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Thread: made a stage

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Texas
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    52

    Default 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. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    Los Angeles
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    Default

    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.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Central California Coast
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    Default

    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.
    :~ATTITUDE MAKES THE DIFFERENCE!!!:

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Texas
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    Default

    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?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    nj
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    Default

    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.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    16919 Pole Rd. Brethren, MI 49619
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    4,395

    Default

    Put a couple little shims on the feet?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    The Colorado Gas Patch
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    185

    Default

    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..
    Steve

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    And a forklift to move the heavy stuff with..

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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Texas
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    Default

    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.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
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    nj
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    Default

    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.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    16919 Pole Rd. Brethren, MI 49619
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    4,395

    Default

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

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