Jackson Concealed Overhead Door Closers

We discuss the operation; models, installation techniques and the different applications for Jackson concealed overhead door closers.


Andy Jackson began Builders Brass Works in the early 1950’s making high end, high quality door pulls, dome stops, kick plates, hinges, flush bolts and various other types of door hardware for the construction industry. He knew that quality would be a key ingredient of his success. To ensure this...


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Andy Jackson began Builders Brass Works in the early 1950’s making high end, high quality door pulls, dome stops, kick plates, hinges, flush bolts and various other types of door hardware for the construction industry. He knew that quality would be a key ingredient of his success. To ensure this level of quality, Mr. Jackson knew he had to keep control over what he produced. To this end, he opened his own foundry in East Los Angeles, Calif. Over the years, his company flourished.

Before long, he expanded the product line and began making the 10 Series cross bar design exit device. The 10 Series, designed for glass aluminum storefront doors, is available in rim and concealed vertical rod versions. These exit devices are suitable for use on narrow and wider stile doors.

While attending a tradeshow in Europe, Mr. Jackson saw a floor closer, the design of which intrigued him. At that time, the aluminum storefront industry in America was coming into its own and Andy envisioned an opportunity. He determined that, with a few modifications, that floor closer could be reversed and concealed in the aluminum transom above a storefront door. With that thought, he created the concealed overhead (transom) door closer.

Mr. Jackson formed a new company to market these two newly developed products – the 10 series exit device and the transom door closer (for some unknown reason identified as the 20-330 Series) – and the Jackson Corporation was born. Over the years, the product range has expanded to include a full range of overhead concealed door closers, exit devices and access control products.

Andy died in 1970. Approximately eight years later, the Jackson Corporation was sold to Thomas Industries. Thomas Industries kept Jackson and Builders Brass until the early 1990s, at which time the companies were sold to the current owners. Builders Brass was sold off and the Jackson Corporation began to focus its energy and resources on its core product group: access control products, exit devices, door closers and the related accessories.

Jackson makes all its products in East Los Angeles. The only exceptions are the 900 series floor closers, made by its sister company in the United Kingdom.

For the purpose of this article, we will discuss the operation; models and the different applications for Jackson concealed overhead door closers.

The Jackson overhead concealed door closer develops its closing force through the use of two springs that operate in unison. Each spring operates a piston within this closed system filled with hydraulic (transmission) fluid.

A single directional ball valve opening is in the center of each piston. At the rear end of the piston, there is a round opening just smaller than the diameter of the ball bearing swedged into place. At the front end is a clover leaf opening small enough to stop the ball bearing from escaping, but large enough for the fluid to move from the rear of the piston through this opening in the piston and out into the forward end of the closer. At rest, when the door is closed, the springs are expanded (most models) within close proximity to the screw caps.

As the door swings open, the springs begin to compress, hydraulic fluid forces the ball bearings moved forward against the clover leaf opening. The hydraulic fluid flows around the ball bearings through the clover leaf openings into the areas created by the compression of the springs.

Once the door has been opened and is beginning to close, the springs want to expand. The movement of the fluid that flowed through the single direction ball valve wants to flow in the opposite direction. This fluid forces each ball bearing in the opposite direction, against the smaller diameter opening in the rear of each piston. The result is the ball bearings seal the openings, stopping fluid from flowing back into the reservoir. Since hydraulic fluid is not really compressible, the fluid must move out of the cavity for the springs to expand, closing the door. To move the fluid and close the door, a second valve restricts the amount and speed of fluid flow back to the reservoir, controlling the closing of the door.

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