Refurbishment of ironwork by a skilled, qualified shop is usually more cost-effective than designing and constructing a new railing, but there can be other reasons to keep the old over the new. One of those reasons is to preserve designs that are unique and nearly impossible to replace. Like the restoration of artwork or a rare antique, you keep the original work and bring it back to life, rather than make a copy and scrap the original.
Anchor Iron recently did a complete refurbishment and reinstallation on a pair of small, decorative porch railings. We estimated these railings to be about 50 years old, with a classic S-scroll design, a unique upswept tail on the handrail, and a double scroll descender down the steps.
In the before photos here, you see a railing displaying years of wire brush scrape-and-paint maintenance followed by neglect. The only two options are total refurbishment, or total replacement. We removed the railings, had them sand-blasted and re-painted, and reinstalled them with new hardware - literally “as good as new.” Durability is one of the advantages of good ironwork, that it can be fully restored and remain as strong and beautiful as the day it was made.
This project is a good example of going with “refurbish” over “replace.” These small railings are beautiful and unique. To design and build an exact replica would cost considerably more than the refurbishment, and I don’t think it would be as satisfying.
Anchor Iron, Co. recently had the honor of participating in an act of historical significance and community pride with the design, fabrication and installation of an entrance archway identifying the 150-year-old Woodside Cemetery in Shorewood, MN. The large metal arch and sign, installed November 26, 2015, was commissioned and donated by Chanhassen resident Elaine Dunn, who entrusted Anchor Iron with carrying out her vision.
Ms. Dunn’s husband was buried at Woodside Cemetery five years ago, and she had found in her own experience that the cemetery was very difficult to find—especially for out-of-town visitors coming in for a funeral. Both Elaine and her son, Kelly, are also members of the Excelsior-Lake Minnetonka Historical Society and have a strong interest in genealogy and local history.
“This is one of the most historical sites in Shorewood,” said Kelly Dunn. “There are a lot of connections with Woodside from a lot of people in the Shorewood area.”
This history was another reason Elaine donated the sign, so Woodside could be formally identified as a historical site in the community.
We’re very proud to have been chosen for this project. You can read the whole story with a photo of the Dunn family here: SUNSailor article
When Andersen Windows & Doors in Bayport, MN wanted to create a showcase for their products, they decided to renovate a house on their campus into a meeting/conference space. The result was Anderson House. Anchor Iron was contracted to manufacture and install the patio railings for builder Moser Homes, from a design by Sala Architects.
The Anderson House patio overlooks the beautiful St Croix River, and our unseasonably warm November weather made the 3-day install a breeze. Overall, the warm and 'snowless' beginning to this winter has given all of us in construction the opportunity to complete projects quicker and easier than is typical for this time of year.
Anchor Iron is just wrapping up its busiest Spring show season ever. We did a lot of shows this spring, and they were packed with people excited to be working on projects for their homes. These spring gardening and home improvement shows are a great way to visualize your project, and talk directly to people who are qualified and capable of making it a reality.
This first photo is from the Minneapolis Home & Garden Show, which runs late February to early March each year. If you’d like to visit us here in 2016 please let us know … we sometimes have complimentary tickets.
This photo is from the Minneapolis Remodeling Expo which runs in late April or early May. These shows offer a great opportunity for us to talk with our customers and future customers - thank you for stopping by our booth.