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JLP Blacksmith Teaching Center.


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So, here we are the first week of August.. 

The shop was a no go until about 3 weeks ago.. I spent a bunch of time trouble shooting the Grove manlift and getting it operational.. 

I'm glad I did.. Its been a lot easier to use than ladders..  Its still slower than climbing up on rafters of a real steel building but there is no walking on the purlins as they are sheet metal. 

I can't install the front window or entry door till the floor is done but overall I have made good steady work the last 4 or so weeks..  Its been super hot here and there is no shade when working on the building.. 

A few notes.. 

The building instruction (construction plans and directions book).. Are absolute junk..  The detail drawings are lack luster and I have had to go back and redo work 2 or more times to get things to work properly.  

At this point I have had others over who are in the building trades and they don't do any better than I do with the plans.  LOL.. For the most part handing them back and throwing their hands up. 

With this.  It has been a huge learning curve and the guy whom was the sales rep was ill informed as to how much time and how many people it would take to put this thing up. 

Also,  knowing what I know now, the only way to really do one of these buildings is a decent time frame is to have a crew that has done them before.  Without prior experience most of it is simply a guess as to how it goes together after the main frame. 

There are 4 different types of bolts  which are only shown in the "Details" pages without major notice on the main pages.  So, every detail has to be scrutinized many times before one can move onto work. 

I have now become and expert in Grove manlift repair.. LOL..   As well as Bison steel building crazy. 

 

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You continue to amaze me with the amount of work you get done on multiple projects. I'm glad you're within sight of the finish line. Hahaha I know you don't probably see it that way. 

 Hope one day to get back up that way. Too bad I won't drive fifteen hundred miles to see a concert anymore or I'd be in your neck of the woods at some point. One day maybe, who knows. 

Pnut

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Looks to be coming along nicely now you have the manlift working. 

A LOT easier to get things to line up and square using the man lift isn't it? Leaning a ladder on the arches moves them and even a little bit can throw the whole building off. Don't you just love the/box bag of different size bolts and not one indication where the odd ones go on the plans? I spent a lot of time looking at other steel frame buildings, made sketches and took a few pictures. Funny about that, it seemed the folk who erected them couldn't figure the bolts out either there were a lot of ones in places they obviously weren't supposed to go. They still worked though so what the hey.

I'm sure glad I didn't build a shop as complex as you are.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Pnut, Anvil..  Thanks ... Pnut,  the trick is to just not stop..   I get into the mindset that If I don't do it, it isn't going to get done.   LOL.. 


Frosty, the manlift has made things easier for sure.   I still prefer to walk on Girders and squirrel around up on the beams but with this type of building there is none of that going from end to end so the manlift allows for me to get to one side to the other so is a huge time savings there.   It has worked out very well to have. 

Today I used it to haul up the last of the front shed dormer roof beams and then used it to haul up the purlins for the sheathing.  It has worked out extremely well and now that most of the bugs have been worked out of it, it is a great machine to have for sure. 

I never gave it thought about a ladder moving stuff out of alignment..  I just bounce the ladder or use my foot to push the ladder away from the weaker side.. But I suppose it does make a difference. 

The bolts "Argh"..   My largest complaint is the crappy instructions..  Once falling into line with the designers thought process things make more sense but I have to find that thought process or else it just makes it super frustrating..    Just like today, I put the center section for the shed dormer.. I then put up all the purlins sorting them to their "Wrong sides"..    I didn't know they had the roof backwards on the drawing so Left is right and right is left.. 

I knew once I tried to bolt them in that the measurements were off though the bolt holes aligned..   I spent 7 hrs out there today and called it quits when I found out they all need to be switched from left to right. 

I should have gone thru and marked all the drawings with left and right and front and back..  Might have made a difference.. 

I love seeing the bolts, beams, brackets and stacks of items disappearing. 

If I had ample help it would have been easier for sure.  It is very hard to find people who are good working by themselves without guidance..  

This week will get the strapping for the insulation and all the TR340's installed as well as the SA.. 

Little set back with having to switch sides but not bad overall. 

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And today all the crazy "left" is right"  and "right is left"  and front is back and back is front" is all fixed and everything looks like it is supposed to.. 

Lots of photos..  

I also organized all the remaining bolts back into their perspective bags/boxes for a better accounting. 

It is so rewarding seeing the pile of items shrink with each passing day. 

Tomorrow the rod bracing goes in and the front section will be squared.   I will then finish off the front wall which has some really crazy custom holes to be drilled. (again the instructions and diagrams are crap).. 

 

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Oh I'm right with you on walking the walls. I loved walking the walls when we were building the house but erecting the shop was nothing like it. Your plans tell you the perlins have to lean the right direction so the roof panels will attach correctly? Mine didn't. 

Fortunately I noticed before I bolted too many on. "Gee, why are the tops of the purlins leaning that way when the roof slopes the other way?" I asks myself. The thing is I really noticed after I climbed down, walked a ways off and looked at it. That's a good method of seeing problems you might not notice from up close. 

You're cruising on it now Jennifer, won't be long and you'll be moving equipment in. 

Frosty The Lucky. 

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Frosty,  you are so right with the looking and seeing things that are off.   Even stuff that is listed as one way when installed goes the other way. 

I dislike redoing things 3 or 4 times and that has really cut into active productive time.  Been lots of that.  

But with this said.  It is coming along.. With any luck the front section will square up easy.  Tomorrow I will also order the correct length I beam so I can get started on that too. 

After the outside is done.. I will install the infloor guzuntas and vacuum system..  With any luck it will be ready to move stuff in by december.. 

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Arkie, thanks.. But I hope to never have smoke pouring out of the roof..  LOL.. It's the reason I went with steel..  Big grin.. :)

I'll install proper smoke stacks to evacuate any smoke..   

We will have to see exactly what takes place over time. My schedule has been way off.  

Thanks. 
 

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It is looking good Jennifer 

with the rod bracing down here we typically stretch a line for the general location then drill 2 holes with a unibit a few inches apart and then cut a slot between them with an angle grinder.

But i have no idea what a guzunta is ?

 

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Arkie. I kinda new what you meant..   In some places they don't bother with smoke stacks and just vent naturally out the gables or spacing in the rafters.  

I'm a big fan of a good smoke withdrawal system.. Catch it before it expands..  I've worked on many different takes on it, and in the very old days even closed shops when using charcoal only would vent it through the gable ends..  Was a huge fire hazard but normal thought at the time.  Funny when reading accounts of old shops burning down on a regular basis.  Huh, wonder why... 

Old Crew, Sure now you tell me.. LOL..  For the end wall I ended up using a chalk line and a unibit but only drilled 1 hole.. I then went back with the die grinder but your method is superior. 

Luckily the main beams are cut for the rods so no having to do that this time around. 

I'll be calling you later to discuss concrete screws for installing the SA on the foundation. 

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More like the sq tubes used for "receiver hitches".  Allows you to move equipment around and still have stable setups.  I have one planned for my driveway to allow me to take a 6" postvise mounted on sq structural tubing and drop it in place when I need room to run a 20' stick of steel all around a fixture held in the vise.  Then lift the postvise out of the gazinta and store it in the shop safe.

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I just want to chime in briefly and say that this post is very encouraging to me. I am one of those who started outside my apartment building with a converted version of my dad's old grill for a forge. I too dream of building my own facility (and experience) to teach others the craft I have come to love, one day.

Today I teach myself in my humble Red Shed. Hopefully some tomorrow will see me building something awesome like this. Thank you for sharing. 

Alex

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I'd start a book on if it would be enclosed before snowfall; but I'm afraid JLP would hurt me...I'm so glad we paid for my first part of my shop to be done.  Amazing how well a group of trained people used to working together can do a project.  My next part was MUCH cheaper but "fits in" with the local vernacular buildings, (including the 4 different shades of blue on it).

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