The Secret To Making Perfect Brass Door Knockers

We all know the key to building a good sandcastle is packing and knocking the sand really firmly into the bucket so that it takes a good imprint of the castle design before being tipped out. What you may not know is that making brass door knockers is really not that different – it is a lot more dangerous though because it involves burning hot molten metal!

Every one of our brass door knockers is individually crafted using this ancient technique of ‘sand casting’, a process known to have been in use right back in the days of ancient China (around 1600 BC). Over the centuries the technique of sand casting hasn’t really moved on very far. At Adams & Mack, we still use the traditional methods of sand casting to make our brass door knockers but we have paired it with up to date technology to give a perfect result every time.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to the creation of an Adams & Mack brass door knocker

Step 1 – The Idea
3d image of brass door knockerWhen creating a new design we mostly take our inspiration from nature. Once we have an initial idea, we sketch it using 3d software. Not every idea works as a door knocker so it really is a matter of trial and error. Once we’re happy with the form, the design is printed in resin and tested on our own front door.

Step 2 – The Mould
molds and trays for castingA good mould is the key to the success of a perfect door knocker. The mould is often made in two or three parts depending on the complexity of the design. Our dragon door knocker for example is made in three separate parts. We ensure the relief patterns on the mould are very pronounced so we don’t lose any detail in the casting. You will see the beautifully intricate details in the feathers of a bird or the scales of a fish for example.

Step 3 – The Casting
fire pit for castingThe casting process begins with sand being packed firmly into two halves of a metal mould. The door knocker mould is pressed into the sand to make a perfect impression of the design. Different sorts of sand are used for this technique depending on the kind of metal being poured. The finer the grains of sand, the better the surface finish on the final piece. The mix of the sand is a firmly kept secret in each foundry.

The pattern is then lifted out and the two halves of the mould are clamped together. Each half of the design is perfectly aligned and then hot metal is poured in through a spout. It solidifies and cools and the finished item is removed from the mould. Door knockers can be made from a variety of metals and over the centuries have been made from iron, bronze, brass and silver. We chose brass for ours, due to its enduring beauty and excellent resistance to corrosion.

Step 4 – The Finishing
Polishing brass door knockersWe use highly skilled craftsmen to finish each door knocker. The separate parts are carefully welded together and then it’s engraved and polished by hand.

It’s a long, detailed and skilled process but we think the results are worth it. We hope you agree.