Historic Restoration of Wrought Iron Handrails, circa 1760s, at the Schuyler Mansion

Click photo to see job progress

Original railing before restoration

Closeup of deterioration

Previous misguided attempts of scroll repairs. We hand forged proper reproductions

This picture shows previous inadequate attempts to fix the scrolls. They are not true to form. They are bolted on. The pickets are arc welded. The original tenons are broken or missing. Most of the mortise holes are split from rust. Previous repairs to the splits were done with improper materials and methods.

The previous repairs have been removed and all signs of that work has been restored properly. The restoration entailed hand forging new scrolls to match originals. These are forge welded and tapered. Each unit consists of 2 scrolls, tapered at the ends to fit with the next sets of scrolls. Top rail has been repaired. We reforged new tenons on the original pickets. In the original design, the tenons on the pickets passed thru the scroll & top rail and were hot forged down to hold the entire assembly together. (In this picture, the tenons have not been forged down yet.)








We smoothed the scroll. Gouged metal on both the rail and scroll have been restored. Forged and welded a new tail. Visible is the picket with the end restored with the new tenon.





Original scroll that had previous repairs. The tail has been burned off. The scroll and picket were welded to the top rail. The scroll is deformed.












New scrolls are hand reproduced using the same blacksmithing and “forge welding” methods as the 1760’s originals.
The scroll at the top of this picture is the first part of a scroll jig that was used to straighten damaged scrolls and form new ones.



Closeup of 4 piece joint







Restored Railing

Restored Entrance