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2012-Sep-22 - Wooroloo - Steelworks #50
First thing Saturday I needed to make a visit near Fremantle.

The computer museum had been contacted by a donor and I needed to visit and see what was being offered.

Remarkably I managed to reach Wooroloo by 10.30.

The idea of clamping other beams on to the curved 16m length worked very well and I ended up with an almost straight beam.

This I then slid slowly and carefully along the gluts so that it was positioned directly above the columns, but about 300 mm higher up.

Some of the gluts I managed to lever away and two of them I needed to cut through with a hand saw.

In the end, the beam settled down on to its columns without too much fuss.

I then needed to spend several hours checking against the string line and tweaking / clamping along the length.

I also needed to apply some cranking forces to remove a torsional twist.

I welded off at both ends with only about 3 mm error at the worst points.

I had a lot of clamps out in the open and with several thousand people due to turn up on Sunday for the Chidlow walk I decided I would stay overnight and continue on the next morning.

I rang Linda and we agreed she would visit me the next morning, help me with the safety barrier that had been shredded by the wind, and then we could go to lunch together.

I had brought bed clothes with me so I was able to make up comfortable sleeping arrangements.

Sleep eluded me - I woke up every hour, on the hour during the night.


The next morning I was up at 6.00 am and ready to start work at 7.00 am.

I worked my way from one end, checking the beam for any rotation and displacement from the string line, pulling the alignment with a chain block, welding on to the columns and then installing a purlin to lock it all in place.

I was very slow getting going with the purlin installation - there is a fair amount of drilling, marking up and cutting to perform for each piece.

I was also slowed down by the necessity to attempt to clean the tannin stains off each piece with a scrubbing brush and soapy water.

By 2.00 pm I was pretty much all done in so we decided to stop for the day and head off for lunch.

I must say that I am very pleased with the result - the beam is now almost perfectly straight - a far cry from the original banana shape I started with.

Before clamping to bracing beams

Front beam clamped straight

Lowered on to columns

Preliminary weld at one end

Aligning, cranking over, welding at other end

Installing purlins to lock in alignment

Still not complete by the end of Sunday