Do you work with STEEL? Help me with a -->>RIVETING project for some shelves I'm building . . .

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FIRST, VIEW GRAPHIC OF WHAT THIS THREAD IS ABOUT HERE:
http://www.intergate.com/~tobeornot2b/me/RIVET-BASED_SHELVING.gif
______________________________________________________________ See that double-riveted item on the right? It's called a "beam" and I need to have it in a non-standard length (58" to be precise).
Now, I see two options available, as follows: A. Have mfg. custom-cut/weld these beams (possibly very expensive) B. Purchase standardized beams (eg. 60") and have them welded __locally__
My question has to do with B., above.
What kind of facility am I looking for to do such work? Is this called "forging"? welding? Am I looking for a "foundry"? or is this type of work referred to as something else?
50-Sumpin'
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This is a simple machine shop job. They will just cut off to desired length with a band saw, and braze on the rivets, which can be drilled or punched out of the old piece. You can paint the results to match. Time issue. I'll call around before I started the project. If you are in a major metropolitan area, I would think there are plenty of welding shops. Shouldn't take more than an hour's time, with the right tools. Keep us posted on the results.
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professorpaul wrote:

Ah!
Now forgive me because I truly don't even know how to begin this Paul: What exactly am I looking in my local Yellow Pages (or local online) for? I don't even know the word to look up, but surely it isn't "machine shop" ??
Yeah, I'm in the CA Bay Area so should be no problem.
50-Sumpin'
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wrote:

Is this why San Diego got all the lawyers?
-- Oren
"Well, it doesn't happen all the time, but when it happens, it happens constantly."
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Oren wrote:

No. You can thank Tom Tancredo for that. ;)
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wrote:

Never heard of the bum, I have of a "machine shop".
-- Oren
"Well, it doesn't happen all the time, but when it happens, it happens constantly."
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Any welding shop could do this job at a reasonable price. Check yellow pages. But, if this is going to be permanently assembled,(or even if it isn't) why not just cut the beam to length with a hacksaw, drill 2 holes, and use nuts & bolts at that end?
--
Contentment makes poor men rich. Discontent makes rich men poor.
--Benjamin Franklin
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You have no need to adjust the "buttons" other than for looks. 1/4x20 bolts and nuts are more than adequate. Cut the pieces to the length required. Drill holes at the same locations as the buttons. Nut and bolt as required. You could use carriage bolts to keep the head profile fairly close to the buttons.
If you go to a welder, the paint will be scorched and you will probably end up painting the frame if you can find a good match on the factory paint.
___________________________ Keep the whole world singing. . . . DanG

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Larry & Dan . . .
Thanks guys.
Well the reason I'm hesitant to locate the beams and cut them down myself is that I simply don't have the tools for such work. Oh, my circular saw (and handheld power drill) can handle light metal jobs . . . but realize that these steel beams are T.H.I.C.K. They have to be to handle the weight loads they typically support.
I take your point about the nut/bolt model however -- and if anything, that would be considerably more __stable__ than a rivet approach (especially here in the CA Bay Area, where, to put in perfunctorily, my house sits directly ON the earthquake fault lol). So let's look at that for a moment:
Referring back to the graphic I linked (above) you can see that these beams have a "lip" -- necessary, of course, because that's what the wood (or other) shelf sits on.
QUESTION Where would I locate these pre-"lipped" thick steel beams?
I know it seems like I keep asking the same question, but I truly don't know where to begin researching this. Just . . . "STEEL"?
Thanks guys. A really innovative conversation. It's expanded my thinking considerably!
50-Sumpin'
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50 SOMETHING GAL wrote:

May I suggest you start by backing up and describe exactly what it is you are trying to do? If it's shelving, and it sounds like you don't already have the materials that lock you in, there may be other straightforward solutions.
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Are you asking where to buy it, what to buy, or how to put it together?
Probably the biggest manufacturer of the stuff is Penco, though I am sure there are others. Grainger's carries it, or a yellow pages look at shelving, warehouse storage materials, or similar should get you there.
The "how" and "what do they make" can be handled here: http://www.pencoproducts.com/Pages/rivet.htm If you live in earthquake country you may want to bolt the shelving to the wall a few times. If you think the stuff on the shelves will be shaken off, you can install all the cross beams upside down to keep stuff in. We rigged a walk-through truck this way and it has worked out quite well.
If you're asking about the cuts and the drilling it is either time to get independent, make friends with someone mechanically inclined, or go to someone's shop. You do realize that you need to buy the shelves separately and that the best economy is to cut your own from sheet goods.
-A fiber blade in your circular saw will cut the stuff and so will a hacksaw. Your drill is more than adequate to drill a few 1/4" holes in this stuff with a sharp drill bit. -The friend thing, you're on your own. -A muffler shop or a sheetmetal shop would both be good places to find someone to cut and drill the pieces for you. -Almost any handyman or carpenter can handle the entire project. ___________________________ Keep the whole world singing. . . . DanG

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Hi again Dan . . .
Yes, my power tools may be "more than adequate" but . . . my hand isn't. ;) I don't do well with precision drilling (or circular sawing for that matter) when the material is STEEL.
I hopped over to TRUELOCAL.COM and located a number of forges that are within about 20 miles of my house and I think at this point I'll start with one or two of those . . . and build out.
To the gentleman who inquired what exactly this project was, an expanded discussion can be found here, with the added attraction that it is a vBulletin forum (and thus a bit more flexible viz graphics). Hop on in and participate: http://www.homerepairforum.com/forum/showthread.php?tF14
This is an extremely creative discussion and I have to say I am so impressed with some of the suggestions. The more I think about the option of bolting the unit together, the better I like it.
Thanks guys. :)
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You could build a 48" unit and keep the brooms, mops, and umbrellas in the tall end, or stack it full of 6" or larger PVC pipe for rat holeing all manner of short stuff.
Are you a widow or a widower? ___________________________ Keep the whole world singing. . . . DanG

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DanG wrote:

Ha ha, got me. Yup yup I mean widOW. That rattling sound you hear is my brain trying to dump its rivets lol. ;)
No sir, either this baby is using every available inch or I'm not going to build it. When you open these closet doors you're going to see wall-to-wall SHELVING. I'm also seriously thinking about covering the plywood with sheet metal so that items can slide out of there easier; but first thing's first. This is an interior closet, as well, so it will maintain more level temperature for the storage of wine and beer. I'm really going to have fun with this now that I'm beginning to visualize it.
I'll report back on how the project is progressing once I've lined up the shop. It would be good for others who begin looking at clothes stored in auxilliary closets with something like murder in their eye and thinking "Ski Suit? I don' need no stinking Ski Suit! Help me put these 25 lb. bags of RICE somewhere!" ;)
It's amazing how your priorities change as you get old and decrepit lol.
50s
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Rather than the expense of sheet metal on the shelving, you can buy sheets of MDF with one or both sides covered in white Melamine (think the finish coat of Formica without the pretty picture)
Rice? Beer? Wine? I'm starting to wonder if you're my kind of girl. A loaf of bread, a jug of wine, and you beside me . . . . . I'll be fat, drunk, and in trouble. ___________________________ Keep the whole world singing. . . . DanG

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!!!!!!!     . .      o
Be honest: You really want me for my POWER TOOLS. ;)
Seriously . . . MDF would be an outstanding solution, but for the fact that I can't curl it. I see the edge of these (1") plywood shelves taking a beating to put it bluntly, and while I can certainly locate finishing materials (acrylic, plastic, metal etc.), the problem is the SEAM: Things will be easy to slide in but they'll hit that seam when they slide out.
It may turn out to be cost prohibitive to use sheet metal in any event. I'll just have to see.
50-Sumpin'
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I don't think you'll find that pantry shelves really take that much of a beating. Presuming that there's good solid supports under it, MDF or plywood or melamine/particle board would be about the best bet. You can use iron-on edging for, or, you could round over the edge of MDF.
[You can get the sheets cut at most suppliers.]
Or, if you can compromise on 24" depth, you could use "postformed" (formica) countertops. For a pantry, you can use perfectly servicable "seconds" for much less cost.

I don't think you'll like sheet metal shelving. Very noisy.
--
Chris Lewis,

Age and Treachery will Triumph over Youth and Skill
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Wanna save some trouble and time? Just go ahead and get "beams" longer than you need, then cut A SECTION FROM THE MIDDLE to make them the right length using a die grinder or a dremel with a metal cutting wheel then take them down to have them welded at a machine shop.
Or, you could just have them mess with welding rivets, but that's going to be expensive and the point of failure. As an amature welder, I can almost guarantee two things... 1) these beams are "low carbon" steel and are more prone to bending instead of breaking, which is easier to weld but doesn't have near as much strength. 2) fitting a mig head or tig head under that rivet is going to be tough. I'd go ahead and drill from the back and weld them in that way, but this would raise the carbon content of the rivet (the point of maximum pressure)
I guarantee your better off having a fella weld a straight seem like that...especially low carbon steel that has been prepped (as in it's clean of paint, rust) with a wire wheel before it makes it to my shop. If you bring in a bunch of these beams at once, and they're all prepped properly the job should cost you a grand total of about $2-$5 a piece, depending on how busy the shop is that afternoon.
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wrote:

If you decide you WANT to do the job yourself, you can drill holes accurately in iron as follows:
Mark where you want the hole to be. Drill a hole in a small block of wood, and clamp the wood onto the iron with a C-clamp. Pour a little oil (Olive oil, if you haven't got any cutting oil) into the hole, and shove the drill into the hole in the block, and drill away.
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On 12 Nov 2006 07:21:12 -0800, 50 SOMETHING GAL wrote:

I've put together many of this type of shelf. The steel isn't as thick as you might think. Look at the size of the rivets. If THICK steel beams were required to support the weight, don't you think that more than two small rivets would be required, too.
As others have suggested, cut them yourself and use bolts.
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