JW513

Is it worth saving 100 year old fencing?

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I may have a chance to get (i'm just guessing) 150 feet of beautiful fencing off a mansion that was built on waterfront property in 1914. I don't have pictures but can provide some. Its real nice, not the most elaborate design but its nice. Anyways its painted so, i'm not sure if its wrought iron but its real nice. I'm still new to the blacksmithing trade.  Without pics, is the fencing off an old mansion worth saving?

 

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Always if it's not rusted past reuse, including direct reuse as fencing.   Please post a picture!  Does it look handmade or factory made? (or both!)

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Sorry, these are just crappy screen shots off google map... All the bushes are cut back now... When I get time, I'll go by the mansion and take nice close up pics... 

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The odds are that iron that survived for 100 years without falling apart near the watefront is wrought iron. 

If there are any areas where the paint is peeling you can take a look at the rust . Rusted wrought iron looks different than rusted mild steel. 

Of course the best test would be to obtain a sample and notch and bend to see how it breaks . Or a very quick and dirty test is to use a center punch and punch small divot into mild steel and also into the fencing.   Wrought iron is a lot softer. 

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I would get em depending on how much they want for em, if free then I would always grab stuff like that.

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1 hour ago, Irondragon Forge & Clay said:

Absolutely that fencing is worth saving, especially if you can get it for scrap prices.

I'm 99% sure i can get it for free, but it might not be for a year.

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If you can get it for free, grab it up!  If you can get it for something like $10/ft, grab it up!  Don't let it be scrapped!!

However, don't think about forging it into something.  That fence has been around for a hundred years, you have no experience smithing, and all you'll do is bugger up a ton of good fence. 

Instead, use the fence as fence.  It's gorgeous fence that would cost you at least $100/ft to have made today.  Why would you want to chop it up and make bottle openers?  If you're dying to forge some genuine wrought iron, you can buy bars of the stuff online for very little money.  It's salvaged iron and just bar stock, so buy what  you think you can use and be done with it.

Chopping up a perfectly good fence because you want to tinker with wrought iron, destroying a fence that can't be reasonably duplicated?  Ugh!

Even if you can't use the fence for fence, you can clean it up, repair what you can..... and sell it for very good money.  Someone out there will appreciate that beautiful ironwork and want it for their home.

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7 hours ago, jlpservicesinc said:

No reason to quote what we just read.

I'll let you know. It might not be for a year or two, this is a big job a fellow friend/contractor is working on, i've already done some work at this place.. Obviously if he can sell it thats great, but he did say the gates are gonna be trash.

He knows i'm an aspiring blacksmith, he already has given me a Wilson vise and a oxy acetylene torch. 

 

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Stop quoting the immediately preceding comments. You are using up bandwidth and making the forum harder to read. Please read The Quote Feature.

You guys are right. I probably wouldn't off cut it apart anyways.. I don't like ruining old beautiful things...  Luckily, I have a place to keep it... I will just end up reselling it. It wont be for year or so....Might be a good project for me to repair myself because it is in pretty good shape. 

Edited by Mod34
Excessive quoting

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Well i the time comes and it's not to pricey I'd be interested.. I have a way to move it and I certainly would give it a loving home vs cutting it up.. 

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Like I said, I will remember that and when I know something, I will let you know. But its going to be for a year probably because he's keeping it up to keep people out. 

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Even if it is mild steel and not forged, it's still old and should definitely be reused as is.  Lots of gates could even be made from it preserving sections as they were made and only modifying where needed to be a gate instead of a fence.

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I agree it should be used as is, however for some reason that can't be done saving portions of it is worthwhile also. Here is portions of an old fence from our cemetery. It was hit by a vehicle and bent badly (too bad to restore) the city gave it to me after a new fence was installed. I cut up portions of it and forged connecting bars to join the sections, to use as a stair railing when we remodeled the house.

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