Chris Schwarz's Blog

More Great Campaign Hardware from Londonderry

The skeletonized pull. Awesome.

I’m building cubbyholes for the gallery in the Campaign Secretary I’m constructing for Popular Woodworking Magazine. I’m now down to the seven little interior drawers and installing the hardware. Though I am deep into this secretary, my mind is already racing ahead to the next Campaign-style projects I’ll be building this year.

The reason for the distraction is a box of hardware samples I purchased from Londonderry Brasses. These had to be brought over from England, but they were well worth the wait.

Here's the handle of the pull lifted up. The detail and finish are fantastic.

At the top of the list is a skeletonized brass pull sold as item 1351ABV in the Londonderry catalog. I’ve seen this kind of pull on a lot of historical casework I’ve examined, but I never thought I’d be able to find it being made today.

It is an awe-inspiring little chunk of brass. The finish is exquisite and mellow. I am going to find exactly the right project for this pull, and then I’m probably going to regret it after making the eighth very complex mortise for this flush pull. In any case, I’m sure it will be worth it.

The corner bracket. The screw holes are hand-filed.

My second favorite piece in this box was a corner piece sold as MIL-15. It’s a smaller-scale corner protector – probably too small for a full-size chest such as the one I’m building. But I have some smaller projects on my list that this will work perfectly for. Once again, the mellow finish is quite nice.

The second flush pull.

The third piece – another flush pull called MIL-25 – needs a little tweaking. The handle moves stiffly and is tricky to swing out so you can grab it. I think working the handle back and forth a little bit (OK, a lot) will loosen it up.

So that’s a brief report – back to building the gallery.

— Christopher Schwarz

P.S. I don’t have prices yet. I’m still waiting for the bill.

5 thoughts on “More Great Campaign Hardware from Londonderry

  1. hmann

    While flipping through an architectural magazine I came across a Rocky Mountain Hardware ad. While most of their products are hardware for doors and other architectural elements they do have an extensive line of what they call cabinet hardware. Its all made in Idaho and looks good. However what I was curious about was they manufacture their products using bronze. Historically was brass or bronze used more often and besides the cost difference what are the benefits or disadvantages of bronze vs brass? They are both copper alloys right?

    1. Steve_OH

      Brass is an alloy of copper and primarily zinc, although other elements may be added as well. “True” bronze is an alloy of copper and primarily tin, but the word is also used for various alloys of copper that contain no tin at all.

      A principle advantage of bronze over brass is weather resistance. A principle advantage of brass over most bronzes is malleability; most, but not all, bronze alloys are relatively hard and brittle (e.g., you can make a spring out of bronze, but not out of brass).

      -Steve

  2. J. Pierce

    What about working a little valve grinding paste in there while you wiggle the handle back and forth? Just remember to get it rinsed out afterwards . . .

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