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Metal Deck Built To Last 100 Years
Ive seen a lot of wooden decks that have deteriorated over time and are unsafe. I didnt want that to happen at my place, says Mapleton, Minn. farmer Mike Bauer. Im building this deck to last for 100 years.
  Bauer used 5-in. steel tube posts with 1/4-in. sidewalls. Each support is either embedded in concrete below the frost line or bolted onto a concrete wall. The stringers for the deck flooring are made with channel iron, I-beams and tubular steel thats welded rather than bolted in place. I didnt attach it to the house because in our weather, with temperatures ranging from 100 above to 30 below, the steel will contract and expand 3/8 in. Its self-supporting so it wont move the house.
  Measuring close to 800 sq. ft. and reinforced by angled braces welded to the posts and stringers, Bauer says his deck will support 200 people and still be strong enough that a chain hoist anchored underneath can lift a good size farm tractor. The deck support structure is similar to those he used to build to hold 100-ton presses at a large printing company in the town where he worked.
  I learned to weld before I could drive, says Bauer. So I spent a lot of time making things before I could go anywhere on my own. Now that Im slowing down a little, I still like to build things and repair machinery or equipment in my spare time.
  Building the deck has been nearly a 2 year project that he hopes to finish in 2014.Itll have metal railings and spindles and be made with nothing that can deteriorate or rot. Decking will be bolted onto the flanges of the I beam stringers.
   I saw a metal deck once in South Dakota that was 125 years old and still solid as a rock, and Id like mine to last just as long, says Bauer.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Mike Bauer, 12644 615th Ave., Mapleton, Minn. 56065 (ph 507 380-2447).

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2014 - Volume #38, Issue #5