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Welding clamps that fit in hole in table - hole specs

Overland

New member
I'm thinking of building a welding table and saw these welding clamps:
WeldingSupply UDN5150 $17.25

They look really good.
It seems they jam in the hole due to the clamping load tipping the clamp over.

Does anyone know what the hole specs are please ?
Diameter ? (Seems to 5/8")
Thickness of plate/ depth of hole ?
Thanks
Bob
 

MichaelP

Active member
I use the same clamps and other accessories and made many of my own. I drilled holes using a 5/8" annular cutter in a mag drill. Works perfectly.
 

jermfab

New member
As much as I *REALLY* enjoy the idea of many of the welding fixture table “systems”, it’s my personal opinion that the commercially available “fixturing systems” do a far better job selling the concept of enhanced versatility than actually delivering.

Personally, I’ve never worked in an actual production environment of any sort where the typical “welding fixture table” actually existed, much less got used.

There have been some constants in every environment I’ve ever worked in:

Rare is the shop that has a “tooling surplus”, especially where something as simple as clamps are concerned.

Rarer still are the times where someone else’s universal or one-size-fits-all approach has actually best served my needs, certainly not in the variety of situations these systems claim to.

I shudder to think about actually regularly working on a surface pockmarked with holes…

Nearly as much as having to look at expensive and dedicated tooling…

I’d rather have a clamp that worked I could clamp something in its range…

That’s all before one errant weld “BB” or piece of slag…

capable of being delivered by most welding processes…

either renders a hole inoperative.

Or forces me to stop and address its otherwise completely inconsequential existence.

A work surface I can’t really draw or make notes on.



Personally I would rather have the flattest, biggest and heaviest piece of steel possible.

Only enough frame to assist gravity in keeping said plate flat to itself within reason, and reasonably flat to the horizon…

I do personally like leveling feet, but more so the surface doesn’t rock, not to make the surface *actually* level to the horizon.

Leveling feet do, unfortunately, tend to grab welding leads and drop cords.

After that I’ll look at the assortment of clamps and make a decision as to where to drill a small handful of holes on a grid that makes sense.

With my assortment of clamps, mostly Bessey sliding “F” clamps, a 3-4” hole on 16” centers allows me to clamp almost every inch of the surface…

There’s still plenty of real estate without holes in it.

I can use the table as a very sturdy, flat and solid work surface, clamp a weldment solidly when required, but don’t lose the overall versatility of a flat and smoother surface.




Be safe




Jeremy
 

JP Machining

Active member
Mine is 1/4" thick 5/8" holes on 2" centers . Can find several guys online with lasers to make them for you. There are enough ribs under it that it is fairly strong. The nice cast iron ones are better for spatter etc but use your head and these are nice. Lots of different fixturing things out there and makes producing more than one of something a breeze.
264dbb54228e19a2a4bab67e593e23a0.jpg
 

Bondo

New member
It depends on how much force you want against your table. I could make these jam inside a piece of 18ga but that isnt going to hold squat.

Figure out how strong you want your table vs your budget then build that. If you cant afford a 1/2" plate, dont try to use the clamps with that much force.

I like 3/8" thick as a basic table. Most of mine are 1" thick and I still bend them over time.

Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
 

Overland

New member
Thanks guys,
Bloody horrible outside, for SC, so I looked at a few more videos.

Hey JP, it looks like you got one of those kits ?
It seems that 1/4" will bend fairly easily and not allow you to use much clamping force.
I'm thinking 5/8" if I can find some at a reasonable price.

It's interesting to see how people have drilled the holes, with a jig and a mag drill.
Luckily I have a knee mill with 40" "X" travel, and 12" "Y".
I figure with cranking the arm back and fore, along with the X & Y axes, and flipping the plate round, I should be able to cover 4' x 4'. I have a DRO so it'll be easy, for the most part, except when I have to move the arm; but still easy enough to locate on a couple of holes and zero the DRO.

Anyone else want a top while I'm doing mine ?

By the way, are drilled holes OK, or is it worth reaming them ?
And I guess I need to decide whether 5/8" or 16 mm. 5/8" probably more common for clamps.

Bob.
 

Arc-On

Member
The clamps you are asking about are designed for a plate 5/8" thick, but they will work in thinner. Personally, I wouldn't go thinner than 1/2". You can get away with 1/4", but you run the risk of bending or distorting the table top or the holes under clamping pressure.

I have a few weld tables, and there are for sure plusses and minuses to each style.

My favorite is the Acorn platen table, it is designed to be used as a fixture table, and we use the ever living snot out of this thing, but it is not the answer if you use a lot of little parts or if this is to be your only table.

That said, if I had to get rid of my welding tables, the acorn would be the last to go. Mine is 5' x 8' and the only thing I would like better is a 5'x 10'.

My favorite clamps for this table are not the hammer-in dog style that they originally used but the wedge style clamps like the Strong Hand, just a little bigger.

51826417626_b8bf54b6c2_b.jpg


I built a plate table a few years ago, 1-1/4" thick blanchard ground A36. I drilled 5/8" holes in it with a mag drill for the strong hand clamps, and they work fine. A bit small for some apps, but fine.

51827144790_ee73834275_b.jpg


We had a job a few months back that needed a temporary weld table. I ordered this cut from 1" plate at the local laser. Someday I'll build a base for it. For now, we just keep it on pallet racking, and put it on the horses when we need an extra surface. This was just pre-covid, so material cost was about 1k out the door for the laser cut plate delivered. I had them cut 1-3/4" holes on 12" centers. These allow the use of the acorn platen tooling as well as the typical bessey F style clamp.

We still can use the F clamps on the acorn, but the thickness of the casting requires us to take off the dynamic jaw when loading it through the hole. The 1" plate doesn't require that.

49663494527_7d6499d120_b.jpg


49662673748_725c1ae013_b.jpg
 

Arc-On

Member
Thanks guys,
Bloody horrible outside, for SC, so I looked at a few more videos.

Hey JP, it looks like you got one of those kits ?
It seems that 1/4" will bend fairly easily and not allow you to use much clamping force.
I'm thinking 5/8" if I can find some at a reasonable price.

It's interesting to see how people have drilled the holes, with a jig and a mag drill.
Luckily I have a knee mill with 40" "X" travel, and 12" "Y".
I figure with cranking the arm back and fore, along with the X & Y axes, and flipping the plate round, I should be able to cover 4' x 4'. I have a DRO so it'll be easy, for the most part, except when I have to move the arm; but still easy enough to locate on a couple of holes and zero the DRO.

Anyone else want a top while I'm doing mine ?

By the way, are drilled holes OK, or is it worth reaming them ?
And I guess I need to decide whether 5/8" or 16 mm. 5/8" probably more common for clamps.

Bob.

Laser cut or waterjet your holes. If you can't, drilled is fine, there is already slop. Reaming is un-necessary, as is a precise layout. Center punches off a large combo square will get you close enough if you're careful. We have yet to require our tables to have the holes in a particular pattern or layout other than a simple grid, and even then there's a bit of leeway.

I highly doubt this is the case, but if you're doing jobs that require your table to be precisely laid out, weld everything together, have the table stress relieved, then put it up on a HBM or similar and machine it flat and add your holes. Make sure you add thickness to your plate to be milled off. At least an extra 1/8". Shop next to me has 3 or 4 fairly large HBMs and they do machine bases and fixture tables all the time.
 

Fish On

Member
...un-necessary, as is a precise layout.

If you're just using the holes for sticking clamps into, that's valid, but if it's at all possible to waterjet or laser the holes more accurately, it opens up possibilities for stops and squares and such that are really where fixturing tables shine.

I've got a pair of Siegmund tables, and the accurate hole pattern, coupled with equivalent accuracy on the accessories, makes setups ridiculously fast. All of the stops and squares have both holes and slots - the holes all line up with even inch increments, and the slots allow for fine adjusting fractionals. Because of the consistent hole pattern, I can do entire 3 dimensional setups without even using a tape measure, and a couple quick phone photos is all I need to save the pattern for easy setup again in 6 months if the job repeats.

For that matter, I know you're wanting to roll your own, but once you figure in all the steel, the fab time, sending it out for milling or blanchard grinding the surface, and buying/making some clamps and stops, it's really tough to beat the cost of this setup. I've got two of these, bolted together to make a 4x6' table, and I've got to say, I could not ask for a better designed piece of equipment.

US168125.X7 System 16 3'x4' Imperial (Inch) Welding Table Bundle 2022 – Siegmund Welding Tables USA (An Official Division of Quantum Machinery)


If you do end up rolling your own, pick either 50 mm or 2", depending on whether you work in inch or metric, for your pattern, and you'll be able to purchase stops and squares and quick connect hold down 'bolt's for use - I think Siegmund is the only one offering 2" spacings, but Siegmund, Strong hand and others make stuff to fit 50 mm spacings. 16 mm hole, regardless. I think there's more offerings in the 16 mm market, and you can use a 5/8 clamp in a 16 mm hole, but not the other way around.
 

Arc-On

Member
If you're just using the holes for sticking clamps into, that's valid, but if it's at all possible to waterjet or laser the holes more accurately, it opens up possibilities for stops and squares and such that are really where fixturing tables shine.

I've got a pair of Siegmund tables, and the accurate hole pattern, coupled with equivalent accuracy on the accessories, makes setups ridiculously fast. All of the stops and squares have both holes and slots - the holes all line up with even inch increments, and the slots allow for fine adjusting fractionals. Because of the consistent hole pattern, I can do entire 3 dimensional setups without even using a tape measure, and a couple quick phone photos is all I need to save the pattern for easy setup again in 6 months if the job repeats.

For that matter, I know you're wanting to roll your own, but once you figure in all the steel, the fab time, sending it out for milling or blanchard grinding the surface, and buying/making some clamps and stops, it's really tough to beat the cost of this setup. I've got two of these, bolted together to make a 4x6' table, and I've got to say, I could not ask for a better designed piece of equipment.

US168125.X7 System 16 3'x4' Imperial (Inch) Welding Table Bundle 2022 – Siegmund Welding Tables USA (An Official Division of Quantum Machinery)


If you do end up rolling your own, pick either 50 mm or 2", depending on whether you work in inch or metric, for your pattern, and you'll be able to purchase stops and squares and quick connect hold down 'bolt's for use - I think Siegmund is the only one offering 2" spacings, but Siegmund, Strong hand and others make stuff to fit 50 mm spacings. 16 mm hole, regardless. I think there's more offerings in the 16 mm market, and you can use a 5/8 clamp in a 16 mm hole, but not the other way around.

I get what you're saying, and it is a valid solution.

I just have not really found as many applications for a perfect grid as the table sales guy says there is.

It's really icing on the cake. I run a fabrication job shop, so we're fixturing up a lot of weird setups. And yeah, it would be nice to have sometimes, but it isn't truly required. Most of the time, we just dog down a section of heavy angle iron as a fence. Just need a couple clamps.

The Seigmund tables are nice, no doubt. And with the price of steel sky high right now might be where the smart money is.

But a home brew table is often the most economical choice for a small shop.

If you are just going to order a plate, for sure machine cut the holes and have the mill scale ground off. You'll be glad you did.

If you already have a table, a well thought out layout and careful drilling will get you close enough for fab work. This isn't a milling machine table.
 

Fish On

Member
but it isn't truly required.

Oh, for sure. The table doesn't allow me to make things that I otherwise wouldn't. I could still make anything I make without it. The table just allows me to make them faster.

It's also great for stuff that might repeat, might not. If it would repeat, it would be worth making a jig. Do you gamble that it will, and throw together a jig that uses up $30 of aluminum, and takes up space in storage, then never get the job again? Or, do you just wing it, and then have the job show up twice again?

With the jig table, I make the jig for it, and take a few digital photos. If it repeats, I can set the jig back up in 2 - 3 minutes from the photo. If it never repeats, all I'm storing is a couple pictures on a hard drive.
 

jamscal

Active member
We got a Siegmund table with the accessories and it's more awesome than I thought it would be, by far.

Welding base plates on tube for example. The base plate clamps vertically to the end of the table at the proper height. (Stops keep it from falling) and the tube lays on the table, held in position using stops and clamps. It's faster for a one off, it's faster still for multiples. 100% square.



Same with frames. Having the sides square allow the stops to be dropped to pull the frame out, then repositioned without measuring to build the next one.

I have a 4x8 with 28mm holes, and the large 20" squares allow you make the table effectively 20" wider or longer. (and still use clamps and stops in the square.

I did buy a bunch of cheaper bessey clamps for it, but I also have a large cast table I drilled some holes in that happens to also be `1" thick between the webs, so that tooling works for that table too.
 

Overland

New member
I'm thinking of a 5/8" plate table. No resources nearby to grind it flat, though.
I've seen example on video's of bolting the plate to a table frame, then using jacking bolts to get it "flat".
How realistic is this for 5/8" plate ?
Thanks,
Bob
 








 
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