Excited to post that the Ironart vans are all signed up with a re-vamped logo! Look out for us out about…
Whilst the gates go on to be thermal zinc sprayed ahead of painting, work continues on arguably the most decorative part of the job – the overthrow. Overthrows are seen on many period properties and are an opportunity to create a beautiful centrepiece to frame the entrance to a property.
The overthrow for these gates – as with the gates themselves – has been made from scratch with all the scrollwork forge-welded together in the traditional manner and all set by hand.
All the components have been riveted and bolted together and set out as you can see here.
As a late addition, we were asked to incorporate the letter ‘S’ into the overthrow – coincidentally the monogram that also appeared on the original gates, this time standing for ‘Sturford’ – the name of the destination property.
Weighing in at approximately 125kg, this element will bring the total weight of the metalwork to over a tonne!
Approx. 125kg of wrought iron overthrow
With the gates meticulously assembled, they were now ready for transportation by trailer to the Wiltshire residence for which they had been made.
It’s fair to say there was a general air of nervous excitement…today was a big day and just days before Christmas.
Each gate was carefully lifted by crane and gently lowered onto the bronze bushes. The Ironart team of Andy, Jason and Alan watched with baited breath as each gate was set down…and to everyone’s great relief – after three months of hard work – the gates fitted beautifully! No adjustments needed.
Trial fit completed, it was back on the trailer for the gates to be thermal zinc sprayed ahead of painting.
We recently blogged about the beautiful <<16th Century gates>> we’ve been working on for a private residence in Wiltshire. As promised, here’s the next instalment….
So having spent many weeks forging component parts for all aspects of the gates, it was time for final preparation and assembly. After all the components had been methodically adjusted to ensure a precise fit within the gate frame sections, the big moment had arrived…
Having made all the intricate adjustments and ensuring that all the tenons fitted tightly, riveting of the outer frame could commence. To do this precisely and safely (bearing in mind each gate weighed approx. 450kg), each gate was clamped in several places to ensure that there was no movement when the tenons were forged shut.
Once all the tenons and mechanical joints had been made good, each gate could be moved – no mean feat – requiring a block and tackle to lift each gate from the bench ahead of transportation…
This late 1860’s cast iron bench arrived with us in a number of pieces as a result of a previous unsympathetic restoration attempt.
The back was in three or four pieces, lugs were missing and adjoining screws had been snapped off, as had the backs of the main legs and stem.
New replica nuts were made to attach new threads and repair the legs, and the back pieces were welded with nickel iron rods with all welding being carved into the pattern.
One of a pair of large Sergio Bustamante pigeons recently flew our way for repair, having suffered damage to its feathers and feet and unable to stand.
Made in Mexico in the 1970’s and measuring 18″ by 18″ of brass plated steel, Martin made repairs to the feet by re-soldering the joints and re-attaching the wooden structure inside the legs to create stability.
Martin said, “our charismatic friend had seen some previous repairs which unfortunately had been glued. Hopefully with the recent soldered repairs, he will continue to have a long and fruitful life.”
One of our more challenging projects recently has been the restoration of a beautiful 19th Century cast iron canopy, for a property on the outskirts of Bath.
Measuring approximately 15 metres in length and featuring a wrought iron framework with cast iron infill detail and a copper roof, the canopy was suffering from significant corrosion as a result of years of neglect.
The restoration involved stripping down the entire structure on site, removing over 500 bolts and numbering each section before being sent to the workshop for paint removal, general repairs and treatment of corroded areas.
Once all repair work had been completed the whole structure was then decorated before being refitted on site. Working in conjunction with a Coppersmith, we fabricated an entirely new roof covering from 0.7mm copper sheet which was then fitted to the ironwork using appropriate isolating material to prevent the possibility of bi-metallic corrosion. The decision was made not to replace the unsightly fibreglass panels that had been installed previously.
A beautiful structure, we feel restored to its former glory.
We were delighted to feature in RECLAIM magazine’s very first issue (March 2016), with an interview with Ironart’s very own Martin Smith!
In the interview, Martin talks about his background in restoration, his passion for the Short Stirling bomber restoration he is undertaking and talks in detail about the process of the recent restoration of a beautiful Coalbrookdale Nasturtium bench.
Here at Ironart we are very fortunate to see and be involved in some amazing commissions, but once in a while the opportunity to be part of something very special comes our way.
Earlier this year we were asked if we could produce a pair of traditionally made gates for a private Wiltshire residence.
Why so special? Because these were to be an exact replica of the main gates to the 16th Century Chateau D’Oiron located in Oiron, in the Deux-Sèvres department of Western France –the backdrop for Charles Perrault‘s fairy tale, Puss in Boots.
Beautifully crafted, highly ornate and standing 4-metres tall, with a 4-metre opening, the gates have been and continue to be (quite literally!) a big feature in the workshop, with Jason and the team working hard to ensure that every detail and specific original features of the gates are spot on.
The gates are forged in very heavy mild steel sections consisting of 45mm² hinge stiles, 45mm² top and bottom rails, all with upset ends and forged tenons. Incorporating numerous horizontal rails of 45x20mm – also with forged tenons – the gates feature numerous scrolled sections made from 40x15mm and 40x12mm flatbars, all forge-welded and formed hot.
With all the component parts made and assembled, work continues apace!
Here are a just a few photos of the gates in the workshop from the very early stages. We’ll keep you posted with progress and pictures over the coming weeks.
Martin Smith’s punting skills were recently called into action when we were asked to repair the damaged penstock or ‘sluice gate’ at Prior Park in Bath.
The penstock, which controls the flow of water from the spring-fed middle to lower lake, can only be accessed by boat.
Under the expert navigation of Head Gardener Matthew Ward and the beautiful backdrop of the Palladian Bridge, Martin was safely transported across the water to make the repairs.
Needless to say, a thorough risk assessment was carried out in advance by the National Trust which required Martin to wear this lovely red life jacket (and rather fetching he looks too, we think!)