Making It Easier To Open The Door

July 2, 2009

In my experience, people never want to use two hands to open a door. Whenever possible, most people try to unlock and open the door with the same hand. People will use the key to push or pull a door open.

For many narrow stile aluminum glass doors equipped with a deadlatch, the outside of the door has a mortise cylinder and the push/pull bar or handle that came with the door. The inside has a thumbturn and usually the same bar/handle.

Keys and thumbturns are not designed to operate as a pull or push mechanism. So in 1972, Adams Rite introduced their first Deadlatch Paddle, Model 4590. This extruded aluminum, non-handed handle is designed to unlock and operate as a push or pull mechanism.

In 2001, Adams Rite introduced the Model 4591 heavier duty, European styled push/pull paddle with dogging capability. The escutcheon (base) is manufactured of zinc alloy with a Black Ritecoat finish. The escutcheon encompasses the steel operating mechanism. It is secured to door stile with two threaded posts bolted into the escutcheon. The paddle is manufactured of extruded aluminum with a molded plastic end cap.

The 4591 Deadlatch Paddle is horizontally mounted onto the door stile. It can be mounted in four positions: left push, left pull, right push and right pull. Since most commercial doors are required to swing out, the left and right push mounting will be the most common installation.

If applicable, it can be retrofit with a monitoring switch for electronic notification.

The dogging capability is only for push applications. Pressing the deadlatch paddle handle retracts the latch and permits the door to swing open. With the deadlatch retracted, tightening the dogging setscrew on the paddle hinge area keeps the deadlatch retracted until the setscrew is loosened.

The Adams Rite 4590 and 4591 Paddles are exiting types of devices. They do not qualify as a panic/exit device. A panic/exit device push bar must measure more than 50 percent of the door opening width.

The paddle handle provides the energy transfer mechanism using a cam disc, Adams Rite part number 4580. The cam disc is installed between the paddle handle and the deadlatch. Depending upon the hand of the door, pushing or pulling on the paddle transmits the energy to a cam disc.

For the purpose of this article, we will install the Adams Rite 4591 Paddle Handle onto a Right Hand Reverse (RHR) narrow stile glass aluminum door.

To install the 4591 Paddle Handle in place of a thumbturn onto a door equipped with an Adams Rite 4900 deadlatch, the lock, mortise cylinder and thumbturn must first be removed from the stile. This is because two binder posts must be installed 1-1/2” above and below the centerline of the thumbturn opening. The binder posts require two 11/32” diameter holes. Once the holes have been drilled the binder posts are inserted through the openings from within the stile. Be sure to remove any drill debris. The binder posts are secured with 5/16-24 nuts.

The next step is to check the hand of the 4580 cam disc. The cam disc has a reversible, handed cam (each side labeled L or R) that operates the latch retraction mechanism in the 4900 series deadlatch. To reverse the hand of the cam disc, remove the retainer clip from the cam pivot pin. This pin is removed and the cam is reversed and re-installed. The cam disc is secured into the body of the deadlatch by one of the lock’s set screws.

Then install the 4900 deadlatch, the mortise cylinder and the cam disc. Tighten the cam disc in place using the set screw.

The 4591 Paddle Handle escutcheon assembly is also handed, and might need to be configured for the door. The default handing is “Push to Left,” which is installed onto a Right Hand Reverse outward opening door.

The top of the paddle handle has the setscrew. To change the hand or the push/pull function, the driver screw and/or the driver plate must be repositioned.

Once handed, install the escutcheon assembly onto the interior side of the door using the two 10-32 supplied SEM screws. The spindle on the paddle handle escutcheon must slide into the hub in the cam disc.

The final step is to install the handle assembly. The drive ears on the paddle slide into the slots in the driver plate. If the escutcheon is not in the proper position, the handle will operate in reverse.

Once the handle operates properly, install the pivot pin and the set screw until it is flush with the bottom of the escutcheon. Remove the dogging setscrew if the handle is installed for a pull configuration.

The 4590 and 4591 Deadlatch Paddles are designed Adams Rite Series 4500/4700/4900+ deadlatch and the MS 1890 lock/latch.

For more information, contact your local locksmith wholesaler or Adams Rite, 260 Santa Fe Street, Pomona, Calif., 91767. Telephone: 800-872-3267. Web Site: