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2014-Feb-8 - Wooroloo - Working Platform #9
I was out on site by 6.30 am and stopped work at 7.30 pm.

I had decided to spend a day to install a set of access stairs on to the working platform.

This is because much of the work will be done at the back end of the platform and would need an excessive amount of walking to the front of the house and then back tracking to the rear of the house.

My intention was to work on creating the stairs until it became too hot and then work on the 75 mm beam clamps.

However, it was mild weather today and I spent most of the time on the main task.

About 2 months ago I responded to an ad in GumTree for some steel stairs in nearby Parkerville.

These stairs went up at 45 degrees, along horizontally and then down again at 45 degrees.

They were originally used to gain access over the top of fuel pipelines.

As part of the removal process we had already cut off one section.

Today I needed to trim and dress this section and weld it on to the bottom of the larger piece.

The hope is that I will end up with a set of steel steps that reach from the ground to the temporary work platform.

Marking up took me an hour and a half as it was quite a tricky process to find a clean surface from which to take measurements.

Next before I could cut the steel I needed to remove any fire hazards. I spent another hour and a half removing 10 barrowloads of leaves from within the vicinity.

I trimmed the steel using a combination of a large angle grinder and a 5 inch grinder with a 1 mm thick blade.

Bringing the two pieces in to a straight alignment was also a time consuming process - I used a number of straight edges, packing timber and clamps.

After another hour of careful manipulation and measuring I was ready to weld.

Welding took three hours but I was very happy with the quality of my welds.

At this point a neighbour dropped in and we sat around and chatted for a good hour or more.

Once back to work I spent some time improving the 75 mm beam clamps I tested last week.

I wanted to avoid using a carved wooden packer as I thought these would eventually disintegrate and render the brackets unsafe.

Instead I introduced a second force spreader plate where the timber infill was originally situated.

This involved some point welds and the insertion of a spacer block.

I converted the two clamps I built last week across to this new design and although it is a bit more construction work I am very pleased with its functionality.

Finally I did some work preparing two brackets to allow the steel stairs to be clipped on to the veranda beam instead of being welded. This will also require some short high tensile nuts and bolts for safety.

I still need to obtain the high tensile nuts and bolts - so I will finish this job off next week.

I am hoping that Ross can help me install the steps using one of his machines.

During this coming week I plan to start building some of the beam clamps at home.

Two sections to be joined

Lower section trimmed

Clamped and tack welded

Welding completed

Finished stairs

75 mm beam clamp reworked