We welded 5 of the 15 posts in place today. For a number of reasons, it took much longer than we expected. We will need another day to weld the remaining 10 posts in place.
Paramount Modular Cable Railing Systems did a fantastic job fabricating the posts for us. The posts stainess steel welded to cylinders at the bottom, which will be embedded in the concrete. The top of each post has a stainless steel bracket that will be recessed in the wooden top rail (Maple wood, from Canada).
Once these posts are welded into place, we will be able to pour more concrete so the posts will be embedded in concrete.
Establishing the Finished Floor Elevation
We had Jorge Ramirez from Bill Brown Construction come to our site this morning so we could ensure the finished floor elevation that he established earlier was consistent with our finished floor elevation for the posts. The posts were designed and fabricated so the stainless steel shows above the concrete and the round carbon steel is embedded in the concrete (which is welded to the I-beams).
We wanted to start at 8:00 am but both Jorge and the Larson Steel team were late in arriving. This threw Bryan off his planned schedule, which included other items.
Jorge brought a laser level with him and, after getting new batteries at the local 7-11 store, we shot the elevation of the garage/kitchen door, which Jorge explained was the finished floor elevation. This was within 1/16 inch of the elevation of the glass in the north side of Bridge Hall. It appears that the south end of the Bridge Hall is a quarter inch lower than the other three points.
We shot the elevations around the perimeter of the atrium and noted the distance to the finished floor. We need to establish the elevations for the bottom of the posts so we can weld the posts to the steel I-beams.
Establishing the Welding Plan
Hector Guerra, who designed our bridges, arrived with Tony Gutierrez and ‘Little Hector’. Tony will align the posts and Little Hector, who has been to our site several times, will do the welding. We were fortunate to have Tony assigned to our project today. He had extensive experience in making fences and other items from steel where having straight lines and vertically plumb posts are critical.
Hector and Tony reviewed the site and explained the strategy will be to establish a string line for height and straightness. Then, the posts can be welded into place so they will be straight, not skewed, vertically plumb, and at the correct elevation.
The first posts to be welded into place will be the end posts. Then, the intermediate posts will be welded. We started with the posts on the north side of the atrium.
Welding Five Posts
Tony and Little Hector completed welding the first five posts in place by just after 3:00 pm. It was satisfying to see both Tony and Hector lean on the posts and see little, if any, sway. When the wooden 2×2 top rail is in place the railing system will be solid. Rock solid.
After completing the first five posts, we moved to the corner post at the top of the stairs. This is a complex post as it is offset and has very fine tolerances so the cable will be in the correct location for going down the stairs. We had some grinding to do and then we ran out of time.