Instructables

Install vintage-car chrome door handles in your house

You can install vintage chrome car door handles in your house for a cool look. Can be implemented for wooden doors, cabinets, furniture of all kinds. I din't try to make the button functional to unlock the door (this door is just a basement closet door with a deadbolt lock on it). Let your imagination fly!
 
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Obtain an old car door handle

Get yourself a vintage car door handle like this. This one came from an MGB (I always happen to have some around, I'm a British sports car enthusiast), but you can find them cheaply on ebay. A few things will need to be done to it before we can attach it to the door. In your case, it will depend on the kind of handle you can find. Notice that there is are two small bolts (one on the right and one on the left, these will hold the handle on to the door. Notice the big mechanism for the button, you will carve the wood on the door to let that move freely and preserve the spring action on the handle.

Step 2: Polish the chrome

I have a buffer and I gave the handle a quick polishing to make it look better. If you don't have a buffer, you could use various chemical polishing compunds like "Blue Max", "Mothers", "Brasso", etc... Wear gloves, the chemicals are really rough on your skin! When you're done, the handle will look way better!

Step 3: Grind off the handle if necessary

This handle had a lip that would prevent a flat fit against the surface of the door, so I ground it off.

Step 4: Drill the door.

At this point I used a spade drill bit to recess the bolts at the right depth. Do this as appropriate for your particular situation.

Step 5: Bolt the handle to the door

I used the nuts and bolts from the original car door handle. Use a socket wrench to tighten them in (your hole will need to be wide enough to let you do this).
It doesn't sound as if it would that much extra work to transform this awesome idea, better fitted for cabinets (as hallifax stated), to a functional room-door handle by either adding a spring loaded mechanism to keep the door shut (like those at the bank teller's door) or even rehouse the original mechanism to work with the button. Or, heck, even have the whole handle turn. This is a great idea that, I think, should be explored into further. Nice job, Chico.
mwwdesign6 years ago
I'm a car guy and I HATE seeing vintage car parts used for anything other than cars, like this instructable. We never know when we will actually need something like this to open a car door, or restore something to its former glory.
Chico (author)  mwwdesign6 years ago
I see where you're coming from! I would never think of using something scarce. But this particular part happens to be rather plentiful in used condition and they do make decent reproductions. I restore vintage British car parts as a hobby/business and I own an old MG myself. I don't know if it's kosher to plug them on this site, but I collaborate with Mackay's Garage (www.mackaysgarage.com).
mwwdesign Chico6 years ago
Fair enough, as long as most people know the difference between what is plentiful and what isn't from an automotive perspective. But I tell you what, if I am in need of a 911 door handle and the only one I can find is on someone's house, well...
ki10 mwwdesign5 years ago
It's not like you'll ever be able to get ahold of your rare parts if they're possessed by people who don't know what they are anyway.
2nup3505 years ago
that is a cool re-use of old stuff. people who a "preservationists" piss me off. I get the same kind of "you screwed up a good old car" comments all the time and I write them off. all you and I have done is make their old crap more rare, so you win and they win. HA
i've seen that handle before... it's definitely not an old fridge handle, right? wtf primer?! you guys are just working on a different aesthetic planet. which is cool that we're all still diy dweebs with way different tastes ig uess.
the fridge handle was what came to mind for me too. That's a creative use of some old chrome.
Chico (author)  neuralstatic7 years ago
Not a fridge handle, this is a door handle from an old British car, an MGB. They had those handles from 68 to 1980.
hallifax7 years ago
Very cool idea. And it sounds like this would be better for cabinets since those typically don't require knob turning.
SPARTON 7117 years ago
this is gayer than hell!!!!!....!!!!!!!!!!!!!!....!!!
Chico (author)  SPARTON 7117 years ago
OK dude! Show us what you got! Show us how to make nukes or something....
I bet you could rig one of these up to flush a toilet.
mrmath8 years ago
1) I like the door. I bet it does look cool from a distance. 2) Who, o' great instructable friends, is going to take up the challenge to be inspired to take this to the next level? Who will make the vintage door handle FUNCTIONAL!?!?! (Not me. I'm a loser who couldn't do it if I wanted to!)
Chico (author) 8 years ago
My basement was really creepy and dark. I used some left-over green paint to cheer the place up! The overall is really pretty cool! But guilty as charged, no priming! :)
iman8 years ago
looks like he didnt prime it :)
Trans_Am8 years ago
umm... I have to ask... Cool project, but what's with the paint on the door? It ruins the chromeness.