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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Richmond Va
    Posts
    57

    Default I need to make a 20' I beam 40'

    I'm working on building a pole barn and I want to have a beam running from the big door to the back of the building. I want to be able to unload material and parts at the door and be able to either sit them on a cart if they are really heavy or just wheel them through the shop on my 1/2 ton electric chain fall that will ride on roller dolly that will be connected to this beam.

    I already have the beam I want to use and I wish it was a little heavier but it was free and I have been sitting on it a long time for just this purpose. It is a W10 that is probably in the 19 to 22 lb per foot range depending on which speck sheet you look at. I've already been called crazy for thinking about doing this but you have to understand considering what has been in use doing exactly the same thing as I am describing here for the past 30 years I can't see a problem.

    The old system in the old shop was a small light weight 4X4 I beam that was hanging from the medal truss and connected at about 10' intervals with 5/16 bolts. The beam was butt welded in several places along the run with no other support. This worked for a long time but when I put up the rail in this building I want to at least make it look like someone had some idea of what they were doing along the way.LOL

    Rather than just weld the beam in the middle where the most stress would be I plan on cutting one beam in half and making two splices where the stresses will be less. Some say weld it and forget it others say bolt it together with butt plates and some say do both. I have been searching the internet for weeks looking for information but it seems there is some sort of union the engineers have going that you have to somehow breach to find out anything. I'm a tight wad and broke on top of that so spending $150,000 to go to engineering school is not an option and it seems they want $1200 to $2000.00 to even give you the time of day.

    As I said any heavy lifting will be done where the support beams are and I don't plan on lifting a 4X4 truck and rolling it through the shop. The most use will be to lift ends of stock material to hold in place at the mill to bore holes in or at the chop or band saw when cutting stock off. This tower will be constructed out of the same beam as the top beam material is and bolted to the floor on it's own footing. I can run support braces from the upright out to about 6' without being in the way. Also once the truss system is in place I can add an upper support system from the center of the beam back to the start of the beam both ways. I can also bolt it to the truss system if I need to.

    Right now I want ideas on what would be the best way to make these connections without having to pay an engineer $1200.00 for him to tell me I'm nutz. I don't have a copy of AWS D1.1 anymore. I had one at one time but somehow it grew legs and walked and I really don't have $500 bucks right now to buy another copy. Thanks in advance for all the wonderful information I know I will receive here it is very much appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    9

    Default

    i have installed a 50' W18 at 35 pounds (2 of 25') with a splice plate of 4' x 16" x 3/4 one welded to each beam and joined with a325 structural bolt 3/4, approx. 32 bolts. this was for an occupied building between the 17th and 18th floor so this is what was asked for by the engineer.
    hope this helps

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    9

    Default

    if you need more help email me specific info on beam your using and a pic of where you plan on installing (for proper bracing) and i can ask an engineer for advice

  4. #4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mx842 View Post
    I'm working on building a pole barn and I want to have a beam running from the big door to the back of the building. I want to be able to unload material and parts at the door and be able to either sit them on a cart if they are really heavy or just wheel them through the shop on my 1/2 ton electric chain fall that will ride on roller dolly that will be connected to this beam.

    I already have the beam I want to use and I wish it was a little heavier but it was free and I have been sitting on it a long time for just this purpose. It is a W10 that is probably in the 19 to 22 lb per foot range depending on which speck sheet you look at. I've already been called crazy for thinking about doing this but you have to understand considering what has been in use doing exactly the same thing as I am describing here for the past 30 years I can't see a problem.

    The old system in the old shop was a small light weight 4X4 I beam that was hanging from the medal truss and connected at about 10' intervals with 5/16 bolts. The beam was butt welded in several places along the run with no other support. This worked for a long time but when I put up the rail in this building I want to at least make it look like someone had some idea of what they were doing along the way.LOL

    Rather than just weld the beam in the middle where the most stress would be I plan on cutting one beam in half and making two splices where the stresses will be less. Some say weld it and forget it others say bolt it together with butt plates and some say do both. I have been searching the internet for weeks looking for information but it seems there is some sort of union the engineers have going that you have to somehow breach to find out anything. I'm a tight wad and broke on top of that so spending $150,000 to go to engineering school is not an option and it seems they want $1200 to $2000.00 to even give you the time of day.

    As I said any heavy lifting will be done where the support beams are and I don't plan on lifting a 4X4 truck and rolling it through the shop. The most use will be to lift ends of stock material to hold in place at the mill to bore holes in or at the chop or band saw when cutting stock off. This tower will be constructed out of the same beam as the top beam material is and bolted to the floor on it's own footing. I can run support braces from the upright out to about 6' without being in the way. Also once the truss system is in place I can add an upper support system from the center of the beam back to the start of the beam both ways. I can also bolt it to the truss system if I need to.

    Right now I want ideas on what would be the best way to make these connections without having to pay an engineer $1200.00 for him to tell me I'm nutz. I don't have a copy of AWS D1.1 anymore. I had one at one time but somehow it grew legs and walked and I really don't have $500 bucks right now to buy another copy. Thanks in advance for all the wonderful information I know I will receive here it is very much appreciated.
    I have the D1.1 and can look up something for you, if you ask me the question.
    Facts.
    40 feet long beam.
    1/2 ton electric chain fall. (1,000 lb. load with safety factors.)
    Beam 40 feet pin to pin. 1,000 lb load.

    Would need photos of everything, and see how the support beams are
    supporting the trolly beam.

    If there is a local college around you, this is a perfect opportunity for the engineering students to work out a real life problem.
    If you just call the dean of the engineering dept. They may do this as a class project.

    The Machinery's handbook will be more useful than the D!.1 Structural welding code book. But you may need both. I would bolt things together where possible.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Richmond Va
    Posts
    57

    Default

    Thank you Johny and Donald for you thoughtful answers. I really don't have any pics to offer yet because All I have done to this point is clear my lot and grade out the building site. I have put in about half my foundation piers but that is about it. My plan is to build the steel structure first then the building around it.

    I plan to have a 11' sliding door in one end of the building and at this opening I will place two upright 12' beams with a header made out of the same beam material plated and bolted together. On the door end the opening will be 12' wide and on the back wall the opening won't be but 8' wide with the same header material with the cross beam centered in the middle. This structure will be self supporting on it's own 24" sq footing and not actually part of the building. Meaning this structure will not be supporting the roof load or tied into the wall system. My plan is though to have the top of the beam to flush out at the same height as the wall headers that the truss sit on and I have already talked to the truss people about beefing up the truss system so that if needed I can attach the beam to the truss for added support and then once the truss system is in I can piece build a medal truss like system on top of the beam to help support it's own weight and load.

    As I said all of the heavy lifting which would be mainly things like picking up a 4X8 sheet of 1/4" plate or maybe a motor off the back of a truck would be done at the door where the most support is and once unloaded on to a cart I can wheel the hoist to the back wall out of the way.

    My plan is to put up the steel frame and test it with live weight of around 500 lbs before any bracing is done to get an idea of what the actual working weight of the structure will be. I plan on loading the weight in the center of the beam in 100 lb increments until I get 500lbs in the basket or the beam starts to move to an acceptable level and at this point I'll leave it hanging for a day or two and if it doesn't fall to the ground this will be my max working weight of the structure throughout the length of the beam. If I can roll 500 lbs from one end to the other it will more than meet my expectations and goals I would never ask it to do any more.

    I like the idea about the local school thing I may look into that to see if someone may be interested. Thanks

    And Johny I have several pieces of 3/4", 1", and 1 1/2" plate laying around if needed. I have already cut several pieces of 1/2" I was going to use but if It needs to be heavier..... no problem. I have not milled the holes in the plates yet so I can use them somewhere else.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Deltaville, VA
    Posts
    2,239

    Default

    mx,

    I am a civil engineer (PE in VA,MD,NC) and I can tell you, and I'm not trying to drum up business for engineers in your area, that you need an engineer to go over and sign off on your plans.

    A 40' unsupported span, using what would at first glance appear to be an undersized I beam, to carry lifting loads, is just the first "red flag".

    Your comment about tying into the "truss structure" for additional support is something that needs to be addressed in the "planning/design stage", not after the trusses go up.

    Remember also, that any load (no matter how heavy) that is transported along this beam becomes a "live load" and things get a lot more "involved".

    You're saying that you cannot afford the services of an engineer. I'm saying you cannot not afford one.

    No disrespect is intended towards any member because I'm sure they're "trying to help", but frankly, an internet welding board is not the place to go to get definitive answers to this type problem.
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    603

    Default

    i would suggest making a post hole in the ground [on center] and fill with concrete. then use a movable pipe column with screw jack, set on concrete with screw on bottom and snug up. i did this for mine for that heavy load but never used it.good luck ,bob

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Richmond Va
    Posts
    57

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SundownIII View Post
    mx,

    I am a civil engineer (PE in VA,MD,NC) and I can tell you, and I'm not trying to drum up business for engineers in your area, that you need an engineer to go over and sign off on your plans.

    A 40' unsupported span, using what would at first glance appear to be an undersized I beam, to carry lifting loads, is just the first "red flag".

    Your comment about tying into the "truss structure" for additional support is something that needs to be addressed in the "planning/design stage", not after the trusses go up.

    Remember also, that any load (no matter how heavy) that is transported along this beam becomes a "live load" and things get a lot more "involved".

    You're saying that you cannot afford the services of an engineer. I'm saying you cannot not afford one.

    No disrespect is intended towards any member because I'm sure they're "trying to help", but frankly, an internet welding board is not the place to go to get definitive answers to this type problem.
    Thanks for the advice. The problem with forums is that it is hard for me to say what I am thinking and have it come across to others in the same manor that I am thinking. Let me try again.....The reason I need to install the truss system before I put in the overhead bracing is because once I do this I wont be able to put the truss system up, if that makes sense. I have to put the truss up then I can go in and do my overhead bracing by running them through the truss braces and back to the start of the beam where my main post supports are.

    I have already talked to the truss people and they are going to add some extra braces where they can to help out with my situation. The truss support points are more to keep the beam from moving side to side rather than keeping it from flexing downward. Actually, what I'm thinking is in effect the beam itself will be like a big truss as it will be supported from the top rather than from below if that makes any sense.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Richmond Va
    Posts
    57

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BD1 View Post
    i would suggest making a post hole in the ground [on center] and fill with concrete. then use a movable pipe column with screw jack, set on concrete with screw on bottom and snug up. i did this for mine for that heavy load but never used it.good luck ,bob
    Yes I have thought of that and I can and will before I pour my concrete for the floor put in a couple piers in several places along the way in case I ever need to lift or suspend something where I can put additional temp support if needed. As I said before, the system that was in the building I just left scares me now that I have talked to so many educated people that do this for a living. That is not a cut on the smart people here but sometimes there seems to be a disconnect between really educated people and those that have to do what they have to do to get by.LOL

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Deltaville, VA
    Posts
    2,239

    Default

    mx,

    Not to be blunt, but sometimes that's what it takes to "get thru to people".

    Frankly, the more you say, the more convinced I am, in my belief that you're in "over your head" in this project.

    The first tipoff was when you described your "testing procedure" for the beam in question. Let me just say that that was "pretty hokie" and leave it at that.

    Now you're stating that "the load will be carried by the roof trusses". That's fine, if the design of the roof trusses is a part of an "integrated design" which it isn't in this case.

    I don't know where you are, or what codes exist in your area, but I can tell you that, in VA, if a building inspector walked into a structure under construction and saw a load carrying beam (overhead trolly system) running the length of the building, there better be an engineer's stamp on those plans.

    I've said enough. Proceed as you see fit.
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