# Help with Penn Foster structural drafting plate 1

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I've read all I can.  I feel like the instruction went from 5th grade to college level all within  one chapter.  I am having a great deal of trouble with the whole structural drafting project.  I'm managing to get through with the help I've seen here, but now I'm on plate 3.  I'm a visual learner, so without anything to go by, other than words on the "so called" instructions, I'm not getting very far.  Any help would be appreciated.

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Please refer to the second page of this thread where I posted a link to a previous post that contains over 194 responses as it should certainly have an image of Plate 3.

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• 2 years later...
On 12/7/2018 at 3:20 PM, ReMark said:

Yes, the girders are spaced 18' on center to match up with the columns.  The 6" channels run between the girders in a east/west direction.  Every student who has drawn them this way has passed the structural project.  None of the structural elements are there solely "for reference" as they form an integral part of the overall construction of the building.  Perhaps your A & B cut lines are incorrectly located or you are misinterpreting the instructions which is understandable given that it is not Penn-Foster's intent to teach structural drafting.  They are attempting to teach AutoCAD although they don't even do that very well.

Hi ReMark,

I’m sure this will seem like a very dumb question to you, but what is the overall length of the circled line.
(Picture, not my drawing). I know the center of the (5) i-beams overall is 72’ but I do not understand how to figure this length.

‘Should it be just over 74’?

Thank you!

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The overall length is 72'-0" from the center of the left most column to the center of the right most column PLUS and additional 2"-8" x 2 (5'-4" total) from the center of those same columns to the edge of the slab.  Total distance, as accepted by Penn-Foster, then comes to 77'-4".  I've seen P-F also accept an overall length of 72'-0" but that requires a deviation to the flared supports at each end to achieve.  Remember... you are NOT being taught structural engineering; you are being taught AutoCAD.

Edited by ReMark
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2 hours ago, ReMark said:

The overall length is 72'-0" from the center of the left most column to the center of the right most column PLUS and additional 2"-8" x 2 (5'-4" total) from the center of those same columns to the edge of the slab.  Total distance, as accepted by Penn-Foster, then comes to 77'-4".  I've seen P-F also accept an overall length of 72'-0" but that requires a deviation to the flared supports at each end to achieve.  Remember... you are NOT being taught structural engineering; you are being taught AutoCAD.

As always, thank you very much!

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Hi ReMark,

Help! What am I doing wrong?

My 72’ won’t center to my right end pier but my overall is 77’4”.

When I line my footings up and come up 2’6” on the ends and 4’ in the middle before my 45 deg measurements they don’t match.
Thank you!

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On 4/7/2022 at 4:20 PM, ReMark said:

The overall length is 72'-0" from the center of the left most column to the center of the right most column PLUS and additional 2"-8" x 2 (5'-4" total) from the center of those same columns to the edge of the slab.  Total distance, as accepted by Penn-Foster, then comes to 77'-4".  I've seen P-F also accept an overall length of 72'-0" but that requires a deviation to the flared supports at each end to achieve.  Remember... you are NOT being taught structural engineering; you are being taught AutoCAD.

I posted some questions for you when you have time. Thanks!

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The project calls for a distance of 72'-0" between the outermost piers as measured center-to-center.

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Maybe where I’m missing my measurement is where they call out:

Centered over each footing is a concrete pier that’s 16” wide on each side and 4’ tall. I know these are the 3 inner beams.

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The concrete footings and the attached piers are 18'-0" measured center-to-center.  Is it possible you have a footing/pier that is not located correctly?  Did you check all your center-to-center measurements?

Edited by ReMark
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Thank you for the help!

Please see my progress, my struggle now are my end footings/piers. As you can see the 2’ 45 deg angles don’t quite meet the 6” concrete slab. I’m good at the 72’ center to center but my footings don’t meet the ends of 77’-4”.
Can you tell what is wrong?

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The distance of 77'-4" is from one end of the concrete slab to the other end.  The outside flared ends of the concrete piers, drawn at a 45 degree angle, should end up even with the edge of slab.  You have draw something wrong if you are not getting this result.

Edited by ReMark
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Yes you are correct, I just can’t figure out what I’ve done wrong. My angles are correct at 45 degrees and 2’ but if I move them over I won’t center then at 18’.

Any suggestion?

Edited by patti0916

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Sent, thank you ReMark.

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Update:  It has been determined that the overall height of the footings and piers is 5'-10".  The footings are 16" high.  The straight piers are 48" high then they flare out and up another 6" at a 45 degree angle.  16+48+6 = 70.  The larger flared piers at each end have a vertical section that is 30" in height (not 48") before the flares start.  They flare out and up another 24" at a 45 degree angle.  The footing height remains the same at 16".  Thus, we have 16+30+24 = 70.

The original poster had a measurement error between the last two piers on the right due to faulty construction of the last footing which I recommended redrawing.

Edited by ReMark
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• 2 years later...

@ReMark Heyyy so i've attached what ive gotten so far with plate 1, things im noticing that i have questions about are:

1- my arrow pointing north and cutting symbols arent showing in paperspace and i was wondering if that is fine? it doesnt say anything about it in the instructions.

2- the directions were pretty unclear how to scale the drawing from paperspace and so i went to where it says "model" in paperspace on the bottom right side of the screen and "unlocked" the viewport, then i changed my scale to 1/4" = 1' to get this to fit within this paper space block i started with.  Is that correct?

3- my instructions state "the channel beams are aligned so they're flush with the top of the girder and for a C shape.  A section 3-7/8" long is cut out from the end of the channel to make an allowance for the flange of the girder." im having trouble visualizing this, does it mean that the top of the c channel and the top of the girder are level and a portion needs to be shown as needing to be removed?

the instructions for this detail view showing the connection used between c channel and girders, does this come up later in the instructions for other sheets or is this whole sheet 1 completed after these instructions are through? thanks so much for your help with all this!

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Everything with the exception of the title block and border can reside in model space.  Your scaling is correct.  Yes, the top of the girder and the top edge of the channel are flush with each other.  There for the channel must be coped to avoid interfering with the girder's flange.  The connection detail you are referring to is shown on another plate.

Note: Re: girder and channel.  At one time the instructions called for the channel to sit on top of the lower flange of the girder with the steel decking atop of the channel.  Can you post a copy of the PDF you were sent by P-F?  I'd like to see it.

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Thank you, i appreciate your guidance with this.  I'm trying to graduate this course within the next couple months having only this and 6 other units to finish before november 20th which is when my course expires. Are the other projects more difficult than this or the oleson project? just trying to get a feel as to whether or not it would be possible to get these remaining parts of the course finished in a timeframe of about a month or two.    The hardest thing thus far is deciphering their instructions and whats expected at certain points within this project and the others, im assuming that this will be a trend for the rest of the course.

Thanks again!

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