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Jerome J. Lazar, RA, CCS, CSI, SCIP
Senior Member
Username: lazarcitec

Post Number: 108
Registered: 05-2003
Posted on Thursday, May 12, 2005 - 01:56 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Can anyone provide me with a definition of what constitutes a 'smooth weld' - we are having some quality problems with exposed structural steel work - especially steel spiral stairs in residential multi-family construction - the quality sucks, we need to tighten the spec - we currently use Masterspec 05120 for the base spec - comments and suggestions appreciated.
Dave Metzger
Senior Member
Username: davemetzger

Post Number: 117
Registered: 07-2001
Posted on Thursday, May 12, 2005 - 07:08 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Masterspec has a supplementary Section 05715 for spiral stairs. If you don't have that, I would adapt wording from the steel stairs section.

Even within the structural steel section 05120, you could get better appearance quality by including the requirements for architecturally exposed structural steel (AESS), but that's an expensive way to go for what really is a metal fabrications or ornamental metal use rather than structural steel.

In our metal fabrications and ornamental metal masters, we say "Grind exposed welds smooth and flush, to minimize joint width and to match and blend with adjoining surfaces, so that no roughness shows after finishing and joints and welds are not visible."
Margaret G. Chewning CSI CCS
Senior Member
Username: presbspec

Post Number: 51
Registered: 01-2003
Posted on Thursday, May 12, 2005 - 07:46 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I too had a similar problem on some projects.

Fortunately my husband is a certified welding inspector and alerted me to a great standard developed by the National Ornamental & Miscellaneous Metals Association (NOMMA) giving 4 levels of finish on a weld joint. It is called Guideline 1. You can see the four levels in the ANSI/NAAMM AMP 521-95 Pipe Railing Systems Manual or go to the web site www.nomma.org.

I'll usually include the following where the welded joint appearance is critial to the design

B. Finish joints in accordance with NOMMA Guideline 1, Finish #1 [2] [3] [4]

Finish 1: No evidence of a welded joint
Finish 2: Completely sanded joint, some undercutting and pinholes OK.
Finish 3: Partially dressed weld with splatter removed.
Finish 4: Good quality, Uniform undressed weld with minimal spatter.

All 4 finishes have photo examples in different component joints (ie square tube to square tube, Pipe to pipe etc.)

Hope this helps
John Bunzick, CCS, CCCA
Senior Member
Username: bunzick

Post Number: 357
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Thursday, May 12, 2005 - 09:04 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I just recently looked at the NOMMA web site myself. Here's a link to the photos on their site: www.nomma.org. I think their definitions as Margaret has posted are quite clear, and the photos are very useful. A great resource. They are also available in a printed version.
Ron Beard CCS
Senior Member
Username: rm_beard_ccs

Post Number: 59
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Thursday, May 12, 2005 - 09:18 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Check out the old thread from a couple of years ago, titled:
"Welding Standards?"
Jerome J. Lazar, RA, CCS, CSI, SCIP
Senior Member
Username: lazarcitec

Post Number: 117
Registered: 05-2003
Posted on Thursday, May 12, 2005 - 02:49 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Thanks - good information and very helpful.
Wayne Yancey
New member
Username: wyancey

Post Number: 1
Registered: 05-2005
Posted on Thursday, May 12, 2005 - 05:03 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

On the AESS side, look for the May 2003 - Modern Steel Construction - AESS Supplement. It is complete with color photographs of welds, bolt connections, and more. It concludes with a AESS fabrication, erection, and coating relative cost matrix
Anne Whitacre, CCS CSI
Senior Member
Username: awhitacre

Post Number: 196
Registered: 07-2002
Posted on Friday, May 13, 2005 - 04:22 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I hand out a copy of the NOMMA Guideline #1 for every project so the project manager has it, and since then we have had NO problems with defining what we want, and what we expect on our projects. Now we have time to have arguments about completely different topics at the job site.
William C. Pegues, FCSI, CCS
Senior Member
Username: wpegues

Post Number: 381
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Friday, May 13, 2005 - 04:44 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

The NOMMA guides are a good starting point and extremely useful for doing standard steel metal work that is exposed to view, steel stairs, etc.

But where they stop at the top of their quality is not even where you would begin for anything like Architecturally Exposed Structural Steel, or if you were intending to just have a high end finish.

When you want to join to round tubes of 4 inch or so diameter for a mitered 90 degree corner and not have any evidence that there is a weld there, NOMA can't help you. We do a lot of this - or rather, a little bit of it on a lot of jobs. Even though it is not structural steel, I write it for the requirements of architeturally exposed structural steel.

And that's a fine looking weld. I have a sample of 2 large tubes joined next to my desk.

Mark Gilligan (Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted on Friday, May 13, 2005 - 10:54 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

When you reference AESS this is done by referenceing the AISC Code of Standard Practice. Be VERY careful when incorporating the AISC Code of standard Practice into your documents. This document has a number of provisions that are very benificial to the steel fabricator and as a result risky to the design professional. This has been addressed in past issues of the CSI MOP.

Some examples include provisions that relieve fabricator of any responsibility for errors in the shop drawings that are not found by the designers and a requirement that shop drawings be returned within 2 weeks from the time the fabricator sends them to the GC.
Vivian Volz
Senior Member
Username: vivianvolz

Post Number: 22
Registered: 06-2004
Posted on Wednesday, May 18, 2005 - 02:28 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

There was a terrific talk at the 2004 CSI convention by Brian W. Miller of AISC Marketing, LLC, emphasizing that you shouldn't pay for aesthetic work that doesn't matter to your project. In the paper that accompanied the talk, he included a cost matrix for all the options for treating AESS. This is the same supplement referenced above by Wayne Yancy. You can download it from the aisc.org web site by drilling down into back issues of the magazine; you'll get a lovely full-color pdf with scads of information.
Wayne Yancey
Senior Member
Username: wyancey

Post Number: 7
Registered: 05-2005
Posted on Wednesday, May 18, 2005 - 04:52 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Brian Miller's comment is correct. We should not pay for AESS that is out of our limited range of vision. This comment was also made by an AESS fabricatior at a Puget Sound Chapter CSI meeting several years ago.

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