Sea House Warming Hut: Wroughting Irons

It’s a foggy morning here in Nancyland, and the crew is finishing up installing a vintage wrought iron railing and foundation grate, welcome salvage from the Sea House Pleasure Pier.

I have been looking for a well-designed wave pattern to meld into Warming Hut history and decor, and found it in these laser-cut panels from JMG Laser Engraving. (HBS/ carries some of their products.)

For the railing, I cut the section I wanted free, and glued it between two lengths of basswood. After spraying with several coats of flat black paint, I mounted it to the open edge of the deck with glue and brackets made from solid-core black paper. These were bolted with 1/8-inch and 1/16-inch bolts for extra security.

Actually, they’re totally just for appearance.

As it happens, I installed the lower grate first, gently curved and held in place with glue and bolts. I then re-grew the poppies peeking through the bars.

After staring at it for a while, I realized it is far too smooth to be convincing salvaged wrought iron, especially in a marine environment. The railing assembly was still in process, so I mucked it up with tiny dabs of glue and smudges to simulate rust and age. Then I painted it with three different types of black paint. You can kind of see the effect in the first photo of the railing. It’s nice and grody, but well-maintained and hopefully structurally sound. I’ll apply this wroughting process to the grate next :)

After I get my lap back.

Is Napoleon the inspiration for my color palette?

14 thoughts on “Sea House Warming Hut: Wroughting Irons

    • Nancy Enge says:

      Thanks, Marion. I plan to take the finished build to the nearby cliffs to do final photography, if the wind cooperates (and doesn’t blow all the furnishings and accessories out). And lots of detail vignettes.

    • Nancy Enge says:

      Thank you, Joyce! I think there is a whole elite cadre of studio cats who hang out and provide wordless commentary and opportunities for insight, particularly if it involves petting.

  1. Barbara W. says:

    Does the grate piece bend around the curved section or is it the angle of the photo?
    It looks really lovely. I like your cat too! :)

    • Nancy Enge says:

      Thank you, Barbara. I’m glad you like it.
      The grate curves ever so gently between the two posts, emulating the curve of the deck. The material it’s cut from is very accommodating.
      The cat would gladly accommodate himself to occupying the interior, except that I have the build on a turntable that swivels easily (and alarmingly). Thus he contents himself with vigorous face rubbing on all corners, and waiting for me to sit still long enough that he can occupy my lap and hands.

  2. pepper says:

    Aww bless, cats just love being involved don’t they? Is he your building inspector? I love the wrought iron grates and think the design is sympathetic to the lovely curve of the deck =0)

    • Nancy Enge says:

      This cat can be very determined when he sets what little is left of his mind to it, but he is mistrustful of the turntable, and there’s rarely room on my work table for him.
      Glad you like the wrought iron. Thanks, Pepper!

    • Nancy Enge says:

      It’s cut from something like illustration board, so it’s quite flexible. In this case, the two posts were enough to define and support the curve.

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