Brass Cornerguards – Part 2


Four legs good, two legs bad.
— George Orwell, Animal Farm (1945)

These cornerguards are made out of thin brass plate, cut to shape, the legs bent over, and then soldered or welded at the corner.  I imagine they are mass-produced, but since there is some handwork involved, each one is a little different.  Because I expected this, I fit each cornerguard one at a time and marked it with a piece of tape so I knew which one went where.  However the first three were virtually interchangeable.

I worked my way around to the last corner, the front right.  When I pulled the last one out of its package and started trying to fit it, something was wrong.  Upon closer inspection, the curve was offset, so that one ear was longer than the other.  Furthermore, although none of them are completely square around the sides, this one was more pronounced.

After deliberation, I ordered a replacement.  So about nine days later…  the ears on the replacement are similar in length (to each other) but shorter than the other three.  Actually the legs are a little shorter too, meaning a gap on the sides because I’d already recessed based on the others.  And it is also noticeably out of square, though in the opposite direction as the one I hoped to replace.

So, how much are we talking about here?  Well, the one with the uneven ears is a difference of about 3/32″.  The replacement is narrower than the three amigos by about 1/16″.  They’re both out of square about 1/16″.

Are my expectations too high?  Probably.  I mean they only cost $10–$15 each.  I guess I should have spent three times as much for the ones from Horton.

After more deliberation, this is what I decided to do:  I moved the cornerguard from the back right corner (where I started) to the front right corner, and cut in the top surface to fit it.  So both front corners look pretty nice.  Then I did some tweaking on the back right corner to fit the uneven one.  This was better than fitting the replacement because its smaller size would have left a gap all along the curve.  As a bonus, the uneven one somehow mostly fills the gaps on the sides where I had initially cut them too long.  So basically, I decided uneven legs are better than gaps.

An aside: these come with a mirror polish.  You may have noticed the uneven one seems more of a brushed look.  I’ll cover that later.