Build railing on top of shipping container?

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Build railing on top of shipping container?

Postby HurtYurt » Fri Aug 09, 2013 9:03 am

Hi

My camp has been fortunate enough to get a shipping container this year.
We're thinking of adding a ladder and railing on top of it, so we're thinking on how to best design it for safety and least amount of PITA to setup.
Besides pictures, we haven't seen the top of one in person.

Does anyone have experiences or ideas on how to do this?
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Re: Build railing on top of shipping container?

Postby lemur » Fri Aug 09, 2013 9:07 am

if its got pin points on the corners one may be able to bolt things into those.. but, theres likely nothing to bolt on to in the middle... itd have to be some beefy stuff on those corners to hold someone leaning on it



if you want to keep it water/weather tight odds are your options are limited outside of those pinpoints (or, could cause extra problems you might not want to deal with.. like sealing stuff)


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Re: Build railing on top of shipping container?

Postby some seeing eye » Fri Aug 09, 2013 12:03 pm

Weld some bolts on the angle iron that forms the top corner, bolt rail to that, cantilevering the rail post down the side of the container. You can grind them off when you sell the container. If you set the depth on your drill, you can drill the top edge angle iron in the spots where there is a negative space in the corrugations.

You never know what kind of clamps you can find at a scaffolding, machine shop fixturing, or welding store. You could build a plywood and lumber floor for the roof and work your bolting off that. Be sure it does not blow off.

The size of the top edge angle iron varies between containers.
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Re: Build railing on top of shipping container?

Postby Odie » Fri Aug 09, 2013 12:24 pm

I own a 20' container used for storage, the strength of the container comes from the ribs on the sides and the end steel used to stack the containers together. The top is basically a thin piece of steel, So I would highly consider the number of people you also allow climb on-board, if safety is a concern that you speak. The top is ribbed and I just checked and had about 1" deflection in the center with me standing on it (170lb). You could also prop a pole in the center to add strength to the center. just my 2 pennies. PM me if you questions or want any pictures..
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Re: Build railing on top of shipping container?

Postby Crockett » Mon Mar 24, 2014 3:05 pm

My camp is acquiring one of those 20' storage containers this year and we're also interested in building some sort of temporary platform for the top of it. I don't know much about carpentry so I'm looking for ideas on how to build a platform and ladder or staircase to ascend it.

HurtYurt, did your camp end up figuring something out?

We may end up with a few extra spots in our theme camp this year for folks who can contribute to a project like this and we have the means to fundraise for building supplies. The idea is that it would be a lounge where our campers and visitors can take in views of the playa and camps around us, while increasing our visibility so we can welcome more people to join us and hang out at our camp during the day. The lounge should consist of:
1) A stable and well-lit means of accessing the lounge.
2) A comfortable and covered area with seating for 10+ people.
3) Railings for safety.
4) Possibly a small DJ booth for our parties and for friendly interaction with passersby.

Many thanks!
Sincerely Yours,
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Re: Build railing on top of shipping container?

Postby trilobyte » Wed Mar 26, 2014 11:31 pm

Congratulations and welcome to the site, you've successfully replied to a long-dead thread from last year's event. ;)

You're going to want to recruit some people with carpentry skills, or spend an awful long time puttering around in a backyard or workspace. People could get hurt if badly made stairs collapse or if a railing fails.
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Re: Build railing on top of shipping container?

Postby mdmf007 » Wed May 21, 2014 7:20 pm

Purchase ISO locks and you can remove your rails for transport or when you sell the container etc. They shouldnt cost more than 20 bucks each. PM me if you need suppliers.

1.25 inch black steel pipe is rated over 20 feet for handrail, if you add one intermediate stiffener in the standard three rail configuration. While the roof is not rated for cargo, there is no amount of people you can fit on it that will buckle it (unless it is a rotted container) We regularly have containers arrive in our ports with tens of thousands of ponds of gear stacked on top without any dunnage or bracing at all.I have seen gravel piled three feet deep on them as well.

I am not going to stamp that print with my name though.

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Re: Build railing on top of shipping container?

Postby Crockett » Tue Jul 01, 2014 1:20 pm

Thank you very much for the advice, trilobyte and MDMF! I am passing this project onto some others in my camp so I will share your tidbits.

-Crockett!
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Re: Build railing on top of shipping container?

Postby Stickygreen » Tue Jul 01, 2014 2:21 pm

some seeing eye wrote:Weld some bolts on the angle iron that forms the top corner, bolt rail to that, cantilevering the rail post down the side of the container. You can grind them off when you sell the container. If you set the depth on your drill, you can drill the top edge angle iron in the spots where there is a negative space in the corrugations.

You never know what kind of clamps you can find at a scaffolding, machine shop fixturing, or welding store. You could build a plywood and lumber floor for the roof and work your bolting off that. Be sure it does not blow off.

The size of the top edge angle iron varies between containers.



Better yet, weld nut to the inside of the angle iron, where the corrugated steal sides go inwards, that way you have no protruding metal, and nothing to get damaged. Then you're railings will be a bolt on affair. Also as noted you will need to make a platform for people to stand on, as the metal ceiling of the container is not strong enough. Plywood, and 2x4 will suffice for this, and could be built on playa if you're careful with sawdust.
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