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10-14-2012, 01:22 AM #1
Fabrication / Fixturing / Welding table build
I started building this table March 2010. I built it to support a 3' x 4' top with 4" overhang on all sides. Since then I have been keeping an eye out for a piece of thick plate or possibly a machine table to use for a top. If the plate worked out, I planned to drill and tap a grid of 1/2-13 holes so I can use commonly available milling machine clamps for fixtures and such.
The base is built out of 2"x3"x.125 tubing, like so..
The bottom is similar, it will have an inset in the center of one long side so I can sit at the table and weld. This is the beginning of laying it out to see how things will look.
When I built this it was my second welding project ever. I'm completely self taught. I used two pieces of 1' x 2' x 1" steel on top of my toolbox to put this together.
The casters are bolted to 3/8" plates welded to the bottom of the base, kinda like so:
I bought a portaband mount from Troy at Swag Off Road. At some point I plan to mount up some 2" receiver hitch tool holders. This will have the appropriate mount..
I used the table in the above form for the past 2.5 years. A week ago I spied this at a local scrap yard:
Negotiated a very good price for the table and it was mine. It had years of dried oil and chips protecting it from the elements. I scraped it off and power washed it prior to putting it in the shop.
Here it is after a couple of hours cleaning out holes and working on the surface.
I'll get the other half cleaned up and the surface looking nice in the morning. Then, I need to do some finish welding on the base and prep it for some paint. I am really excited to finally have found a top for the table I started so long ago.
The top piece is 21" x 49" x 1-7/8". Every other hole is tapped 1/2-13.
Was in the shop late last night and tonight. I had some finish welding to take care of. I added 2"x2"x1/8" angle stringers between uprights on the left side and rear. Grinders hang really nicely from the angle.
Then I laid out mounting holes on some thicker 1/4" angle to screw the top down. Welded this across the front.
At that point I set the top in place.
It took a few hours to get the top cleaned up and all of the holes cleaned out. It made a huge mess, but they are clean now. I used my RO sander to lightly sand the top with WD-40 as a lubricant. It worked well. Used 100 then 150 then 220 grit. Very happy with the how it is turning out.
I've been undecided about the area under the table since I started building it. I'm considering building a drawer cabinet to fit under the table. I have a bunch of full extension ball bearing slides and 3/4" plywood. Would be really cool to make the drawers match the shape of the cutout in the base. As I type this, I am liking that idea more and more..
I'm holding off painting the base until after I've used it for a while and the rear section (where the 1" plate is currently sitting) is sorted out.
10-14-2012, 04:34 AM #2
Nice looking table
I would make up some set screws and plug all the unused holes.
If you plan on doing some real world welding you need to lose the wood and the plastic wheels though.
neilho liked this post
10-14-2012, 05:26 AM #3
All you need now is to mount an electrical receptacle underneath so you can plug in with your tools and only have one cord to the wall. Look for an old junk vise also.
TFPace liked this post
10-14-2012, 06:52 AM #4
good looking table
I agree with hobbyman- a duplex receptacle or two and a length of 12/3 would be a really nice addition.
10-14-2012, 07:58 AM #5
I only have TIG. I have never had a problem with sparks from grinding. I made the shelf from plywood to act as a template and decided to leave it until I have a piece cut. Good advice. I'll sort out metal drawers.
I picked up a box of 1/2 long set screws yesterday.
I have planned on mounting a quad outlets box on each end with one heavy cord to the wall. I have some EMT for that.
Thanks for the input!
10-14-2012, 08:01 AM #6
Pretty similar to one I build recently. I also added in a 2" hitch reciever for tooling. I don't know how much you plan on using them, but the leveling feet look to be the weak link. Here is the one that I built. I only used a 1/2" thick top. I would have liked to use a thicker one but that was all I could afford at the time and finding something used was turning up nothing.
10-14-2012, 08:08 AM #7
Your table looks nice. How do you clamp your work?
The leveling feet on the table are working out well thus far. They are made from 3/4 bolts.
10-14-2012, 08:32 AM #8
Honestly, I have yet to use it for welding yet. It currently has lathe parts scattered over it for a cleanup/rebuild. I went back and forth with doing the tapped holes in the top. I left it at, if I need a tapped hole for holding I will put one in as needed and I will tack the piece to the table if needed. I may also come up with a detachable way of threaded holes or t-slots to be used on this. One day if I have the room, I would like to own an acorn table or one with a grid of tapped holes or t-slots.
10-14-2012, 09:03 AM #9
I still need to sort out my 2" receiver hitch mounts. I'd like at least two of them.
The reason I was considering building a drawer cabinet out of wood is yesterday I was about to make a wooden drawer to fit right under the top. When it is closed there is no real way for any sparks or heat to ever get to a drawer under the top. I may try it out today. I can build it in wood, see if I like it and then make a steel or aluminum one down the road if I need to change it out.
10-14-2012, 11:22 AM #10
The 1" plate is an inch narrower than the big plate. I have a friend with a milling machine. We're sorting out everything it needs to hopefully get it all in one day on the mill. I want to square up both plates, put a small bevel on the edges and drill holes on the top to drop socket head cap screws into for mounting.
As far as attaching the 1" plates, I'd like to space them up to the level of the bigger section and mount them on slotted angle mounts on the frame. The slots would allow a t-nut to slide a couple of inches.
10-14-2012, 03:21 PM #11
Got things situated. I'll use it for a while and see how it goes before painting. First project is the frame for the wagon I'm building for my god daughter.
10-26-2012, 08:39 PM #12
10-26-2012, 09:38 PM #13
I bought a 15' x 30" T-slot fab table at auction and would recommend the design, it works well. The top is made from 1"X6" flat bar, spaced 5/8" apart with 1.5" channel welded on the underside between the flat bar to form the T-slot. The table is heavily reinforced underneath on a 10" channel frame. The T-slots collect junk, but they're easy to clean.
Cole2534 liked this post
10-27-2012, 02:01 PM #14
10-27-2012, 03:18 PM #15
Just a thought about your holding techniques. Mount a mag drill on the table and poke a bunch of holes in it and use hold fasts for 95% of your clamping needs. The ones pictured are 5/8'', but larger or smaller would work. The holes in my table are 11/16''. 3/8 x ¾ flat stock with rods from 3'' to 16''....so far.
10-27-2012, 03:48 PM #16
10-30-2012, 07:18 AM #17
Just one suggestion for the OP: do a drawing beforehand and investigate alternatives where you can just move around a few lines. Much easier to get a super good design that way!
11-03-2012, 06:48 AM #18
Good idea to pass along on the hold downs, but what really caught my eye was the vintage boom box. Question: If you weld to music, do the welds come out like the old bread advertisements with no holes?
PS Nothing beats an iron table top for welding!
11-03-2012, 07:49 AM #19
There are some great ideas here. I agree with Craig that cast iron is great for a welding table because spatter from the Mig doesn’t stick to it. Slodat made a great score with that machine table.
I like having a steel section for tacking fixture to also, but having lots of clamping options allow you to hold a piece of plate to weld to for fixtures that you want to keep and reuse.
Nice thread, glad I found it.
11-24-2012, 07:08 AM #20
I don't know what you do about fume removal but you instead of the 1" plate you could use a piece of grating on the top and build a duct underneath that would attach to a vent fan and have a down draft table. It might work to do most of your welding on that side of the table and save your machine table for fixturing and tacking. Just a thought.