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General steel erecting.

This job nearly got me a long rest in with the nurses. I was working for a small engineering company that did a lot of structural engineering, most of it was pretty mundane stuff, this particular one was just a fire escape to a first floor flat. But we used to fabricate and then fit, so quite often it meant a day out, sometimes at a pub, but unfortunately not always, this was as I said just some flats in the making.

I arrived with my apprentice and as was usual you just got stuck in, obviously the quicker it went up the longer was lunch. I got the face plate up and marked it off for half a dozen rawl bolts, then back up the tower with one of those immensely wonderful German percussion drills, to drill three-quarter inch holes straight into the wall. Well I had drilled most likely only two when this guy came running out from the down stairs flat literally screaming and swearing, he was so out of control we could not in truth understand what he was saying, I don't think at the time, he could actually speak two words coherently. Anyway, the gist of it was "Come and see what you've done".

So we duly followed him inside where he pointed and spluttered at the inside wall, and at what was lying on the floor in front of it. He was the plasterer, and had just spent God only knows how long plastering this wall, the vibrations of my wonder drill had shaken the wall so much that the plaster had literally slid down the wall and folded up like a carpet on the floor. Well, I should have been all solemn and apologetic, but no, not me, I just lost it, I was in hysterics. It was without doubt one of the funniest things I had ever seen, about half a ton of wet plaster neatly folded like a rug on the floor. Of course that's not the response he wanted and things got steadily worse, the saving grace was I was a steel worker and a lot wider than him, so for all his rage he just couldn't bring himself to stick one on me, and funnily enough, even when he was thinking about it, I still couldn't stop laughing what with him in apoplexy and his plaster, eventually he had no choice but to calm down, and then strangely enough he started laughing too, laughter is infectious isn't it. After that he let us put up the fire escape and then re did his plastering....