- Written by Daniel Livingston
Many of the parts I recently purchased from Vintage Wire and Supply. were destine for my steampunk doorbell button. This doorbell button is next to the door from the garage that leads into our kitchen. The previous doorbell button was pretty lame and pretty old. Why we have a doorbell inside the garage next to the kitchen door is beyond me, but it was there when we bought the house 25+ years ago. In addition to the parts I ordered from Vintage Wire and Supply, I purchased a 5-inch wooden plaque.
The first thing I did was paint the wooden plaque. I used a color that up until a year ago I didn't know existed. It's called Oil Rubbed Bronze. Now, my wife has an artsy-fartsy degree so I've been hearing about colors my whole like. Colors like Periwinkle, Taupe and Mauve. We had a spare room that was painted mauve once. We still refer to it as the "mauve room" even though it is now pea soup green (or is that "sea poop green"?). Oil Rubbed Bronze is a very dark brown color with metallic flake. It's almost black but with any amount of light you can see a deep rich dark bronze color. After some sanding, I carefully centered the Antique Copper doorbell housing on the painted plaque and marked the holes for the 6 mounting studs. I drilled them as well as a center hole. On the back side of the plaque I routed a groove for my wires. This is not needed if your wires come right out of the wall, unfortunately that the wires ran along the edge of my door frame, exposed.
I located a stud in the wall close to where I wanted to mount the switch and drilled two pilot holes through the plaque and into the wall, being careful to make sure they would be covered by the doorbell housing. I ran the wire through the center hole and out the back through the slot. I then screwed in two 2-inch screws to hold the plaque firmly in place against the wall. Seeing that the 6 screw studs were longer than the thickness of the wood, I took a smaller drill bit and drilled through the 5 of the 6 holes into the wallboard giving them pilot holes as well. My slot, for the wires, in the back lined up with one of the 6 holes so I didn't drill through that one. For that one I cut off most of the stud and screwed it into the wood just far enough. For the other 5 studs, I placed one of the acorn nuts onto the stud and screwed them into the wood plaque (and wall) until they were just the right height, about 3/8 of an inch.
For the final assembly, I placed the universal housing over the 6 studs and added the matching acorn nuts. I connected the wires and applied some paint to cover them up. After it was done, I realized that I should have run a small piece of copper pipe up the side of the door casing, through a 90-deg. bend and into the slot on the backside of the painted wood plaque. If I get around to it, that may still happen.