Front Gate Restoration

Restored front driveway gates

Restored front driveway gates

The owner of this Art Deco home wanted to keep the original front gates so decided on a front gate restoration to bring them back to their original condition. This was easier said than done. Over the years a large Japanese maple tree had pushed one of the driveway gate supports out of square making the front gate impossible to close. In fact the front gates had been left open in a deteriorated state for decades.

We were approached to see if anything could be done to rectify the situation. A small pedestrian gate further along the wall had also fallen victim to the same fate with tree roots moving the brick fence over the years so the gate would not even fit between their supports anymore. The client did not want to demolish and rebuild the fence but wanted to retain the original front gates as much as possible.

The first thing was to remove the gates and return them to the workshop. Firstly they were sent to be sand blasted to remove the old paint and corrosion. Careful measurements were made of the front gate supports to determine how they could be re-hinged. The existing hinges and latches were severely corroded and could not be used so a new hinge and latch arrangement had to be devised.

With the new hinge arrangement the driveway gates had to be cut down approximately 100mm to fit between the support pillars. By cutting 50mm off the hinged side of each gate their symmetry was retained without detracting from their appearance.

Original gate

The original driveway gates were corroded and missing parts

Original pedestrian gate

Original pedestrian gate was in very bad shape

Laser showing gate support lean

Laser level showing gate support lean

New gate installation

Cut down gate with lean compensating hinge layout

Once the lean of the gate pillars had been determined a compensating hinge arrangement was built so the gates would all hang square once again.

New pedestrian gate

New cut down pedestrian gate

New gate latch

New pedestrian gate latch

The pedestrian gate also had to be cut down about 50-60mm as well and missing parts replaced. A new hinge and latch arrangement was devised for it as well. It proved impossible to find a suitable gate latch. The original latches and hinges were no longer available and most gates nowadays fit to the edge of a pillar, not the middle. A new latch setup was built which worked very well without being too obtrusive.

The client also wanted some side gates built for the house using the same design as the existing front gates. These are described in another post.

Steel Balustrade Railing Restoration

Steel railing restored to its original condition

Steel railing restored to its original condition

This steel balustrade railing had suffered from severe corrosion resulting in many sections of the design being lost making it look unsightly and in need of restoration.

Before the restoration could start custom bending jigs needed to be made so the new sections of the missing design could be fabricated. The new parts and sections were made in 25x3mm flat steel to match the existing design. The corroded sections were cut out of the balustrade railing and the new sections welded into place to complete the restoration.

Damaged section of the steel railing

Damaged section of the steel railing balustrade before restoration.

Restored Art Deco Security Door

New security bars

Building entrance with new security bars

The picture on the right shows the restored Art Deco security door on a Potts Point Inter-war apartment building.

Over the years several coats of paint had been applied to hide the corrosion that was occurring on the door and grille and additional security mesh and drop bar locks had been unsympathetically attached with pop rivets to ad-hock frames welded to the original Art Deco security door frame.

The door and frame were removed and all extraneous additions removed. The paint was cut back to bare metal and several severely corroded sections (#1 bottom) were removed with a grinder (#2) and welded (#3) before being ground back into shape (#4). To restrict access to the back of the door a perforated steel panel with 11mm square holes was welded to the back of the door bars. The Art Deco security door was then treated with rust converter before having an anti-corrosion etch primer applied. Finally two coats of epoxy enamel were applied to finish the job.

Art Deco security door restoration

Comparison of the old security door and the restored version

Fixing rust

Steps in repairing corroded steel bar