Old Cast T-slot Fab Table
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  1. #1
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    Default Old Cast T-slot Fab Table

    I came across this a few months back in a rural part of the state who's only industry have ever been mining and agriculture. I am not sure what I will do with it if anything, but at the time could not pass it up. Have any of you ever seen one similar? I searched and asked around. But came up with nothing. It would be neat to know where this came from.

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    Very useful table for welding on. Put two 1/2" by 1" BDMS strip on it. One up the side and one at 90 degrees to the other strip. Set them perfectly at 90degrees and you've got a quick way of setting up.

    Regards Tyrone.

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    The International Harvester Co. Truck Engineering Dept. in Fort Wayne had dozens of similar bed plates set flush with the floor, surrounded with terracotta tiles and trenches with removable metal covers for running air pipes and wires. I think the plates came from General Electric, who made the dynamometers. They were cast iron with a planed top. Many of the plates were used to mount engine, transmission and axle testing dynamometers. Others were used to mount a myriad of physical testing equipment. The plates were mostly about the same size and were set in groups of various numbers, tightly joined together to accommodate the various test cell sizes and equipment.

    The picture shows the Axle Lab, with one driving and two absorbing dynamometers arranged in an "E" shape to test the axle in the center. Two other modified 18" ring gear axles were used at the two corners to conserve floor space. You can see part of the bed plates toward the lower right of the picture. The picture was taken by the company photographer around 1969 for a talk I gave. Note that our plates had square holes at intervals to allow inserting the T-nuts or T-bolts in the slots.

    IH had a proving ground near Phoenix, AZ back then, but I don't know if they had any bed plates. As far as I know, it was basically a test track, off-road and garage operation.

    Larry

    dsc02028.jpg

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    I would love to get a high resolution photo of that dyne setup. We are decorating our new building with photos of this type.

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    Quote Originally Posted by motion guru View Post
    I would love to get a high resolution photo of that dyne setup. We are decorating our new building with photos of this type.
    Have you looked at shorpy? they sell old pics:
    Workshop: 1916 | Shorpy Old Photos | Poster Art

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    I imagine the tables in the floor of that IH shop were much heavier. Built into the slab maybe too. Pretty cool! Thanks for sharing that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by johfoster View Post
    I imagine the tables in the floor of that IH shop were much heavier. Built into the slab maybe too. Pretty cool! Thanks for sharing that.
    Yeah, the ones in the OP look relatively light duty. But still serviceable for a lot of things, including fab welding.

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    I agree about looking light duty, to use it for any kind shop table I would be sure to have good cross members that support the entire bottom going 90º to the tee slots. Just bolting legs in the corners looks like it will break in half with the first heavy part roughly set on it.
    Acorn platen tables are 5" thick.

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    It is many years since I saw one of the IH bedplates removed from the floor. My recollection is that the underside looked pretty much like the OP. I think ours were set into a bed of wet concrete or grout and levelled when they were installed in the new building around 1954. Remember, they were permanently set in the floor, not supported on legs.

    Some of the applications involved relatively heavy static loading with very little vibration, like the axle dyno. But a few involved extremely violent cyclic mostly vertical loading, probably never envisioned when the building was designed. Think several very large MTS Systems electro-hydraulic linear actuators programmed to shake an entire heavy duty truck cab and hood to simulate driving over a rough road. For weeks. Our large torsion test machine would apply a twisting load to the bedplate between the headstock and tailstock. The Stress Lab applied several ton loads in various directions to components fastened to the bedplate using the overhead chain hoist or hydraulic cylinders. But I do not recall a bedplate being damaged.

    The building still stands at 2911 Meyer Rd., Fort Wayne, IN. It has been vacant since a few years after I retired, so I don't know if some bedplates are still in place. Over the years I was there, many of the testing areas with bedplates were converted to office space.

    Larry

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    That floor plate looks like one used with a horizontal boring mill or RA drill press. Just saying.
    Last edited by 4GSR; 08-26-2019 at 05:06 PM.

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    If you look closely at the second photo which shows the underside, there are pads which are probably intended for mounting legs. I suspect it was intended to be a table. Welding sounds like one use, but I am sure there could be many others.



    Quote Originally Posted by Tyrone Shoelaces View Post
    Very useful table for welding on. Put two 1/2" by 1" BDMS strip on it. One up the side and one at 90 degrees to the other strip. Set them perfectly at 90degrees and you've got a quick way of setting up.

    Regards Tyrone.

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    To the OP: check around for a maker’s mark? It looks very similar (from the underside) to plates from the Bay Cast company out of Michigan. I am sure there were/are many foundries that made floor plates, though.

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    No makers marks that I could find when I first looked it over. When I got it it had a very crude table base mounted to it. "Light Duty" is certainly relative considering this one weighs around 1800lbs I calculate. Although yes it is light duty in that I could certainly not imagine it having been part of any machine.

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    Just for reference an acorn type platen table that is 5'x5' is anywhere from 2900 to 4500 lbs each. I have 8 or so of them and that is the weight range of them.

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    At a guess it looks like it may be 4' x 8'?
    Check out the Forster Welding system tables and the range of clamping fixtures. The setup would be very similar if you used this as a welding table.
    I just bought one of the Forster tables cus' there ain't no scrap like that around here!
    If that was my plate I would get it blasted and blanchard ground and make a nice base for it, hell of a nice table for weld setups.
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    Quote Originally Posted by M. Moore View Post
    At a guess it looks like it may be 4' x 8'?
    Check out the Forster Welding system tables and the range of clamping fixtures. The setup would be very similar if you used this as a welding table.
    I just bought one of the Forster tables cus' there ain't no scrap like that around here!
    If that was my plate I would get it blasted and blanchard ground and make a nice base for it, hell of a nice table for weld setups.
    I like that table. I've never seen one like it before. The clamping set up is excellent.

    Regards Tyrone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by M. Moore View Post
    At a guess it looks like it may be 4' x 8'?
    Check out the Forster Welding system tables and the range of clamping fixtures. The setup would be very similar if you used this as a welding table.
    I just bought one of the Forster tables cus' there ain't no scrap like that around here!
    If that was my plate I would get it blasted and blanchard ground and make a nice base for it, hell of a nice table for weld setups.
    It is around 3.5 x 7 iirc. That is what I had planned for it when I picked it up. I have a 5x8 fixture table in the shop, so not really a need for this one. If it sits around long enough I will probably get to building a base and cleaning it up though. I put it up for sale locally to get my money back for other equipment I am buying recently , but no one else seems to want it like I did.
    The Forster's are really nice tables.

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    I think I paid about 900 for this table top and made my own base. It is in the low position now but can be lifted by forklift and then it will be about 36" high. 29.5" x 69". I have a lot of clamping fixtures that slide into the T slots. Sides and ends are square and may at some point get drilled and tapped. I actually bought 2 of them and the other is waiting for me to clear out some junk so there is room for it.20190429_075556.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scruffy887 View Post
    I think I paid about 900 for this table top and made my own base. It is in the low position now but can be lifted by forklift and then it will be about 36" high. 29.5" x 69". I have a lot of clamping fixtures that slide into the T slots. Sides and ends are square and may at some point get drilled and tapped. I actually bought 2 of them and the other is waiting for me to clear out some junk so there is room for it.20190429_075556.jpg
    If you fix a steel strip on to one side and one edge at 90 degrees to each other you have an easy way of setting fabrications at 90. On that table it should be easy because it should already be square on the edges.

    Regards Tyrone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tyrone Shoelaces View Post
    I like that table. I've never seen one like it before. The clamping set up is excellent.

    Regards Tyrone.
    What he said- the fabricator here would love that for all the oddball parts welding he runs into.


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