Action Alert: North Carolina Proposes Harmful Amendment To ICC Codes
The NOMMA Technical Committee has expressed serious concern about an amendment to the building codes proposed by the North Carolina Building Code Council. The proposed code change would greatly restrict railing designs without providing a proven safety benefit. The amendment of concern is:
1015.4 Opening limitations. Required guards shall not have openings that allow passage of a sphere 4 inches (102 mm) in diameter from the walking surface to the required guard height. The sphere shall not pass through the opening with a minimum of 50 psf applied horizontally to the sphere from the direction of the walking surface that is being protected. A bottom rail or curb shall be provided that will reject the passage of a 2-inch-diameter (51mm) sphere.
In addition to creating a bad precedent, the NOMMA Technical Committee has expressed the following concerns:
- The amendment is in the wrong place. It should be in the structural section.
- There is no testing standard cited (ASTM, ICC-ES, or ASCE).
- It is unknown how an inspector could provide testing for this requirement in the field.
- The requirement for a bottom rail would eliminate balusters on steps and floors.
- The wording "MINIMUM of 50 psf" could be interpreted several ways. We worry that it may be interpreted as "50 lbs on the sphere."
The NOMMA Technical Committee is currently trying to find the rationale/comments for this change, and we are determining the correct procedure to oppose. There will be a public hearing on the code changes in Raleigh, NC on March 14. We have notified our members in the Raleigh area, and we may send a team as well. If you can join us at the public hearing, please contact Todd Daniel (email@example.com).
The goal of this column is to stimulate your own creativity within your own shop so you can improve yourself. If you make a one percent improvement every month, you will have a 12 percent improvement over a year.
An efficient workstation can either make you or break you. If you lose multiple minutes every hour, over the course of days and weeks it starts costing you hours and eventually days, seriously detracting from your bottom line. We started out barebones simple: a welder, a grinder and a table. Over the years we developed a successful workstation and replicated it numerous times so that each craftsman in our shop has his own space to work within.
A Note on the NOMMA ListServ
For several months, you’ve been hearing about our switch to SocialLink. After getting input from many members and meeting with the developer, we’ve decided that SocialLink needs more work, and we will be thoroughly beta testing both the app and updated version during the month of March. In the meantime, the ListServ will remain NOMMA’s primary discussion and communication medium until further notice.
Around the NOMMA Network
Welcome New Members!
• a+ Quality Fence & Decks Inc., Craig & Terri Myers, Fabricator, Montgomery, AL
• BLAST-MASTER Sandblasting, Eric Tulenko, Fabricator, Rockaway, NJ
• Coal Ironworks, Andrew Davis, Fabricator, Anderson, IN
• Eads Fence Co., Dale Eads, Fabricator, Loveland, OH
• Golden Isles Ornamental Inc., Paul R Elliott, Fabricator, Brunswick, GA
• Malaro Iron Works, Raffaele Malaro, Fabricator, Manville, NJ
• Mitchell Welding & Iron Works Inc., Kevin Mitchell, Fabricator, Cape May Court House, NJ
• MVS Studios, Marcello DeCicco, Fabricator, West Palm Beach, FL
• Salter Spiral Stair, Mike Leibowitz, Nationwide Supplier, Collegeville, PA
• SD Metalworks LLC, Sherman Crews, Fabricator, Moscow Mills, MO
• Southwest Automated Security Inc., Jeff Goodwin, Nationwide Supplier, Dallas, TX
• Stainless Fab Inc., Keith Binney, Fabricator, Odessa, FL
• Truemark Metals LLC, Tyler Whitson, Fabricator, Alabaster, AL
• Wells Spiral Stairs, Lory Wells, Fabricator, Genoa City, WI
Roundtable Conference Calls – Discuss Common Challenges With Your Peers
The Roundtable Conference Calls take place the second Wednesday of each month at 3 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time). On each call, a NOMMA volunteer covers a topic and then an open discussion follows. During the call, members answer questions, provide suggestions, and help one another with common business issues.
March 8 – Facilitator: Jonathan Falk
April 12 – Facilitator: Bill Bendinelli
Call In: 800-662-6992 - Enter the access code 111-4972
Tip: Hit *6 to mute, *7 to unmute
NOMMA Spring Workshop
When: Friday, April 21, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Where: Art’s Work Unlimited, 22150 SW 154th Ave., Miami, FL 33170
Program: Art’s Work is a highly-awarded NOMMA member that creates beautiful gates, railings, doors, furniture and sculptures. They also provide restoration, lighting and other services. Join us for a day of demos and some business education.
Demos to include:
- Leaf Making
- Jigs (bring your favorite jig to share as well)
- Fold forming
- Electrostatic painting
Details: Breakfast and lunch provided
Cost: Early bird (until Mar. 30) - $89, Regular - $109, Non Members - $159
To get you in the mood for our incredible day at Art’s Work, view this 4-minute VIDEO
Mitch Heitler Award for Excellence in Craftsmanship
The winner of this award is selected from the Gold winners of the 2017 Top Job Competition.
Big D Metalworks
The exposed stringers of this stunning four-story stainless steel staircase system were boxed plate saw tooth built up tubes with integral glass shoes and continuously welded seams. The delivery to the upper floors of the high-rise tower was a complicated endeavor due to the requirement that pieces needed to be sized to fit into the freight elevator, adding twenty-one (21) complete joint penetration field welds. All welds had to be finished to a wave-free fine brushed finish. The saw-tooth stringer design reinforced the effect of a saw-tooth cut glass balustrade system. Stringer extensions into one wall resulted in a vibration-free, non-obtrusive, support system for the landings. Tread extensions on the stringers achieved a floating tread effect. Exposed finished faces on all sides of the staircases required special attention to the final grinding and finishing. Glass joint alignment was a critical design element, as was alignment of all staircases.
Fabrication hours: 1,257
Finish hours: 1,134
Installation hours: 2,288
This fabricator figured out how to charge for shop drawings and protect his company’s copyrights.
I learned a long time ago, after years of designing work for other fabricators, a very important word: "Retainer!"
I first appreciated the word at a past NOMMA METALfab convention during a seminar about patenting and copyrighting custom drawings. The presenter was a patent expert, and everything he said basically could not help me protect my company. For example, he said even if someone stamps his work "copyright," "patent pending," or "registered trademark," all customers would have to do is change the design 10 percent, and they would be in the clear (changing the color is near 10 percent).
A member in the seminar said, "We get the customer to give us a retainer, up front. This is their guarantee that they are securing our company to do their work! Also, if lawyers can get away with it, why can’t we!"
This opened my eyes to a new way of conducting business. And, when I got back home I started using it immediately.