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2013-Feb-23 - Wooroloo - Steelworks #66
I was out on site by 7.00 am and left at 6.30 pm.

Last week I only managed a preliminary, exploratory insertion of one column.

During the week I had to race out to site and reinstall the edge flashing because rain was coming.

Consequently the first job was to remove the flashing - a ten minute job that I am becoming very proficient at.

My main concern was how to remove a column once it had been forced in to a socket.

(the columns need to be installed / removed a few times as we need to measure their height from the floor level, then weld on the cross members)

I chocked up the unsuported floor boards around the column with some 100 mm timber scraps and then used two bottle jacks against a timber / bolt cross piece.

This removed the column out of the socket effortlessly.

Later in the day, I discovered that I could just attach two clamps, one either side of the column, acting as handles and with a bit of a wiggle of the column pull it out just as easily and with far less preparation.

Next I wanted to have a second attempt at driving the column in to the socket.

I had two short (500 mm) pieces of timber held together with bolts.

I attempted to clamp this around the column very tightly but I found that one of the threads stripped when I applied two much force.

It then occurred to me that if I placed a piece of timber either side and tightened it with say 6 clamps then I would achieved a more robust attachment for striking with a hammer.

This worked very well and I was able to drive the column 3mm futher in to the socket than I had managed a week ago.

I spent the rest of the day working on all 4 columns.

Two columns had already been prepared by Ross.

The other two columns I needed to prepare from scratch as I had to snaffle the other two that Ross had done.

Some of the columns needed a small amount ground off near the base before they would completely seat in to the socket.

I used the timber / 6 clamps trick to drive the columns in and it was easy to feel when the column had bottomed out.

I used a variety of chain and block and truck ratchets to pull the columns in to a vertical position.

I then measured 2710 from the floorboards up the columns and marked to cut off positions.

Finally I set up the laser level and performed a cross check.

The 2710 measurement up from the floor agreed with laser reference to within 2mm - which is pretty much within the error tolerance of the laser level.

At the end of the day I popped out the columns in preparation for cutting and welding the cross arms.


Column insertion in to socket

Columns - viewed from rear of house

From front of house