One of my earlier projects was this drive gate styled after a set of park gates in France dating to the late 1600s. Parts forged in my shop to be later assembled, painted, and installed by an ornamental ironworking shop. Heavy bars with half penny snub scrolls, pierced blockings, large acanthus leaves, heavy forged frame members, hot collared and welded construction.
The forgings were to be made easiest and quickest using the traditional ornamental blacksmith techniques. All forged parts were made in my shop. To see pictures of my little shop where I made the parts click here: http://www.beautifuliron.com/steel.htm
The finished gates would be much too large for my little shop, so after the parts were forged in my shop, they were then transferred to the ironworks in Des Moines, IA, for final assembly and painting. For assembly we used a combination of traditional blacksmith's techniques and modern welding. Hot collaring, riveting tenons, piercing, and stick welding and mig-welding. The gates were roughly 12 feet tall and 10 feet wide. Pickets were 1-1/2" x 3/8" flat stock. Stiles were made of 1-1/2" square stock. These gates are very heavy. The columns that support them were actually steel beams enclosed in the brick walls.
A full size drawing was made to show the gates full size. Layout tables were set up in my shop with the dimensions of the drawings transferred to the steel table surface. Scrolls were too thick and short to bend cold, so a fireproof surface and drawings were needed to check the forged parts against during the forging process. After making several test pieces, the scroll forms and jigs were marked for reference and the scrolls and scrolled pickets were forged and turned- each as a single piece- and checked for accuracy against the layout table drawings. Pierced blockings- the bars do indeed pass through themselves. Holes that are larger than the width of the bar, are made by slitting and upsetting and drifting to final size.
Latest update: October 23, 2006.
Page created December 12th, 2003.