Raising Case Studies

The afternoon consisted of two presentations by Journeyworkers Will Denton, of Trillium Dell Timberworks, and Ryan Msiolek from Cascade Joinery.

Will presented two recent projects that TDTW erected in the Chicagoland area. One was a theatre in Glencoe designed by Studio Gang Architects, and the other was the winning design from a competition for the Chicago Architectural Biennial, erected near Soldier Field along Lake Michigan.


Chicago skyline behind Project Horizon, erected by TDTW

The logistics of working in Chicago, union requirements, highly constrained site hours, and various timeline challenges were all successfully overcome by the TDTW crew and Will did an excellent job presenting lessons learned from these high profile commercial projects. Custom bases for hydraulic jacks, high precision joinery, heavy lifts, extra long glulam timbers, and lots of communication were de rigeur for these projects.


Writers Theatre in Glencoe, IL


screw detail from Project Horizon on Lake Michigan

Ryan presented a 140,000 bdft project erected in Fremont, CA. In the spirit of the weekend, the group divided up and discussed how to raise a  27,000 lb end bent and a 6700 lb truss. There were a range of options from the groups and a good discussion of lifting gear, rigging options, and center of gravity considerations. Ryan then presented how it actually went down, including the lift planning, engineered lift design, and solutions to parts of the plan that didn’t work as intended. It was a great example of at the shop lift planning and real world solutions.


27,000lb bent flying into place


last bent with horizontal strongbacks visible


Steve Lawrence offers his take on lifting a 27,000lb bent


After dinner, Darren Watson, from New Energy Works in McMinnville, OR showed how to use CAD software to extract information about complicated assemblies using one of the pre-event exercises. The power of the computers can slash the time needed to find the weight, center of gravity, investigate hook heights, and provide a  whole library of information that can facilitate efficient lift planning.

In classic Guild form, the discussion evolved into serious shop talk, though in a reflection of the the times, youtube videos were involved. There were contrasting approaches to steel knife plate work, a look at the MyTiCon Transport Anchor and other panel lifting plates, discussion of wage rates across the country, shop culture and process.


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