Building a pair of wrought iron gates



  So here we go with our first set of scrolls. The scroll set consists of a double 'c' scroll with long tail scrolls welded to the top and bottom. That's pretty clear, isn't it? Lets start by fire welding two peices of steel together face to face. These peices are made from 1/2" by one flat steel 35 " long each. After hammering the two peices into one they are hammered out and widened on the end. A little trimming with a file and the peice is ready to bend.    
  I started by hammering the thin end of the metal into a small diameter roll, then continued to hammer the peice around until it would hook onto a srroll form    
  This is not an easy scroll to rollup.Two different scroll forms are used alternately, and the peice becomes increasingly difficult to get into the fire. Once each end has been bent around one time , I stop bending and heat each of the straight ends to work them up. The picture on the right shows this stage , with one completed scroll laying on the floor.    
  The snub end scroll is fairly quick to make. The end is thickened up by bending it and hammering the metal back into itself. The metal just behind the snub is thinned down a little and the peice is touched up with a file.  
The scroll is pulled around a scroll form until the bent portion runs in with the previously bent section. The oppisite end is prepared and rolled up in the same way after which a hundred minor adjustments are made to allow the scroll to fit into the framework.    
  There are a total of four of the double scrolls for the lower part of the gates. I have fitt each one into an apron panel and marked them so as not to mix them up. even though the panel frames are the same size , the exact point where the scroll tangent touches the frame will certainly be different on each peice. The photo below shows the tail scrolls on the floor next to one of the double scrolls. The tail scrolls are prepared with snub ends and rolled up as seperate peices    
The way to join two steel scrolls by arc welding is similar to the way house timbers or ship timbers are scarphed together. By laying the peices together and marking the overlaps, metal can be removed to get a close fit. the faying surfaces are then beveled, clamped together and welded.  
  I casually mentioned that the scrolls needed to be removable, so lets get into that a little bit. The reason that I need to dissasemble and reassemble these peices is because they will be fitted with acanthus leaves made from 1/16' thick copper. After the whole project is built , the leaves will be removed to be gold leafed and the iron work will be sent out to be galvanized and powder coated. Galvanizing typically adds 1/32' of metal to all of the surfaces which means we need at least 1/16' of clearence aroung all of the scrollwork, and slightly more where the leaves fit Most of this clearance will be gained by forcing shims between the tight spots and gently heating the scrolls. The final fit will be accomplished by careful filing.