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toprecycler 02-01-2015 01:45 AM

Rail Picture Overload
 
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Just some pics of Hand rails that I have built in the last 6 years or so. I can't take credit for the artistic design of most, just the actual fabrication and making them fit! And sometimes, trying to come up with the way to make what the boss and customer wants. I usually have little say in how the design actually looks or is made, but sometimes can influence the outcome a little.:D
Please enjoy the pics.
The rail in the middle three was installed by putting spindles into holes in the stone steps and pouring lead to secure. I was always told not to mix water in with molten lead, and I did find out why on this job.:eek: I was very fortunate that day, and only had a couple of small burns when the lead exploded back out of the hole.
The last picture is of a curved deck that we were building, and was almost done, and the customer had got tired of the building delays, and canceled the job. The deck looks real good on top of overstock Ibeams in the yard waiting for a new home.:devil:

toprecycler 02-01-2015 01:50 AM

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Some more.

toprecycler 02-01-2015 01:53 AM

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and more...:):)

toprecycler 02-01-2015 01:58 AM

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and more...:):)
the first one, a coworker built, but I helped install and took pics later. My son did photo bomb the pic!

toprecycler 02-01-2015 02:11 AM

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still more..;)
the last picture does not show it well, but this one was made from 1 1/4" copper pipe. I remember having to do some tig welding in the field to finish the install, and I could not get my portable inverter tig to get hot enough. I somehow was able to hook the tig torch up to the trailblazer welder and welded it together using scratch start and no remote amp control. That was a first for me, but got the job done. Now, that would just be another day of doing whatever it takes to get the job done.:)

toprecycler 02-01-2015 02:15 AM

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a few more..:D

toprecycler 02-01-2015 02:21 AM

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more...:cool:

toprecycler 02-01-2015 02:24 AM

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still more to come...

toprecycler 02-01-2015 02:30 AM

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and more.. :)

toprecycler 02-01-2015 02:36 AM

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Last one for now. I will post some more once I find them, unless you tell me to stop.:devil:
Thanks for letting me share.:)

Dave Lee 02-01-2015 02:52 AM

Absolutely beautiful work, Brian. Thanks for sharing this.


Dave

mccutter 02-01-2015 03:26 AM

Outstanding work, Brian! :) You're helping make your part of the world safer and certainly more aesthetic! :) I really like the faux wood railing--cool! :cool:

Samcord 02-01-2015 06:23 AM

Very nice! How long have you been at it?

digr 02-01-2015 08:25 AM

Very nice work, Your handle should be " The rail man"

toprecycler 02-01-2015 02:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Samcord (Post 619528)
Very nice! How long have you been at it?

started at current shop in 2001 and switched to welding/fabrication career. Before this I was in retail/ management (department manager in grocery store). Talk about a change of pace. Sometimes I miss the stores, usually when I have to go outside this time of year and install steel, or welding in the rain! That can be a shocking expierence!
I guess I was destined for this work. I used to take broken shopping carts home and weld them up and charge the store a fraction of what it should have been.

Brian

toprecycler 12-17-2016 10:38 PM

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Cable rail that I finally got installed today. Should have been done about three months ago. But that is another story. :-)
The sad part is that the powder coat job was not very good, but had to install it anyways. And the customer is questioning the color as it is not what she expected. Figure I will be uninstalling and doing something different next year sometime,

I was happy that I was able to get the top rail pretty straight. The wood stringer that it mounts too had about a 1/4" sag in the middle, so all the legs are a different length.

Brian

TEK 12-17-2016 11:23 PM

Good job checking the difference in where the posts landed. A dippy rail looks bad...

This one looks great! I remember you mentioned it a while back.
Too bad the cable tensioners didn't hide better...but it does look good. .

gimpyrobb 12-17-2016 11:28 PM

What was she expecting? Lighter, darker, different hue?

toprecycler 12-18-2016 07:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gimpyrobb (Post 676889)
What was she expecting? Lighter, darker, different hue?

She wanted something to match the chrome on the kitchen faucet I guess. The powder coater had something call Chromezone and the boss picked that. I still didn't think that was very close, and the actual rail does not seem to match the color sample. Not very shiny.

I asked about sending the rail out to be chromed. I don't know if it can being aluminum and so big. One other option would be to strip the powder coat and buff the aluminum to mirror finish. Would have been easier to do that before welding together. Sometimes I just do not get my boss's reasoning. :-). I just have to keep telling myself, 'mine is not to question why, it is to do or die.' I get paid by the hour any way. (Although I hate having that attitude)

I was thinking about testing a spray can of chrome bumper spray and see how close that is. The powder coat job had several bad spots as usual. I actually had a 1/4" piece come right off at a screw mount. Did not bond at all to the primer? And the top had some runs and Pitts.

I am also think about coming up with a mounting holder for the next time we send something out. Where ever they hang the rails, there is always a bad spot where the wire is. Maybe drill and tap the base plates in a hidden spot and thread in a bolt with a ring welded to it. I need to try to make the painters job easier so they do not ruin the finish product with a bad job I guess.

Thinking about the top rail that they had problems with, wondering if it might because I forgot to vent the tube into the leg tubes? Will have to remember to vent everything from now on to be sure. And hopefully, will not send anything more out to be powdercoated!

Brian

toprecycler 12-18-2016 07:20 AM

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Thinking some more about the top rail tube. If it was not vented, when they hear it in the oven to cure the powder coating, I guess it could expand more being sealed and break the powder coating? Does this sound like a likely reason? I guess they redid it twice and still had the same problem. Brian

kbs2244 12-18-2016 07:39 PM

curves
 
What is amazing to me is how many are not just straight pieces with an angle
Instead there are curves that are organic, almost sinuous.

It goes beyond just “good work.”

TEK 12-18-2016 10:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by toprecycler (Post 676895)
Thinking some more about the top rail tube. If it was not vented, when they hear it in the oven to cure the powder coating, I guess it could expand more being sealed and break the powder coating? Does this sound like a likely reason? I guess they redid it twice and still had the same problem. Brian

Those spots on the top rail, was there something in that hole?. Like some foreign object left there because they didn't get the surface prep done right?

Did you have them make up some matching paint, so you can touch up bad spots?

I dunno if that top tube being sealed would act that way. If it's swole from the heat it's expanded, if it gets sprayed and baked like that and then cooled the coating would be in compression, I could see losing big patches of paint that way but I don't think powder coat would act that way.

Also, how many times do they take it in and out of the oven, it would not take long to cool and just guessing on the volume inside the tubing I don't see it flexing all that much in the hot/cold/hot cycles. The corners on the tubing tells me it's .120, I think, I don't really think the temp change is going to do that to the powder.

toprecycler 09-09-2017 03:23 PM

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Installed some more handrails today. It all fit like it was designed, except for the last piece connecting the basement steps to the deck steps. Boss wanted to run it at angle, which I don't really like myself, but I don't sign my own paycheck, so his way it is.[emoji4]

I did not cut the angles right, so a little field grinding, and fill a big gap, got it done. I used a small 110 wire welder with self shielding wire in the field. It welded up pretty nice.
We have to finish paint all the gray steel Black now. The customer has been going back in forth on the paint colors since February when we first installed the upper roof frame tubes.

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toprecycler 09-09-2017 03:26 PM

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Some more pics. I wanted all the rail ends to line up if you look down the ends. I managed to get it pretty good.

Also some pics is inside stair rails.Attachment 140938Attachment 140939Attachment 140940Attachment 140941


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LW Hiway 09-16-2017 08:34 AM

Brian, I've watched your finished creations since day one and I just have to gig you on something you obviously do wrong in a big way.

Why is it that none of your connections and ends and hangers look like they were just made willy nilly to fit as best as could be faked?

There is a place I've worked at for awhile and all of the railings found for safety's sake must have looked nice while sitting in someone's shop prefabbed, but once on site, nothing seems to want to fit, sit or look like it was made to fit what foundations were on site.

Obviously, your not playing the same games here. lol

PROPS

Nice work dude.

toprecycler 09-16-2017 09:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LW Hiway (Post 694412)
Brian, I've watched your finished creations since day one and I just have to gig you on something you obviously do wrong in a big way.

Why is it that none of your connections and ends and hangers look like they were just made willy nilly to fit as best as could be faked?

There is a place I've worked at for awhile and all of the railings found for safety's sake must have looked nice while sitting in someone's shop prefabbed, but once on site, nothing seems to want to fit, sit or look like it was made to fit what foundations were on site.

Obviously, your not playing the same games here. lol

PROPS

Nice work dude.



Thanks Lew. I appreciate the compliment. It took years of practice to get it somewhat right. The real secret is don't take pictures of the ones that don't come out right!

I do have to give my boss credit for one thing though. He usually will not let something slide through cutting corners. He always tried to make sure the work we do is top notch. (Although in the last year, I have noticed some inclinations to not take the time to do a top notch job when the job is $@@&@ up from the start, why should we be the only ones that care about it being right, and this is starting to get me in trouble. He says one thing, and then when I start making some compromises, he busts my chops for them. I need to start getting in writing the quality he expects for any given job)[emoji4]

I find if I take good field measurements, and then draw the job up in turbo cad software, design the rail holding to 1/64" tolerances, cut to within 1/32", by the time the welds warp the rail it will still fit fairly well. I am starting to get a little faster. I have to realize what dimensions are important depending on how the rail mounts. And if you really want the rail to look straight after installing, you really can't trust carpenters to keep walls straight, or masons to keep floors straight or level. String lines can be a good place to start measuring, or laser levels.

And, you can never take too many measurements. I always still seem to forget one or two. Usually on the job that is an hour away.[emoji4] I usually dread when the boss is with me, because he is always in a hurry to get back. And he like to shortcut this process, but I feel it makes us look much better when the rails fit the first time, without having to modify them in the field ( which we had done a lot until I started doing the cad drawings) And, if I do the drawings, then the rest of the build seems to go a lot faster if I am doing the work then.






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toprecycler 09-16-2017 09:19 PM

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Some fab pics of the rails I put together today. I was trying to keep a simple straight rail, but was overruled and had to offset the top post to the side 3", and then wrap the bottom to return to the face of the wall. Probably each extra joint adds 45 minutes to overall fab time of the rail. Pipe can be challenging to keep the miters cuts straight on each end. It took me about 1 1/2 hours to cut 19 pcs. I was also careful to keep the weld seam of the pipe to the bottom, or least noticeable side, since it can sometimes really stand out in the finished product.


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toprecycler 09-16-2017 09:33 PM

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Hopefully the details of the mount plates show up. The floor mounted plates are Stainless Steel. Holds up better against rusting.

Also a before pic of stairs where two rails are going. Hopefully I will be installing and get an after pic.

I guess the owners father told my coworker that he does not like the connection hand rail run at an angle on the outside steps. He wants it to drop down straight, and then go across level to the basement step rail. Which is how I wanted to do it, but shall see what the boss allows me to do. I actually think that would have been easier to fab anyways. That compound miter still is puzzling me how it should have been cut. At least I have good glue in the welder wire to fill gaps!Attachment 141069Attachment 141070Attachment 141071Attachment 141072



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toprecycler 09-21-2017 05:22 PM

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Well, I had to follow my previous advice. Don't take pics of ones that don't fit. I drew up the drawing wrong, so the two rails did not fit. Boss tossed them back into the truck( literally)[emoji4].

After I fixed my drawing, I had to cut one joint apart, shorten the main rail by 6 1/2" and adjust the miter angles, reweld, cleanup and repaint. The paint did not quite dry completely, but was under the gun do had to install it a little tacky the next day.Attachment 141150Attachment 141151Attachment 141152


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toprecycler 10-03-2017 07:51 PM

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I can really make a mess to make 2 small rails. Amazing how many tools and shim blocks I use. Had to make 2 more rails to satisfy the building inspector. Will try to get installed pics so they make more sense.Attachment 141372Attachment 141373Attachment 141374


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toprecycler 10-06-2017 05:48 AM

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Installed pictures.
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toprecycler 10-13-2017 11:49 AM

Rail Picture Overload
 
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customer requested doing one rail part different. finally got that done yesterday, and I think it looks better now myself. Just have to get back to put black topcoat on it.
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toprecycler 12-24-2018 12:25 AM

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Just finished couple more cable rails tonight, for side job. Attachment 148584Attachment 148585Attachment 148586Attachment 148587Attachment 148588


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Whitetrash 12-24-2018 01:12 AM

Very nice work.

cutter 12-24-2018 03:23 AM

You really do a fabulous job on those railings, Brian.

milomilo 12-24-2018 09:44 AM

I really like the open look of cable design.:)

digr 12-24-2018 10:19 AM

First class work!!!

RED caddy 12-24-2018 02:41 PM

Very nice work Brian.

The few I've done down here, get covered in wood, unless they are in the shade most of the time. Grabbing a black steel railing, in the tropical sun is a memorable experience. yours look particularly inviting to hand.

RED

Gazza 12-25-2018 10:29 PM

Great looking work, really looks like it belongs where it is.
Do you design these from scratch and then build them so suit the finished area or do you work from plans/concepts then make them to actually fit.

I worked on a new factory fit out (painting graphics) this time last year and their stairs and raised walkway design was so complex and time consuming it held up the entire job.

toprecycler 12-25-2018 11:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gazza (Post 727122)
Great looking work, really looks like it belongs where it is.

Do you design these from scratch and then build them so suit the finished area or do you work from plans/concepts then make them to actually fit.




The boss had an concept design from the designer, and he gave me a couple things to work from, like the material to be used, and about the only other requirement was the top rail on the stairs coming down and forming the big triangle, because he had talked the designer into that to ease the transition. But taking the actual field measurements, and designing the actual post layout and fabrication fell to me. The boss said “I trust you to do it right “ and left me to get it done. Way different than my old boss.[emoji4]

Unfortunately i expected the stairs to have been a little easier since they were steel frame made by us and covered with wood, but it was not. I was not involved with the stair build, except for helping tune up his ellis saw so it would cut the tubing pieces straight. There was a lot of little tread differences that made it more challenging to make the final product look good, and I did use this project to help learn the 3-D aspect of my cad program better. I probably had as much time drawing and designing this in cad as I did building it, or so it seemed.

I had fabricated most of the rails in the shop, except for the bottom steps that flared out. I tig welded these together in the field to allow a little adjustment as needed. That was a good decision.

I was a little rusty in keeping the top rail from warping, and didn’t realize it until the install. I had only welded the top 1/2x 1-1/2” flat bar on the sides thinking it would not warp so bad, but was badly mistaken in this thinking. Will not forget it next time hopefully.






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