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  • Which Equipment to use

    OK guys, here the deal. I've been asked if I would be interested in supplying and erecting some steel (well actually a good amount of steel). Of course no one likes the price, so now we're actually looking at possibly fabricating as well. I'm basically a field guy and have only worked in shops sporadically. The fab is not real complcated, which is why I am even considering it. Here's what I need to know. I need to cut 8"x8" tube steel, some of it will be mitered. What would be the best way to cut this, cold saw? Plasma cutter? horizontal band saw? and how much approx. does each cost? I've been surfing equipment manufacturers sites, but no prices.
    Next is making 20"x20"x 1" plates w/ 1 1/8" holes @ the 4 corners, I'm figuring on cutting these with a plasma cutter, unless there is a better way.
    Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    I do the layouts and go into the steel yard with my cut list, they charge by the hour and I get my moneys worth. Shear and big band saw, have bundle cut tubing. Have holes punched, all in gang fashion. Find a steel supplier that wants your business.
    Last edited by Sberry; 01-16-2010, 03:41 PM.

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    • #3
      You can have the plates flame cut by a steel supplier. I'm sure you have one by you but if not Denman & Davis (D&D) is in NJ as is Metals USA. As for the tubing it depends how much of it you need & how many cuts. Steel supplier can do it also but if it is just a few odd cuts they could be done with a torch or plasma by you or most any rig welder could do it for you reasonbly. All the straight cuts the supplier can do while you do the miters as needed.
      Last edited by MMW; 01-16-2010, 09:21 PM.
      MM250
      Trailblazer 250g
      22a feeder
      Lincoln ac/dc 225
      Victor O/A
      MM200 black face
      Whitney 30 ton hydraulic punch
      Lown 1/8x 36" power roller
      Arco roto-phase model M
      Vectrax 7x12 band saw
      Miller spectrum 875
      30a spoolgun w/wc-24
      Syncrowave 250
      RCCS-14

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      • #4
        Originally posted by BudMan580 View Post
        OK guys, here the deal. I've been asked if I would be interested in supplying and erecting some steel (well actually a good amount of steel). Of course no one likes the price, so now we're actually looking at possibly fabricating as well. I'm basically a field guy and have only worked in shops sporadically. The fab is not real complcated, which is why I am even considering it. Here's what I need to know. I need to cut 8"x8" tube steel, some of it will be mitered. What would be the best way to cut this, cold saw? Plasma cutter? horizontal band saw? and how much approx. does each cost? I've been surfing equipment manufacturers sites, but no prices.
        Next is making 20"x20"x 1" plates w/ 1 1/8" holes @ the 4 corners, I'm figuring on cutting these with a plasma cutter, unless there is a better way.
        Thanks in advance.
        BudMan, Hi;

        Horizontal band saw, then burn the holes ! ( Cutting Torch )

        ........... Norm
        Last edited by nfinch86; 01-17-2010, 03:44 AM.
        www.normsmobilewelding.blogspot.com

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        • #5
          Thanks, guys. This is not a few cuts, all together we're talking 320,000 lbs. of steel. The plates alone are 340 pieces. Looking for the most productive way to make this work. I won't say that money is no object, but if it pays for me (I have a little backing) to invest into the proper equipment, I am willing to explore that option. Not that I'm looking to drop $100,000, but if it costs me 30 (thank God for financing) to make 100 or better after payroll and rent, etc., then it might be considered. In order to get to that decision, I have to decide which way to go with the equipment. Any further suggestions are appreciated. Thanks again.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by BudMan580 View Post
            Thanks, guys. This is not a few cuts, all together we're talking 320,000 lbs. of steel. The plates alone are 340 pieces. Looking for the most productive way to make this work. I won't say that money is no object, but if it pays for me (I have a little backing) to invest into the proper equipment, I am willing to explore that option. Not that I'm looking to drop $100,000, but if it costs me 30 (thank God for financing) to make 100 or better after payroll and rent, etc., then it might be considered. In order to get to that decision, I have to decide which way to go with the equipment. Any further suggestions are appreciated. Thanks again.
            Well in that case, buy and Ellis 1800 or bigger for cutting the box tube, and a Hougen for drilling the holes in the plate.
            Caution!
            These are "my" views based only on “my” experiences in “my” little bitty world.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by BudMan580 View Post
              Next is making 20"x20"x 1" plates w/ 1 1/8" holes @ the 4 corners, I'm figuring on cutting these with a plasma cutter, unless there is a better way.
              I did a comparison on cutting 1-inch plate a few years ago. Seems as my O/A outfit with a tractor was just a little faster than my Hypetherm 1250.
              Caution!
              These are "my" views based only on “my” experiences in “my” little bitty world.

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              • #8
                Before I worried about dropping a bunch of money on equipment, I'd contact a good attorney and have him go over/draw up a "binding contract".

                Hope you don't take this wrong, but the "job" sounds a little fishy to me. In todays times, there are many fab shops (who historically have done this type ********) who have better experience in the area, already have the tools necessary, and would have the manpower to do the job, and, would do the job for a "marginal profit".

                When you stated that you were a "field guy", you didn't qualify in "what field". This isn't a job where you go out and pick up a couple helpers and start hanging steel in the air. The fact that you felt it necessary to ask what equipment would be best to prep the basic material sends a serious doubt that this is a project you should be bidding on.

                A competent fab shop will already have the shears to cut the plates quite efficiently. A CNC plasma table to burn the holes. and plasma cutters/band saws to cut the angles. They also most likely have the handling equipment to do the job or have ongoing contacts for cranes, lifts, etc.

                It sounds like the company you're dealing with may have already put the project out for bid and didn't like the prices they got. Now you come along with a low cost alternative. The reason the experienced fab shops quoted what they did, was because they have KNOWLEDGE of what the true costs to them will be. Wouldn't hurt a thing to have a structural engineer on staff or retainer for a project of this scope.

                I may be way off base here, but I hope you're not "biting off more than you really want to chew".


                PS. The shop where I do a bit of consulting for would be, I'm sure, capable of completing this project. The thing is, they ALREADY HAVE about 10M dollars worth of equipment (shears, rolls, breaks, ironworkers, 10'x24' CNC Plasma cutter (cuts 2" mild steel), water jet, band saws, two truck mounted cranes, and numerous forklifts.
                Last edited by SundownIII; 01-17-2010, 10:05 AM.
                Syncrowave 250 DX Tigrunner
                Dynasty 200 DX
                Miller XMT 304 w/714D Feeder & Optima Control
                Miller MM 251 w/Q300 & 30A SG
                Hobart HH187
                Dialarc 250 AC/DC
                Hypertherm PM 600 & 1250
                Wilton 7"x12" bandsaw
                PC Dry Cut Saw, Dewalt Chop Saw
                Milwaukee 8" Metal Cut Saw, Milwaukee Portaband.
                Thermco and Smith (2) Gas Mixers
                More grinders than hands

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                • #9
                  O/A track torch for plates, plasma cutter or bandsaw for tubes and mag drill and hogan bit for holes. good luck
                  [FONT="Comic Sans MS"]Just weld it!!! Miller big 40 diesel, Miller bluestar 180k,Maxus Pro-140 mig, Gas powered air compressor, and alot of tools the lady dont need to know about. all portable for on site work,15 year Structural welder,Ironworker, Millwright.

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                  • #10
                    No offense dude... but if we're talking about 160 tons of steel and you're asking how to cut it..... you're in way, way over your head.
                    Bobcat 225NT
                    Cutmaster 52
                    Lincoln Weld-Pak 100 buzz box
                    Caterpillar TH63
                    '07 Kawasaki ZZR600

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by SundownIII View Post
                      Before I worried about dropping a bunch of money on equipment, I'd contact a good attorney and have him go over/draw up a "binding contract".
                      If I were him, I'd be more worried about losing my house when the performance bond got called in....
                      Bobcat 225NT
                      Cutmaster 52
                      Lincoln Weld-Pak 100 buzz box
                      Caterpillar TH63
                      '07 Kawasaki ZZR600

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                      • #12
                        I totally agree with SundownIII and Bretsk2500 if your bidding on a project that size, those are not the questions you should be asking.
                        Good luck though

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                        • #13
                          Cutting 1" plate ain't no pic-nic with OA. even with plasma. It all takes time. And 320 plates? WOW. By hand? If it only took 20 minutes to lay it out and cut each one, you would have more than 2 weeks worth of cutting time, plus materials. Tha's a lot of time and gas!
                          I'm guessing that these are the base plates for some vertical post. So the lay out will be a bit critical as the J bolts for mounting them will already bi in the concrete. The Hougen mag drill can accomplish this task, but it ain't no where near as easy or cost effective as a CNC machine.
                          I think I'd be seeking out some information from a local or even distant fab shop that has the capabilities of this 'heavy' work. Just moving a 20x20x1 plate is a task in it's self. Much less moving an entire sheet of the stuff!
                          Mustangs Forever!

                          Miller equipment.

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                          • #14
                            The problem with cutting fairly accurate bolt holes with a plasma is that annoying 5 to 8° bevel.
                            See what 8° looks like on a 1-inch thick plate!





                            http://www.esabcutting.com/cutting/e...sma-cutter.cfm
                            Caution!
                            These are "my" views based only on “my” experiences in “my” little bitty world.

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                            • #15
                              Well Bret, see that's the thing, I was asking you, the EXPERT, how YOU would cut it? I could go on a lengthy tirade with my experience, but like I said it's 90% field. As for the size of the job, in the last 6-7 years, I've installed over 20 million dollars of curtainwall, misc. iron, and architectural metals. When I say installed, I've run these jobs with anywhere from 10 to 70 employees. How I got here is thru 20 years of working my way up the ranks. I just started my own company and while staying with my employer, am just finishing my first job this week ($500,000 in 4 months). Oh, I guess I did go on a tirade.
                              See, I was just asking for a little advise on equipment that I wouldn't be using in the field, so I don't know much about it and right away people think that you're some rube who just decided he wants to be an ironworker. Forgive the little bit of bite in my reply, but maybe one day you'll come to the big city and I'll make you feel like much more of an *** than you just tried to make me feel like. As for everyone else, than you for the input.

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