3 Structural Steel Lessons you Learn on the Job

August 05, 2016 | 6 comments
Structural Steel Lessons

Trade and welding schools give you the basics about structural steel fabricating, but you definitely learn more on the job. That is why most young men and women face problems when they hit the shop floor as they are not fully aware about the various structural steel lessons related to structural steel fabrication.

‘Structural’ applies to beam and columns for steel-framed buildings, and framing accessories such as clip angles, angle bracings and base plates, and also ornamental fabrications that are meant to accentuate a building design and support it. Basically, it’s important for students and workers to know a little about everything.

For instance, you need to know how to check for quality. A fabricator needs to confirm the holes’ locations, after placing holes in a structural beam. The work points are critical between the framing accessories and structural shape, and the slightest mistake can lead to trouble during field erection.

There are some lessons that are not taught even in the structural steel fabricating shops anymore. Experienced workers are not as plentiful as they were once. Plus, those with excellent communication skills and the patience to educate the next generation of fabricators are rare. Therefore, articles that provide critical information about structural steel fabrication can help, however, it’s extremely important that fabricators have good shop floor training programs to accompany the good advice provided.

Here are a few lessons about structural steel fabrication that you can learn on the job:

A Good Foreman Accounts for a Trained Structural Steel Shop:

It’s true that a good foreman has the confidence of the company’s CEO, can lead the shop guys flawlessly and can communicate well. Knowledgeable foremen can easily win the respect of those companies that employ them, those who work for them and customers who work with them. It is always the foreman who leads fabrication jobs and passes along production tips and tricks to less experienced shop floor personnel.

Sometimes a combination of Plate and Structural Shapes is Better:

A tube radius stringer, for example, used in fabricating staircases, needs to be fabricated. The project starts with a 12-in. by 2-in. tube, which was made in-house by roll bending metal plate and welding it solid. Manufacturing a 15-foot piece applies severe stress to the tube’s radius, resulting in ripples in the inside of the radius. To avoid the stress during bending, what can be done?

To take a 12-in. channel and drill holes for bolts, is one idea. Put the plate inside the open edge of the stringer with 1-in.-spaced welds holding it in place and get the component rolled to the proper radius. Non-welded spaces can be finished off. In the meantime, the stringer maintains its structural integrity.

Let the Concrete Dry and Avoid Re-work:

For a lot of jobs, the goal is to rush, rush and rush. Thus, the end result is not always promising and often leads to rework, rework and rework. Get the correct field measurements and then do the structural work when working with concrete. Let it dry. Don’t build the handrails before the concrete is even poured because the effort likely will be wasted. A lot can happen between plans and on-site construction, a few inches in structural layout can translate into scrapped components if they are made too soon.

It is important to have a standardized approach when fabricating structural steel. Every project is important for us, big or small, doesn’t actually matter. We crave for perfection and believe in offering our hundred percent for anything and everything we do. Therefore, every project is treated with the highest degree of respect at Northern-Weldarc. We believe in doing the job right, the first time itself because of our team’s expertise and experience. Our team is equipped with all the latest CNC equipment and welding and fabrication tools. To know more about us and our offerings, get in touch with us!

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