Construction in the welding area (plan of action)

Construction has now begun in the welding area.

This post is an attempt to list out the jobs that need doing, so that members can autonomously tackle work, if they want to, without having to ask or be told what needs doing.

@Marcus6275 has a good sense of the finer points, but the general plan is to move the current wall (along with its single door) towards the lift doors.

This involves:

  • Dismantling the current wall
  • Saving as many blocks as possible and knocking the mortar off
  • Removing the pink and black wood sheet cladding from the far wall of the lift area (there are complications here)
  • Removing the yellow painted wood cladding that covers some of the walls higher up
  • Rebuilding the wall, using salvaged blocks, in its new location

Plan of new layout

Temporary location of welding gear in main storage area

Wall dismantling
I will be starting this on Wednesday 9 Feb, hopefully starting in the afternoon to complete that evening. Additional hands would be very welcome. We must remember that the wall separating the (current) metalwork room is slightly set inwards towards the lift. Here is a photo from inside the current lift area:

You can see the reveal at the top of the wall. When looking from inside the current “welding” room, we can see the lintel of the double doors and some electrical installation. We will have to cut down the wall (red line), leaving a reveal one block wide when viewed from this side:

I’ve also photographed the wooden cladding so we can see what needs removing. Some of it has electrical/fire installations interfering with it. We’ll have to work around that as we encounter it.

This all slightly simplifies some of the issues, but hopefully it provides a good overview. Please do contribute wither here or in person where you can. Especially the building of the wall will be a 2-3 person job minimum, so we’ll probably look to do it over a weekend.


The flourescent light holder can easily be moved, would suggest we move it to the wall against metalworking temporarily and find a tube for it.
I need to sort out ordering some spare tubes in the next week or so. The rest of the conduit can be left by the looks of that diagram.

If needed, I can drop in any evening next week

I’ve created a Doodle poll so we can workout when is best to re-build the wall. You can select as many days as you’re free and identify any that are “yes if need be”
Please put your name and telegram handle so we know who you are.

We expect the re-build will take at least two days and require minimum two people each day. We need someone to take lead for both days so if you’re happy to please ‘vote’ below to help us plan. Also if you have experience building walls please let us know, any and all help will be appreciated.

Want to lead the building work? (attendance required for all build days)
  • Yes

0 voters

We have a few other areas that need brickwork doing so they will be likely done at the same time as the welding wall, details will follow once dates are set and a team has been agreed.

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Update post wall demolition

Thanks to Mike and Ray the wall separating the welding room and the lift lobby has been knocked down. The door and blocks have been salvaged and can be used towards building the new wall. Once the block work was removed the wood panelling that crossed both rooms along the exterior wall was removed by Mike, Ben and myself. Only a small amount of the wood panelling remains by the VA wall that needs cutting back.

Next task

The next step is to remove the metal trucking by the lift door. This currently only serves to contain our own wiring for a light, so Ben will be disconnecting it soon and it will be re-routed to better suit the room.


For the welding room we will need to build two walls. The main one will be by the lift door and a second one is required by the VA wall due to large gaps between the current wall and the exterior wall. Both of these have been marked out with red paint that should align with the centre of the wall. For the VA wall there should be an overlap of at least half a block.

Other brickwork jobs

The partition wall between Large projects and the main area / Parkspace doorway needs a bit of pointing work / touch-ups.

The toilet area by large projects needs a wall building to separate the sink from the storage, since this sink is intended to be used for cleaning paint brushes and other non-food items it is likely to be rather messy. A request was made to the board for enough mortar materials to build a wall 1.5m high. We are currently still awaiting confirmation of the welding extraction which will be exiting the space via this area and will likely affect any walls built up to the ceiling. Again a red line has been painted to show the centre of the wall

Could we pour some self levelling, if we have any, into the corner in Weldy?
Just thinking to get rid of the slope on the floor in that corner a bit?

PS: I cleaned the grid outside where the sink drain goes to as it was overflowing with muck and leaves, and saturating the wall with damp. I slipped a piece of metal behind the downspout too as it wasn’t lined up with the grid, and had been badly cut to make it fit around the brickwork causing water to flow around the grid, as well as into it.

We can try, we have several 25kg bags of the stuff. The height difference is quite a bit, Mike estimates 5". The alcove was going to be gas storage and since those large bottles aren’t much use for welding I was going to use them as compressed air receivers and build the air compressor stuff there where its a bit more out of the way. So its not going to have loads of foot traffic into the alcove. The floor does have some holes and its a bit uneven so would benefit from having those filled if possible.

Cheers :slight_smile:

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Might be worthwhile breaking some of the floor out around the shallow edges to give a self levelling compound some depth, running to a thin taper often causes it to break away.

Those cylinders are usually rated to 200 bar, in some case 300 bar, however, be mindful that they are owned by the gas company labelled, be that BOC, or Air Products, for example, and if we are found to be in possession of them with no contract, and using them other than for their intended purpose, we could become liable for the cost of them, if they deem them to be damaged, or no longer fit for purpose, solely because we are in possession of them at the time.

BOC regularly serve charges by court order for damaged cylinders at a charge of £2k per cylinder.

I’ve just added some times to the Doodle. I think we might be looking at a few shorter sessions rather than one big weekend. I can always be fairly flexible during the weeks, so let’s stay in touch about that.

Looks like Ben needs to move the conduit first, then we can start with the build.

@Omniatus are you saying that if we contact BOC, they’d come and collect the cylinders?

Possibly, or Air Products, whoever’s label is on the cylinder, they’re both part of the Air Liquide group now, but are usually helpful.

I appreciate the potential use, in comparison to buying air receivers, that will need timed venting to remove moisture accumulation, but, better to get something off them to say they aren’t bothered, than enter into a contract at a later date, and receive a bill.

Edit: That’s something that needs to be considered actually, unless we have an air dryer, and I don’t mean the little inline collectors, with lubricators, an actual mains powered desiccant dryer, then the cylinders will eventually fill with water, which may end up travelling around the system.
A method to combat this is to invert the cylinders, however, a larger diameter pipe section with an auto vent/drain will need including to allow the moisture to be vented from the system.

Another quick update

The metal trucking has been removed so the wall can now be built. The wall should cover the hole in the wall. It wasn’t possible to fully remove the trucking as a stubborn screw was holding it in place and was covered by the bricks so I couldn’t get a good angle to remove it, the angle grinder did the trick though.

I believe Ben intends to finish off the conduit tomorrow for the light, it is currently re-installed on the lift lintel. The fire alarm needs to be on our side of the wall so that needs to be considered when building the upper parts of the wall.

Building the Wall

I believe there isn’t anything stopping us starting to build the walls now. For the positioning of the door to the lift, I recommend spacing it one meter from the wall which works out as one full block from the corner before it angles over to the wall

Gas bottles

Since this could cause a headache for the space if someone want to take ownership of contacting the relevant people/companies and finding out what needs to happen we’d appreciate it. There are two bottles (two pics of each to try get clear photos of the labels)
Pics for reference:

Cheers Mark and Ben. On the door location, what might be easier (intuitively) is to place is a set no. of bricks from the left wall (say 2) for simplicity, then cut the bricks to shape/length on the right, seeing as you’re cutting them all at an angle anyway.

Just so everyone knows, I’ll kick this off on Weds. Depending on who else can help, I’ll probably start by marking out all three walls and hopefully building them 2 courses high. I might not have a car on the day, so I’ll be limited in how much stuff I can bring, but I have one of those mortar mixing trays which is really useful.

I might be able to look into the bottles, but we’ll see.

One more thing, do we have the wall ties (L-brackets) and wire mesh in the space? And I dunno where the plasticiser has gone…

I have a few days off from Thurs so I’m planning to get down then. I do have a car, are there any tools that would be especially helpful?

@stephen If you’re about on Thursday, I could come in and we could work on it together. Two of us would work a lot faster than one. I think we’re OK for tools and materials, bar the sand and cement, which I’ll pick up.

Let me know when you think you’d be free. I’ll still be in the space on Weds at some point – maybe also on Tues, depending

I’d prefer to avoid contacting either BOC, Air Products, or Air Liquide myself as I have an existing contract with them, and it could become contentious, but a quick email saying we have cylinders on premise that were left by the previous occupants would do.

Be wary though, if we intend to keep the MIG welding gas cylinder, if it still contains gas, it needs to be hidden, as they’ll seize anything belonging to them when they come on site if they wish to collect.

@stephen and I started work on the walls today. After a bumpy start (I bought the wrong sand), we kicked off by getting the two walls in the welding room to 5 courses high.

Good from far, but far from good! Anyway, they’re basically plumb and level. Once we got going, we got a pretty good system. If you stick with this system, a two-person team can do five courses in an hour, I’d say.

We found that wetting the bricks worked best by dunking them in water and brushing/splashing them using a soft brush. We used the pink bucket with about 6 inches of water in.

We mixed the mortar 3:1 using a transparent plastic box as a measure. The wall near the lift required a double measure (2 boxes of cement, 6 boxes of sand) and the smaller wall required one quantity (1 of cement, 3 of sand).

We tied the new wall to the existing wall every two courses and ran mesh along the course where we did that.

I can come in and continue the work on Wednesday afternoon/evening. Feel free to shout if you have specific questions about technique. We got a lot better as we went on, but there’s some unevenness. I found it hard to keep the newly built courses in line with the existing brickwork in some areas. And on the lift wall, the right-hand part is about 10mm below the left-hand part. We tried to correct that by building thicker mortar beds. Hopefully we can fix it by the time we get to the lintel.

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I keep remembering things:

  • On the lift wall, we have written the brick sizes on the bottom course, which you can consult when cutting bricks. On the other wall, the courses contain one full brick (620mm) and one half brick (310mm). Do not cut the full bricks in half! Use rough/broken bricks to get your 310s.
  • The bricks on the right-hand side of the lift wall want cutting at an angle. That angle is set on a sliding bevel gauge in the room.
  • The lift wall, if you carry it on up, will hit some pipework. This is a known issue and we’re thinking about it!

Couple photos from last night showing progress so far

Update on Welding Room

Lift wall

Only the ‘ceiling’ blocks are left to lay. Once that is done the door can be fit and any final touch-up/pointing can be done.

The ledge that will be created by the block ceiling wont be suitable for storage though

VA wall

This wall now only needs the final touch-ups as there are still some gaps that need filling


Spent this afternoon fitting the door trim and welding curtains. They now cover the doorway so metalwork users aren’t at risk of Arc Eye when the doors are opened. The curtains do overlap by one rung either side and the creases should fall out over time.

Remaining tasks are to fit the right side door handle and automatic door closers


Could we fit a narrow strip of aluminium along the top rebate of the frame so the shootbolts on the doors work? I have some 20mm that could be used, in WG, but I have a feeling it’s a bit too wide…