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Michael Chusid, RA FCSI CCS
Senior Member
Username: michael_chusid

Post Number: 588
Registered: 10-2003

Posted on Thursday, March 04, 2021 - 10:28 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I am frequently asked for assistance in interpreting standards and to help building product manufacturers assure their products are in compliance. This can be a challenge, however, when a standard is defective.

For example, a door hardware manufacturer asked me to help them comply with Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association (BHMA) A156.18 - American National Standard for Materials and Finishes. The standard is widely used in specifications to help designers indicate what is required and to assure that products furnished by various manufacturers are compatible.

I had little difficulty classifying most of the client’s finishes, but was stumped by their dark brown powder coated finish. It seemed described by the Finish Description for BHMA Code Number 695, “Dark Bronze Painted,” but I needed to know what shade of dark brown.

Bear with me as this gets complicated.

695 is in Category A that, according to the Standard, “shall match BHMA match plates…”. BHMA sells a set of about a dozen match plates, but not one for 695. The standard, however, says that Finish 613 is the “Primary Equivalent” for 695.

613 is in Category B, “finishes that are unstable… and cannot and do not match from one alloy or form of material to the next and from one manufacturer to the next.” (Emphasis added.)

We are left with the statement, “Contact individual manufacturers for other finish samples.”

I don’t fault BHMA for its lack of a definition of Dark Bronze Painted, there are too many finish materials and possibilities to define them all. But I do criticize them for creating a Product Code that is meaningless. They don’t pretend to have a standard for pink hardware, so why do have a phony standard for Dark Bronze Painted?

Thanks for reading my rant.
Michael Chusid, RA FCSI CCS 1-818-219-4937
www.chusid.com www.buildingproduct.guru
John Bunzick
Senior Member
Username: bunzick

Post Number: 1840
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Friday, March 05, 2021 - 04:38 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I'm thinking that 695 is a way for manufacturers to have a painted finish to coordinate or go with actual bronze finishes (I'm carefully avoiding saying to "match" a bronze finish). This would mean that a manufacturer with a plastic or sheet metal closer cover, for example, could have a paint to coordinate with other actual bronze hardware.

But, as I continue to think, do they do this for brushed stainless finishes, too? I don't have the standard; do they have a number for "brushed stainless paint"?
Mark Gilligan SE,
Senior Member
Username: mark_gilligan

Post Number: 949
Registered: 10-2007
Posted on Friday, March 05, 2021 - 07:01 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Report to the client that there is ambiguity in classifying the finish along with the information you found.
Michael Chusid, RA FCSI CCS
Senior Member
Username: michael_chusid

Post Number: 589
Registered: 10-2003

Posted on Friday, March 05, 2021 - 09:58 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

John - You make a good point by suggesting that the intent is for a manufacturer to match their oiled bronze. If that is the intent, I suggest BHMA state it directly instead of relying on round about reasoning.

Mark - My recommendation to the manufacturer is to supplement the BHMA 695 designation by adding a RAL color designation. This is something a specifier can do if they are concerned about the color they get.
Michael Chusid, RA FCSI CCS 1-818-219-4937
www.chusid.com www.buildingproduct.guru

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