Miller Electric

Welding Discussion Forums

Home » Resources » Communities » Welding Discussion Forums

  • If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.


Announcement Module
No announcement yet.

My pole barn project part one.

Page Title Module
Move Remove Collapse
Conversation Detail Module
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • My pole barn project part one.

    A few months ago I started a new pole barn and had planed to put a steel frame in the building to be used for unloading stuff off of trucks at the door and also to raise and lower the top off of a powder coat oven I built. Since the oven is on the back of the building and the big door was on the front wall I decided to place a beam through the shop with a roller dolly that I could use at both ends of the shop.

    After much heated discussion here and on other sites about why what I wanted to do wouldn't work for this reason or another I decided to just forget all the fussing and do what I do best and just do the job. I got delayed for several months because I had to vacate the shop I was in and I had a ton of junk, some good junk and some bad junk but I had to get it away from where it was at.

    This included a 4 post boat lift that was stationed at the site that I had to take down because the owner of the property didn't want left there. This was a very nice boat lift but it was just at the wrong place and after much work moving stuff the day finally came when all that was left was the tower. I had already climbed up on top and removed both hoist and yardarms, removed the power, and readied the structure for disassembly.

    I had talked to a couple of guys that did that type of work because I didn't have the equipment to grab on to the steel and hold it while it was cut loose in a safe manor but after talking to them both I had to throw the safety factor out the window. The cheapest estimate was $10,942.00 and he got to keep the steel that was left. I told those guys thanks but no thanks I'll do it myself and sent them on their way. Both guys said: You'll be sorry! I just told them that it would be worst if I did let them do it.

    It took several trips up and down the tower to muster the courage to make the first cut but once I made that cut I just kept going until it was on the ground. It took me three days with no help at all and two tanks of gas and 4 tanks of air to get it on the ground and another day to load it on my trailer and get it home. The highest guy said it would take him and two helpers about a week to complete the job. I know everybody has to eat but dog gone I like to eat too.

    Once I got the steel home I decided to use that steel for the beam to run the depth of the building because it was much heavier than the W19 beam I had already welded together. I used that beam or parts of it for the rest of the support members I needed to complete the job at my barn.

    I welded two of these large beams together to get the 31 foot span I needed and made a couple fish plates out of some 1/2" plate and on the mill drilled, 16, 16mm holes in each plate and then marked and drilled the holes in the beam and connected the three parts then welded it in place. I also salvaged two pieces of 3X5 I beam that was long enough to run the span that I could use as my rail for the hoist and I welded those together and then welded that to the bottom of the W8X31 main beam for the trolley to run on. I didn't weld this beam solid, I welded it at each end with about 6" of weld then I placed 3" welds every 2' and at 8' I went back to 6" and so on.

    I made a mini crane using my motor lift as a base and tied it securely in my small trailer. I then found some 2x2 sq tube and I welded several pieces together to get a 15' length and placed it into the sq tube on the lift and bolted it in place and this turned my motor lift into a 15' foot mini crane that I figured I could set my uprights and headers with. This took some rearranging and after several attempts I finally ended up with a workable solution and all 4 columns was up and bolted into place. The headers added a new challenge because they were heavier and longer and they also needed more height but I finally came up with an attachment that I installed to the end of the 2x2 box tube for the beam to sit on so I could raise it and position it on top of the columns. I placed two headers on the front wall because it has a longer span than the back wall where I just used 1. This ended one problem but opened up a whole new can of worms.

    End part one.

  • #2
    Most of the pictures I took are on my video camera and they will be harder for me to clip and post but I plan to work on that when I have time as this will be a work in progress thread.
    Attached Files


    • #3
      A couple more pictures while I have the time.
      Attached Files


      • #4
        A couple more.........
        Attached Files


        • #5

          IBC Code requires min 4 anchor bolts per post


          • #6
            Originally posted by redman3638 View Post
            IBC Code requires min 4 anchor bolts per post
            Mine only has two, but I'm not too worried about that since the first function of a base plate is to temporarily support the column from overturning due to temporary wind, earthquake, and ******** loads, and from the column getting bumped during
            ******** until the, beams are attached to "tie in" the column. Since it didn't fall down while I was putting it together and that big azz storm we had last night didn't blow it over I think I'm good.


            • #7
              Going backwards in time the first thing I had to do was clear out all the trees that were in the way. For this I used a 20' ladder, a 60' piece of 3/4" cable, nylon straps, chains and my old Bronco to pull down the trees in the way. It was slow work but in about a week the 22 or so trees that were in the way were all laying on the ground, cut up and on the firewood pile. All that was left were the big stumps and brush that I had to pile up so I could burn.

              Some of these stumps were really big and heavy and it took a lot of hard work for me and the Bronco to get out of the hole and to the place I wanted to pile them. I dragged the largest ones to the fire pile first to use as anchors for the smaller ones where I could throw a choker around and drag them to the pile. Once I got them close enough I then could hook directly to them and pull them up on top of one another until I got all of them in a nice tight ball. It wasn't easy because sometimes I would get 5 or 6 piled up and then get one stubborn one and knock the whole pile down and have to start all over again but that made me all the more determined to keep at it until they were all in the pile. Once they were piled up I let them sit there for a couple months and dry out then I waited for a day where they were calling for rain for a couple days and fired up the pile and had a barn fire that took care of all the stumps and all that is left is a bunch of ashes and charred dirt.
              Attached Files


              • #8
                You should be an engineer, I would feel so much safer on this earth.
                Would you see a world where every building are supported this way. Might not be a big deal for you, but why not do it the right way. It is so easy.
                At least 4 bolts and of 3/4 inch on each corner closer to the edge.


                • #9
                  Well it been awhile since I posted a follow up and today it raining outside so there is not much I can do out there. I was moving right along and almost to the point where I was ready to build my truss system and start the final stage of getting it under roof. I had planned to start building truss first thing Monday morning and had everything laid out and ready to go.

                  Out in the Atlantic there was a storm system that had become a Cat 2 hurricane but was not supposed to be a threat to us here in central VA so I wasn't too worried about being delayed with my plans but I was watching its progress as it raced towards the Outer Banks of NC. Our local channel 12 weather yahoo all week long was saying that here we would see little effects from the storm and the worst would be in the Hampton Roads area and we were likely to not even get winds over 25 mph and light rains.

                  Still I watched the weather and even the national weather channel was not predicting there would be any problems this far west. I did go for my usual trek to the grocery store to stock up on bread, milk, batteries 15 gals of gas for the genny just in case. Sat morning came and looking at the national weather station predictions they were calling for a probability of light rain and 15% chance of winds over 39 mph at 4:00 PM and after that 0%. The hours before that they were showing between 0% at 8: AM and by 12:00 noon they were only calling for a 5% chance of winds over 25mph.

                  The problem with that and by now it was too late to do much about it because a couple of the roads here had already been closed by falling trees blown over because the ground was soaked and the wind gusts of 60+mph. I'm looking at the radar and it was showing one giant mass of red that was almost covering our area and the storm was still centered in the Outer banks and they still had the same info on the probability page that was posted earlier and on top of that it had just been updated just 3 minutes before.

                  Iím looking out of my window and the winds were really starting to get up and the rain was coming down in buckets and it was only 1:00 PM and the worst was not supposed to get here until around 4:00 or 5:00 PM. At this point I decided I had better go retrieve my genny and chain saw from the front of the barn where I had been using them the day before just in case my eyes were seeing right. So I headed out down the drive to the barn with my lawn tractor and trailer to haul the genny and saw back to the house and about half way there a big gust blew through and this giant oak tree about 40' from the west side of the barn started to rock back and forth and all of a sudden it came crashing down right through the front corner of my barn and completely covered my tool table, genny and the saw needed to cut my way out. I can't help thinking that if I had not taken the time to go over and pet my pal Boomer on the head to help calm him down from all the noise going on out side that I too would probably be under that massive pile of crushed timber and tools.

                  My little weather station I had installed on the back porch was knocked out by a 65MPH wind blast (so much for the wind probability page on the weather site) and two more trees came crashing down beside the barn and I looked towards the house and saw the huge oak right by the front porch start to swing around like it was sitting on a merry-go-round and in a second it too was gone. It put up quite a fight though but Iím glad it finally gave up because a couple times I thought it might fall towards the house as it struggled against the 70+ mph gust of wind. Just then I heard another crash and another giant oak that was beside the house lost its whole top and I watched as it lifted skyward and started to move toward the house and I started that dance, you know the dance people do when you see something about to happen and you wave your arms run back and forth like your movements are going to change the direction of object that is about to crash into something. For a second though I thought the dance was working because it lifted higher into the air and I thought it would sail over the roof and out into the woods.

                  Then another large crash behind me brought me out of the dance mode and I saw that the really big oak that was on the other side of the barn had fallen victim also and it too was now on the ground; well not all the way on the ground it was laying across two trailers and the top was resting on my large powder coat oven that I had sitting shrink wrapped in the field waiting for the barn to be finished. The good thing was that when it fell it also landed on top of my wood pile so at least I wouldnít have far to tote it when I cut it up.LOL

                  Standing in the middle of a field watching all this seemed like an eternity to me at the time but probably only lasted a few seconds and my thoughts of seeing this large tree that had just crushed my trailers and oven were shifted once again when I heard another large crash and I looked towards the house just in time to see the last bit of that flying tree top land on the front of the house with a thud.

                  My wife was on the front porch at the time looking at the big oak that had just fallen in front of the house when the tree top hit and she said it sounded like a bomb had gone off somewhere in the house and didnít know which way to go. Just then I rounded the corner of the house and up on to the porch and she asked what the heck was that? I informed her about the tree top and as we went inside I could see water pouring down the stone wall that enclosed the fireplace and water was also coming in from one of the skylights in the ceiling. The limb was pushing on the skylight so hard I still canít believe it didnít crash in from the weight.

                  After what seemed like hours of watching and waiting for the skylight to give up the fight the winds slowed down a bit and the rain lightened up so I went out to see what was going on and could see that the big limb was pushing with all of itís weight on the skylight and decided to get my other small saw and go up and cut the limb so that the weight would shift from the skylight and spread the weight out more evenly to the other portions of the roof. Once I made a couple cuts so that the limb was lying on rather than into the roof the water quit coming in and the danger of the skylight crashing in was over.

                  After that I carried my wet butt inside and retired on to the sofa and waited the storm out. The next morning my yard looked like a war zone and what large oaks Isabel left when she went threw was taken out by this 15% probability storm that almost everybody said was going to be nothing to worry aboutÖÖ.accept my wife of-course. I donít think I will ever live this one down.

                  In all we lost another 40 to 50 big oaks in the yard and in the woods, one 5 ac hillside looks like someone took a D9 Cat on a joy ride and just turned that beautiful oak hill into a mass of twisted, broken mess and in places it looks like someone took a crane and piled up the trees in all different directions like pixy sticks. I canít even get over there to really get a good look because it will take a week of nonstop cutting just to get in there.

                  I have to rebuild one corner and the front wall of the pole barn but first I have to cut the trees away before I can really find out just what needs to be repaired. OhÖ.and that steel structure that was supposed to fall down under its own weight is still standing after taking a direct hit from the massive oak tree that took out the front of the building. It took a pretty good sideways hit from the looks of marks that were left by the tree as it landed on top and then slid down a corner post and on to the footing below.

                  My home made post anchors held up, all accept the one right at the steel post where it ripped the anchor bolt out of the concrete as the tree smashed into it and the steel post. The two anchor bolts in the steel post held there ground and are still intact with no cracks in the concrete or signs that there was any movement in the steel frame work or the beam on top. After all this I still consider myself lucky because there are several other trees that fell and could have just as easy fell the same direction as the ones that fell on the house and barn but for some reason went the other way. I lost my genny, a table saw and my chain saw that was in front of the barn but still have not uncovered all the stuff that I had stored on pallets and covered with shrink wrap sitting in wait for the barn to be finished. It will take months for me to clean up all this mess so I can find out just what all is lost.

                  Anyway, the work goes on and this is just a temp setback for my barn project. I still need to replace the well curbing and well top to the well where a tree smashed. Also a tree that was uprooted in my Koi pond also crushed the electric wire and water line to the well and will also have to be either repaired or replaced. My Koi pond was demolished and from the looks it will have to be completely redone. I did lose two of my most beautiful fish but the rest survived to face another storm at a later date. I also have water damage in several rooms and Iím not sure how that will play out. The adjuster finally got around to me this weekend but didnít seem to be all that worried about this damage but I wonder if this will cause more damage down the road. I guess Iíll get someone that does this kind of repair to look at it to see what they think.


                  • #10

                    The strongest way to reiforce a beam is to add the the top and bottom flange, The big plate offers some strength but lb for lb oyu gain more when reiforcing the flanges.

                    Here is another tip.

                    I agree with others you should have 4 anchors in your base plate, set the plate first and then weld the column plumb onto the base plate.

                    Good luck with your project.


                    Special Offers: See the latest Miller deals and promotions.