steel wool and the finish came off.
I had forgotten a key ingredient here: elbow grease.
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I recalled doing the above years ago with an old, shiny copper spittoon. It had dark tarnish areas under the finish and defied everything else I'd tried. Glad it worked out for you.
As an aside, I occasionally coat the old spittoon (and other copper/brass items) with catsup and let it sit for a while. Wash off with dish detergent and *voila* - bright metal!
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On 2/8/2009 7:28 AM 1D1OT spake thus:

>

I keep vinegar (white variety) around for just that porpoise.
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OK. Try alcohol next to see if it's shellac. If it's varnish or polyurethane, you're stuck with methylene chloride.
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David Nebenzahl wrote:

An ultrasonic cleaner with heat can do wonders for getting the non-toxic stuff to actually do something. Harbor Freight has a very nice US cleaner with heat and a 2.5L tank that is frequently on sale for ~$70. I have one and it passes the "shred a piece of AL foil" test just fine. The tank is big enough to fit pretty large stuff too.
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