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made a stage

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  • made a stage

    made a 10'x12' stage that sits 18" off the ground the other day out of 2" 14 gauge tubing. when i flipped it over on its feet i noticed that all the main beams had bowed when welding on the center supports, now only the 4 corner feet touch the ground at all times.... when a band and gear is on the stage it sits level and all feet are on the ground. why did the beams bow???


  • #2
    When you heat steel, it expands and then contracts a little bit more than it had expanded. So the side of the square tubing you heated up got a little smaller. If you're careful, you could cold bend it back. You could also use a torch to heat up the other side to even out the contraction. Or you could just book some heavy-set bands to slowly straighten it back out.

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    • #3
      Just looking at your photo, it appears your shielding gas tank is free standing?
      Chain, tie, secure that thing before you kill yourself or someone else.

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      • #4
        attaching each support leg required 16 welds once you got the 45's in too. i was doing one complete leg at a time. would it not have bowed as much if i had done a couple welds on one leg then moved to another leg and done a couple welds on it instead of doing all 16 at once?

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        • #5
          In this setup it would have probably bowed some, but the appropriate tack and weld sequence can reduce the distortion, as can prestressing the material the opposite way, good fixturing (clamping), and preheating (to reduce differential shrinkage as the weld cools).


          For your application, I would have probably have clamped the heck out of it (in your situation, that might have meant a lot of weights, or anchors into the floor), probably put a little prestress (slip a shim under the joint and load it), and sequenced the welds carefully.

          The sequence I would have selected would likely have been tack the leg to frame, tack the diagonals to frame, tack the diagonals to leg, check and fix as needed, then run the diagonal to leg weld so the diagonals can limit distortion when the leg is welded up, LIGHT welds for diagonals to frame at the sides (not across the face of the tube), then weld the leg to the frame. The diags will brace against distortion to a point. I would fixture with a little bit of prestress first.

          Try a test joint or two to figure out the prestress needed.

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          • #6
            Put a couple little shims on the feet?

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            • #7
              Your fist project should have been a cart for the welder with restraints for the bottle.. Rule # 1 when welding heat warps metal you have to learn how to manage it..

              14 Ga 2" box is a little light for a 12' span. Speaking of spans it looks like a 4' on the joists what are you going to deck it with? Stages need to be rock solid. Just ask the sound-man who puts a mike on the kick-drum

              No floors are level that is why they make adjustable feet and or anchor bolts..

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              • #8
                its not my machine, me and a buddy built the stage and i ended up doing most of the work. he said he used to have an attachment for the bottle and it broke.

                i decked with 3/4" ply. it is sturdy when you get on it, but when your in the middle you can bounce up and down maybe an inch. like i said before, when the band gets on it the metal flexes and all feet are on the ground.

                enlpk- so if the stage is sitting like pictured above and your standing directly above a leg and its braces, you would not have put any welds on that face of the main beam to attach the braces, only on either side? seems like this would keep it from shrinking quite as much but i feel like it wouldn't be as sturdy when loaded.

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                • #9
                  The reasons I would only run the edges , not across the face are that a) the weld across the faces tends to pull the material out of plane, b) the weld is more difficult across the face if you are trying to minimize distortion, which means minimize heat input.

                  The load transfer via the sides is more efficient in this application, and if sufficient weld can be put there (I think it can), then I would go that way.

                  The points others have made about the design are definitely valid. I didn't say anything as that wasn;t the original question, but heavier material would not only provide a more rigid structure, but also distort less. If you are counting on load to land the feet, that doesn't bode well for the longevity of the platform.

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                  • #10
                    Not every joint in something like that needs the snot welded out of it.

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                    • #11
                      This may or may not work in your case, but I welded 3/4" nuts to the bottoms of my car stand legs & double nutted bolts to adjust the stand to set level and make up for any dips & high spots in the floor.
                      I did the same thing when I built the jig for the chassis. In that case I got the jig setting solid & level using the "bolt" levelers & then cut some "L' brackets out of 6''x4'' angle and bolted/lagged it to the floor. I left the "L" bracket slightly off the floor so I could draw the jig down firmly against the leveling bolt with a tapcon into the concrete. That might work too if the stage will be a permanent fixture.

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