Discussion regarding electrician matters

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unit
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Discussion regarding electrician matters

Post by unit » Jan 26th, 2019, 5:17 pm

Danno wrote: This week's spoiler is... progress on a previously spoiled outfit.
2019-01-26 new pants front view.gif

Here's how this outfit is coming along. Lately, I haven't been working on the game nearly as much as I should be. The nature of work at my irl job is still leaving my fingers feeling sore and swollen, so I haven't felt much like using these fingers for drawing. I'm optimistic that my irl work should be less physically straining in the near future, which will probably result in me making better progress.
man what are you even doing for work now? curious af. need to get some stretches going on before you get all physical :P
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Re: Weekly spoiler

Post by Danno » Jan 26th, 2019, 9:37 pm

unit wrote:man what are you even doing for work now? curious af. need to get some stretches going on before you get all physical :P
Yeah, I dunno. I've been doing at least a little bit of arm/shoulder stretching before work, a little bit during work, and during my lunch break this past week. I'm not really sure what I can do about my fingers or wrists (besides moving my wrists in circles or back n' forth when I do stretches).
The past 2 weeks, we've been running conduit in a ceiling that requires us to fasten it to steel beams (usually about 1/4" thick, I think). We're drilling upwards with self-tapping screws, which usually takes about 5-10 seconds to get through the steel if I push with both hands. Awkward ladder positions sometimes can't be avoided, though, so I can't always put my weight into it, resulting in more strain on my arms. My journeyman is also making me do a lot of (or sometimes all of) the drilling since he claims his carpal tunnel is acting up from this task. Maybe 10-20% of the time, he won't even hold the conduit up for me while I do the drilling, so then I might have to use one hand to hold a 10 foot length of pipe up while I drill through steel with my other hand to fasten a strap.

So, long story short, I've been having to drill upwards through steel all day, every day. The repetitive nature of the task and bad positions make it pretty straining on my shoulders/arms/wrists/fingers. I'm also only 140 lbs and 5'11" (180cm), so I'm not really built to endure this sorta thing for a long time.

I'm new to this type of work, too, so my tools might also be lacking. For example, in the first week, I was using a cheap brand, non-magnetic drill bit. The bit got stripped a little and I was constantly dropping screws, then trying to reuse the screws instead of wasting them all. The screw tips got a bit rounded off a lot of the time, making it basically impossible to pierce the steel, so I was wasting a ton of effort and coming out really sore at the end of the day. My journeyman was just kinda ridiculing me for struggling so much with a simple task and telling me to pick up the pace, so I thought I just needed to use more strength. I'm using an 18V brushless Milwaukee drill, but its settings also aren't as heavy duty as what my journeyman's drill has to offer.
By comparison, I was in much better shape this past week since I got a more durable, magnetic drill bit. I've been able to drill through much faster, with less effort, and without dropping any screws. I still didn't fully recover from the previous week, though, and it's still a repetitive/straining task regardless.

Physically, all the other work we've done so far on other jobs has been really easy (like fishing wire, securing junction boxes or conduit to wood framing, running armoured cable, replacing ballasts or light fixtures, mass demolition of old fixtures and wire). I don't wanna whine about the work being "too hard" or whatever when it was my decision to get in the electrical trade or make it seem like I'm incapable. These past 2 weeks have been pretty rough, though. )-:

ty for reading tl;dr, the end
"I'll do the art." ~Danno 2014

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unit
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Re: Weekly spoiler

Post by unit » Jan 27th, 2019, 2:35 am

Danno wrote:
unit wrote:man what are you even doing for work now? curious af. need to get some stretches going on before you get all physical :P
Yeah, I dunno. I've been doing at least a little bit of arm/shoulder stretching before work, a little bit during work, and during my lunch break this past week. I'm not really sure what I can do about my fingers or wrists (besides moving my wrists in circles or back n' forth when I do stretches).
The past 2 weeks, we've been running conduit in a ceiling that requires us to fasten it to steel beams (usually about 1/4" thick, I think). We're drilling upwards with self-tapping screws, which usually takes about 5-10 seconds to get through the steel if I push with both hands. Awkward ladder positions sometimes can't be avoided, though, so I can't always put my weight into it, resulting in more strain on my arms. My journeyman is also making me do a lot of (or sometimes all of) the drilling since he claims his carpal tunnel is acting up from this task. Maybe 10-20% of the time, he won't even hold the conduit up for me while I do the drilling, so then I might have to use one hand to hold a 10 foot length of pipe up while I drill through steel with my other hand to fasten a strap.

So, long story short, I've been having to drill upwards through steel all day, every day. The repetitive nature of the task and bad positions make it pretty straining on my shoulders/arms/wrists/fingers. I'm also only 140 lbs and 5'11" (180cm), so I'm not really built to endure this sorta thing for a long time.

I'm new to this type of work, too, so my tools might also be lacking. For example, in the first week, I was using a cheap brand, non-magnetic drill bit. The bit got stripped a little and I was constantly dropping screws, then trying to reuse the screws instead of wasting them all. The screw tips got a bit rounded off a lot of the time, making it basically impossible to pierce the steel, so I was wasting a ton of effort and coming out really sore at the end of the day. My journeyman was just kinda ridiculing me for struggling so much with a simple task and telling me to pick up the pace, so I thought I just needed to use more strength. I'm using an 18V brushless Milwaukee drill, but its settings also aren't as heavy duty as what my journeyman's drill has to offer.
By comparison, I was in much better shape this past week since I got a more durable, magnetic drill bit. I've been able to drill through much faster, with less effort, and without dropping any screws. I still didn't fully recover from the previous week, though, and it's still a repetitive/straining task regardless.

Physically, all the other work we've done so far on other jobs has been really easy (like fishing wire, securing junction boxes or conduit to wood framing, running armoured cable, replacing ballasts or light fixtures, mass demolition of old fixtures and wire). I don't wanna whine about the work being "too hard" or whatever when it was my decision to get in the electrical trade or make it seem like I'm incapable. These past 2 weeks have been pretty rough, though. )-:

ty for reading tl;dr, the end
im actually an electrician myself in australia. im pretty certain you guys call em journeymen over there correct? i hope youre supervisor has got you using hex head self tapping screws and not bloody philips head screws... also your drill should be fine for the job you are doing. sometimes if the steel is too think i carry a really sharp small drill bit and pre drill all the holes then the screws go directly in them. also keep in mind some screws are alot sharper then others and will go in alot better, easier and quicker, if your boss is a tight ass hes probs using cheap shit ones. good on you for getting a good drill bit, the guy youre working with should have told you to get one sooner or let you one, what a fucken dick bag. normally with the conduit ill screw both ends and then do the rest so i dont have to support it the entire way. have you guys already got the cable in the conduit or planning to run it through once the conduit is up? also sounds like youre on a commercial job or industrial if youve been putting up conduit for days.. not other options eg cable tray... continary wires..? i like to do shit the easiest way aha. are you an apprentice? just stick with the trade my friend, its a brilliant line of work to get into and the money is pretty decent too! youre hands will get used to the awkward positions etc i was pretty similar when i first started im 6ft about the same as you and was defs not used to climbing in roofs and under houses or in any confined spaces but i got used to it after a few months and so did my body, many years later i dont even feel like im working anymore ahaha.
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Re: Weekly spoiler

Post by Danno » Jan 27th, 2019, 4:34 am

o ya, "journeyman" is the term used here to refer to the experienced people who are allowed to take on jobs alone and/or supervise apprentices. I just became an apprentice 2 months ago. It takes 4 years of apprenticeship to become a journeyman.

We were using Philips or Robertson screws at first (I forget which), but he decided we should use hex screws after a day or two, luckily. We've run somewhere between 2000-3000 feet of conduit so far - unfortunately, pre-drilling all the holes isn't really an option since we have a lot to do and have to keep a quick enough pace. Most of the screws we're using go through within 5-10 seconds if you apply lots of force, it just sucks that doing it for so long is taking a toll on me (making it hard to work on the game when I get home).
It's a commercial job and the ceiling will be sprayfoamed, so I guess something like cable tray isn't really an option. We'll be pushing the cable through after we're done installing the conduit, I suppose.

Anyway, yeah, I'm sure I'll get more used to it as I go along (though I expect something highly repetitive and requiring strength like this will probably always cause some strain). I'm looking forward to the pay when I top out. The work's been good and interesting so far other than this drilling hell. I think we've almost run all the conduit we need to, at least, so things should be getting easier soon (I hope).
"I'll do the art." ~Danno 2014

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unit
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Re: Weekly spoiler

Post by unit » Jan 27th, 2019, 7:17 pm

Danno wrote: o ya, "journeyman" is the term used here to refer to the experienced people who are allowed to take on jobs alone and/or supervise apprentices. I just became an apprentice 2 months ago. It takes 4 years of apprenticeship to become a journeyman.

We were using Philips or Robertson screws at first (I forget which), but he decided we should use hex screws after a day or two, luckily. We've run somewhere between 2000-3000 feet of conduit so far - unfortunately, pre-drilling all the holes isn't really an option since we have a lot to do and have to keep a quick enough pace. Most of the screws we're using go through within 5-10 seconds if you apply lots of force, it just sucks that doing it for so long is taking a toll on me (making it hard to work on the game when I get home).
It's a commercial job and the ceiling will be sprayfoamed, so I guess something like cable tray isn't really an option. We'll be pushing the cable through after we're done installing the conduit, I suppose.

Anyway, yeah, I'm sure I'll get more used to it as I go along (though I expect something highly repetitive and requiring strength like this will probably always cause some strain). I'm looking forward to the pay when I top out. The work's been good and interesting so far other than this drilling hell. I think we've almost run all the conduit we need to, at least, so things should be getting easier soon (I hope).
yea its a 4yr apprenticeship here too, you used to be able to complete it in 3 if you were good but then a few people died so they changed it and yea i couldnt imagine working all day then coming home and working on the game. sometimes i pull 16hr days. when i was younger i used to work away in the mines sometimes we did 18-20hr shifts but now with all the health and saftey rules in australia that dosent happen anymore aha money was great! we got double time after 8hrs.

we dont really use spray foam, most of the commercial buildings here just have them suspended ceilings made out of plaster board so we normally run a ton of cable trays before they go in. mostly our entire rough in process is done before they even think about putting the roof in. we normally run a fuck load of conduit only when its going in concrete slabs etc but makes sense going in foam too, make sure you add a few extra conduits for future circuit adding and leave a few draw strings in them ;). ive found being an electrician is pretty easy physically but mentally you get some tough situations wait until you go to trade school and learn power factor etc. i think the first year is basic series and parallel circuits etc make sure you pay attention here or you will defs regret it later on as everything builds off previous units and if you dont know the formulas etc then youre gonna really struggle in future units and will be playing alot of catch up study after hrs!
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Re: Weekly spoiler

Post by Danno » Jan 27th, 2019, 8:05 pm

o ya, I already did the first year schooling to make myself more employable. I got good grades and flaunted it on my resume. That was 6 years ago, though, so I kinda forgot a bunch of stuff, like how to tell a capacitor's resistance by the colours and general stuff about load balancing with power/current/resistance. I remember the main formula and can figure stuff out if I needed to since I'm good with algebra (transposing the formula), though. I'll just read through my notes and workbooks to refresh my memory when it comes time for 2nd year schooling. Seems like this stuff isn't too important for a first year. So far, the journeyman decides how to run the pipes and assigns me straightforward tasks, so I don't really have to figure anything out yet.

I haven't had to work any really long days yet, just some 9 and 10 hour days 2 weeks ago. As for extra conduit, I suppose that's the journeyman's call, so I'll leave that decision to him. I overheard the client talking to the supervisor about how the electrician costs are higher than they were expecting on the budget, though, so I doubt they'd wanna pay for extra conduit.

I was considering going to work in mines a bit when I complete my apprenticeship since I've heard the pay is really high. I wouldn't mind cashing in on that stuff a bit when my wage is higher. How tough is it / is it safe?


PS: We're pretty off topic, so I'll move these posts to a new topic a bit later.
"I'll do the art." ~Danno 2014

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unit
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Re: Discussion regarding electrician matters

Post by unit » Jan 27th, 2019, 10:56 pm

Danno wrote: o ya, I already did the first year schooling to make myself more employable. I got good grades and flaunted it on my resume. That was 6 years ago, though, so I kinda forgot a bunch of stuff, like how to tell a capacitor's resistance by the colours and general stuff about load balancing with power/current/resistance. I remember the main formula and can figure stuff out if I needed to since I'm good with algebra (transposing the formula), though. I'll just read through my notes and workbooks to refresh my memory when it comes time for 2nd year schooling. Seems like this stuff isn't too important for a first year. So far, the journeyman decides how to run the pipes and assigns me straightforward tasks, so I don't really have to figure anything out yet.

I haven't had to work any really long days yet, just some 9 and 10 hour days 2 weeks ago. As for extra conduit, I suppose that's the journeyman's call, so I'll leave that decision to him. I overheard the client talking to the supervisor about how the electrician costs are higher than they were expecting on the budget, though, so I doubt they'd wanna pay for extra conduit.

I was considering going to work in mines a bit when I complete my apprenticeship since I've heard the pay is really high. I wouldn't mind cashing in on that stuff a bit when my wage is higher. How tough is it / is it safe?


PS: We're pretty off topic, so I'll move these posts to a new topic a bit later.
alot of people i did trade school with forgot stuff between blocks, like sometimes it was a year and a half between blocks for some of us just abit of revision leading up and ya should be sweet. just remembering ohms law (v =ir) gets you through alot of it aha as for transposition that shit sucks, if youre good at that good on ya :P i did enough to pass then put that wayyy in the back of my head.

the mines is good if you dont have a girlfriend or kids. once they come along it makes things rather difficult. i was on a 2 weeks work roster and 1 week off roster for awhile, then changed to a month on month of roster (4 on 4 off). the work is easy as fuck, money for jam really. being good with large motors will help you alot, you should try crimping 500mm cable.. legit need cranes just to lift the stuff. most things just take longer because of the sheer size of it all and all the health and saftey hoops you have to jump through. ive been on sites where you have to fill out swims forms for everything you do and ones that didnt give a fuck about saftey that 'get it done' attitude. both had perks. depends which site and which company you choose to go with. the pay ranges from $70-$120/hr in australia for most mine sites with double time etc available on most sites. normal routine is to do 12hr days on these sites too normally on shift (day or night).

all that being said, as a contractor here in australia you can make just as much money if not more. average cost to get an electrican to your house here is minimum $75hr but some guys charge up to $200. thats why its so easy to get mine jobs here because you can start your own contracting company and make more while still living at home close to family etc plus you get mark ups on all gear sometimes up too 100%-200% normally at least 100%

ps: i agree to making this a new topic we kinda killing this one.
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