Contact Us


2013-Sep-2 - Wooroloo - Steelworks #92
I didn't get out to site on Saturday or Sunday.

It was absolutely miserable weather with drizzle and strong winds.

Also I was fighting a fever for several days.

Eventually I made it out on Monday (I'm having a week off work).

The day was overcast with just a few short showers so quite a good day for working.

I wanted to complete the detailed welding of the 13 m beam on to the columns.

In order to align the columns correctly I needed a clear view down the procession.

Towards this end I started to move the hoist out of the line of sight.

Once again the small wheels were bogged in the sand so I needed to use a lever to move the hoist along.

I had the heavy timber platform at the top of the hoist to facilitate the draping of a tarpaulin.

I did not realise how top heavy the hoist was and toppled it over.

It sheared the next column off at its base and whacked the column after that.

For a second or so I was afraid that the whole beam and column structure was going to fall down.

This was followed by a lot of swearing.

The hoist was too top heavy to lift back up so I needed to use piers of bricks and levers so that I could jack it up enough to remove the tarpaulin and the top platform and see what the damage was.

What I found was that the column had not sheared off at its main weld to the screw pylon but at a 20 mm extension that had been welded on. One side out of the four remained intact.

It was lucky that the column sheared off - otherwise I would have ended up with a bent piece of steel and this would have been a major undertaking to replace and make good.

After clearing away the hoist and performing some cleanup grinding I was able to return the column to its correct position.

I rewelded the extension with a very thick, strong weld.

All up maybe this mistake cost me another 45 minutes.

Ross came over to see how I was going. He very kindly helped me load the hoist on to the back of my utility using his bobcat.

This was an absolute life saver for me - on my own, this sort of task takes me an hour and a half of hard labour.

He has helped me out with quite a few things recently - I must buy him a bottle of "Wild Turkey" as a small token of my appreciation.

I spent the next half of the day setting each of the columns to its vertical position and tack welding.

As I worked I also removed the brick piers and tripod that I used last week.

Next I revisited each column to perform the detailed welding.

Finally a third pass where I cleaned up every weld with a grinder and applied primer.

I still need to cut the beam to exact length but I think this is an early morning, clear headed job.


I gave myself a rest on Tuesday and started again on Wednesday.

I was up at 5.00 am and headed back home at 9.00 pm.

The forecast was for a few possible early showers. The prospect of relatively dry weather was what I was hoping for as I needed to remove the roof edge at the back.

Initially I rerigged the existing tarpaulins and during the day added a third one. This was in case it rained on Thursday or Friday while the roof space was exposed.

I scraped and steel brushed the upper surface of the 150 PFC attached to the core of the house on the back wall.

Then a light application of rust converter (the beam was already enamelled but had a few rust spots breaking through).

I gave it just an hour, wiped off the rust converter with a damp cloth and then gave it a new coat of enamel (Mission Brown Kill Rust).

When the enamel has hardened by Saturday, I will attach the flashing (same as the front of the house) and then I can finally start installing the back purlins.

The rest of the day went on painting, painting, painting.

I have just painted each cleat of the newly installed beams.

I will try to paint the areas in between soon but at least nothing will be stopping me installing the purlins now.

Accident with the hoist

The column snapped off at its extension

Columns fully welded, cleaned up, primed

The corner weld all tidied up

Top of PFC prior to cleaning

Painted and ready to accept flashing

Cleats painted on the 13 m beam

Cleats painted on the corner beams