How to repair an iron gate

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

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

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.

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

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.

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

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

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.

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

Paint primer on the repaired areas.

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

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