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Thread: Makin' the Shade [Structure]

  1. #1
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    Makin' the Shade [Structure]

    Part of the current renovations of the local city municipal building (courthouse) includes the construction of a large "shade structure" for the front.

    The fab/job shop I work for won the contract to build said structure.

    Since I am, among other things, the shop draftsman I got to turn the architects vague drawings of the structure into fully detailed and dimensioned shop drawings. After being sent off for approval by the architect and engineers we got the go-ahead to begin fabrication.

    Click here for a copy of the shop prints.

    For those who can't/won't look at the drawings in the above link, here's a couple of images from Autodesk Inventor that I used to model/make all the shop drawings that I do:

    (Click on any of the images for a large view)





    Fortunately, since I am also one of the shop weldors I was assigned to actually build all the assemblies starting back in late August.

    Here's some shots of the construction of what I designated the "Canopy Front Assembly":



    It helps to have a 20 ton gantry crane in the shop to move big stuff like this around to make welding easier:



    This "Canopy Front Assembly," when complete, will weigh just over 2050 lbs.



    After that assembly was completed and moved over to the paint area I began on the next section dubbed "Canopy Back Assembly." In this first picture, I am using the ratchet strap that is running diagonally to square up the frame before I fully weld it out:



    This shows the method I used to put all the flat bar slats in this one and the previous assembly:



    I didn't get any pictures of the other assemblies mainly because they weren't nearly as interesting to look at.

    Anyway, today I was lucky enough to be assigned to the team that got gets to go out and put the whole thing together in the field.

    We had to take all three of the shop's trucks to get everything out to the site. The "red truck" led the way loaded with two of our Lincoln Rangers. The "silver truck" was in the middle, driven by the boss (shop owner), pulling a 40 ft. trailer loaded with all the assemblies except the columns. And pulling up the rear, was the "white truck" [can be seen in my previous thread] pulling a 27 ft. trailer carrying the columns and ladders, driven by my coworker/housemate maroon pride with me riding shotgun.

    Here's the trailer of the silver truck as we headed out, you can see that the sides of the "Canopy Front Assembly" hung over the sides of the trailer by more than a foot on each side:



    As we neared the job site I managed to take a picture of the boss clipping the curb as he turned:




    We finally made it to the job site to find that, naturally, the rain of the past several days meant that we would be working in deep mud.

    Here's the job site (note red truck at right):



    [continued in next post]

  2. #2
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    Re: Makin' the Shade [Structure]

    [continued from previous post]

    After taping a bunch of cardboard over the big glass wall to protect it from welding spatter, the crane arrived and we lifted the three big columns into place.

    I didn't get any pictured of the columns being lifted as I was busy guiding them into place.

    However, I was helping to tighten down the bolts on the base plate of the third column when I managed to take this rather interesting (and somewhat scary) picture:



    No, he isn't wearing any sort of harness, he's just sitting on the ball thing that the crane's hook hangs from. I won't say who he is, but I will say that he's not one of our employees. We had to use clamps on the end of the column to keep the lifting strap from sliding off the end but didn't have any ladders tall enough to get the clamps (and straps) down after they were set. So this guy just hopped onto the ball and had the crane operator hoist him up to get them off.

    Ten minutes later the rented man-lift arrived.

    Moving right along, here's the structure after we got all the cross beams tacked into place (gives you a better idea how high up the guy hanging from the crane was):



    Here's the the "Canopy Front Assembly" being lifted up into place:



    I didn't get any pictures of it being welded into place as I was to busy welding it into place...

    I did, however, get to take some pictures of the Canopy Back Assembly from my vantage point standing on top of the Canopy Front Assembly.

    Here it is approaching: (the guy on the ground is maroon pride)



    Almost in place:



    Here's my other colleague (not maroon pride) tacking part of the canopy:



    After getting it tacked and a few cross members in place, we called it a day:



    It's a lot bigger than it looked when I was doing the CAD drawings in Inventor:



    We'll be heading back out tomorrow morning to finish welding.

  3. #3
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    Re: Makin' the Shade [Structure]

    I must say that wouldn't provide much shade in our part of Texas Tensaiteki but an awesome project to say the least and equally great documentation. Great thread, pics and job. You too maroon pride.

    At my previous job I too used to get to draw it, then build it followed by testing it. Made work enjoyable.
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    Re: Makin' the Shade [Structure]

    Nice work!
    Looks very good.
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    Re: Makin' the Shade [Structure]

    Good job...

    Interesting design to go in front of the courthouse. Wonder if this is what the architect was thinking:



    See the resemblance??


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    Re: Makin' the Shade [Structure]

    Kaiser, I think that assembly goes in BACK of the courthouse, not in front ......... at least it does in Tombstone, AZ....

    Big project there, Tensaiteki. Hey, maybe you should update the architect drawings with a scale-size truck to give us an idea of just how big this thing is ...

    Nice work so far, good documentation and photo gallery. Keep up the good work, and keep us informed on the project as it progresses.

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    where are the weld joint detail drawings?

    .....umm....since you created the shop drawings from the architect's
    vague drawings (been there, dun that---just remember he gets paid
    something like 5-7% of the total structure price--for creating 'vagueness',
    and architects are very poor engineers, in general)

    ....where are the weld joint detail drawings?
    Blackbird

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    Re: Makin' the Shade [Structure]

    I also have a question about the drawings...

    "Since I am, among other things, the shop draftsman I got to turn the architects vague drawings of the structure into fully detailed and dimensioned shop drawings."

    I just spent the last 30 years or so as an electrical engineer, so I rarely had to come up with drawings of mechanical things (although sometimes I did). Anyway, that said, giving a fabricator anything other than complete drawings that he can build from would have been considered amateurish beyond belief. UNLESS part of the deal was the understanding that goofball electrical engineers can't come up with good enough drawings to work from, so we will PAY the fabricator to complete them.

    So just for my information, do fabricators often have to make up their own drawings? I don't see how you could bid on a project without detailed drawings.

    Tim

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    Re: Makin' the Shade [Structure]

    Good job on the detailing Tensaiteki! We use Inventor here at work as well, and it's a pretty decent package, especially versus the learnig curve required to make it look good!

    Nice structure as well!

    Chris

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    Re: Makin' the Shade [Structure]

    Quote Originally Posted by timrb View Post
    I also have a question about the drawings...

    "Since I am, among other things, the shop draftsman I got to turn the architects vague drawings of the structure into fully detailed and dimensioned shop drawings."

    <snip>

    So just for my information, do fabricators often have to make up their own drawings? I don't see how you could bid on a project without detailed drawings.

    Tim
    1- "So just for my information, do fabricators often have to make up their own drawings?"

    .....Yes, the shop has to make up their own toleranced drawings that will produce the finished
    product requirements.This can and does involve considerable effort to make assemblies that
    actually fit, are dimensionally correct, and use components that are actually available.

    2- "I don't see how you could bid on a project without detailed drawings."

    Well, for specifics.....in this case Tensaiteki , the OP could answer that.

    'Usually', the architect's drawings with 'some details', have been reviewed and signed off
    by PE. 'Normally' the fabricator will/may modify, and always tolerance the details. Sometimes, the fabricator has to provide details and/or mod's. of bad details
    back to engineer, for signoff, etc.
    Blackbird

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    Re: Makin' the Shade [Structure]

    Great job, post and pics. I love these posts that have a little "cradle to grave" content.

    Just curious - were you also responsible for designing the footings for the main columns? If so, I'd be curious about teh design construction aspects of this too. If not, maybe a couple closer picks of the column/footing joint?

    Thanks - nice work!
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    Re: Makin' the Shade [Structure]

    The architect should provide a design drawing with details for how he "thinks" the piece should be constructed. contractors and fabricators use this to bid with their own knowledge of how they would build it and then send back a shop drawing for architect.engineers approval.

    Now architects that are more "anal" about there designs will give a very detailed drawing on how everything should be fitted together and the final dimensions.

    I personally don't think I'm "anal" but like to have control of what is constructed and how the final product will look. I do give some flexibility when the cost difference is high. But I guess it also helps that my hobby and side business is fabrication, and then i design, draw, and build it myself - yes TOTAL control!!! lol. So I kinda know how you professional fabricators out there feel and try to give the best "working" drawings i can (for what i'm getting paid for )
    Last edited by MetalArchitect; 09-17-2009 at 04:31 PM.

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    Re: Makin' the Shade [Structure]

    All structural fabricators have to either employ or use detailers. Engineers just give rough guidelines for how the building or structure should be built. Usually they just list the stock size of the steel to be used and specify how much weld needs to be present and what specification the part needs to be welded to.

    Its the detailers job to take the engineer or architects design or idea and turn it into actual physically dimensional drawings. Each and every piece and part of the structure has to have its own drawing referencing its size, location, hole layout, and any special bevels or details that the part must have to interact with the structure once assembled.

    these detail drawings have to be submitted to the engineer for review and approval.

    Once the engineer had approved the detailers work they are released for fabrication.

    There are many ways to bid a structural job without detail drawings. Unfortunately some of these ways were learned and come about the hard way.
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    Re: Makin' the Shade [Structure]

    What equipment and supplies did you use to weld the structure with?

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    Re: Makin' the Shade [Structure]

    Quote Originally Posted by Dualie View Post
    All structural fabricators have to either employ or use detailers. Engineers just give rough guidelines for how the building or structure should be built. Usually they just list the stock size of the steel to be used and specify how much weld needs to be present and what specification the part needs to be welded to.

    Its the detailers job to take the engineer or architects design or idea and turn it into actual physically dimensional drawings. Each and every piece and part of the structure has to have its own drawing referencing its size, location, hole layout, and any special bevels or details that the part must have to interact with the structure once assembled.

    these detail drawings have to be submitted to the engineer for review and approval.

    Once the engineer had approved the detailers work they are released for fabrication.

    There are many ways to bid a structural job without detail drawings. Unfortunately some of these ways were learned and come about the hard way.
    I agree with all said here, When I used to do this type of work, we would bid by the pound, hundred weight or ton, depending on the job size, amount of detail work involved.

    Stairs, railings and all misc was calculated separately. We always had to do our own shop drawings.

    A benefit to doing your own is you can then control erection sequence, bolt sequence, and if you had a ton of say 6" 10.5 and the job required 6" 8.2, you could always get it up size approved to use existing stock.

    Back to the thread.

    That is a real cool looking structure. What is going to provide the shade factor? just what structure you have there? Is it all welded? no bolted connections?
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    Re: Makin' the Shade [Structure]

    Sorry for the delayed reply, last Thursday (day 2) we worked all day trying to get this thing done, but were hampered by the diagonal pipe braces that hold up the canopy sections. These were one of the only parts that I did not personally fabricate.

    I carefully explained to the new guy that made them that all he had to do was to cut six pieces of 1 1/2" pipe 120 1/16" long and six pieces 90 1/4" long. I then drew him a picture showing that all he had to the pipes was cut a slot, centered, in both ends of each pipe that was 1/4" wide and 2 5/16" deep and to make absolutely sure that the slots on each end were in the same plane.

    When we got out to the field we realized that none of the slots were deep enough by about an inch, some were not wide enough to fit over the 1/4" thick bracket, some were almost a full 1/8" too wide, and very few of the slots were centered or aligned end-for-end.

    This is why I try to never let anyone but me do any of the weld prep or fit-up on things I weld.

    Anyway, we ended up having to widen and deepen almost all of the slots to get then to fit. However this resulted in huge gaps (sometimes 1/4" or more) between the ~1/8" wall pipe and the 1/4" plate it was being fillet welded to. Since all we had on the second day was 1/8" E7018 it took a long time to make each weld.

    I was so busy fighting poor fit-up, huge gaps, and cursing the guy who made the pipe braces that I only managed to take one picture after we got the first light bracket tacked on:

    (click all images for larger view)




    We made it a point to not even try to weld those gaps on the undersides of the pipe. Bridging those large gaps with E7018 is hard enough in the flat position, doing it overhead was nearly impossible.

    After work I went to Lowe's and bought (with my own money) a 10 lb. spool of E71T-11 (self-shielded flux-core).

    The next morning (day 3), as we were loading up the truck to head back out, I grabbed the shop's Miller Passport and loaded on the truck before the boss even arrived at the shop.

    Once we made it to the job site, I loaded my spool of wire in the passport and hauled it up on to the canopy. It's amazing how heavy those little Passports are when you are lugging them around 14 feet in the air walking on the edge of 3/16" flat bar.

    Using that E71T-11 in the Passport running on 220V from one of the Lincoln Rangers down on the truck was vastly easier to use than 1/8" E7018 in all those huge gaps. I managed to weld up more gaps in one hour, overhead, than two of us managed to do, flat, in eight hours the day before. Plus the welds looked a whole lot better.

    I was able to convince maroon pride to take a picture, on one of his trips down to the ground, of me curled over one of the pipe braces to get the bottom welded to the bracket:



    Here's a shot of what I was walking on for the better part of three days (I'm not afraid of heights, I'm afraid of the sudden stop after falling from heights):



    Yes, those are beads of water on the gloss painted steel, it rained the night before. Nothing like walking around, 14 feet off the ground, on wet, painted steel frame work, with no fall protection to make you very wary of wind gusts...

    I finished welding while my two colleagues cleaned up the welds and ground them flush (where necessary) and brushed some primer everywhere we welded. Maroon pride is the one in the center, sitting on the pallet, with the blue coffee-can of primer:



    Mtncrawler, I didn't design the footings for the columns, but I do know that they are anchored with 1" anchor bolts cast in to a rectangular concrete beam that is 30" thick that sits on two cylindrical piers that go down pretty far below that (not sure how far).

    Here's a picture of one of the column bases, the base plate is 1 1/4" thick and is shimmed off the footing by 1" and will be covered over with concrete later on:



    And here is the structure with our part done, the painters, electricians, etc. still have to do their part. (That's one of the painters crouched at the base of that column getting ready to paint the whole thing):



    Jcaro, as far as equipment/materials, the first two days we used 1/8" E7018 running off a Lincoln Ranger 250 and a Lincoln Ranger GXT. The third day, most of the welding was done with E71T-11 running from a Miller Passport powered on 220V from the Lincoln Ranger 250.

    Duane, in the last picture, the openings with the sloped angle will be covered with some sort of shade producing panels. But still, you're right, it won't provide much shade anyway. As one of the electricians said, "I guess they just wanted to make this side of the building look as ugly as the other side." By the way, I'm less than 200 miles from you, by Texas standards, we're neighbors.

    Dave, I rarely ever detail the welds themselves. Most of the guys in the shop can't read weld symbols anyway and it's pretty obvious, when you build it, where you're supposed to weld. I would do weld details if told to by my boss or the architects/engineers, but my time is my boss' money and he doesn't see the need to have weld details.

  17. #17
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    Re: Makin' the Shade [Structure]

    Thats pretty neat, I did a project very similar on a bigger scale last year. I'll try and dig up some photos.

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    Re: Makin' the Shade [Structure]

    Tensaiteki,
    Were there any code requirements for this such as AWS D1.1 Structural Steel?

    jrw159
    Last edited by Burnit; 09-25-2009 at 01:34 PM.

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    14 feet, slippery & no fall protection

    Yes, those are beads of water on the gloss painted steel, it rained the night before. Nothing like walking around, 14 feet off the ground, on wet, painted steel frame work, with no fall protection to make you very wary of wind gusts...

    This is nice work you've done, but geez!

    Your shop is a pro shop......and they/it/you.....just don't have the time
    or inclination to set a temporary platform board for yourself, tools and the wire feed;
    or have you wear a harness and lanyard?
    I know that stuff can slow one down, but a slip or fall REALLY SLOWS YOU DOWN,
    often permanently.

    The legal, insurance and regulatory requirements for safety in high work-not withstanding,
    it's in your own best interest to look out for your own self.
    Blackbird

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    Re: Makin' the Shade [Structure]

    Tensaiteki,
    OK I had some issues with my computer and due to the time limitations for editing posts I was unable to fix my first one and ended up posting it incorrectly again, computer crapped out and I could not fix that one. For this I apologize. Maybe a mod could fix or just delete my 2 previous post's as I intended to post AWS rather than AWD. So now that my S & D keys are cleared of obstructions and bugs are worked out I will try this again.

    Were there any code requirements such as AWS D1.1 structural steel?

    It is a very good looking project. I ask if there is a governing code because the "huge gaps" you describe are unacceptable/non compliant to every structural code, such as AWS D1.1, I am aware of and can lead to failure. I am only addressing this for your knowledge and not to "bust your chops". There are two reasons why I have chose to speak up. First and foremost is public safety. Many people will be moving in and out of this building daily and in inclement weather, especially in TX, wind force can be brutal. Second is for your knowledge so that in the future you will be aware, if you are not already, that if inspection is required, which more often than not it will be, this will be an issue.

    There is a possible fix that could be pretty easy. A buy off from the EOR (engineer of record). This would relieve you of liability resulting from deviating from code requirements.

    Again I am not "busting your chops" just pointing out things that I have seen cause major "heartaches" in the past. I am not saying the structure is no good as a result of the gaps, that is not my place, that is an engineering call.

    Respectfully,
    jrw159

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