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2013-Mar-16 - Wooroloo - Steelworks #69
I was out on site by 6.30 am and left at 6.30 pm.

The first half hour was spent tidying away obstacles to moving around the PFC 180 beam.

It took me another 3 hours to set up the beam and the two right angled PFC 150.

Really I should have handled this with machinery but by using levers, sliding over gluts and plain old muscle power I managed to manhandle everything in to position.

Next I needed to measure the as built spacing of the sockets.

Yet again I needed to remove the edge capping - I have done this so many times now I can complete the whole process in 10 minutes.

I inserted short pieces of 75 mm SHS in to the sockets and made sure they were vertical.

This gave me something to clamp the tape measure on to and yield a more accurate measurement.

I took a lot of measurements, did a lot of calculations and cross checks and I am sure I have recorded the spacing of the columns correctly.

I marked these dimensions roughly on to the PFC 180 to give me the broad positions that needed rust cleaning using a rotary steel brush.

With the rust removed I marked up the column positions very carefully using the tape measure and scribe.

I then clamped the various templates at the column positions and drilled through the template positions to mark the eventual positions of the 12 mm holes.

Knowing the positions of the two middle columns I was able to work out the positions of the two mounting plates.

Before I tack welded I realised that I needed to clamp the work on to a bracing steel (PFC 180 x 3.6 m) to stop heat deformation.

I spent another hour dragging around the clamping PFC piece, positioning it and clamping it on.

After this the tack welding was an easy task.

Finally I needed to reinstall the edge capping in case it rains.

At the end of the day, when I am tired, the installation process takes 30 minutes.

Next week, assuming that Ross has welded the plates in, I will be able to rotate the PFC 180 beam around easily and drill the 12 mm holes that I marked up using the templates


Ross rang to tell me that he had finished welding the mounting plate and the cross arms.

I headed out to site after work to store the cross arms away and to remove the extra gluts under the PFC 180 used during clamping.

I made a start on drilling the 36 x 12 mm holes but had a lot of trouble producing a correctly sharpened pilot drill bit of 6mm.

I find that I can still only correctly sharpen a drill bit about 1 out of 3 time.

When I don't have a drill bit exactly sharpened it puts a lot of strain on my elbows.

I have resolved that it would be cheaper to buy a drill sharpening tool rather than have physiotherapy on my arms - so tomorrow I will give ToolMart a ring and see if they have anything useful.


Picked up a nice little home hanyman drill sharpener from ToolMart - about $190.

It has its own electric (mains) motor and a diamond grinding disc (really a cylinder).

It seems to be pretty much idiot proof and happily works on the range of sizes I need (1/8 to 1/ inch or 3mm to 12 mm)

Every spare moment I have had during the week I am outside sharpening drill bits.

I have collated all the ones I can find - I have a huge amount of duplication - looks like every time I couldn't sharpen a drill bit correctly I have just gone out and bought a new one.

It has also been a good opportunity to tidy up my tool boxes.

I have bought a number of tackle boxes and plastic food containers to sort and store tools in to.

Steel pieces approximately placed

Templates clamped on

Clamping steel and mounting plates tack welded

Clamping steel

Mounting plate tack welded

Columns and cross arms completed welding

Drilling mounting holes in PFC 180

Mounting plate fully welded