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A Construction Story

The following true story is another entry in the Working Outside Contest. I hope Jeri was paid well for what seems to have been a dangerous construction job in bad weather. Here is his description...


I have worked outside for a significant percentage of my life. I was working as a painter in Ann Arbor, Michigan, when I received a call from a friend and fellow member of the "construction junkies," a loose knit group of people whose raison d'etre was to help each other in whatever enterprise we found involved in building or building maintenance. Dave was doing a job in West Bend, Wisconsin, which was a large bank.

The red iron and poured concrete floors were in place and our part was to "flesh out" the building with eighteen gauge, galvanized parapet steel and then to clad the building with aggregate paneling. The first part of the job was to affix sections of steel studs with top plates and bottom plates and weld them to the red iron and to each other. Eighteen gauge galvi is very touchy to weld because of its light gauge you can burn through it in just a few seconds of not paying attention and the gas emitted from each weld is highly poisonous. In addition, this was in the winter in Wisconsin.

We used a crane to lift the sections in place and my partner (a female person!) and I stood in "buckets" at the tip of the crane to guide them into place, then weld them together. The aggregate panels were then lifted into place and affixed using Teknon screws. The panels were pre-drilled and we covered the screw heads with a mixture of epoxy resin and fine aggregate.

Buckets at the tip of a crane? Fresh air and danger have their appeal I guess.

If you have your own story of working, doing business, or making money in any other way, you can send it to me. If I put it on the site I'll email you an e-book (I'll let you choose from several that I publish). Alternately you can subscribe to the Unusual Ways newsletter (the form is to the right) and watch for the next contest.

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