Before an order for a piece of ornamental steel is sent to the factory, detail drawing-are made in the drafting room and checked; they are then sent to the foreman of the ornamental department, who allots the work. Some men can do one class of work better than another, and the foreman picks the specialists for their particular lines. A mechanic, called the layer-out, selects the iron of the proper size and kind, lays out from the drawing the proper lengths of stock, marks off the rivet holes, half-lap joints, drill holes and all other laying out necessary for the information of the helpers and other mechanics.
After the stock has been selected, cut, and laid off, it goes to the helpers or mechanics in the various parts of the shop. All punching is done on a punching machine, which punches the various-sized holes for riveting. Holes that cannot be punched are drilled either on the drill press or by portable hand-drills, and cuts are sawed and slotted by the backsaw and theslotter. Castings are ground and filed by helpers. Curved-work and bentwork are sent to the blacksmith, who shapes them up into forms according to templates. If any duplicates are to be made, a form is forged or cut to the exact size and shape of the finished product, and all pieces are forged into shape around this form. Pieces of pipe are often needed for railings. When put to such use, they are bent to shape and the ends are threaded by the blacksmith or his helpers.
After all work has been punched, sawed, filed, drilled, and forged, it goes to the finisher for assembling. From the detail drawing he is able to place the different parts in their proper places and to fasten them together with screws, bolts, or rivets. When the finisher has properly assembled the job, he passes it on to a helper who paints it. It is then ready for delivery to the customer, or for erection.