Odds and Ends

Some jobs just don’t fall neatly into one category, but are so much fun that we feel obligated to tell everyone about them.

This pair of extremely fine cast lead-alloy bookends almost stayed at our house because they were so beautiful. But sadly, the original owners declined to sell them to us, so we replaced the missing tail on one of the bookends and sent them home.



This South Boston townhouse, both long and narrow, was blessed with a five-story staircase and beautiful molded mahogany cap rail. The client wished to replace the straight wooden balusters with free-form ironwork, while keeping the unique and unusual cap rail in place. He also asked that everything be done traditionally, using old-fashioned methods. There is no electrical welding used in this design. The entire railing is done using the older techniques of piercing, hand-drilling, and non-electric soldering. All joins are pierced and threaded or collared with handmade iron bands. All leaves and ornamentation are forged by hand.The unusual and uneven dimensions of the old staircase required that each section of railing be designed and laid out for fabrication individually. There is no single repeating design, and each inch is carefully laid out to conform to code requirements and maximize aesthetic appeal. It wasn’t exactly restoration, and it wasn’t exactly modern, but all in all, it was about as enjoyable as work can be. It’s not often that we receive an order for non-electric work, but when we do, we enjoy it to the fullest!

This antique cast iron bench came to us with two broken front legs. Cast Iron is often difficult to repair properly, and even more so when dealing with complex or fine castings. It is difficult to retain or recreate the contours of the original casting, especially when (as happened here) small pieces are missing.On the left is the damaged casting, on the right the leg, repaired and re-contoured to show the original lines.


powdercoatThis heavy steel trellis had been the recipient of much modern painting and powder-coating. You can see the damaged layers peeling away to expose underlying rust.


The same trellis after restoration. This trellis was far more delicate-looking than anyone had imagined after removing several years’ worth of improperly applied finishing products.

More Lead Alloy? Yup. This poor lady lost her head and needed a bit of help. Lead alloys are a lot of fun for us to work with. Madame is currently repaired and home with her matching bookend.