New Products from American Eagle

May 15, 2003

Two popular aftermarket products sold by locksmiths are door closers and exit devices. American Eagle Lock Company has recently introduced a line of competitively priced products which fit right into this closer and exit device category.

The American Eagle door closer line consists a group of streamline-style, surface-mounted door closers which are available in fixed sizes of 2, 3, 4 and 5. Size 2 closers are designed for interior doors up to 2' 8" wide. Size 3 closers are designed for interior doors up to 3' 0" or exterior doors up to 2' 6". Size 4 closers can be used for interior doors up 3' 8" wide or exterior doors up to 3' 0" wide. Size 5 door closers can be used to operate interior doors up to 4' 0" or exterior doors up to 3' 6". American Eagle door closers feature a five-year limited warranty.

American Eagle closers contain three different adjustment valves: speed regulating, latch speed regulating and back-check regulating. They are described below.

A speed regulating valve controls closing speed from fully opened to a few inches from latching. Speed can be set just fast enough to both prevent a large amount of outside air from entering the building and still not have the door bump against people as they walk in a normal pace through the opening.

A latch speed-regulating valve is used to slow the door during the last few inches before full closing. Speed can be controlled to prevent slamming while still maintaining enough speed to assure latching of the door.

A third regulating valve adjusts back-check. Back-check control begins when the door is opened to approximately 65 degrees. Normal operation of any door closer requires a minimum effort when opening the door. American Eagle door closers can be adjusted so opening effort is increased as the door is opened farther than 65 degrees.

Back-check control is important in windy conditions or when there is a wall that the door could otherwise easily hit. This back-check feature can be used to slow door movement near the desired full opening range of the door. If there is a requirement to fully stop a door at some point in its travel, then auxiliary doorstops or chains are suggested. Using the back-check feature to fully stop a door could put an excessive force on door closer parts.

Series A3101 door closers by American Eagle should be of special interest to locksmiths. In addition to standard valve adjustments for closing speed, latching speed and back-check, spring strength can also be adjusted. Locksmiths can carry a few A3101 closers in their vans and still be prepared to install a closer adjustable to spring sizes of 1 to 4. Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) laws, for example, require a minimum amount of opening force so handicapped persons can easily open the door. Spring adjustment can be made after the closer is installed so opening force meets ADA regulations.

American Eagle plans to introduce a heavy-duty series A3100 door closer soon with the same features as the A3101 door closer but providing spring adjustment for sizes 3 to 6. Contact American Eagle for availability.

Mounting hole patterns for American Eagle door closers are designed to closely match common dimensions of standard streamline closers. This simplifies installation of these closers when replacing old worn or broken units. American Eagle closers include both 1/4-20 screws for metal door applications and sheet metal screws for wood door installations. Optional parts include a parallel arm bracket, hold open arm and sex bolts.

American Eagle recommends using the next larger closer size when installing a door closer using the optional parallel arm. This is a normal requirement due to the basic design of a parallel arm. Leverage is not the same as a standard arm, and added spring power is needed to produce normal door operation. Parallel arms are necessary when mounting door closers on the inside door surface of an outswinging door. An optional hold-open arm is also available.

Exit devices are another staple item for locksmiths. American Eagle has a solid line of single point and vertical rod devices in several different finishes, including painted aluminum, Duranodic and gold, plus added-cost, plated finishes of 26D (satin chrome), US3 (bright brass) and 32D (stainless steel).

A single-point, exit-only model B4200-R-UL in Duranodic finish was provided for this article. The streamlined, ANSI Grade 1 flat bar unit projects only 2-1/2 inches from the door. A low-profile design such as this can be advantageous for meeting government regulations of minimum door opening dimensions for persons in wheelchairs. Another feature for the handicapped is that a minimum amount of movement on the push bar at any spot along its 18-inch length will retract the latch for egress.

Single-point exit devices by American Eagle are non-handed, so they can be mounted on LHRB or RHRB doors without reversing or changing any parts. This unit can be immediately mounted on 36-inch wide doors. Longer units for 48-inch wide doors are available. Steel chassis models could also be cut if needed to a shorter length for narrower doors. Only one-quarter turn on the Allen head key is required to set the hold-open feature to a locked or unlocked position.

A sturdy, cast strike plate is designed to be used either for LHRB or RHRB installations. A steel shim plate is also included for use on doorjambs having thinner 1/2" stop trim. The standard American Eagle strike plate can be used without the shim on doorjambs with 5/8" thick doorstop trim. The strike plate automatically engages a secondary latch on the exit device as the door is closed. Whenever the door is fully closed and the secondary latch is depressed by the strike plate, the primary latch becomes deadlatched as a protection against forced entry.

Full-size templates are included with the unit. Templates can be taped to the door and holes marked with a punch for quick installation. Four screws mount the latch unit and push bar body to the door. An end bracket with two screws mounts at the hinge side of the exit device. The end bracket slides into the push bar tube so any small horizontal misalignment of the drilled holes is easily solved by moving the bracket slightly to the left or right in the tube. Machine screws for metal door applications and sheet metal screws for wood door applications are furnished as standard parts. For metal door applications, 1/4-20 screws retain the latch chassis and 10-24 screws are furnished to mount the end cap bracket.

American Eagle features two basic exit hardware types: rim mounted and vertical rod. Both types are available with a "B" label UL listing to meet local regulations and customer needs. Outer trim choices of levers, knobs, pulls, cylinders and thumbpieces complete the American Eagle line.

For more information on these and other products from American Eagle, contact American Eagle Lock Company Inc., 144 Newport Road, Leola PA 17540. Phone: 717-656-0174. Fax: 717-656-0818.