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I Forge Iron

victorian steel garden gate

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Hello Guys,

I am building a replica of a Victorian scrolled iron garden gate and I have a feeling it is going to turn out very nicely. Will post some pics as well as a descripition on how it was done as soon as it is complete.


Ek is besig om n replica van n Victoriaanse tuinhek met gespiraalde versierings te bou en ek dink dit gaan baie mooi uitkom. Sal n foto of twee laai en ook die maakproses toelig sodra dit klaar is.



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  • 1 month later...

Looking forward to seeing your progress.


Progress report on the gate.

I am about 40% along to date.Have to make 85 scrolls of various shapes from 25x5mm MS which I bend by hand in the fire.Getting a lot of wholesome exercise and my right arm is developing nicely. Around 35 ccompleted to date.The frame is complete and has been hung and the scrolling is about 20% fitted.

Am being hampered by early winter nightfall and biting cold up here in the highveld.

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It's not actually that cold. South Africans, particularly on the high veld, are spoiled with the most insanely moderate climate. Having lived in Minnesota where -40°C is cold and having lived in the desert where 55°C is hot, this place is heaven on earth. The sun here is rather 'sharp' so even the coldest days are a pleasure with the daytime temps in the 20's. So far, there haven't been more then 3 nights where we hit freezing. Hard frost here is so rare, it's a conversation topic. It almost makes one miss the aching damp winters of New England....almost. It will be heart breaking to leave, let me tell you.

Where will the gate be installed when it's finished?

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. So far, there haven't been more then 3 nights where we hit freezing. Hard frost here is so rare, it's a conversation topic.

The biggest problem with cold on the Highveld is that none of our houses are insulated. The realy cold snaps are over in a few days, and then it is OK again.
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  • 6 months later...

Looking forward to seeing your progress.


Mod note: relocated from the Staff Problem Report section, because bear forgot how to post

The gate,yeah,well in my blind enthusiasm I forgot a cardinal rule NAMELY NOT TO OVERDO IT,and so I ended up with a torn shoulder ligament which of course stopped progress in its tracks.As I write this the old right arm is in a sling after an overhaul at the local orthopaedic centre and no hammering for at least 6 months.Can you hear that ol Bear roaring in frustration? All that nice warm summer weather wasted.And that after 20 years of hammering with the same old 2kg sledge.As the Doc said, very sagely I might add:"Ja well, you were 40 twenty years ago,you ain't that any longer.Gotta accept that."
So be warned all you old timers out there,take it easy,the spirit might be willing but the flesh....? Wonder what the retirement age for the ol Smiths actually was?
smithys greetings
THe Bear
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Ah Yes the gate,

In my blind enthusiasm I guess I overdid it a bit and as I am writing this I am sitting with that famous right arm in a sling after an overhaul of the right shoulder at the local orthopaedic center.
Rent in the ligament I am told. And that after 20 years of hammering with the same ol 2kg sledge.As the doc said, rather sagely, I must admit:"Ja well, 20 years ago you were 40, you ain't that no more,gotta accept that..."
So,no more hammering for 6 months and that just when I was moving on the roped collars which really give the gate its authentic look. Arrgh can you hear that ol Bear....? All that lovely summer weather wasted....
So,to all you old timers out there take it easy......By the way, wonder what the real retirement age of the oldtimer Smiths was?
Smiths greetings
The Bear

Ja die hek,
Het die ding so n bietjie oordoen en soos ek nou sit en skrywe is die beroemde regterarm in n skouerverband nadat die skouer oorgedoen is by die plaaslike ortopeed.En dit na 20 jaar se hamerslaan met dieselfde 2kg voorhamer.En hier kom die Doc nog so ewe wysneus en se: "Wel 20 jaar terug was jy veertig ,jy is nie meer nie...aanvaar dit nou maar..."?
So geen gehamer meer vir 6 maande nie en dit net toe ek met die touvorm krae begin het wat die hek juis sy egteheid verleen.AAARGH Hoor julle die BEER se Frustrasie....Hele somer daarmee heen en elke dag kyk ek in die halfklaar hek vas.
So aan al die veterane daarbuite, vat dit stadig manne......So terloops ek wonder wat die aftree ouderdom van die vanmelewe se smede regtig was?

Die Beer

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  • 5 months later...

HI Guys,
Well, its mid winter here (July) now, and we had - 4 C this morning with a daytime maximum of 13 C.Due to our altitude and the dry air in winter when it does not rain, it feels colder than it really is.As was already mentioned our houses here are not insulated very well, with fibrewool in the ceiling being about as far as it goes.The early sunsets and late sunrises are more of a bother as they cut into working time,especially if a large part of your working area is outdoors.As soon as the sun sets the cold closes in and work becomes a bother.
I am working on collars of a rope design which call for 6 strips of 6mm rod adjacent to each other which are then wrapped around the scrolls where they contact the supports.As I work alone I have fashioned some specialised tongs, which are u shaped to hold the collars with, after they have been heated red and bent into a U shape.I reheat them to orange -yellow and then pick them up with the tongs and slide them over the support legs and scrolls of the gate and hammer their back edges closed so that they contact each other at the back of the gate.
I have to do about 60 of them so it will still take a while.
By the way if you ever need a rust preventative that works there is one on the market named End Rust from polycell which is superb.You do not need to remove any rust, just sand away the loose flakes and apply.The stuff looks milky white but changes to a blue black colour in a few seconds.It combines with the rust to form a protective layer.I have left rusted steel treated this way outside for more than a year without painting,and have had no recurrence of rust at all.


The Bear

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