An overview of the materials we work with, their suitable use and what can and can’t be achieved with them.

Wrought Iron: while this term is used as a general description for decorative ironwork it has not been produced for a long time. It is still available in limited quantities for specialist restoration projects where the original material needs to be matched. It can be forged and assembled using traditional fire welding, tenoning, riveting and mechanical means.

Cast Iron: While not produced in-house we can supply cast spindles and components, either to match existing items or by producing the required patterns.

Mild Steel: this is the standard steel grade for general fabrication. Processes include the traditional methods mentioned above as well as electric arc welding.

Bright steel: this is an engineering grade mild steel with more accurate dimensions and a more consistent carbon content. We tend to use this for plain spindles etc. to achieve cleaner lines, and for machined components.

Stainless steel: this comes in a number of grades with varying levels of corrosion resistance. We mainly use it for items where a polished, non-painted finish is required or where corrosion resistance is important. All the processes mentioned under wrought iron through to bright steel can be achieved with the exception of fire welding, it can also be cast. Due to a fairly high chrome content they tend to be significantly more time consuming.

Aluminium: this is mainly used where weight is important as it is significantly lighter than other metals. We can forge, shape, cast and fabricate it. As with stainless steel most processes are a bit more involved than doing them in steel.

Copper: this can be forged, fabricated and machined but as it is not very strong without being alloyed its main uses are decorative.

Brass: this is yellow copper/zinc alloy. Its main uses are for decorative items like decorative components and extruded handrails. It can be polished or, using a variety of patina treatments, it can be finished to look like antique brass through to aged bronze at a lower cost than using actual bronze. It can be forged, shaped, cast and machined but while it can be welded this will always show up over time in the final finish.

Phosphor bronze: this is the traditional copper/tin alloy. It is copper coloured in it’s bought form and it will need a patina to make it look like aged bronze. It can be cold worked and welded, with limited hot shaping ability. Welds will not show up once a patina is applied so it is the most suitable material to be used along with brass where this process is required on a particular item.

Silicon Bronze: This is a copper/silicon alloy with a rich bronze colour even before a patina is applied. High silicon bronze is slightly more yellow looking and more generally available in Europe. Low silicon bronze is more copper looking and it has to be extruded to order or imported from the US. It is the most suitable bronze for hot forge work and it can be readily welded.

Aluminium Bronze: this is a copper/aluminium alloy with a very high corrosion resistance and tensile strength. It can be forged, cast, machined and welded. As with stainless all processes are more involved than doing them in other bronzes but we have developed a range of techniques to get around this. The natural colour is slightly more silvery than brass, which we can age and darken with our patina methods.

Timber: We work closely with joiners and specialist timber handrail suppliers. Where it needs to be incorporated with our work we can supply cabinetry, treads, handrails and decorative mouldings.

Glass: We can incorporate toughened, laminated, opaque, coloured, curved and traditional glass to complement our metalwork.

Plastics: In some cases like light diffusers plastics can be more appropriate than glass. We also use rubber extrusions on door seals and other applications.

Lighting: we can advise on, and incorporate a range of lighting in our work. You will have to ask your electricians to do the final wiring and commissioning however.

Stone: As with timber and glass we can incorporate this in our work where required.