This web site offers an extensive range of both black antique and plain gothic style high quality ironmongery hand made By Kirkpatrick Ltd at their Foundry in Walsall where they have been manufacturing malleable iron builders’ ironmongery for 150 years.
Cast iron products have been familiar to the general public for many years. However, there are many varieties of cast irons all of which have different properties and applications. Malleable iron is particularly suitable for the production of builders’ ironmongery because of its strength and durability. It should not be confused with cheaper cast iron products.
All of our malleable iron products are made using the greensand casting process. At this stage the castings are hard and brittle and cannot be hammered, filed or riveted into finished products. The castings are therefore subjected to a heat treatment process known as Annealing. In this process the castings are surrounded by an inert haematite ore within iron drums and loaded into ovens or six to eight tons capacity. The ovens take about two days to each the Annealing temperature of 980C. The castings are then soaked at this temperature for around 80 hours after which they are allowed to cool naturally. During this process the carbon structure of the iron is changed. The resulting castings are no longer hard and brittle but soft and malleable.
After shot blasting and grinding to remove ay rough edges the castings are then assembled into finished or semi-finished products. Following assembly a rust proofing finish may be applied and a two-coat paint process is carried out before the products pass into our warehouse for final inspection, assembly and packaging ready for despatch.
We hope that the foregoing has been interesting and informative and will help develop a greater understanding of what is involved in the production of traditional hand made ironmongery and in particular the length of the production process. Please read this in conjunction with the section on the upkeep of ironmongery which may be of use in your choice of material and finish. This information can be found under FAQ by following the link at the bottom of the page.
By choosing Kirkpatrick's malleable iron products you can be confident that you are purchasing a quality product which is both functional and highly decorative and one that, well maintained, will give many years of service and pleasure.
There are now a lot of copies of some of the ranges we offer, but very few of them are made from the true whiteheart malleable iron process, and therefore may not give you the service and lifespan expected.
CARE OF OUR IRONMONGERY PRODUCTS
Iron in any form, whether Cast or Malleable, is susceptible to rusting. During our finishing process we endeavour to cover all areas of Antique Ironmongery by first dipping into a liquid paint which is then stove dried. This is then followed by the Black Powder Coating process, which is also cured by stoving. Inevitably when two areas of metal come into contact with each other an abrasive action is enacted, and sooner or later the painted surfaces are lost by the constant rubbing action. This is unavoidable during the operational activity of the article, so where obvious abrasive areas of moving parts are visible an occasional light oiling is recommended. This will help to prolong the good looks and keep the rusting process at bay. To remove harmful deposits which will cause corrosion (this is even more critical where one lives near to a coastline, as the salt in the sea air has a very corrosive effect on iron) we advise that the Ironmongery is regularly wiped over with a lightly oiled cloth.
We strong advise that these precautions are taken. By adopting these simple precautions you will prolong the products life and enhance the beauty of your home.