Baroque Drive Gates

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UPDATED September 16th, 2019.

Driveway gates styled after a French 17th century park gateOne of my earlier projects was this drive gate styled after a set of park gates in France dating to the late 1600s. Parts forged in my shop to be later assembled, painted, and installed by an ornamental ironworking shop. Heavy bars with half penny snub scrolls, pierced blockings, large acanthus leaves, heavy forged frame members, hot collared and welded construction.

Detail top of gateDetail top of gateDetail bottom of gates as they appear closedDetail bottom of gateThe scrollwork and decorative parts of this gate were forged using traditional ornamental blacksmith techniques. These forgings were produced in the author's first shop. To see pictures of the little blacksmith shop where these parts were made, click here:

Layout and assembly in progressWelding final assemblyThe finished gates would be much too large for my little shop, so after the parts were forged in my shop, they were then transferred to the ironworks in Des Moines, IA, for final assembly and painting. For assembly we used a combination of traditional blacksmith's techniques and modern welding. Hot collaring, riveting tenons, piercing, and stick welding and mig-welding. The gates were roughly 12 feet tall and 10 feet wide. Pickets were 1-1/2" x 3/8" flat stock. Stiles were made of 1-1/2" square stock. These gates are very heavy. The columns that support them were actually steel beams enclosed in the brick walls.

Full scale drawing in progressA full size drawing was made to show the gates full size. Layout tables were set up in my shop with the dimensions of the drawings transferred to the steel table surface. Scrolls were too thick and short to bend cold, so a fireproof surface and drawings were needed to check the forged parts against during the forging process. After making several test pieces, the scroll forms and jigs were marked for reference and the scrolls and scrolled pickets were forged and turned- each as a single piece- and checked for accuracy against the layout table drawings. Pierced blockings- the bars do indeed pass through themselves. Holes that are larger than the width of the bar, are made by slitting and upsetting and drifting to final size.

Leaf veining with large hand made hammer and hardie toolAll tooling was made in my shop. Scroll forms and jigs, leaf veining tools, hammers, hardie tools. These tools cannot be bought anywhere and must be custom built by the smith that uses them.




Latest update: September 16, 2019.


Page created December 12th, 2003.