J-N-L Wrought Iron, Inc. specializes in working on very complex projects and then seeing them through to completion with both unbelievable beauty and accuracy. We enjoy designing projects of great diversity, and we have the skill and the patience to work with projects that require great amounts of problem solving.

Many of the common techniques used here at J-N-L Wrought Iron include drawing, up-setting, splitting, drifting, punching, and even forge welding, used to create scrollwork, pickets, flowers and even animal figures. Thus, we are able to create one-of-a-kind ornamental iron fencing and have done so for many clients.

For your convenience and to share our enthusiasm for this fascinating art, we’ve listed some interesting facts about the techniques used here to create everything we do in our studio, from sculptural garden gates to ornamental iron fences. Processes vary among metals.

Drawing
This is a technique that lengthens metal by hammering it to make it spread or stretch. Something as thin as a wire can be made by drawing.

Upsetting
This involves pushing metal into itself to thicken it. It decreases on dimension as it increases the others.

Splitting
Though most don’t know it, wrought iron and other metals actually have a grain. Working with the grain (as with wood and other fibrous media) results in greater strength. Splitting, therefore, is when metal is opened along the grain and is used, for example, to create a fork, perhaps for an organic form such as a tree branch or offshoot in an ornamental iron fence. A closed split is another splitting technique and creates an opening in a piece.

Drifting
This process begins with making a hole and continues with a widening of the hole. No metal is lost and the technique is ideal when a shape other than round is needed in a hole. The metal displace by drifting is “run” elsewhere on the piece; it’s easy to see the level of craftsmanship needed for this and other smithing techniques.

Punching
A tool called a “punch” is used to drive an opening into the metal and thus creates a hole. This process is also integral to creating decorative patterns such as those seen in ornamental iron fencing, railing, chandeliers, and other works.

Forge welding
Considered an artform, this type of welding is, basically, the bringing together of two pieces using an extreme level of heat that permits an exchange of surface molecules, thus creating a lasting bond. The conditions required for this practice or highly specific and require orchestrated teamwork of experienced metalsmiths.

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