Spring is here, and with Spring comes a lot of yard work. If you’re tired of splitting wood from trees that fell or turning up soil to plant some grass seed, can you find a way to use a welder on a yard project this Spring?
One of the best uses for a welder for an outdoor project may be creating an ornamental gate for either a garden or yard. A decorative gate improves the aesthetics of your yard and will be a welcome relief from digging and hauling things all over your property.
While every project must begin with careful measurements of the gate’s location, it’s critical to carefully choose the materials for the gate right off the bat.
Choose the Metal for an Ornamental Gate
The most typical choice for a gate is wrought iron, though keep in mind that metal gates can be painted. Therefore, the final look is truly up to you.
However, wrought in very practical and versatile. It can be bent into shapes and designs, and it’s one of the easiest metals to weld. Slag, typically the nemesis of a clean weld, is present in wrought iron and offers a textured look that is quite popular for fences.
Buy the Materials for an Ornamental Gate
One project at Homemaker’s Online suggests the following list:
- Outer frame lengths: two 1400 and two 1000mm 25 x 25mm square steel tubes (for the frame)
- Uprights and crossbar: ten 1400mm lengths 10 x 10mm steel square bars
- Nine x cast “Fleur de Lys” spikes
- Two x scrollwork castings
- Metal hinges and gate hardware
In order to do the work, you’ll also want to have the following tools on hand: a Metal saw, welder, Filler bar or MIG wire, welding safety equipment, C-clamp, Vise, grounding clamp, and concrete if necessary for gate posts.
For other building plan options, see this brief tutorial.
How to Make Ornamental Gates
A gate project requires first cutting the metal rods to the appropriate lengths for a frame. In the example from Homemaker’s online, a frame would use 25 mm x 25mm rods. The internal rods are the smaller 10 mm pieces. For a decorative touch, add a Fleur de Lys or another ornament of your choice to the top of each rod along the top of the frame.
The type of brackets and posts you use will depend on your project. Be sure to anchor the posts with concrete if you end up digging holes rather than attaching the gate to an existing wall or fence.
Welding Tips for an Ornamental Gate
When welding gates, keep in mind that cast iron can be rigid and difficult to weld without cracking in the areas that aren’t welded. Iron is a much easier metal to weld. If you end up working with cast iron, look into brazing as an alternative.
For welds on wrought iron, be sure that your weld achieves deep penetration into the weld joint. In addition, if a weld isn’t continuous or ground smooth, gaps or crevices provide room for water to gather and lead to corrosion.
Thankfully there are many welders experimenting with gate projects these days. They may range from the complicated, to the simple and elegant. The more ambitious may be interested in welding a driveway gate. Whether you’re after something simple and practical or challenging and impressive, a welder can be put to good use this Spring on an ornamental gate.