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Thread: Plans for welding tables
04-22-2005, 04:22 PM #1jfsmith Guest
I need to make a 2 to 3 foot square welding table, anyone have some simple plans to make one this size?
04-22-2005, 04:39 PM #2
no plans, but its not too tough. i would use some angle (or whatever scrap you can dig up) turn the angle so that you have a lip at the edge that you can use for clamping or whatever you need. build your square, then at least once cross brace from corner to corner. this is the surface you will weld your top onto. then some angle for legs, cross brace them to keep them straight. if you want casters, go ahead, or bolts on the bottom of the legs to act as levelers and you have it.
i would say only a few major things to remember:
1) simple geometry, triangles are stronger than squares. the more squares you split into triangles in your structure, the stronger (thus more stable) your table will be.
2) keep everything square.
3) don't go crazy welding your top on, the day may come where you want to cut it off and replace it.
4) remember, you may have to move this thing one day. keep that in mind before building a 500 pound table.
04-22-2005, 05:27 PM #3
I used 1/4 hot rolled plate for the top, which is 40x48 - Used 1/4 x 2" angle for bracing around the perimeter and and to straighten out the top, because the plate will not be flat. As stated, put the verticle lip toward the middle to allow a clamping surface - I did not triangulate, but instead divided the short dimension into three quadrants and put two angle braces on. - Used some heavy duty metal legs I got at a flea market and added heavy casters.
I did not weld it together, but instead used allen head stove bolts (about 25) and countersunk them to just below the table surface. If I need to, it can all be disassembled and moved. Bolted a five inch vise on one corner and then added some 1/8 x 1" strap for leg bracing on three sides.
Pretty simple to build, but very solid.
04-22-2005, 06:05 PM #4jfsmith Guest
I like your idea, so I can take it apart either to store or move to a work site. I was thinking of using black iron pipe and flanges to make the legs and counter sunk bolts for the surface. Plus a lip so things don't roll off it.
04-22-2005, 07:09 PM #5
I dont think you want a lip on a welding table. What if you weld a project larger than the table and need that flat to rest on. My personal favorite welding table is 1" plate with 1/4x4" sq tubing for the legs. That way no frame is needed under the plate and it makes clamping easier. Acorn Platen is kinda nice too
04-22-2005, 07:13 PM #6
bike shop i worked at before had a pretty nice setup for a welding table, it was a 4X8 3/8 plate and frame all welded together. then on one corner they had welded some 1/2 square stock about 8 inches long in a perfect 90 degrees, then the opposite corner they welded the same square stock in 45 degrees. it was amazing how much those two simple jiggs got used.
04-22-2005, 07:33 PM #7
What is "acorn platen"???
Just hang the steel plate top over a few inches, to allow for c clamping to the table....
I'm with JL in that you don't want anything lip sticking up at the edge of the table, in case you need to lay really long stock up there....
Keep us posted Jerry. I've been dying to make me a nice welding table... I just can't bring myself to drop the $$ on a 4' x 8' sheet of steel plate....
04-22-2005, 07:36 PM #8
I have a small table about the size Jerry asked about that I like. Four legs made of 2" pipe with welded horizontal cross bars (no diagonals, it's plenty strong as a square with welded joints). The top is 3/4" plate. The sides are straight and dead square, so they can be used as reference edges. The edges hang out about 4" from the centerline of the legs so that there's plenty of clamp clearance. The table is about four feet high, to allow working while standing, and I can rest my elbows and/or forearms on the table without hunching over. There's a lower horizontal cross bar between the legs that is about 10" from the floor, wihch is pefect for sometimes resting one foot on, with knee bent. It's on casters so it rolls around. It's like being at a bar (sometimes I adorn with beer.) It works quite nicely for small'ish stuff. Obviously not practical for many larger projects.
04-22-2005, 08:05 PM #9
04-22-2005, 08:10 PM #10
Since we're on the subject, I've got a couple of Acorn platens for sale, 5 x 5, not perfect, but definitely usable. If anyone wants them let me know it.
04-22-2005, 08:18 PM #11
Damn...a welding table.
What a concept.
The wooden workbench I weld on doesn't like me anymore. I dont like it much either!
Guess I should get some plate cut!
That acorn plate looks nice. At the last place I worked we had a 3x3 table with T slots. Boy was that nice.
04-22-2005, 08:20 PM #12
I would build it so you can dismantle it. I know it is more work and it is especially tempting to weld it since you have a welder available. I have been at many sales where a beautiful welding table will sell for nothing because it is too big and too heavy for anyone to move. The guy who buys it ends up cutting the table up with a torch to move it.
What size of a table is best? I don't know but I am looking forward to hearing about what others have built. Consider that you will want to be able to move it through whatever door you have.
I am a believer in having a table on wheels but also making it so you can level the table with levelers so it stays in one place. You may also want to consider whether it will be on concrete, dirt, gravel or grass. The softer the surface, the bigger and wider the wheels should be so it can be rolled. One can use rims from ATVs or lawn mowers for a cheap WIDE metal wheel that allows good flotation over soft surfaces.
The top frame should be of heavy angle or tube so it will not flex when you clamp to it. The plate should be tacked on so you can remove it in the future. I like to drill some holes in the top along the side where you can drop a 90 and 45 degree guide for reference..they are handy and can be removed if you need a flat surface with no obstructions.
Have a shelf and some drawers on your table...yes, I know it is more work but they are very handy. Also install an electical outlet so you have somewhere to plug in the grinder, the light and all the other stuff you will use during welding.
Depending on the type of welding you will do, some tables I have seen have gratings set up for a cutting torch.
Here is a link to a group that has many good ideas on this subject...
Good luck and let us know what you end up building.
04-22-2005, 08:22 PM #13
remember my statement that you may want to MOVE it sometime?
04-22-2005, 08:23 PM #14
I think 3x3 is more versatile than 2x2 in my shop. Use bolts to attach the top to a frame--no welding distortion, flat for more reliable work set up, and easy to replace. Use another shelf or table on which to off-load all the clutter. If you use casters, give'm brakes. I'm not smart enough to figure out a variable height table, so I use a stool when I tig and want elbow support. This doesn't always work. Anyone have good ideas for affordable variable height tables?
04-22-2005, 08:36 PM #15
I hope I never have to move my welding table! It is a 4'X 8' sheet of 1" plate with 2" X 2" X 1/4" wall square tubing legs. Just underneath I have a row of 2" pvc tubes, slightly slanted, and capped at the under table end, to store tig filler rod. About a foot from the floor I have a perimeter of more 2" X 2" X 1/4", decked with 3/4" plywood, where I store cast iron pitch blocks, about 40 at approx 40# each, used in my boat prop repair business. on top I have my fixture to mount pitch blocks and prop being straightened. Needless to say the table doesn't bounce much when I hammer on a prop. Also have vises, etc. mounted on it. It was, as usual a scrounged deal. You don't even want to know what I have invested in it.
04-22-2005, 08:36 PM #16
pull out and take a look at the scissor jack from your car, thats about the simplest way to do them. the other alternative is a threaded rod thru the legs with an inner leg where the rod threads thru and an outer leg where the table is welded on with a bolt at the top of the legs. works if you have air tools to raise and lower it, but sucks if all you have is a ratchet.
04-22-2005, 08:40 PM #17
Heavy angle iron is good for making a slotted table. Two lengths with their cross sections arranged like upside down L's with their backs facing each other and spaced for clamping bolts make up one section. Add as many rows as you like. Get it blanchard ground and you almost have acorn plattern. You can use small "I" beams if you want closer spacing.
04-22-2005, 08:41 PM #18
What kind of welding projects do you expect to do. My welding table is 4' x 6', 3/4 thick. When I am not using it, it is way to big. Often when I use it I need a larger one. I have been known to weld parts to it to straighten, and chased it around the shop with a sledge hammer. I often use the table as a base plate for fabrication jigs. Just weld the fixture parts on one side only, and knock them off with a hammer when done. It dresses up quick with a angle grinder.
If you move all of your parts by hand, and a 50 lb. workpiece is real big, 1/2 or even 3/8 plate is plenty. All the former posts have good ideas, you just have to decide what you will be working on in the future.
Let us know what you build, and even more important, what you would do different after you use it for awhile.
04-22-2005, 08:46 PM #19
im collecting parts to build a motorcycle mock up jig. basically a 8' 4X6 i beam welded to two engine stands. then i can make my fixtures out of 1" square tube and bolt it to the I beam. that and a 3X3 table are all i would ever need.
04-22-2005, 09:00 PM #20
A bar to hang clamps on, a setup for hanging your grinders and a tray or shelf underneath for all the other stuff you'll want. Make the shelf out of expanded metal so all the grinder grit, slag and other nasty stuff will fall through instead of building up until the annual spring cleaning day.