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Up Topic Welding Industry / Inspection & Qualification / Lack of Welding Symbols
- - By jwright650 (*****) Date 12-19-2003 18:10
I was asked to Inspect some work at a little shop up the road from us. I started looking at the shop drawings and realized there aren't any sizes shown anywhere on any of the welding symbols. Fillet welds called out on base plates and clip angles but no sizes shown. In some cases it looks like the detailer mirrored his weld symbols over to the other side of the joint and his/her symbols are backwards.

This is the first time I have ran into this and was wondering how do you perform any inspection without all of the information shown?

The small fabricator says that all of the shop drawings are this way and they have been doing work like this for sometime now. The detailing I believe was sub'd out. My intentions were to help this small outfit out with some inspection that was required by contract, but I told them I was wasting their money looking at steel without knowing any of the weld sizes. The welds look good, except I don't know if they are undersized or not. They had put 5/16 fillets everywhere.

Any suggestions from the forum?
John Wright
Parent - - By waynekoe (**) Date 12-19-2003 18:24

I've seen this a couple of other times myself. About the only thing that you can do is to contact the structural engineer, explain the problem, and ask for the weld details. Otherwise, all you can comment on is the soundness of the welds in general.

Parent - By jwright650 (*****) Date 12-19-2003 19:18
Hi Wayne,
Maybe I should call them back and explain why I didn't spend anytime on their project. I really feel like they should do the phone calls and find out what size welds this EOR is looking for.

I'm going to suggest to the fabricator that they persue this information, because (to me) it makes them look silly by fab'ing this material off of those incomplete drawings without asking any questions.
John Wright
Parent - - By thirdeye (***) Date 12-19-2003 19:18
I see this all the time. The weld sizes are shown on the contract drawings but never make it to the shop drawings. I request one additional sheet, referenced to the project, showing "typical details". In your case you would have just two typical details (base plate and angle clip). I record this sheet identification on each of my reports. And retain a copy for my files.

Repetition drives some detailers crazy. I've been on jobs where every fillet weld was 3/8", so the size is shown only once, on page one. Every other one is marked TYP.
Parent - - By jwright650 (*****) Date 12-19-2003 19:27
I guess I've been spoiled then, I'm used to seeing things done a certain way and I should accept alternate methods. Coming from a detailing background, I might be a little harder on other detailers when things aren't done as I would like to see them. This job had no sizes anywhere on any sheet, Columns and beams where detailed on the same sheets, that's a "no-no" here at our shop. We write seperate shop orders for columns and beams, paint and no-paint, galvanized, ect....
I've inspected for these people before and all was in order, but this one surprised me.
John Wright
Parent - - By thirdeye (***) Date 12-19-2003 19:41
Some of my vessel clients will have all weld details shown on the bottom of each sheet in their own separate block. The details that do not apply on that sheet are X'd out. Simple but different.

Parent - - By jwright650 (*****) Date 12-19-2003 20:24
I've seen joist drawings that did that. Like I said if I could have found a typ note or something, I could have have inspected what they had ready. The backwards two sided fillet welds caught my attention and then I started flipping sheets trying to find at leaste one weld size and could find nothing. I had some inspectors tell me they have seen this too, but it just seems like they are leaving alot for the welder to assume.
Have a good one! Gotta run check some column splices.
John Wright
Parent - - By TimGary (****) Date 12-19-2003 20:39
Hi John,
I understand your point, and it is a good one, but let me offer the following.
If the structures are built according to D1.1, then you could inspect the fillet sizes by ensuring that they are above the minimum. (1/2 the material thickness)
Also, if there are thickness transition splices, you could check for the minimum 2.5:1 required taper, and so on...
Also, do the WPS's have any size reference info?
Does their Quality Manual / Procedures address this issue?

Does this help at all?
Parent - By jwright650 (*****) Date 12-19-2003 21:35
Hi Tim,
No Quality Manual to be found. WPS's are non-existant. I was simply trying to do what they contracted me to do without prying too much into things they didn't ask for. They asked me to look at the welds on what they had fabricated and sign off on those pieces. So I went up there and I tried to inspect them per thier approved shop drawings. These drawings were stamped "approved"!
While I was there at their shop they asked me to Qualify their welders over Christmas break, but they don't have any WPS's, so I have to create those first. This is turning into more than I expected.
John Wright
Parent - By CHGuilford (****) Date 12-19-2003 21:49
If you recall some posts a while ago about the March/April 2000 "American Welder" issue, you might want to look at the 1st situation. Although the magazine is not the authority on code issue, the article is saying that a lack of fillet size on the drawing means the welder can put sdown any size he/she wants to.
(It also says that puts the weld design responsibility on the welder's shoulders which we know is not the right thing to do.)

What you are describing is not unusual. In your case, I would note the size of the welds as found and that no sizes were specified on the documents supplied to you. I would note what documents (rev # & dates) you did see. Then report on the overall weld quality and note any specifics about discontinuities needing repairs, and so forth.

That way you are not accepting the weld sizes, but are giving the report reader pertinent information to decide if all is OK. It would be best to have the customer contacted before all that went too far and everybody assumes the welds are OK as is. But you would be doing valid preliminary work, and all that is need is to compare required sizes to what you found.

Chet Guilford
Parent - - By bmaas1 (***) Date 12-19-2003 22:34
Hi John,

Sounds like small shop practice here. You can approach this situation many ways but remember they are obligated to provide to you or get any information concerning the project that you request.

Brian Maas
Parent - - By jon20013 (*****) Date 12-22-2003 13:36
John, is there a Code involved in the fabrication? It sounds as though D1.1 might apply from your brief description. If D1.1 is applicable, I would bring paragraph 6.5.1 (2002 Edition) "Size, Length and Location of Welds" to the Engineer or Shop Owner's attention and tell them that you would like to inspect their work (if that's what their asking) but that you need some more information ~ at that point, if you are contracting to them you may be able to help, if they are fabricating for your Company just tell them that some more detail is necessary. As far as qualifying the welders for this Shop, I would ask them to prepare a pre-qualified WPS and you may be able to assit them in doing this. Okay, that's my 2 cents worth, Good Luck! P/S: Is this shop doing the work for your Company? If not, maybe you can sub yourself out to them to assist, if so, I would tell them they should go back to the firm they subbed their detailing too and have them fix the problem!
Parent - - By jwright650 (*****) Date 12-22-2003 14:06
Hi jon,
This work is being done by a shop just up the road from our shop. They have no affilliation with us at all, just me. They called asking if I could look at some of what they had fab'd and was ready for shipping. Yes, D1.1 is the governing code. I agreed to help them out with some inspection and found all of what I have described above. This was merely an attemp to help this shop out and I was doing this for almost nothing. It really doesn't help me or my pocketbook at all. They called and said they had lots of steel for me to look at, when I arrived I walked around looking for these trailer loads of steel and only found about enough to fill the bed of my pickup and car trailer, at best. I was able to flip each peice over by hand and checked all of the welds but noticed the lack of sizes on the drawings when I was checking against the prints. They wanted me to Qualify their welders, but there aren't any WPS', so they asked for them also. They like to use GMAW-P so I'm looking into all of that. Straight GMAW is prequalified(except short-circuit), but I haven't checked the pulse out against the prequalified section of D1.1. Gotta run off to a production meeting, talk to ya later.
John Wright
Parent - By UCSB (**) Date 12-22-2003 20:48
I've run across the same. No size indicated on the drawings, shop or design. Made note in my reports concerning lack of details and reported whether or not the welds met minimum size requirements per AWS D1.1
Put the onus back on the engineer.

Parent - By jon20013 (*****) Date 12-22-2003 21:15
Well John, not wanting to sound like the greedy "Contract CWI type" sounds like you may be able to set this Company on the right road for compliance. If it were me personally doing the inspections I would be very reluctant to sign anything until they come around to at least mimimum Code compliance, which they haven't done yet. Good Luck!
Parent - By WBI (*) Date 12-30-2003 22:27
Hi John. Sounds like the same old SNAFU. We require our inspectors to hold for all dimensions on drawings and if the weld is on both sides but not the size we tell them to reject the weld until the designer confirms the weld placement and size. In those cases where the weld is applied and inspection comes later they are told to have the weld removed to sound metal. Inspecting a completed weld makes it difficult to see the fitup or sometimes know what filler metal was used. When, in extreme situations, a decision has to be made there's always Table 5.8 in D1.1

As for your "mirrored symbols" I've always considered them as being for left-handed welders only.
Parent - By Slagindaboot (*) Date 12-31-2003 20:05

The reason that there are no fillet weld sizes on your drawings is because they're on ours. On the shop drawings for the company that I work for (a large multi-national auto tooling supplier) the only information conveyed to the welder is via a note that states "all fillet welds are to be 6mm through 10mm." That's it, 6-10mm fillets for all materials, all thicknesses, all joints!! No location, no length, no nothin'!

We manufacture tooling consisting of machinery, structural and piping for both domestic and foreign auto companies. I would assume that in the contract documents there are a multitude of codes and standards as well as customer specific requirements for each application yet none of this makes it to the shop floor.

So, what do I do? Hell, I just weld it; 6-10mm fillets of course!

Parent - - By tab_1999 (**) Date 01-07-2004 15:43
Hi John,
Lot of info here.
You stated that AWS D1.1 is the governing code and that the welds appear good!.
Do the welds meet the minimum acceptance criteria? For size, length as compared to the thickness of the members joined.
I'm surprised this company don't join AWS and purchase their pre-qualified WPS's which would have their company name on them. "Pre-Qualified"
I think you have the criteria, its just not as simple "efficient" as some projects. I hope the company compensates you for the extra work. Write an NCR explaining the lack of information to the details. NCR's are not designed to be a slap in the face but a cure to issues at hand. There would have to be a substantial "Constructability Savings" to this company for all future work.
Good luck
Parent - By jwright650 (*****) Date 01-07-2004 15:51
Hi Tom,
I found a little undercut and some porosity on a few pieces, which they immediately took back into the shop and repaired. Yeah, except for those couple of pieces the welds looked pretty good. I still haven't been back up there and talked to them any more on the subject.
John Wright
Up Topic Welding Industry / Inspection & Qualification / Lack of Welding Symbols

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