Now that I have the 4 support beams in place, I need to install a number of intermediate purlins to support the veranda floor boards along the diagonals cut by the bay window.
I had a choice to do this using brackets or a Mig welder.
Generally I have never had a use for a Mig welder and to buy a decent one I would need to spend $1200. Probably I would have bought a cheapy for $200 that would have just done this job and not much more.
Instead, I went down the path of buying a plate bender so I could make up my own brackets.
These can be around the $400 mark but I bought a cheap one from Stott and Hoare for just over $200. It weighs 35 Kg and seems to be very solidly made- so I think it will keep going forever.
I had intended to be up early on Saturday morning, make a few test brackets and be out on site by midday to test them out.
However, I did not wake up until 8.30 am, had a coffee with Ian and then helped someone winch a bogged car - so a slow start to the day.
I had done some preparatory work however - I had already drawn up a plan for the brackets and their fixing holes, and I had fastened the bender down to a sheet of chipboard so that it could be clamped to my work bench.
I decided that drilling the holes in the brackets would be time consuming - so my first job would be to master the bender and avoid wasting any drilled out brackets.
I worked my way through 6 pieces of 180 x 75 x 4 mm plate learning how to set up and use the machine.
By the end of this process I had found where to position the bracket and determined which bending block to use.
Also I need to bend some bracket through 90 degrees and some just by 45 degrees - I experimented with how far to pull the main bending arm in each case.
In addition I tested how I could correct any over bending by using a 4 tonne press in my workshop.
Once all this was achieved I cut and drilled a template piece, transferred the hole positions on to 4 test pieces, drilled the holes out to 12 mm on a drill press and then bent them to the required angle on the plate bender.
I worked right up to 4.30 pm to achieve this - so my idea to test them on site went out the window for today.