There is only so much that manufacturing school will teach you about steel fabrication. Seasoned fabricators will tell you that proper steel fabrication education begins on your first day on the floor. While it is easy to get overwhelmed on the first few days on the work floor, knowing a little bit about everything might help to take the monkey off your back. With a single project comprising of different steel components, it makes sense why a steel fabricator is better off having diverse knowledge. This article provides steel fabrication newbies with basics that might not be covered in a school curriculum:
Let Concrete Dry – As a steel fabricator, there are times you will be dealing with concrete. For instance, fabricating the handrails of a stairway requires you to work hand in hand with concrete layers. Since steel fabrication projects are supposed to be done within a specified period, delays should be your number one enemy. One way to avoid stalling a project is to wait for concrete to dry then build the fabricated steel parts. The main reason is that the slightest changes in measurements during the design and construction stage could force you to redo the work. It leads to time wasting as well as wastage on scrap metal.
Opt for Standardized Hand Tools – Hand tools in the steel fabrication industry come in different shapes and sizes depending on the type of work they are meant to do. Therefore, it might not come as a surprise to find co-workers across the floor donning different hand tools for a single project. The problem arises, for instance, when you have to fasten bolts on a plate but do not have the right tool for the job. The best way to eliminate this problem is to opt for standardized hand tools, and online stores stock premium brands. Standardized hand tools allow you to perform several fabrication duties consistently and precisely without second-guessing.
Avoid Clamping Painted Steel – The nature of a steel fabricator's job is such that you will be moving heavy steel structures more than often. For example, moving a huge plate requires the services of a beam clamp. However, you should be careful what you clamp because any build up of residue on the clump's teeth can cause damages and accidents. Therefore, avoid moving painted steel bars with clamps because, with time, the teeth eat into the paint and make them too smooth to have a tight grip.