Restoration of built-ins in the Great Stone Dwelling has been ongoing the last few years. Visitors enjoy seeing our woodworkers working to restore the unique features of the building, repairing original components, and recreating missing features where necessary. But in addition to all the woodwork there are hardware issues to consider as well.
Today we were excited to get our first look at reproduction cupboard door catches that have just been custom made for us. Each cupboard door has a spring steel catch that engages with a brass tack affixed to the bottom of a shelf in the cupboard to hold the cupboard door firmly closed. While many of these catches are still in place and operable, a number are missing, and an exact replacement is not available commercially.
Museum volunteer, Dick Dabrowski, who oversees our restoration projects, set about to find a New Hampshire manufacturer who could reproduce these for us. He interviewed several fabricators who were quite frankly too large to tool up for a project of this size. He finally found a Hooksett, NH, fabricator named Ranall Metal Technology, Inc., who was willing to take on the project. Dick provided them an original catch as a sample, and they have just delivered 300 catches which are so accurate that it appears that we will be able to use original holes where available to mount the latches. These should keep us supplied with spring steel catches for cupboard doors for the foreseeable future.