Welding room layout discussion (19 Jan deadline)

To try and move the welding room forward, we are inviting input and discussion of the room layout.

Current thinking revolves around having two extraction hoods (local exhaust ventilation (LEV)) and one or more welding bays segregated by welding curtain is required.

There is also talk of moving the current entry wall of the welding room (where the single door is) further towards the lift. In effect, this means that passing through the double doors my the milling machine would put you into the (much larger) welding space.

Below are some layouts that @Marcus6275 has put together. The metalworking team will be voting on a final design on 19 January, so please provide any comments by then.

Discussion of a topic like this is best on here, but we are also available on Telegram for simpler questions/comments.

Welding idea_mark.pdf (13.7 KB)
Welding layout Ideas_Mark.pdf (23.7 KB)
Welding&Lift.pdf (10.5 KB)

On Telegram, @Omniatus has already commented:

“In reference to the above, and considering keeping a duct run to a straight a line as possible, this would probably be the better of the two proposals, duct marked in blue. Gives us two welding bays/areas, and keeps everything out of the way, plus, I believe the back wall, bottom, is brick, so lowest flammability risk.”

Note: The flexible extraction arms only have a 1500mm reach, not 2,000mm as depicted

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Jim has also offered us use of a welding table: 1/2" slab approx 3’ x 6’, which is incredibly useful!

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Great to see progress and look forward to seeing this happen.

My first thought is about the welding curtains - if there’s curtains only on the entrance this means that two people may not be able to share that room right - because if someone starts welding when someone else is trying to line their workpiece up etc they’ll have to shield their eyes to avoid arc eye.

If someone is welding, will there be a safe way to know this so someone else doesn’t unknowingly wander in while someone is mid-weld?

It looks like the outward opening doors will interfere with the mill workstation but my memory could be wrong. If someone is using the mill and someone pushes through out of welding, could the person using the mill get hurt? The curtains may obscure the view through the door’s window.

Also - why a new door to the lift? That lift is useful when passing large tools in and out of the space as both sides can open up to allow direct unloading :slight_smile:

Mill should be fine, there’s ~1.5m clearance from the open door to the mill, and the mill work/tool bench is between the door and the operator.

Agreed on welding in progress/setup, need something between the two workstations that comes out far enough to provide shielding between bays to protect, as you say, from being lit up when not wearing a mask.

Could do with some tinted film on windows for the doors, very dark, so it’s possible to see from a distance if someone is welding before entering.

Lastly, a red light above the door could be triggered when the weld grounds connect, this is often done in industry, where by the welding earth only falls to ground when the welder is running, so, a basic transistor circuit will pull to ground when the earth is active, so this could be used to “light the light”?

Excellent uestions!

I think the plan is for some movable curtains. We think there will be few users, but if there are two people in the space, they can segregate themselves with the moveable screens.

Yep, plan is for an ‘on-air’ type sign in metalworking, although the risk is that people forget to turn this on/leave it on/it breaks

something to bear in mind. The mill isn’t butting right up to the doors. I will have a test when I’m next in.

I don’t quite follow but I’ve never really explored that part of the space. Are you saying we’d need to bring large tools in through that door?

To clarify a little on the lift.

The wall is needed to provide a barrier from the fumes, currently the existing wall does this but if we want to increase the size/access of welding we’d need to relocate the wall.

The door would be so that if required access can be given for maintenance, this door would be locked from our side, would also mean that we can remove our current padlock from the lift so landlord can’t claim we’ve tampered with their lift.

As for moving machines/equipment, before everything was limited by the double doors between the lobby and metalwork anyway, and those doors were/are the same size as the doors at the front so no reason why we can’t remove things out the front entrance in future.

I would say, where possible, to have double doors to the lift, would mean it’s not overly obstructed, and still allows use of it to its full extent?

my vote is too knock a bigger door in and put them welding curtains up. This would limit the fumes to the welding room and we can keep the wall and front doors to the lift.

Isn’t the problem people are having is that the current door is too small for big stuff.

The argument for moving the wall (or one of them) is that knocking a new door in would be as much work as moving the entire wall, as you’d need accro props to stop the whole thing collapsing while you fit a new double-width lintel.

Would that be same for a arch with a horizontal plank
Hang the curtain’s from that
Keep the current double door as fire door and use the room as a large booth
Ps I’ve got a cinder saw if that helps

you might need to sketch this out as i’m not sure what you mean, to be honest

I was thinking of a lintel.

The wall with the existing double doors is remaining, the one that’s moving is the one with the single door into the welding area as it stands, to make the whole area for welding, that wall will be easier to remove than to change the lintel from a single width to a double width.

Red is existing, purple will be new:

If we made the doorway bigger, would welding curtains be sufficient for stopping fumes? The ones I bought are just hanging (hook on) strip curtains. I can find suppliers saying they can help limit noise and heat transfer but nothing for fumes, though I guess its assumed the user will have sufficient extraction anyway?

A cinder saw isn’t necessary btw, you could probably cut these breeze blocks with a cheese knife, they’re really brittle, which also means they make loads of dust and will just fall apart if you look at them funny.

If we don’t move the wall then we’ll need to do some modifications to tie it to the exterior wall as well. Its currently just bricked up to the wood that’s screwed to the brick, so their is a gap ~5cm up the wall. We have other areas that need gaps filling so not a massive issue it’ll just be part of the to-do list.

Something else to add is the possible costs of what we decide. If we make the doorway larger then we’ll need a lintel, which will be around £24 so not expensive. If we move the wall then we’ll only need extra mortar and sand as we have all the bricks and a spare lintel available already.

with that a double lintel and curtains would be a nice middle ground. if curtains and fume exstraction alone are good enough for industry there good enough for us.
but as a fire door a cutain isnt, the double door would then be the fire door.
thats my vote. ill be supportive of the final verdict

The problem (as I understand it) would be that installing the double lintel where the single one currently is would require us to support the wall somehow while we enlarged the hole. And I believe that completely dismantling the wall and rebuilding it 3 meters to the left with a double lintel in would be only slightly more work, and gives us a welding area that’s vastly bigger – pretty much 100% bigger.

I’m currently in the process of fitting the double fire doors between the lobby and metalwork (needed a electric planer) so they’re being fitted regardless. I assume they are the doors Alex is referring too? I’m not 100% sure on what the rules would be with the lift lobby as smoke from fire is also something we have to control? So if the curtains melt away then the smoke from the fire would be free to flow up the lift shaft? My understanding is we need the welding room to be a contained fire zone that is also isolated from the lift shaft.

I don’t think we need a double door in front of the lift, I can’t currently think of anything we have at the moment that wouldn’t fit through the front doors thus needing the lift. The door is only for Northern during maintenance, otherwise I’d propose fully bricking it up. If we needed the full access when we leave the space then we could just knock down the wall. Also we don’t have any double fire doors left so we’d have to buy some. I believe the existing single door is a fire door though I’ve not checked, if its not then that would obviously need to be replaced.

I don’t know if supporting the existing wall is 100% necessary but I’d strongly suggest anybody modifying it if we do fit a double lintel, fully supports the wall as we know how poorly the walls are built elsewhere…

I’ll change my view on this - block the lift up totally. Make it simple.

  • Has Northern ever demanded access to the lift from our side? I see no reason why they would specifically require access to our side instead of the other side.

  • Is there anything in our lease requiring access to the lift?

I was going to say we need to keep that wide loading bay, but given the metalwork double doors, and the new doors you’re already putting in before the vote, any large loading will already be restricted. So there is no benefit any more in keeping large loading available.

So just block the lift up. Leave a suitable gap between the lift doors and the new wall in the event that the lift doors on our side needs maintenance. If this does happen, the lift engineers can open both sets of doors and walk through.

The old double acting doors that were there originally are smaller than the ones I’m replacing them with… hence why I’ve said access though the lift wasn’t any more beneficial than just using the front entrances

The double acting have moved to the snackspace doorway fyi.

I can’t say as to whether Northern need access from our side, the plan would be to leave at least a meter for access between the lift and the wall anyway.

I’d leave it as an accessible area with a single door then, Northern may require accessibility permanently, much easier opening a door, than having to pull a wall down on demand.

It is their building, and if the lift is a means of external access there might be accessibility requirements in the lease as well.