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Steel Shots: Curve Appeal
Posted by Jennifer Jernigan on March 25, 2011 at 9:53 AM.


Curved beam, in shop, with true holes. Photo: Jennifer Jernigan.



The long sweep of curved steel beams can add a lot to the appearance and the function of a structure. But there always have to be connections, and fabricating them takes on a whole new aspect when you go from working on straight pieces to working on curved ones.


Take bolt holes, for example. Today’s high-tech beam line equipment has made drilling hole patterns a lot easier and faster, to say nothing of improving accuracy. But you can’t feed a curved beam through your beam line, so it’s back to using tried and true layout skills and carefully drilling the holes one at a time. No problem, and the end result can be terrific. But all involved — from the owner, the architect, the structural engineer, the detailer, and all the way down to the person running the drill on the fabrication shop floor — have to remember that it’s going to take extra time, care and attention to do it right, just like most things that are worth doing.


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