used that you do not understand, ask someone to
explain it or look it up in the manuals and publications
available to you.
Steelworkers are required to lay out and fabricate
steel plate and structural steel members. Assignments
you can expect to be tasked with include pipe layout
and fabrication projects of the type required on a tank
farm project. Plate layout procedures are similar to
those for sheet metal (see chapter 2). There are some
procedures of plate fabrication however, that are
fundamentally different, and they are described in this
chapter. Steelworkers are also tasked to construct and
install piping systems designed to carry large
quantities of liquids for long distances.
FABRICATING PLATE AND
Steel plate is much thicker than sheet steel and is
more difficult to work with and form into the desired
shapes. Before fabricating anything with steel, you
must take into consideration certain factors and ensure
they have been planned for. First, ensure adequate
lighting is available to enable you to see the small
marks you will be scratching on the steel. Second,
ensure all tools you need are available and accessible
at the work area. Also, ensure you have an accurate
field sketch or shop drawing of the item to be
LAYOUT OF STEEL PLATE
When laying out steel plate, you should have the
an adequate scale, such as a
combination square with a square head, an accurate
protractor, a set of dividers, a prick punch, a center
punch, and a ball peen hammer.
When layout marks are made on steel, you must
use a wire brush to clean them and remove the residue
with a brush or rag. Then paint the surface with a
colored marking compound. Aerosol spray is very
good because it allows the paint to fall only in the areas
to be laid out and also because it produces a thin coat
of paint that will not chip or peel off when lines are
When appropriate, the layout lines can be drawn
on steel with a soapstone marker or a similar device.
However, remember that the markings of many of
these drawing devices can burn off under an oxygas
flame as well or be blown away by the force of oxygen
from the cutting torch. These conditions are
undesirable and can ruin an entire fabrication job. If
using soapstone or a similar marker is your only
option, be sure to use a punch and a ball peen hammer
to make marks along the cut lines. By connecting the
dots, you can ensure accuracy.
Plan material usage before starting the layout on
a plate. An example of proper plate layout and material
usage is shown in figure 3-30. Observe the material
used for the cooling box. It will take up slightly more
than half of the plate. The rest of the material can then
be used for another job. This is only one example, but
the idea is to conserve materials. An example of poor
layout is shown in figure 3-31. The entire plate is used
up for this one product, wasting material, increasing
the cost and layout time of the job.
The layout person must have a straight line or
straightedge that he or she refers all measurements to.
This straightedge or line can be one edge of the work
that has been finished straight; or it can be an outside
straight line fastened to the work, such as a
straightedge clamped to the work. Once the reference
line has been established, you can proceed with the
layout using the procedures described in chapter 2.
When the layout is complete, the work should be
checked for accuracy, ensuring all the parts are in the
Figure 3-30.Proper plate steel cooling box layout.
Figure 3-31.Improper plate steel cooling box layout.