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Alexandria Railing Project

(click to enlarge)

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Job:      Interior Architectural Commission

Date:     March  2003

Site:      Old Town Alexandria, VA  

Overview: This hefty railing is part of a complete renovation of a historic brick rowhouse in Alexandria.  Working with a designer, we came up with the above railing pattern.  It is a massive piece, as it is constructed from 1 x 2 solid steel bar, which was then forged to take on a peened texture. The top rail was also a challenge as it is 1 5/8 diameter copper pipe, and the design calls for the pipe to penetrate the steel that meant that we needed to find a good way to cut precise holes (both on level and at a 40 degree angle) through the thick bar. We feel that the results were worth the effort.  Besides, problem solving is what blacksmithing is all about.  The balusters are made from anodized aircraft cable, turnbuckles, and copper stops and swages. The brass gear elements are actually the same gears being used in a belt-driven ceiling fan system that has been installed in the house. Over all, there is around 40 feet of this rail on the premises.