Engineering puzzle

Our work demands a lot of engineering to make things work. Years of experience has allowed us to get good at this unique task. Our rule is that anything that people can go under, into or over requires an engineering professional to check and approve our plans. Even if our pieces don’t need a proper stamped and approved drawings they still require lots of structure, thought and planning. All need a sturdy welded steel frame, mounting base and lifting/tie down hard points. These have to be carefully thought out before the first piece of steel is cut and welded. Balance points and centers of gravity also need to be considered because all of our pieces have to be safely moved through the shop, transported to a distant worksite and then set into place and permanently fastened down. Doing all of this in a seamless and professional manner is imperative.

More often than not there are difficult challenges and hurdles along our journey. The Catoro Cafe is definitely one of those jobs. The trees were built flat on their backs to speed the construction process. Today, we tipped the heavy pieces (ranging from 1,500 - 2,500 lbs) on edge for transport. They will bolted back to back for stability. Once they are offloaded from the trailer we will move them singly, from a parking lot, around a city block and through a man door. Sloped sidewalks and walkways, potholes, bus shelters and other surprises will undoubtable make that process tricky. Slow and steady will rule the day. Then, once inside the building they will be rolled on their backs and finally tipped vertically into position against a wall and then securely bolted to a concrete floor. To accomplish all of this we fabricated sturdy steel frames with removable dolly wheels on two sides which were bolted to the tree halves. We’ll erect two scaffolds and beams and use twin manual winches to do the heavy lifting. A practice run today made us confident we’ve solved most of the challenges. Tomorrow we load the pieces and tools onto the trailers. The real thing happens Wednesday morning. Stay tuned…

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Dan SawatzkyComment