Square to Round Monday

Happy Monday! The humidity has arrived in the fabrication shop, as the rains continue here in the Northeast. The floors are coated with a perfect glaze of condensation from the annoying Spring weather patterns. Rain is getting tiresome. Frustrating, but not something to get worked up over. Air conditioning to the rescue!

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We move on. HVAC sheet metal fabrication stops for no weather! The square to rounds must go on!

We are busy and the name of the game today is square to round fabrication. Our shop is limited in the fact that we don’t currently have a spot welder for assembling our square to round fittings. We rivet them. Why not weld? Valid Question. One that many of you fabricators may be asking.

Truth be told, I’ve had different spot welders over the years and have never been thrilled with the results. Collars were continually popping off in the field, making it harder for our customers to get their job done efficiently. So we began riveting, which does take longer, but there is no worrying about failure in the field.

I am aware that a water cooled spot welder would be the way to go. However, it’s just not in the budget at this time. We invested heavily in equipment over the last few years and the focus is on managing that debt. We will get there.

The picture below shows multiple flat stock body patterns of square to round duct fittings after being cut on the plasma table. They are marked to start the bending process.

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Collars for the round portion of the fittings have been built, ready for installation after the guys have assembled the main body of the custom fittings. We usually fabricate the collars first so they are ready to go!

Custom Collars for Square to Rounds

Custom Collars for Square to Rounds

We had a minor issue with the hand beader for the square to rounds. Below, Steve is working diligently to fix the problem.

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We use the manual bead roller to crimp the top—the round end—of the fitting body. The crimp helps to make easier the installation of the collar on the fitting. We then switch out the crimping dyes for the bead dye, which helps to secure the collar to the square to round body. We finish the job with a few rivets.

Crimping

Crimping

Final Bead with Rivets

Final Bead with Rivets

We are currently fabricating an order of 75 square to rounds. They take time and we want to make sure each one is done to the best of our ability. Occasionally, that means sacrificing some speed. I think the trade-off is worth it.

Next on the docket…Custom plenum drops for a couple rooftop heating and cooling units!! Joe is starting that process this afternoon. Sheet number one has finished cutting; next we clear the table, cut the remnants for recycling and use the scrap for other items in the shop. Possibly another square to round!

Joe clearing the plasma table.

Joe clearing the plasma table.

Posted on May 20, 2019 and filed under Fabrication.