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Reasurrance for the safety police, metalworking content

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  • #16
    You canadians are lucky- here in the USA, the vast majority of codes specify the 4" sphere rule- that means NO OPENINGS that a 4" sphere can be passed thru. This applies to any railing the bottom of which is 30" or more above the ground.

    I generally build to 3 3/4", as some inspectors are pickier than others on this.

    This is only for projects that will be inspected by a building inspector, although most times a home is sold, the buyer will hire a private inspector to check out the home before purchase, and if this private inspector finds openings in railings larger than 4", he will tell the buyer, and the buyer will usually use this as leverage to demand a reduction in the total home price to pay for repairing or replacing the railing.

    Of course, it does depend on the real estate market, and that varies considerably from place to place.
    And the code does vary a bit, but the ICC is being adopted by most all cities slowly but surely, so the 4" sphere rule is becoming more and more ubiquitous.

    On commercial projects in particular, there is no way you could get away with the "more than 10" rule " down here.

    For your own house, of course, you can do whatever you want, as long as you arent having the work inspected.

    Interestingly enough, the imposition of this 4" sphere rule, which, to my way of thinking really does very little for safety, and makes a lot of beautiful ironwork illegal, is the work of one man- Elliott O. Stephenson, an engineer in Phoenix Arizona, who has made it his mission in life to save us all from ourselves by getting ever more restrictive rules adopted into building codes.
    His latest project is the banning of ALL horizontal bars in railings, to make them harder for kids to climb. This would make for a very bleak looking world, in my opinion. Luckily, the Nomma (National Ornamental Metals trade group) has hired a lobbyiest, and so far, anyway, has been successful in fighting this one off.


    • #17
      We already have the "no climbable features" rule here for deck railings. There can't be anything, horizontal or otherwise, that offers a foothold between 5 1/2" and 36" on the deck railing. Phooey. I put in a feature anyway. I still need to install the stained glass center.

      Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here


      • #18
        BC Building Code

        Evan, I too have been looking for access to the BC building code and, after looking at:

        I cannot see why a FOIPOP application for disclosure would not be successful. Surely one can argue that the very limited public access or high price for purchase of this vital public document amounts to defacto non-disclosure.


        • #19
          Here's another quarter...

          Doc's Machine. (Probably not what you expect.)


          • #20
            Evan nice bit of metal manipulation... you've done there.

            Doc that's to funny... well worth a quarter...
            Wow... where did the time go. I could of swore I was only out there for an hour.


            • #21
              Nice job there !!


              • #22
                Evan, if you're looking for marker/safety lights, try EL wire.
                I've used the 5mm wire on stairwells, paths, even on boats.
                (usual disclaimer)
                Just got my head together
                now my body's falling apart


                • #23
                  Evan, if you're looking for marker/safety lights, try EL wire.
                  Very cool stuff. I have had many years experience with EL lamps in photocopiers. These were very thin and flexible strip lamps that could be twisted, bent and rolled up with quite a tight radius. They can be amazingly bright and I did a lot of experiments with them. The one major failing of EL lighting has always been poor lifetime. They start to dim the moment they are turned on. It's possible that they may have improved this aspect. I couldn't find any specifications on that site dealing with lifetime of the products. The only thing I could find is that they are guaranteed to work when you receive them and no more.

                  I much prefer LED lighting as the lifetime is excellent and power consumption very low.
                  Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here