Has anyone ever considered welding up a building?
RSS | Subscribe | Contact Us | Advertise | About Us
Results 1 to 21 of 21
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Roatan island
    Posts
    122

    Has anyone ever considered welding up a building?

    I'm on an island. Structures around here are either all wood, concrete/concrete block or a mix of the two. Most structures are NOT insulated with single pane glass and the A/C unit(s) running 24/7/365 at US $0.32/Kwh. Although the sun shines strong almost the entire year, there's very little solar energy equipment.

    I'd prefer a steel building, well insulated, with solar on the roof (I'm an EE). I've emailed vendors in Florida for engineered steel structures, but can't get their attention. I've considered using shipping containers as structural elements, but I want higher ceilings. So, I've considered trying to engineer a structure myself and weld/bolt it up over a concrete slab.

    Has anyone on this site designed and built a large steel structure from scratch?
    Anyone with any suggestions?

    BTW - The building rules are pretty lax and as long as it looks reasonable on paper, it's OK.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    The wheat fields of Kansas,in a large metal building
    Posts
    250

    Re: Has anyone ever considered welding up a building?

    Welded steel buildings didn't do well in earthquakes in SoCal. The bolted buildings did much better, that little bit of movement allowed them to flex instead of crack.
    Steve from SoCal now in Hutch

    Miller Dynasty 300DX Coolmate3 Speedway Torch
    Miller XMT 450 MPa plus with D-74 MPa Plus
    Miller Bobcat 225 NT
    Hypertherm Powermax 45
    And a whole bunch of machines

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Cave Creek AZ
    Posts
    2,781

    Re: Has anyone ever considered welding up a building?

    You might try pricing some large steel beams down here first, it may change your plans. Bolted connections are the way to go.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Roatan island
    Posts
    122

    Re: Has anyone ever considered welding up a building?

    We had a 7.1 on the island about 2 years ago, so I have to take a shaker into consideration. Had a 4.1 last week.

    The welding I was referring to was welding plates on to steel beams and then drilling out holes to bolt sections together like an old erector set. That's how the prefab structures are built.

    Thanks for the reminder.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Wheatland, Wyoming
    Posts
    366

    Re: Has anyone ever considered welding up a building?

    Yikes, ours is only $.124/kwh. You really do need some insulation there. Bolts would be better.
    Chris
    Auction Addict

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Roatan island
    Posts
    122

    Re: Has anyone ever considered welding up a building?

    Walker:
    I'm planning on going to the mainland to talk to a steel suppliers there. As I recall, their building was a bolted together structure, so someone obviously designed it.

    I don't know if it's true, but I was told that larger steel elements are priced by the pound as a commodity product. The next time I'm in Florida, I'll take a few days to visit the numerous prefab steel building manufacturers there, and in Georgia. If I show up, I think I'll get a better reception. I've drawn up what I want in CAD as far as the interior is concerned for space estimation reasons, but just used 9" thick slab walls to represent the actual building.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Roatan island
    Posts
    122

    Re: Has anyone ever considered welding up a building?

    Milomilo:
    Gasoline and diesel are around $5.50/gal. So far, I've imported two 125 cylinders of CO2 and two 125 cylinders of argon from Airgas in Miami. By time I got them it was $1300 plus 3 weeks. I'm going to try to have them filled on the mainland, but filling my 40 with CO2 was near $100 and took 4 weeks. The on island gas supplier only has oxygen and acetylene.
    So, the next time you take a Caribbean vacation, and you want to know why everything is so expensive, consider the costs of someone who lives there.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Outside of Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    604

    Re: Has anyone ever considered welding up a building?

    You can get steel containers that are 9’6” tall; they are called “high cube” containers.

    Butler, Morgan or a number of other steel building suppliers should be able to help you. What probably discourages them from bidding is arranging freight.
    Miller Trailblazer Pro 350D
    Miller Suitcase MIG
    Miller Spectrum 2050
    Miller Syncrowave 250DX
    Lincoln 210MP

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Not there
    Posts
    2,462

    Re: Has anyone ever considered welding up a building?

    By the time you finish screwing around with a container you'd have a block structure up faster and cheaper, with no obstacle to design around and no insulation needed other then below the zinc.. I live down these parts too. Everything is lightweight and semi flexible other than the concrete. Even the slabs float.
    Do you have prefab crap like my back wall on the island ? I know they have it in Teguchig.Do-it probably does or can get it.
    Thats super fast and cheap. Also kinda floating. No inertia-no earthquake problems.
    Or just weld one up and finish it lil by lil
    Name:  PC301491.jpg
Views: 709
Size:  113.1 KB

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Roatan island
    Posts
    122

    Re: Has anyone ever considered welding up a building?

    scsmith42: I'm aware of high cube containers. My welding area is a standard 20' container next to my other 20' woodworking container.
    I'm after 11-12' ceilings. I didn't mention that what I designed in CAD is a restaurant with an apartment above it.

    Bonzoo: After trying to use some combination of 40' and 20' high cube containers as the perimeter of a building, I gave up on the idea for the reasons you mentioned. I've seen pictures of residences made of containers and they're gorgeous but I doubt in the final analysis they're cheap to build or maintain.

    I'm not sure what I'm looking at in your picture. What is that back wall made of? There's no prefab anything available on the island. I can't even get decent metal studs. I had to get 2'x4' ceiling tiles from Miami. When I Googled Do-it, all I got was a movie reference. What's Do-it? I don't speak Spanish, so the mainland is mostly off limits to me. I also don't like the "Gringo Tax" I invariably encounter if I try to purchase from a mainland supplier.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Sweden
    Posts
    695

    Re: Has anyone ever considered welding up a building?

    Just because a building is built out of wood or concrete, that doesn't mean it has to have poor insulation. Nothing prevents you from using materials easily available in your area, but using a better construction with more insulation.

    What kind of solar equipment are you planning? Heating water, heating air, making electricity?
    Last edited by G-son; 01-05-2018 at 12:17 PM.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Not there
    Posts
    2,462

    Re: Has anyone ever considered welding up a building?


  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Not there
    Posts
    2,462

    Re: Has anyone ever considered welding up a building?

    Mine are this pre-fab I know they export to Honduras.


    Here a real vid of work. FAST

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    222

    Re: Has anyone ever considered welding up a building?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bonzoo View Post
    By the time you finish screwing around with a container you'd have a block structure up faster and cheaper, with no obstacle to design around and no insulation needed other then below the zinc.. I live down these parts too. Everything is lightweight and semi flexible other than the concrete. Even the slabs float.
    I like the steel truss in your building.
    I am planning on using a truss for my shed/shelter
    What is the span between the columns, and what is the dimension of the steel used in the truss ?

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Roatan island
    Posts
    122

    Re: Has anyone ever considered welding up a building?

    G-son: I fully realize that you can insulate anything. The point I was trying to make is that it's not done here, meaning there really is no insulation available on the island. I want a sprayed in product that I can regulate the thickness of and it automatically produces a vapor barrier. Bugs hate it, it won't support combustion and in a few inches will give me the insulation found in a refrigerator. It seeps into every possible crevice and seals it up. With the proper air handlers to ensure no interior mold issues you can actually have A/C at a reasonable cost. Many small homes here have no A/C because the outside wood wall IS the inside wood wall and you can see daylight through the boards. People place shelving between the fully visible interior studs.

    Termites end up owning all wood structures. Wood shrinks as it ages meaning all the fasteners get loose. I want nothing to do with wood also known as kindling. Treated lumber is a health hazard.

    Concrete around here is poor quality because they don't have the proper sand. Concrete block crumbles when it gets wet and even new block is fragile. It's junk. I asked the local one and only concrete supplier about a slump test and he had no idea what I was talking about. That should give you some idea of what I encounter here.

    BTW - I've had "electricians" tell me I could save a lot of money on wire costs by just omitting that ground wire as it's not necessary; equipment will run without it. This is the level of competence when you want something built. That's why I HAVE to do it myself or bring in the technology I want.

    The solar I want is primarily for electricity to run motors and compressors. As an EE I can take care of that easily. I've experimented with solar hot water when I lived in Texas, and I could replicate what I built there, but I'd rather avoid the plumbing hassle. I'll use commercially available water heaters and put them where I need them all running off of a cold water line that gets its supply from a huge cistern. Water on the island is precious, so you catch it during rainy season. For 9 months of the year, the sun is so strong that you can make eggs on a metal roof with clouds a rare sight. The other 3 months are rainy season with much poorer solar insolation, but that reduces the A/C load so the reduced power output is balanced by the reduced load. A/C is the largest load in most structures on the island. I'm looking at a 12KW generator for emergency use and to supply power during any build process. The local power company is very unreliable and produces power of such poor quality that you can't run a clock off their frequency and expect the proper time in a few weeks.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    New Plymouth ID
    Posts
    790

    Re: Has anyone ever considered welding up a building?

    With the numbers your talking for basic stuff you could probably buy a 2 setfoam set up and material and do it youself http://www.energyefficientsolutions....SABEgJ6-_D_BwE or shop florida craigslist for a pro set up the foam is very expensive thou compared to batted insulation what would it cost to get a container shipped to you then just load it up with everything you need places like this http://www.shipblueocean.com/services/fcl.cfm
    Last edited by idacal; 01-05-2018 at 01:40 PM.
    Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Sweden
    Posts
    695

    Re: Has anyone ever considered welding up a building?

    Ouch. Sounds like you have a bit of a challenge there then. I don't know anything about concrete slump tests, but electricians suggesting to not use ground says it all. Sure, they're right, equipment WILL run fine without it - it just might kill you when there is a problem, and judging by that attitude to grounding I'd expect problems occuring sooner rather than later.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Roatan island
    Posts
    122

    Re: Has anyone ever considered welding up a building?

    Bonzoo: Your link brought up INDUFESA which, from the pictures, looks like a Home Depot type of operation. I had never heard of it. I've never been to Tegus or San Pedro. I avoid the mainland unless absolutely necessary. Now that there's an immigration office on the island I don't even have to go to La Ceiba to renew my residency every year.

    I'll check it out.

    I'll view your videos later tonight.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Roatan island
    Posts
    122

    Re: Has anyone ever considered welding up a building?

    Idacal: I always assumed I'd bring in the necessary equipment to do the insulation job myself. I haven't selected a product as that market changes over time and when I'm ready, I'll research what's available.

    I believe I've got the best welding equipment on the island and the only plasma cutter. I know of only one other non stick welder, and he's a friend of mine. Word gets around via "coconut telegraph" that Bill is the guy to see about fabricating stuff. If I bring in the right insulation equipment, I'd bet I could turn that into a money making opportunity as well, or at least, I'd break even. The island has thousands of USians and Canadians that will opt for things if they're available.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Roatan island
    Posts
    122

    Re: Has anyone ever considered welding up a building?

    G-son: Around here, if someone tells you he's a plumber, or an electrician, or (pick anything), then don't be too surprised if he shows up for the job with only a machete. I'm not kidding; really - I'm not kidding.

    Thank goodness my father made me do manual labor while I was growing up so I learned the value of tools and how to use them. About the only things I'm not competent at are refrigeration and auto repair as I was never interested in them. There just happens to be a decent refrigeration & A/C guy on the island, and I found a mechanic that was deported from the US with loads of US tech training and perfect English.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    Clovis CA
    Posts
    259

    Re: Has anyone ever considered welding up a building?

    Yes I have built my shops by welding I have welded beams 80 foot span/long in past
    You find a small build is low cost out of wood with metal roof up to a span of 16 feet [4880 mm] and 10 foot [3050mm] high
    A larger build out of steel is lower in cost. with metal roof

    Good luck
    Dave

    Quote Originally Posted by RoatanBill View Post
    I'm on an island. Structures around here are either all wood, concrete/concrete block or a mix of the two. Most structures are NOT insulated with single pane glass and the A/C unit(s) running 24/7/365 at US $0.32/Kwh. Although the sun shines strong almost the entire year, there's very little solar energy equipment.

    I'd prefer a steel building, well insulated, with solar on the roof (I'm an EE). I've emailed vendors in Florida for engineered steel structures, but can't get their attention. I've considered using shipping containers as structural elements, but I want higher ceilings. So, I've considered trying to engineer a structure myself and weld/bolt it up over a concrete slab.

    Has anyone on this site designed and built a large steel structure from scratch?
    Anyone with any suggestions?

    BTW - The building rules are pretty lax and as long as it looks reasonable on paper, it's OK.
    Harbor freight170
    Victor Torch
    HF 4X6 band saw
    South Bend 9 Lathe
    HF Mill
    B&D Mag Drill
    Amazon books that may help
    Machinist Handbook
    Machinist Guide
    Single To Three Phase Simplified
    groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/southbendlathe9/info

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
RSS | Home | Penton Media | Contact Us | Subscribe | For Advertisers | Terms of Use | Privacy Statement