View Full Version : Latest big welding project at school

06-02-2008, 05:56 PM
The people from the city low-income housing department built a handicap access ramp and needed some railings for it. It's built out of 1 1/2" square tubing with 3/4" square spindles. The ramp slopes 5 degrees, so there were a LOT of angles to cut.

The long side is about twenty eight feet:

It attaches to the side of the short section of the railing that goes around the landing:

The short section goes from the side of the building to the end of the ramp:

We had the drafting class guys make the working drawings for us based on a sketch and dimensions the city guys gave us. I sure hope the city guys did a good job measuring the ramp they built.


06-02-2008, 06:09 PM
The project before that was this smoker built from a propane tank:



It was auctioned off at a charity golf tournament. I hope they made a pile of money on it.


06-02-2008, 06:43 PM
"The ramp slopes 5 degrees, so there were a LOT of angles to cut. "

So you set the saw to your angle and start cutting 20' sticks,True a lot, but easy.

And with only 5 degrees, why bother?

06-02-2008, 06:52 PM
Very nice job, yep always helps when the measurements are right!

06-02-2008, 07:04 PM
You are so right Glen, but by my calculations 5 deg. is about 1/16" in 3/4" if that.

06-02-2008, 07:22 PM
I like the propane tank smoker. Whom was brave enough to start cutting at it? Or had in never been filled with propane?

06-02-2008, 08:02 PM
Hi question from the Eastern side of the pond.

With a smoker is the only source of heat in the lower bit or is it like a smoking bit combined with a Barbecue?

Can it be used as a Barbecue instaed of smoker style?

Never seen one in action only barbeques so curious.

Steve Larner

06-02-2008, 09:03 PM
Roger.. cool smoker! Nice railing.. I hate them things.. very boring...lol!

06-02-2008, 09:12 PM
Nice rails but that smoker is really cool. Like the other guy asked what do you do to prep the tank before cutting into it? I think I have heard you fill them with water, but I dont know where I heard it:p

06-02-2008, 10:38 PM
Nice rails but that smoker is really cool. Like the other guy asked what do you do to prep the tank before cutting into it? I think I have heard you fill them with water, but I dont know where I heard it:p

Only has to be half full. Lie down and start cutting underneath and you're guaranteed no explosive atmosphere on the other side :p

06-03-2008, 06:17 AM
The tanks are left out in the sun with the valves and other fittings removed for several months before we work on them. I'm not sure how long the gas companies let them sit around before we get them.

The smoker only has a fire in the firebox. There's a distributor plate in the bottom of the tank, so the gases from the firebox travel the length of the tank before coming up into the part where the meat is. Then the gases travel back around the meat to get to the chimney.

You can use it as a regular grill by putting trays for the charcoal on top of the distributor plate.

The mitered corners of the long sections of railing were cut to angles slightly more or less than 45 degrees. It wasn't really necessary, but it's easier to do it and not have to deal with welding the gaps. It's good practice for cutting larger angles, too.


06-03-2008, 06:48 AM
Oh, so you didn't angle cut every picket?

Quetico Bob
06-03-2008, 07:52 AM
Really nice work, did you guys have any problems with the top or bottom rail wanting to bend as you welded all those joints.
Cheers, Bob

06-03-2008, 09:44 AM
Nice work Roger. I will admit, like Russ, that welding the railing is realy boring, but good practice. That smoker is slick

Rob :)

06-03-2008, 01:58 PM
Yes, the spindles were cut at an angle. Like was mentioned, it was just repetitive cutting. The returns on the ends were a little harder with the non-45 degree mitered corners.

We welded the tops and bottoms of all the spindles on one side, then flipped the assembly over and did the other side. We did get a little bowing as the spindles were welded in, but the rails had straightened out when we got finished welding the other side. We started in the middle and worked to the ends of each section.

We centered the spindles side-to-side by clamping a piece of flat bar under the rails, and putting a 3/8" spacer between the spindle and the flat bar. Went pretty fast, about a minute each with one welder and one helper.


06-06-2008, 10:40 AM
Well, here's some pics of the railing installed and painted.



They must have done a good job measuring, 'cause it fits together very nicely. It's always nice to see things turn out well. :)

06-06-2008, 10:56 AM
Winchman, those welding jobs look great. What kind of welding class are you taking? Local college trying to get a degree or some kind of adult ed class? It looks like you have some neat projects to build rather than just running beads all of the time.

06-06-2008, 01:33 PM
Southwest Georgia Technical College has a pretty good welding program. There are several employers in the area that hire the graduates. I'm just auditing some classes for my own enjoyment. I'm long past (I hope) needing to look for a job. I started out just taking a class to learn how to do TIG welding. I already had some experience with O/A and stick. Before long, I got interested in MIG, so I could help some of the students with their projects.

There's a fabrication course in the welding program, so the projects are worked in with that. It just happens that there haven't been any day students ready for the fabrication courses for the past two quarters, so I've been doing them. That's fine with me, since I really enjoy having a place to go and do something that's challenging and useful.