How to quickly make a simple door knob trim plate from left over materials

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

How to quickly make a simple door knob trim plate from left over materials


In this project tutorial, Harley shows one simple way of making a trim plate for a door handle. Most door hardware is pretty standard, but occasionally some hardware may leave unsightly holes in the door. Today at the House of Hacks, we use some left over material to make door trim plates to cover ugly, unused mounting holes.

For a written transcript, go to How to quickly make a simple door knob trim plate from left over materials

Music under Creative Commons License By Attribution 3.0.
Intro/Exit: "Hot Swing"
Incidental: "Cool Rock"
by Kevin MacLeod at Incompetech

Sound effect: living-room-light-switch by alienxxx at FreeSound


Today at the House of Hacks we’re going to go from this … to this.


Hi Makers, Builders and Do-it-yourselfers. Harley here.

Just a quick reminder, if you haven’t done so already, subscribe to the House of Hacks channel for more videos like this one. And click “Like" if you hoard left over material from projects with the hope of using it sometime in the future.

My friend Rich expanded and renovated his photography studio earlier this year and, in the process, door hardware was changed.

The previous hardware left behind some holes that Rich wanted an easy, cheap solution to fixing and/or hiding.

His studio has kind of a chic industrial look to it and I had some left over material in the scrap pile that gave me an idea.

I made a prototype, showed him, he installed it and loved it. Later in the week we made several more to meet his needs.

Let's look at how we did this.

For this build, I used:
  • some left over sheet metal,
  • some marking tools,
  • some cutting tools,
  • a smoothing tool,
  • some bending tools,
  • and a hole cutting tool.
I started with some left over galvanized sheet metal.

This is supposed to be used for heating ducts that I had left over from a home remodel project several years ago.

I cut off a piece an inch wider than we wanted the covers and long enough to cut out four more with room to spare.

Then I cut off individual squares from the long piece.

I filed the edges to remove any burrs.

Next I measured 1/2 inch from each side on the corners, drew a diagonal line through the intersection and cut off the corners.

With the corners cut, I used a small metal brake to fold over 1/2 inch on each edge.

Then I used a hammer to finish the fold by flattening it out.

A center finder gave me the center of each piece, giving me the position to drill a hole using the circle cutter.

This wasn’t the best tool for the job, but in the end got it done.

Not without a bit of mishap though.

And it did generate a bit of heat.

Afterwards, I realized I probably should have used a couple drops of cutting oil.

Also, I probably could have used a lathe tool blank to make a custom cutter that might have worked better.

But the holes still got cut, albeit with more force than finesse.

Once the holes were cut, Rich took them to the studio and installed them.

This was one of those small details that, if it wasn’t done would look bad, but in place, hardly is noticed.

All together, this took about 90 minutes to do 4 plates and didn’t require any new materials, just scraps left over from a previous project.

I’d love to hear in the comments how often you do projects using left overs? Are you like me and have a stack of materials for unknown future projects?

If this is your first time here at House of Hacks: Welcome, I’m glad you’re here and would love to have you subscribe.

I believe everyone has a God-given creative spark. Sometimes this manifests through making things with a mechanical and technical bent.

Through this channel I hope to inspire, educate and encourage these types of makers in their creative endeavors.

Usually this involves various physical media like metal, as in this case, wood, electronics, photography and other similar materials. If this sounds interesting to you, go ahead and subscribe and I’ll see you again in the next video.

Thanks for joining me on our creative journey.

Now, go make something. Perfection’s not required but fun is!