Our Process

Brass

While durability and it’s tactile feel make it a popular choice for home and commercial hardware, our Ashley Norton brass is highly adaptable, and able to take on a variety of different looks through the various finishes that are offered, including satin nickel, dark oil rubbed, polished chrome, polished nickel, satin brass, polished brass, satin chrome, unlacquered brass and matt black.

Some of the benefits of brass hardware is its durability and resistance to corrosion.

The Process, Step by Step

The production of Ashley Norton brass, from concept to production, has multiple steps…a combination of both man and machine.

Cutting to Size - Raw brass billets are cut to a manageable size, and they are then heated in a furnace in order to make them pliable enough to forego the next step…Stamping.

Forging- The forge is loaded with a tool – tool is a mold of the product which has a top and a bottom half. The heated brass is stamped, creating a lever, knob or other item. When the top and bottom of the mold meet, excess brass exudes from the side of the mold. That material is then shaved off and saved for use in future production.

Cleaning Up Nicely - After the unfinished product is formed, it’s time to make it beautiful. This starts with cutting and shaving off the excess of the metal. That material is saved for use in future production. Waste not want not. Followed by polishing the item, which uncovers a brilliant, natural finish. The advantage of brass is its ability to take on a number of finishes. Ashley Norton offers 9 different finish options. We have a look to suit every taste.

Finishing Touches - Whether it is an escutcheon, lever or knob, there are some finishing touches that need to be completed. The machining process will drill holes into backplates for screws and privacy pins. The same goes for levers and knobs, which require unique finishing of their own.

Last, But Not Least - From Satin Nickel and Polished Chrome, to Satin Brass and Flat Black, each finish process is unique. Depending upon the finish, an item is then plated/lacquered/powder coated.

Bronze

Known for its distinct look and durability, bronze is a popular choice for applications in the home, from door levers and knobs, to escutcheons and house numbers. If you can dream it, it can be made of bronze!

Ashley Norton has been sand casting fine bronze products since the early 1950’s. Today, our third-generation craftsmen continue produce hardware of the utmost levels of quality and beauty. Able to stand the test of time, we believe Ashley Norton bronze should be the clear choice for your home and business applications.

The Process

Sand casting dates back over 3,000 years. It is a highly skilled way of producing items, and it is how we continue to produce Ashley Norton bronze products. When it comes to bronze, there simply is no better way to make hardware.

It starts with an idea, a design and a mold

After our creative team has put a design to paper, it’s time to transfer that idea into a functioning sand-casting mold. The process, from start to finish, is lengthy and labor intensive, but yields a beautiful, unique product, with no two items exactly matching. It’s all a part of the look and allure of bronze.

After the mold is constructed, molten metal is carefully poured into it. The metal is then allowed to cool over several hours until it can be handled by hand. Then, the mold is separated to uncover bronze levers/knobs.

The finish

After sand-casting is complete, its time for the finishing of your item. Ashley Norton currently offers 5 finishes for bronze, and each finish is unique in and of itself.

To obtain the hue of choice, whether it be dark, light, medium or white bronze, items are oxidized in tanks. The amount of time within the tank determines the finish of the item. The longer the exposure, the darker/lighter the finish.

Ashley Norton also offers a matte black finish, which is applied through a powder coating process.

A keen eye for detail

Before a product continues to the last part of the manufacturing process, it is inspected. If the item does not hold up to our vigorous standards, it is removed and set aside. But nothing goes to waste. The bronze can be recycled for use in future production. Our items go through rigorous quality control checks throughout the production process.

Once the finishing process is complete, it’s time for the final steps. Items are cleaned to remove any of the chemicals used in the oxidation process. Once they have dried completely, they are then polished by hand and packaged. The final result…fine Ashley Norton bronze, which has no match within the marketplace.