Building a pair of wrought iron gates



The lower part of the gates are now pretty much put together or at least figured out. details such as fitting the cane bars and finishing the latches will be punched out as we go along. Right now it is time to build and fit the scroll work for the top of the gate. The specific techniques for making the peices is similar to the proccess used in making the side scroll panels. Each side of the top will be made into a modular section which will be fastened to the gate with 5/16" bolts. By making the scroll assemblies removable, we will have a finished product that is more easily transported and final assembly can be accomplished after the gate is hanging on it's hinges.
The primary scroll is built in the same way that the side panel scrolls were made A large 'c' scroll is fitted with a small spacer and welded to the primary scroll. this scroll set is the foundation for the top elements of the gates.
Here is the foundation scroll with the platform and secondary scrolls added. The top is removable as a whole peice . The top arch peices are prepared and will be welded to the primary scrollset.
The top arch is placed so it is parralell to the center of the gate and is welded to the large 'c' scroll, The top is fitted through the center framework and is threaded on the backside. The inner arch is welded to the 'c' scroll and is braced with a welded oval. The top that meets the center of the gate is not welded . You can see that I have fitted the bottom set of water leaves, these are screw fastened to the 'c' scroll and will be removed for galvanizing.
The long side scrolls help to create a transition from the horizontal configuration of the foundation scroll set to a vertical movement of the top arch. These tall scrolls are welded into place and the welded joints are covered by collars.
This picture shows all of the steel "bones" in their final configuration. Each half will be removed to allow fitting of the copper leaves.
Here is the complete gate top, lying on the driveway in front of the shop. And this is the gate fully assembled in the shop on a rainy day.
The time seemed right to dry fitt the gate so I could be sure that every thing would work alright. Minor fussing cutting and rewelding brought the gate into alignment and measurments were recorded for small fittings to hold the gates open. Everything returns to the shop so I can fabricate the latches, then the steel work will be sent off to be hot dip galvanized.

The gates, so far, have been under construction for five months. We decided to let this gate to hang over the weekend so the owner could look at it and digest the effect it had on the building as a whole. When I went back to my shop, I walked in and thought about the emty space where the gate had been. My first thought was oh my God , my gate's gone! The truth is that by building things like this I get to own them for a while. My clients take permanent possesion in the end but I have had temporary custody of dozens of very cool peices and will continue to "own" dozens more.

To the Galvanizer
Garden Gate