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2013-Sep-21 - Wooroloo - Steelworks #95
Once again I don't know where the day went.

I was up at 5.00 am and worked until 6.30 pm.

I managed to install one, yes ONE purlin in the whole day.

The first thing I did on site was look at the existing pile of purlins sitting in the workshop area.

I knew that these had been washed down by recent Wwoofers but I was unsure what was there.

A quick examination revealed one C purlin and a whole pile of substandard mig welded composite pieces.

I will cut up the welded purlins to use on the diagonal beam (various lengths required) but I was curious to see if the C purlin was any use.

I wandered out to measure the length required for the back beam at which point I realised that I did not want to be running up and down a ladder all day trying to use a tape measure.

What I really wanted was a measuring scribe arm.

I had a piece of light steel framing exactly 3 metres long and this was perfect for marking off the dimensions of the various purlins.

The way I intended to use it meant that it would not be level so I messed around for a while squaring up a scrap piece of c purlin and pop riveting this on to the scribe.

I then took measurements at 12 places along the length of the veranda and found that the dimension was the same (within 2mm) at every position.

The beauty of using the scribe was that it allowed me to push hard against the temporary roof side cladding and so obtain an accurate reading.

Although time consuming initially this process will save time in the long term as I can just transfer the measurement off the scribe on to the raw purlins and work more efficiently in large batches.

While I was at it I also made up a small jig for marking hole positions at the house core beam and also on to one end of each purlin.

I then retrieved 12 purlins from storage.

Unfortunately they have become stained by tanin even though they have been under cover.

I had to devote quite a few hours to rubbing each purlin down with a scotch brite and Jif.

This considerably improved their appearance though there some purlins with some areas of white oxide on the galvanising that might need an etch primer and new top coat.

Just to be sure that my intended batch process did not contain some terrible faux pas I ran through the whole process for just one purlin initially.

I used the jigs to cut the purlin to length and mark up the hole position on the purlin and on the building core beam.

I had to side track and retrieve all my drills and spend time making sure I had sharp drill bits.

I installed the purlin and made sure all my batch processes were correct.

A considerable amount of time was then spent drilling 11 more 12 mm holes along the building core beam.

At this point Ian arrived for a visit and we probably spent an hour and a half sitting around talking and having a coffee.

After Ian left I knocked up 4 more purlins relatively quickly using the jigs.

By now it was getting dark and I needed to do a lot of packing away.

I stopped for dinner and then cleaned up a final 4 purlins using the Jif and Scotch Brite.

I finished this just in time to watch "New Tricks" but primed up one of the oxidised purlins while I was watching.

An hour later I headed home.

Maybe I can pop out for a break during the week and get some of those prepared purlins installed. They should go up quite quickly.


On Monday and Tuesday I had worked some very long days to ready a project for a client by Wednesday.

After sending it to the client first thing Wednesday and solving a few other problems for various clients I realised I had enough work hours up my sleeve to do a bit of construction out on site.

I installed the 4 purlins left over from Sunday and washed down another 10 purlins.

Scribe for measuring required purlin length

Jig for drilling PFC and purlin

Purlins before washing

and after

Purlins prepared for installation

Profile at outer beam