Duane McGuire Blog

I've been thinking about things for quite a long while.

Front Door Handleset Repair

Yesterday I got an oops text from my wife:

I recognized immediately:

  • These handlesets are expensive.
  • I'm a woodworker, not a metalworker.
  • But I fix stuff.

So despite being unqualified, I tore into it this morning.

I found that the thumb latch rotates on a pin inserted in a pair of holes bored in the pot metal casting. There's not much material around the bore, and one side had broken out.

I knew that I had some solder recommended for work with disparate metals and pot metal castings in particular.   It's a solder that melts at a low temperature (around 400 degrees Fahrenheit, I believe), and can be worked with a heat gun.   Bingo.   I had some stuff that might work.

I cut out a chunk of 1/16" aluminum stock and prepared the casting for soldering.

Ready for solder.


A new hole was bored through the repair.

The repair was trimmed using an abrasive disk, leaving more material around the bore than the original casting did.

The repaired part is ready for reinstallation in the handleset.


It works.   Ask me about it a year from now!  I think it will still be good (unfounded confidence of a woodworker).

Here's the material I used, soldering with a heat gun:

Super Alloy 1 Multi-Metal and Pot-Metal Solder

My work: McGuire Piano

© 2020 Duane McGuire