Casting Iron
The cast iron process is technically more difficult than the heat-hammer-stretch-bend-and-twist process of wrought iron. To create a cast iron piece, several precise steps are involved.

The Pattern:

First a wooden representation of the piece must be made. This is called a "pattern". The pattern creates, in every detail, the piece to be cast in iron. (It is made slightly larger than the desired size of the finished piece, to allow for the shrinkage of iron as it cools.)

The Impression:

The wooden replica, or pattern, is placed on a board with aligning pins - "mounted and gated" - in order to make accurate front and back "impressions" ...which will become the negative molds into which the liquid iron will be poured.

The Finished Mold:

We then match the sand impression of the front of our casting with the impression of the back...making the finished mold.

Molten Iron:

Next, the iron is melted to a liquid state in either an electris or gas furnace, and quickly poured into the impression or mold.

Cast Iron:

If all goes well, within six to eight hours, when the casting has cooled, we will have an iron casting duplicating our original.

Cast Iron Substitutes:
There are a number of so called "cast iron substitutes" available today - namely the cold pour metals and resin bonded fibers. Contractors who do not have facilities for working with molten iron may recomend these...for obvious reasons.

While these substitutes may or may not be initially less expensive than genuine cast iron, they do not have the durability of iron, or the authenticity that is often desired for restorations, or reproduction works.

At times, equally durable alternate metals may be used to imitate cast iron pieces. They may be effective in creating the "look" desired, when authenticity is not a factor.

 

 
CAST IRON STOOP AND SIDEWALK FENCE - BEFORE AND AFTER RESTORATION
This formidable cast iron stoop on a historic Brooklyn New York brownstone, was restored by Architectural Iron Company to duplicate the original bold and handsome lines that add so much to the character and charm of the buildding.

 

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For more information:
Architectural Iron Company
104 Ironwood Court - PO Box 126
Milford, PA 18337-0126

Web Home Page: http://www.architecturaliron.com

Toll Free: 800-442-IRON/4766
Fax: 570-296-IRON/4766

E-mail: sales@architecturaliron.com