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  1. #1
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    Default Should I turn my steel I-Beam into slab racking?

    Hello,

    Most of my timber goes in a vertical rack. But it's pretty full, has a max height of 2.4 metres, and it's pretty shallow too, so not really suitable for slabs. I've got a few rough sawn slabs that are 3000x500x45, and I've enjoyed working with it, so will buy more like this in the future.

    IMG_1338.jpg

    The structural I-Beam (see photo) across the ceiling in the workshop looks like a perfect spot for it. It spans 4.7 metres, and is obviously very sturdy.
    What's the simplest way I can safely turn that into a simple rack for slabs?

    I reckon a few lengths of 50x25 Gal RHS welded to underside of the beam at ~ 450 or 600mm centres would be fine. It could then be lined with some yellow tongue to get a flat base, and there'd probably be enough headroom to sticker up 4-5 slabs up there.

    That would be a cantilevered shelf, with maybe 250kg loaded on it... So probably a good idea to tie it into the ceiling with a couple of upright supports too.

    Any other ideas?

    Also: welding is somewhat problematic. I don't have a welder, don't want to buy one, and this is the type of task that I know is pretty hard to get help with. It's too annoying for mates, and it's too small and annoying for proper tradespeople!

    Whaddaya think?

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  3. #2
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    Default

    Get an engineer check it for you re additional load on the beam, if the engineer certifies it, go ahead after you have the certification and design drawings, if he doesn't your insurance policy isn't worth the paper its written on.
    I don't care how many people will tell you its ok, I'm telling you the raw facts and how insurance companies deal with this scenario, go check for yourself
    The person who never made a mistake never made anything

    Cheers
    Ray

  4. #3
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    doing your due diligence that RWbuild mentions above.

    if you don't own a welder just drill through the web and bolt your supports on.

  5. #4
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by rogerwilco View Post
    Whaddaya think?
    Always good to ask around . Your going to get list Of "NO WAY" on this .
    Not a good idea. There's a long list of reasons why.

    Hanging things by unknown welds is the first big no no . Altering a structural piece of a building, car, trailer, where the possibility of failure could cause loss of life isn't a good idea.

    Get an idea of steel construction and buy a welder and play and you will then get to understand how steel holds and lets go as well . With a bit of playing and understanding how one inch of weld can hold a ton You could build a rack that could hold slabs up that high with its own legs either side of the shed and over engineer it . A bit of truss building . Web truss maybe .

  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by rwbuild View Post
    Get an engineer check it for you re additional load on the beam, if the engineer certifies it, go ahead after you have the certification and design drawings, if he doesn't your insurance policy isn't worth the paper its written on.
    I don't care how many people will tell you its ok, I'm telling you the raw facts and how insurance companies deal with this scenario, go check for yourself
    It's good advice. I believe you, and I'm not a rogue, that's why I'm asking.

    I've had structural engineer at the house before, when we did major renovations. It's not that big of a deal to go through that process... But it definitely changes it from a fast and simple solution, to one that takes months and costs a few thousand dollars. At which point, it becomes a no go. It'd make more sense to either not buy slabs, process them into boards that are easier to store, or store slabs at another location for a fee.

  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by auscab View Post

    Hanging things by unknown welds is the first big no no . Altering a structural piece of a building, car, trailer, where the possibility of failure could cause loss of life isn't a good idea.

    Get an idea of steel construction and buy a welder and play and you will then get to understand how steel holds and lets go as well. With a bit of playing and understanding how one inch of weld can hold a ton You could build a rack that could hold slabs up that high with its own legs either side of the shed and over engineer it . A bit of truss building . Web truss maybe .
    This is exactly why I don't want to buy a welder! There's enough to learn with wood, I don't wanna learn another medium.
    And I absolutely agree about hanging things from unknown welds. That's exactly the reason why I took the angle grinder out, and cut off some half-arsed racking that was already there. It wasn't big enough for a slab, and I wouldn't have trusted it for a second. It was the work of the previous owner. I'm not a welder, but I know a crap weld when I see one. Cloudy blobby metal, not fused properly, and very flimsy looking. I was proven right when it only took a few strokes of the grinder to cut them out.

    Thanks for playing Auscab!

  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by rogerwilco View Post
    This is exactly why I don't want to buy a welder! There's enough to learn with wood, I don't wanna learn another medium.
    There is a lot that is very much the same with steel and wood. Welding is just like learning about the Glue between two parts of steel work . Learning that opens up amazing possibilities for doing basic workshop stuff that will make your woodwork workshop better.
    A stick welder and an angle grinder is what I started with . It does then grow from that of course If you want it to.

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