Like for like repair and reproduction.

Reproduction Lantern Rosettes x 16, forged from pure Iron.

Reproduction Lantern Rosettes x 16, forged from pure Iron.

We’ve been very busy and apologies for the blog break.

I intend to make up for it over the next two months, with lots of small blogettes if there are such Inter-web things.

Here’s the catch up. The gates are clean, primed and undercoated. The second to last decorative coats are being applied this week. All the homogenous (weld based) repairs are complete, all of the water leaf repairs and reproductions are complete (there were over 156 to make new and fit). 66 original collars were reforged and fitted, 102 new had to be made and fitted hot. The new 3 pcs rosettes for the boarder panels (48 units) are up to black and will be fitted next week. The drop leaves (64 units) are also black and due to be fitted very soon. 16 large lantern rosettes (pictured above, 2 pcs each) are painted and ready to fit…… and so on! To save you adding it up, that’s 402 new forged items made by our blacksmiths, exactly copying the originals, using the same blacksmith techniques as the original artisans would have. There’s a lot more to add to this list, but I recon you get an idea of our commitment to this project.

Laurel leaf spray, reproduced in Wrought Iron.

Laurel leaf spray, reproduced in Wrought Iron. Front one is new, two behind are repaired using fire-welding.

Its important that when the decision to reproduce in favor repair is made it is for the correct reasons, not just because its the easy choice. A Conservation Blacksmith must retain as much original material as possible and when he/she decides to make a new component (or a partial one for a patch repair) it has to be in a like for like material and manufactured using original techniques. You’d think this would be obvious philosophy and policy wouldn’t you, but many don’t follow this recognized approach.

Garland reproduction for the South 2/3rds pier (self colour) the fixing location still needs to be sculpted on to the bar, the original on right and is in primer.

Fire-welded garland reproduction for the South 2/3rds pier (self colour) the fixing location still needs to be sculpted on to the bar and the final setting needs to be carried out, the original (in primer) is on right.

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About Nick Bates

I'm a Blacksmith working in Surrey, England, UK. My business, Burrows Lea Forge operates from a Forge just outside Guildford in the village of Shere. I've been trading as a Blacksmith since 1992. Burrows Lea Forge specialises in hot forged Ironwork, designing and making bespoke items for both the public and domestic markets. To the casual onlooker, there seems to be two sides to my business, Artist Blacksmith and Traditional Forge worker, but as an Artisan I see no difference, if you love forging hot metals as I do.... its all the same!
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One Response to Like for like repair and reproduction.

  1. It was a huge thrill to peep through the doors of the tent covering the gates on Saturday 3rd August and see the restoration you are doing. We had come to see the gates as my sister had recently discovered that our great, great, great grandfather was Joses Weaver Downing who had designed and made the gates with Brawn, so long ago. Your blog is wonderful. I would love to come and see the gates when they are opened. Any idea when that will be? It would be so exciting to be there. Thank you for all your hard work!

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