Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Garden gate beginnings

I had planned to wait until the garden gate was finished to blog about it, but today a friend asked me to share the progress as it moved along.  Also, James told me it was time for me to blog again so here I am.

This may be boring to some of you but so far each step of making this has been fun for me.  Instead of starting from scratch and buying all new steel I decided to use something we already had.  We used to have gates at the end of the driveway but we took them down when we removed some fencing.  They've been sitting behind a shed just waiting to be used again.  Here's what they looked like before.
Using a cutting wheel on my grinder I cut off all the curly scrollwork and the rounded side of each gate.  This left me with 2 pieces that look like this.
They're now stacked one on top the other to make one tall gate instead of two short gates.  I chamfered the edges of the flat pieces of steel that were to be welded together.  This gives a larger
area to weld for more strength.  See the beveled edge?  When the 2 pieces came together they created a V.
I've stripped most of the paint from the gate and plan to let it rust.  I like rusty gates and I think rust will look better with the copper.  So here's what it looks like now.  I may remove some of the smaller bars to make it lighter but I won't do that till I know what the final design for the copper is.
I did have to buy one piece of steel to close up the edge where I had removed the arched pieces.  Here you can see the two pieces of plumbing I'm attaching to use for the hinge.
You can also see the homemade clamp (2x4s) I made to make the gate the same on the one side as the other.  I didn't have a pipe clamp so I made do.  Luckily we only had to close it up 1/2 an inch.  I still need to weld the piece to the side but ran out of shielding gas today so hopefully tomorrow I'll get it all welded up and ready for the real fun to begin - covering this "canvas" with a copper design.

I really don't have a plan yet.  I'm not thrilled with any of my drawings and keep waiting for inspiration.  I did, however, make a flower (or sunshine).  I cut out several petals.
I hammered and shaped them into this.
The center pieces are riveted together but the rest of it isn't fastened yet.  That will require brazing, which I've never done.  Hopefully tomorrow.  I've got my oxygen and acetylene tanks and tools and can't wait to give it a try.

That's about it so far.  


  1. That flower looks amazing! I love reading about your re-use of so very many things, please keep posting.