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Old 11-02-2012, 10:07 PM
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Default Starting Stainless Rail

I finally started putting together a Stainless Steel Rail today that is going to be a long process. PDF is a drawing of 2 gates and stair rail. There are 2 other stair rails to be made also. I already welded in the posts on the job, and now have to make the rails and gates to fit. Still waiting for the boss to make some final decisions on final design, but the builder is chomping at the bit for them to be installed. Going to be a long time welding and finishing.

1st and 2nd pics are the fixture I made to weld the two half spheres together to make a 1" ball. These were only a couple dollars apiece vs. $45 each for a solid Stainless Ball, and the boss thought these would be more cost effective. I'm getting faster. I think I am averaging 1 hour each so far to weld them and then grind them somewhat round! I have to gap them with .100" rod to make them look somewhat round, so have a big gap to fill. Hopefully I will get them down to about 30 minutes by the time I get done with making 20 or so.
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Old 11-02-2012, 10:16 PM
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Default more pics

Some pics of parts starting to be tacked up. I already grained all the 1/2" SS Square Stock and the 3/4" x 1 1/4" in a commercial 36" wide belt sander (in a friends wood shop), so that will be less sanding later.

Of course the boss wants to have the customer OK the 1" balls before going too much further. He thinks they are a little small with the 1/2" square, so we shall see if a change going to be made.
I think there is going to be twice as much time grinding, sanding and graining than welding. At least I don't have to paint this rail!

These rails are in a boathouse, hence the stainless steel.
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Old 11-03-2012, 12:02 AM
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Top, my only contribution to this project is to be glad it's yours & not mine.
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Old 11-03-2012, 01:42 AM
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25 for $167.00
http://www.ebay.com/itm/25-1-316-sta...item58867f4a52


McMaster-Carr $15.77 each
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Old 11-03-2012, 01:55 AM
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I don't know what your shop rate is, but I can't imagine that you spending an hour on each one is cost effective. GWIZ's ebay find seems like an easy ROI.
Even McMaster-Carr has 1" 316 stainless balls cheaper than you can probably make them @ $15.77 ea.
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Old 11-03-2012, 05:43 AM
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Nice work.
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Old 11-03-2012, 02:42 PM
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Looks like a project I would get myself into. Looks like a very beautiful pain in the ass!
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Old 11-03-2012, 04:07 PM
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Looks like an interesting project for sure. Personally, I don't like the balls. Your execution of working with what ya got is good, they just don't seem to fit the weird geometry of the rest of the rail. :shrug:
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Old 11-03-2012, 04:39 PM
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Lots of work on this project. But, I'd go with bigger balls and find s/s solids as mentioned. Much more cost worthy as far as profit margins go.
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Old 11-03-2012, 10:17 PM
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Thanks for the finds on the Stainless Balls. Gary (my Boss) had said he looked at RB Wagner and they were $35 each. He said he checked other spots too, but he must not have looked to hard. This was one of the moments I just held my tongue and decided to do what he said without questions. But I will be questioning him Monday!

He actually wanted me to stop putting them together until he has the customer look at the size of the ball in the spindle. He thinks it looks a little small too. I have about 1/4 of the rail tacked together now, so it will be better to change them out now. I think I will be pushing to get the premade balls. They will look so much more round and save a lot of time.

I would like to pass on this project too, but someone has to do it. I might be able to pass off some of the welding to the other welder in the shop, but field measuring and cad drawing for layout and final fit will be my problem to solve. Right now we are so busy on about 3 big rail jobs, my boss butt is in the wringer, because they all should have been done last month. (Acutally one should have been done last February, but that is another story) Hard to get one done when you get pulled off to work on the one that is complaining the loudest that day. I guess this is a good problem to have in this economy, so I not complaining too much, only that I need to get some stuff done around the house for winter, and need to stop working so much OT!
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