On the hunt for antique hardware

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Real Estate,Ellen Beck

The final touches on a furniture restoration project, such as finding matching or period-specific drawer pulls or knobs for a 19th-century dresser or a lock and key set for an 18th-century front door, can be the most difficult. People from the Washington area often turn to Robinson's Antiques in Lake Odessa, Mich., says owner Steve Robinson, who has thousands of original pieces of hardware dating from 1680 to 1925. He says finding a hardware match from the 1800s or 1700s is not "easy like car parts" because there was no tracking or identification system. Instead, people can search his site and, if they cannot find the piece they need, they can send Robinson a photo with measurements, if possible, and he'll search for it as well. He even fixes or restores parts so they are in working order. Each week, Robinson makes a 200-mile trip looking for hardware pieces, and he has "pickers" from a 1,000-mile radius who bring in their finds. He also has done restoration projects and sold items for movie sets, such as "Pirates of the Caribbean," and to performers, including David Copperfield.

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Ellen Beck

The Washington Examiner