Within a Sixteenth

The moment we have been waiting for years! The screens are finally going up! This week all the metal frames took their last trip around Hale, thanks to Shane Jackson from Stillwater Machine, for transporting all the material and lifting the frames into place with his boom truck. A huge shout out to Mason Hinton, and all the 5th and 3rd-year students that helped lift, carry, and bolt things into place. We couldn’t have done it without all the help! And last, but not least, a big thank you Alabama Power for letting us use their parking until the screen went up.

In order to work as efficiently as possible, we split into groups: a group of four to six including the team bolted the pieces together, with two at the top and four at bottom. Our other volunteers lifted the screens from the ground onto the trailer that drove from the parking lot to site. Then Mason would attach the screens to the boom truck chains and undo the wooden jigs ( jigs held the legs of the frames from bending during transportation). Next Mason or Claudia would guide the screen with a strap into its correct location, and the crew of four would guide Shane ( boom operator) until lifted into place. While the screens were bolted the rest of the volunteers would move on to loading the next screen on the trailer.

footing bolted to screen leg

Leaving the bottom of the footing plate un-grouted while installing the screens allowed us some flexibility to move the footing between an eighth to a quarter of an inch in all directions, depending if it was connected to the walkway or not. This allowed us to level the top of the screens in relation to each other, as well to ensure that all the holes in which the screen connected to each other lined-up within a sixteenth of an inch.

sunset reflecting on screens and wall plates
One of the fun things we observed after the screens were up, was that they reflected the beautiful colors of the sunset or the blue sky in the mornings. In the image above the metal is reflecting the sun, but a few minutes later the it would reflect the oranges and pinks of the sky.

Up next: railings and 9 foot frames!