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post #1 of (permalink) Old 06-05-2004, 08:47 PM Thread Starter
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Welding table, need ideas

Im going to build a new welding table. The one i have been using is such a piece of junk. The top is not straight and im having a hard time keeping things straight because of the table. With my Dads buisness changing daily, he is doing more and more custom machine building and rebuilding of old worn out machines, the need for welding has become more and more. Its getting old having to run to a friends shop to use his table, when i have no choice.

So here is kinda what i am thinking.
48X60 table top
33 inches tall (that is what the old one is and it works nice height wise)
The top is either going to be 1/2 plate or 3/4.
I was thinking of using 2X2X3/16wall square tubing for the legs and crossmembers.
Have a shelf under it for the tube bender, chopsaw, small brake, and other metal working equipment that always seems to be in the way.
Push the legs in about 2inches all the way around so they arent in the way.

Thats my game plan so far, if anyway has any other ideas, im up for it.

Oh yeh, i was going to build a I-beam top table, but thought that would be way overkill. Dad is already saying the top i want is overkill. But at least with 3/4 plate on the top if i wanted to drill and tap a hole to hold something down it would be easy to do.

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post #2 of (permalink) Old 06-05-2004, 09:29 PM
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Re: Welding table, need ideas

Your square tube sounds skimpy to me. It's going to be carrying a lot of weight with that top. When you add a heavy piece of work I'd think it would go wobbly on you.

Second, a piece of plate that size is going to be pretty pricy. I just bought a 12 X 60 X 3/4 and it was $45. If that holds you're looking at $180 just for the top.

If I were going to do it I would make a frame of square tube, including several crossmembers under the top, and then use a thinner piece, like 3/16. You can clamp the top to the frame and tack it to get it nice and flat.

And then in a few years when it gets all nasty and burned it will be cheap and easy to replace it.

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post #3 of (permalink) Old 06-05-2004, 09:52 PM
 
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Re: Welding table, need ideas

If you can take a look at a plan for welding and cutting table in "Welder's Handbook" by Richard Finch (p.146 in Rev. ed). The table he presents is smaller than dimensions you indicated, but it can give you some ideas.
HTH
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 06-06-2004, 08:56 AM
 
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Re: Welding table, need ideas

In our maintenance shop at work (Manufacturing plant for small engines) We do a lot of welding, fabricating, and torch work.
Our two welding tables are:
1) 4" square tubing 3/16" wall for legs
2) 4" channel for brace and top framing
3) 1/2" plate for top 4' by 8' (We also have two that are half this size for smaller work with same frame construction)

We have used these since we opened in 1995 and they have held up with no problem. After all this time they do need a new top since it has had holes cut in it for various reasons over the years.
This may be overkill for you but the construction is such that we have not had to worry about it holding up. At times we use it for teardown and rebuild of large gearboxes, some of which weigh well over a ton.
Good Luck, I know steel prices today are a LOT higher than they were when we built these.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 06-06-2004, 10:39 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Welding table, need ideas

</font><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr />
Second, a piece of plate that size is going to be pretty pricy.

[/ QUOTE ]

Price isnt a major concern at this point. The only thing i am really going to have to buy is the top. The legs and frame work will come from another job we are doing at a friends shop. I just have to add what i want to the order from the other job. The guy knows we are doing the job too cheap and told us to add what we need to the steel bill as long as it looks like steel we could have used.

</font><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr />
Your square tube sounds skimpy to me. It's going to be carrying a lot of weight with that top. When you add a heavy piece of work I'd think it would go wobbly on you.

[/ QUOTE ]

Jim thanks for saying the 2X2 would be too small. Im not sure why i had 2X2 in my head, but it just stuck. I was looking at 3X3 at our shop and for some reason 2X2 got in my head, i planned on 3X3. Glad you said something, cause i probably would have orderded 2X2 then got pissed when i went to pick it up. Im not real crazy about a 3/16 top, but im going to think about it. I like the idea of 3/4 cause it will last me forever and never have to be changed.

So now that we have the leg problem solved, ill add some ideas.

The shelf will be just about 4inches above middle, that way, i can store taller crap under it or make a rack for cutoff lengths of steel on the bottom. The shelf will be built just like the top except i will only see 3/16 sheet and probably be made out of scrap that is laying around.

The top i will make a square frame from 3X3 or maybe use 4in channel. Then have two more crossmembers in the middle to help keep it all straight. But with 3/4 plate, i dont see too many things moving or twisting up.

Id like to see a copy of that book, i wonder if its online somewhere, i will have to check with Mr. Google.

Any other ideas.

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post #6 of (permalink) Old 06-06-2004, 11:10 AM
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Re: Welding table, need ideas

All of my 4 tables are the same size. (4' square tops) That way I can use one or arrange the 4 for BIG items after squaring them if need be. I have had them for 15+ years now at 3 different jobs.(always took them with me)
They are 30" tall. Legs are made of 4" sq. 3/8 thick tube with a 2" brace 1 ft off the ground that runs all the way around. The tops are 1" plate. You may say overkill but I don't. I have had to replace table after table except for these. I love them. And except for my garage at home won't build them with any other top anymore.
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 06-06-2004, 03:17 PM
 
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Re: Welding table, need ideas

Can I suggest making the shelf out of some kind of grate.

My dads wood table is made with a peice of wood for the shelf then a 4X8 peice ontop.. and the shelf is SO grungy its not even funny.. and only drills and saws getstored in there..

once you have steel, gease, dust, and cutting fluid in there.. your going to have to put on a pair of gloves just to LOOK at the shelf. [img]images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 06-06-2004, 05:20 PM
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Re: Welding table, need ideas

And one more thing: it's real handy to have a piece of plate hanging down 6" or so along one edge. You can clamp stuff to it, for example when you want to grind the edge of a plate.
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 06-07-2004, 07:26 AM
 
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Re: Welding table, need ideas

I like the idea of a thicker steel for the table top. It will really help maintain flatness. The table I use (my dad's) is made from 2-1/2" SCH 80 pipe for the 4 legs. It has a piece of 1-1/2" grating just below the steel plate to help it maintain flatness. The plate is only 1/4", but the grating really helps out. We also have some heavy duty steel casters on it to roll it around. Of course, we had it all laying around so price was not an issue.

When I get the time and place to have a table like that, I am going to make it from 5/8" or 3/4" plate. And working at a plate steel fabrication shop will have it's advantages there. The thing I like the most about the thicker top is that you can put some good welds for your positioning pieces and not worry about distorting it. And you can grind it all smooth after and it will remain mostly flat. But on the other hand, you can replace the 1/4" material easier.
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 06-07-2004, 09:41 AM
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Re: Welding table, need ideas

wbcarver has a pretty good... He has about a 4x5 piece of steel grating like you'd find on a wlakway or Cat walk. Things don't roll around on the table. Sparks go down thru the grating and don't bounce back up at you. Seems to work pretty good to me. Mounted his vice with no problems.. might could use a smaller plate of steel on one coner if he needed a smooth area, but that really hasn't seemed to be an issue.

just another thought
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