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Ralph Liebing, RA, CSI, CDT
Senior Member
Username: rliebing

Post Number: 1073
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Wednesday, October 14, 2009 - 07:20 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

by Ralph Liebing, RA, CSI, CDT, Cincinnati, OH

Things useless; misused; ill-conceived other than your unemployed brother-in-law; unenforced regulations; empty medicine vials, overpriced meals that have portions far too large to devour, cute but undersized baby bibs and speed bumps that are not continuous, so you drive around them!!! No, I am not talking about specifications writers!! Could be in some eyes-- but not here!!!

Question: Although there may be many other answers to this quandary, what single piece of door hardware fits this bill? I vote for “push plates”!!! Think about it! Hear me out and then you can vote too!

Do you concentrate and assiduously keep your fingers within the confines of the push plate to open the door? [Oh, come on, there are not all that many fanatics among us] Usually, I bet, your hand is along side the plate, on the face of the door; perhaps in some cases, even above the plate. Or perhaps you use a shoulder, upper arm, forearm or a knee; and if angry enough, both hands [on the door, not the plate]. Now these are the plain, usually unadorned 4” x 16” plates, placed vertically immediately adjacent to the door frame [hopefully on the leading and not the hinge edge!!!!] They just don’t work! Too small? Mis-located? Not responsive to the need? Less leverage than in other locations?

This is evidenced to some degree by those situations “solved” through use of a semi-circular push plate [or even a full size “band” of metal across the entire door, jamb to jamb], so oversized as to be “unmissable”. They look awfully bland and utilitarian, but function well, for traffic with hand carts, movable tables, etc., not just hands. Love this explanation- www.essortment.com/home/diyhomeimprove_skrg.htm

Now I think it would be a neat exercise to place a sheet of magic material over the face of doors with push plates just to see where all the finger prints show up [plastic laminate covered doors do this well]. Surely you’ve all gone into a store or building and some one is polishing the door glass removing the numerous finger prints-- and not all from tots! Even push bars are not used consistently by everyone; some use hands, while others use their............... well, let’s say they turn around!

Wonder if anyone has done any research on this, [Who said they HAD to go there?] like the requirements in the building codes for exiting [based on studies in London during WWII for moving masses of people INTO bomb shelters]. Or are the plates really just thoughtlessly routine, traditional and decorative? Just to cover pull plate screws? Or why doesn’t someone come up with a reasonable and usable sized plate, a better location, and a "can’t miss", million-dollar solution!

I know why! Nobody cares-- the hardware guys [now don’t get all riled up-- how “automatic” is your listing of “push plates”?] revel in the sales [one web site had 260 types of plates from $14 to $207]; specifiers meet the owners’ “expectations” [or do they just miss them because they’re used to seeing them? do they use them if there?]; the carpenters see them as “normal” work [might even miss them and question any deletion/oversight]. Hhhmmmmmm! I like that concept—something not needed, but almost always there and no one questions the cost-- Wow! I may open a push plate company!

Oh, yes, by the way, every time I encounter a kick plate, I kick it, just so it doesn’t suffer from the same “neglectful fate” their push plate mates have!

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