Thursday, February 9, 2012

Vintage Baseboard Register Tension Adjustments: Keeping Your Flap Open

Fifteen years ago, I purchased an Arts & Crafts era bungalow. My old home was a bit worn down but I saw its restoration potential. One of the first problems I encountered in my restoration involved gravity style baseboard registers. These vintage heat registers were all over my home but only a few worked properly. The large damper flap that controls air flow either closed or flapped freely when the furnace came on. At the time, replacement vintage baseboard registers simply weren't available to correct the problem. Jerry-rigging ran rampant. Previous home owners crammed wads of paper in the grills to hold the damper open on some registers. On other heat registers, more sophisticated corrections were made with binder clips or clothes pins. While these makeshift "damper stops" held the flap open, they sure left my restoration looking incomplete.

Fortunately for me, Mission Metalworks began reproducing antique baseboard registers a few years ago. These reproduction gravity style baseboard registers not only look great but they work great too. The Grid grill pattern and Cathedral grill pattern are exact matches to two of the antique baseboard register grill patterns found in my own home. Furthermore, the Mission Metalworks vintage baseboard registers feature a design that allows for adjustments to the damper. There is a screw in each upper corner of the grill. The screws thread into clamps on the back of the grill. The damper rotates in the clamps. Tightening the screws on the front of the register creates more tension on the damper. The additional tension on the damper prevents it from gradually closing.

My old home restoration is now complete. The problem with the antique baseboard registers has been resolved. The Mission Metalworks vintage baseboard registers scattered about my house continue to work flawlessly. The flaps stay open without the aid of mechanical tomfoolery such as paper wads, clothes pins, and binder clips. Visit Shop 4 Classics for Mission Metalworks vintage baseboard registers.

1 comment:

  1. The great thing about these is that the louver/grille can be separated from the larger register box.

    So if the overall register box doesn't fit the way you like it, you can build a custom register and inster the louver/grille.