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Tool Talk Discussion Forum

Re: My First Day At Hobart

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Author  [Modern View]
Billy NY

11-27-2012 12:38:36

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Lanse, great pictorial view and narrative of your current affairs! It sounds like you are pleased with the course you have planned out and are now actually navigating LOL ! Thats a good thing at your age, because before you know it, those school days will pass. High for some is tolerable or enjoyable, for others as you describe, but it was a necessity, and you completed it. I will agree, college or vocation of choice is much more palatable!

More specifically, though blueprint reading may appear to be mundane, it is an absolute requirement to master in many ways, for you most likely its fabrication. I would embrace it and master it, very important to be "fluent" or "literate" in reading blueprints. I could go on a long time about it, but in short, obviously plans/blueprints describe/illustrate in more than sufficient detail to fabricate, construct or build something, maintaining a constant for all involved, so they work from the same plans, and build as detailed. One of the key elements of performing this task is checking dimensions, "COORDINATION" of dimensions, details and so on. It would be desirable for one to learn how to methodically look at plans and check for errors, mis-coordination (no such word LOL)and be able to bring that to the attention of superiors before costly mistakes are made. This skill is invaluable and transferable to many other trades, disciplines, and management, which adds to your inventory of marketable/transferable skills, it one that contributes to your versatility, or so I firmly believe.

I'll give you a case and point, construction mind you but nonetheless, its all the same in theory and reality, just different materials, construction and methodology.

I was a project manager on a new small 9 story residential building in Manhattan, the building was constructed of structural steel, reinforced masonry, reinforced concrete and precast concrete plank for the floors. At the onset of the project, bid packages are arranged and sent out to prospective bidders, design documents like blueprints/building plans etc. Bids are eventually awarded, once that was the case for the precast supplier, the first question out of my mouth is when can I expect shop drawings, (their take on what they need to fabricate, based on design documents). They are to submit these shop drawings for approval by the architect/structural engineer of record as well as any mechanical designer to be sure all designers approve. Once approved, they are returned to the supplier, released for fabrication, by people like yourself, in this case a precast concrete plant. Same goes for structural steel, they refer to shop drawings or the task of doing so as detailing, very important these shop drawings are coordinated, dimensions correct and so on.

Fast forward to the 9th floor, I have a 250 ton crane set up on 9th ave, with a 5 hour restricted window to erect a 100'x 100' deck, 19,000lb picks on average, city of new york dot would only allow this much time to close a lane. Very tight, no room for errors at all. We go to erect several pieces of full plank, as they are raised, it becomes plainly obvious that one end of the plank has no bearing wall, steel or anything, hanging in the breeze. The engineer of record, missed this detail, architect may not be looking at the structural aspect unless it effects something architecturally. The submitted shop drawings were not reviewed systematically, completely by a competent engineer, (honestly, the man was a jerk). It got past me, as I am an expert at this, but was far too busy to do it and relied on the designers, rightfully so. So now I have to stage the pieces where the building can take the load, call the precast outfit and coordinate a detail for bearing with this jerk of an engineer, get that all calculated, checked out, approved, bring the crane and erecting crew back for an extra erecting phase, ALL at additional cost, when said and done, over 20K. Things happen, but it really pays to root these things out before action is taken, work executed etc. Nowadays C.A.D. and all the 3D modeling and similar software makes it easier to review and look into a set of plans, very important function in so many areas of industry, thought I would share that to portray an example of how critical it can be to master or at least be good at reading plans, might impress a boss, customer or what have you and the best source of this information is always or most likely a field person performing the work or say a detail orientated super whom was doing the work at one time. Its actually very satisfying to catch mistakes before they happen, and is why a person whom is good at reading plans can be extremely valuable on complicated projects or fabrication jobs.

Good Luck with all that you are doing, your posts are always a lot of fun to read and watch !

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