Holiday? What Holiday?

Way back in the month of May the 20′ trans-beam got welded up with hooks on the ends, a D-Ring hanging pin (that was too small for the massive hook it flies from), and a weight test with only 150lbs per side. The picture below shows the curve that little amount of weight put on the steel bar. In response, another six foot length of bar was welded to the center- this took out the bend. With many passes of welding I filled the gap between the bars and ground the whole thing smooth. The bar then was sequestered away in the PonyCar garage, where salt would drop from my clothes as I stepped over it to turn on/off the compressor, causing rust burns on the steel.

Yesterday another weight test was done, now that I know the final weights for each side- and the reinforced pole couldn’t take the full weight. I had thought the day would be weight check, then chasing, then clear-coating: then bike-ride! Instead the day went on till nearly 8pm, and then till 3pm today.
I had one 16′ length of round stock steel of medium width (1″) remaining. I cut a ten foot section and welded it from the center out to the end of the arm, then reinforced that section by welding the remaining 6′ to the bottom from the center hook out. I treated these welds differently than the smooth/filled weld of May. I ran a 3″ bead every foot, then went back to the center and filled in the highest stress areas, but left all the new welds un-chased.
Then it was a run to Home Depot for the largest diameter & longest steel rod they carried (3/4″ x 36″) to weld toward the other end. The steel shifted just a hair and wound up pulling the pole off center. The next piece was welded from the center toward that end, and I shifted the tail end to pull things back into line. With weight added the low keel of additional rod doesn’t allow bending, so the form shifts on its side a bit to allow flexation- but it holds the weight with no problem.
I replaced the D-ring with a much larger unit, then cut the brake from the old D-ring and beefed it up and welded it in place. This brake keeps the heavier end from dropping too low/the lighter end from hitting the ceiling. I also welded a nut to each end (one on top of the trans-bar, the other on the other ends butt) for adding counter-weights if necessary.
Then I ground the whole thing clean over three long hours. wow. longer than I had thought. Then I clear coated it, and now it is taking up both the shop and the studio, curing out.
If I have the time I will reorder all the parts, and have a new trans-pole delivered of Cold-Rolled steel (which is more rigid than Hot-Rolled- if they even carry it in a large enough diameter). Start to finish of just stripping down the metal rod and hooks, then welding, grinding it clean and clear-coating would be about 3 10-hour days. And who knows if the cold-rolled would bear up anyway. But the deadline is bearing down, so we’ll see how everything else goes. When I look at a calendar and think a bit, it seems I’ll be using this “improved” trans-pole.


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