How to repair an iron gate

Written by j. lang wood
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How to repair an iron gate
Repairing a wrought iron gate takes a bit of skill and the right equipment. (wrought iron gate image by Svetlana Tikhonova from Fotolia.com)

What many people call iron gates are really made of steel. The term "wrought iron" comes from early days of metalworking when iron was forged and hammered, or "wrought" into functional pieces. Today's gates are made of steel, yet the term "wrought iron gates" continues. Iron gates add a note of formality and permanence to the property they protect. Normal exposure to the elements and everyday wear cause these gate materials to deteriorate. You can make repairs with a certain amount of skill with a welder and tools to make the iron gate look like new again

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Welder
  • Welding helmet
  • Welding gloves
  • Carpenter's level
  • Cutting torch
  • Replacement pickets
  • Replacement hinges
  • File
  • Sandpaper
  • Primer
  • Paint to match
  • Brushes, if required

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Examine the iron gate closely to see where wear has occurred. Common places are at hinges, where the gate connects to the wall or other structure, or at the pickets where rust may have eaten away at the metal. There may even be damage from a vehicle hitting the gate

  2. 2

    Remove rusted or damaged sections. This may require using a cutting torch to cut away the damaged iron pickets that must be replaced or cutting the hinges off the gate. You may be able to reweld the picket to the cross section.

  3. 3

    Remove broken hinges and replace them. Unfasten hinges from the side structure and replace them with new hinges.

  4. 4

    Re-weld the new hinges to the iron gate. Level the gate with a carpenter's level, adjusting the screws and bending the metal in or out, as needed.

  5. 5

    Cut out damaged pickets with the cutting torch. Cut replacement pickets to the correct length and weld them into position.

  6. 6

    File down the new welds if they are rough or do not match existing welds.

  7. 7

    Straighten bent pickets in position on the gate with dead-blow hammer, which is a type of heavy mallet with a weight inside. This gives you extra power for bending the material.

  8. 8

    Rub lightly with sandpaper so that the new metal with accept the new paint.

  9. 9

    Paint primer on the repaired areas.

  10. 10

    Re-paint the new surfaces to blend into the old finish.

Tips and warnings

  • Either a stick or MIG welder works well for gate repair.
  • Make sure side posts are set in concrete to prevent sagging, advises Hobbyfarms.com.
  • If the original surface has brushed on paint, brush on paint to blend the old finish. If the original surface has been spray-painted, then use spray paint to match it.
  • You can get replacement iron gate pickets at ornamental steel supply warehouses either locally or online, such as at King Architectural Metals or Texas Metal Industries.
  • Make sure no flammable materials are in the area when welding.
  • Wear proper welding helmet and gloves to protect eyes and skin.
  • Take time to carefully sand down rough surfaces to prevent injury to hands when operating iron gates.

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