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Evan
04-30-2007, 09:26 AM
It's time I started showing some of what I have been doing the last month. Thanks to the new medication I have been taking for FMS I have been able to work at full capacity and have undertaken a major project, long overdue, to renovate and improve my garage shop.

It has been a summer time shop only due to lack of insulation and heat. More on that later. One of the projects that I have been working on is a proper welding table for the "new" shop.

With the exception of the table top it is made almost entirely from scrap metal. Most of it is thinwall square tubing given to me by a good friend. It was originally used in the shipping frames for snowmobiles and he saves the pieces, all of which are either 2" sq or 3/4" square thinwall stock.

This is what I came up with. All exterior welds are ground. I used both gas and arc welding because of the .063 tubing. Extra rigidity is provided by the shelf unit and the triangulation braces. The top is a new sheet of 1/4" mild steel plate, cost $150 cdn inc. cutting charge. The shelf is a sheet of high density particle board with a sheet of Formica for fire resistance. The shelf has several cross supports not visible under it.

Note the sheet of galvanized flashing on the gyprock wall to provide fire resistance. Also, the location between the main doors and the man door provides excellent ventilation in summer. I am building a fume extraction hood to go over it for winter use.

http://vts.bc.ca/pics2/weldtable1.jpg

This next pic shows the adjustable feet. They may be adjusted to provide a table height of 33" to 38". They also provide much of the column bending strength in the table legs as they are heavywall tubing that extends to nearly the top of the legs inside.

http://vts.bc.ca/pics2/weldtable2.jpg

Mounted on the table is my English Record vise. I wanted to be able to swivel it and make it easy to remove. The vise is mounted to a plate that is tapped for the vise mounting bolts. The plate is bolted to the table top using a grade "16" fine thread 1/2" bolt with a large backup plate on the underside. It is able to clamp the vise securely in any position in a full circle or it may be removed easily for an unobstructed table.

http://vts.bc.ca/pics2/weldtable3.jpg

Also included is a pin for connecting the ground clamp to the table.

http://vts.bc.ca/pics2/weldtable4.jpg

PTSideshow
04-30-2007, 09:53 AM
nice!:D glad to hear that the meds are working out

Mcgyver
04-30-2007, 10:12 AM
Evan, looks good. I'm looking forward to seeing your fume extraction ideas. I'd always thought some sort of device that lowered into place temporarily but was held up in the ceiling otherwise (like spring loaded attic stairs) would be neat. Have thought about a back mounted extractor (instead of overhead)? a friend recently told me this is the way new installations are done, otherwise the fumes have already gone past your breathing apparatus before they are extracted

speedsport
04-30-2007, 10:24 AM
Evan,
I have a friend that owns a Yamaha dealership and he lets me have all the square tubing that the bikes are crated with, the stuff really comes in handy and the price is right, glad to see that someone else has discovered this supply of free stuff.

Evan
04-30-2007, 10:36 AM
The best bet to move the fumes away from your head is to blow them with a fan. You can't suck air from a particular direction no matter where you mount the intake. For a suction system to provide side extraction that works it needs to move a lot of air in order to produce a general movement of air in that direction. I have such a blower but it would change the air in my shop every few minutes, not a good idea in winter. For a small shop the best is to use a small fan to keep the fumes away from your face and an overhead hood to evacuate them, which is what I will do. The fan needn't be placed so close that it interferes with shielding gases. All you need is a gentle airflow. I am placing the extraction vent along the wall behind the table. It will be full width extending perhaps 1/3 over the table and powered by a centrifugal blower and a 1/4 hp motor. I have the luxury of 10 1/2 foot ceilings so have plenty of space above the table. A fan on a stand will be placed several feet from the table to move the air toward the intake.

By not extending the hood over the entire table it leaves room for a small overhead traveling electric winch that I will install to lift heavy items to the table.

aostling
04-30-2007, 10:40 AM
It's time I started showing some of what I have been doing the last month.

Is that your PT Cruiser in the driveway? Williams Lake must be more urbanized than I assumed.

Evan
04-30-2007, 11:04 AM
That's our PT Cruiser. We bought it as soon as they became available. Very nice car and with the ABS and traction control it's almost as good as a 4x4 except the clearance. We park it for most of the winter and drive the Ford Ranger.

As for "urbanized", that's hard to say for a town that relies on heavy industry, much of it right in the main part of town. We have seven major sawmills in town, and I do mean major.

This is the log yard for just one of them:

http://vts.bc.ca/pics2/logs1.jpg

This is more of the log yard, a different part. There is a lot more for this mill. Some of the other mills are as large too.

http://vts.bc.ca/pics2/logs2.jpg

Scishopguy
04-30-2007, 12:45 PM
Evan,

That is a nice looking welding table. I like the extra features you added, like the pin for the ground clamp and making the vice easily removable. At my ex work place, we drilled the top plate and attached rivnuts to the bottom side so you could just unscrew the bolts from the vice and take it off without having to mess with two wrenches and standing on your head.

I am glad to see that I am not the only "scrounge" that recycles old shipping frames. I have had good luck with the Kubota tractor dealer. They actually have to pay the scrap dealer to haul off the frames. Those frames yield a lot of 1"x3" box tubing as well as 2"x2" angle. That is what I referr to as real conservation. I hate to see good stuff go to the scrappers. Besides, as was said before, the price is right.

I am glad you are feeling better, being sick gets in the way of a lot of good work.;)

Evan
04-30-2007, 12:57 PM
On the underside of the table below the vise is a thick plate about 4" x 6" currently acting as a washer. I will drill and tap it and screw it to the table so I don't have to mess with a wrench under the table. I'm not sure how everyone else fastens the top plate to the table frame but mine is fastened with flush socket head cap screws at the corners. In the center are two more going to a bracket on a heavy wall 2 x 2 cross bar. These two screws are used in conjunction with shims to adjust and remove the slight bow in the plate. I have it flat to within about .010 across the top.


That is what I referr to as real conservation. I hate to see good stuff go to the scrappers. Besides, as was said before, the price is right.

I'll be showing some more of that. I recycle "scrap" metal into most of my projects.

BadDog
04-30-2007, 01:10 PM
Very nice Evan.

I was getting concerned about the legs bending, and they certainly would the way I use mine, but then I read about the inserts. :D

One word of advice, if you plan to do much welding, I would replace that bottom shelf with 1/2" expanded metal. That way the splatter berries and soot can fall through. It's amazing how messy a solid shelf will get below a welding table.

Evan
04-30-2007, 01:16 PM
The shelf slides out and isn't fastened in place. If I used expanded metal the crap would just fall one level further down and be even harder to get at because thats where the real heavy stuff will be stored. I have 400 lbs of plate pieces to put under there.

BadDog
04-30-2007, 01:22 PM
Ah, well, that makes sense. I have low access stuff down there in heavy wooden trays and such that I pull out and vacume from time to time. Most scrap chunks that I think might be useful, not that concerned about getting grungy. But at least the mess does not accumulate on my 2 main shelves where I store shorts, fixtures, and so on.

I also don't like to store plate flat. I can never see what I want, and when I do find it, it's invariably near the bottom. I store (almost) all flat metal vertical so I can leaf through and select what I want.

Anyway, very nice looking table and location. <sigh> I wish I had more room...

CCWKen
04-30-2007, 02:09 PM
I like that bench. Still lots of shiny area too. :D I'd like to build one but as with any flat surface around here, it quickly becomes a work area or storage space. :rolleyes: Glad to hear you're feeling better.

Back to my powder coat/heat treat oven....

Wareagle
04-30-2007, 02:28 PM
Evan, what about utilizing a heat exchanger for your ventilation system? In the winter time, any heat you can keep in the shop would definatley help keep it comfortable.

By the way, the table looks well thought out. The only thing that would make it better is having it in my shop :D

Evan
04-30-2007, 04:53 PM
A heat exchanger is a possibility. I have considered that but such a unit would be pretty bulky. I'm probably going to put in natural gas heat with a ceiling unit and it won't cost that much to make up the heat loss when I am welding. There probably won't be that many welding projects in the winter. Another possibility is to use an electrostatic precipitator that I have and just recirculate the air but cleaning the unit is a pain.

Fasttrack
04-30-2007, 06:37 PM
Hey Evan,

What are the dimensions of the table and how have you supported that 1/4" plate? Is it just supported around the edges or do you have some bracing underneath. The reason i ask is i recently got my hands on some 22" X 44" 1/4" rusty plate from the scrap yard and i'm thinking i'll make myself a real welding table out of it.

I actually bought it to use for my rotary table project, but then i realized i had no way of cutting it. I've gotten so used to using a plasma cutter at school and on my brother-in-law's farm that i forgot i didn't have one too! :D

I'm still waiting on some tubing to make the outer race for the bearing - hopefully i can get some pretty quick.

Mike Burdick
04-30-2007, 06:50 PM
...one thing nice to do on a welding tabe is to allow the tabletop to hang over at least 2-inchs on all edges. This allows a nice place to attach C-clamps.

Weston Bye
04-30-2007, 07:31 PM
One of the machine builders I used to deal with had a fabricating table. With a 1/2" steel top, (something most of us could only dream of) the fabricator could tack aligning blocks to the table to position precut details for welding. This was good for welding up multiples of the same assembly. When the job was over, the blocks were knocked loose and the table cleaned up to a flat shiny finish with the angle head grinder, usually equipped with a flexible sanding disk.

aostling
04-30-2007, 07:38 PM
As for "urbanized", that's hard to say for a town that relies on heavy industry, much of it right in the main part of town. We have seven major sawmills in town, and I do mean major.


Evan,

My first thought was that you would have no shortage of mill scrap to burn in a wood stove, to heat your shop. My second thought was that this is 1970s thinking, not what's good for the planet or the air quality of Williams Lake.

In 1994 when I was living there the Seattle Times ran an article about Chilko Lake. At the first opportunity I drove up there, on a three-day weekend. I just checked my petrol log, and sure enough, it proves that I gassed-up at Williams Lake on 27 May of that year. I remember having a nice breakfast at 100 Mile House, and buying groceries in your local supermarket. My 1986 Camry survived the two ruts which constitutes the road up the west side of Chilko Lake, to arrive at a wonderful camping spot on Tatla Lake.

Did you grow up in these northern forests? If so, you must have seen a lot of changes.

pntrbl
04-30-2007, 08:28 PM
...one thing nice to do on a welding tabe is to allow the tabletop to hang over at least 2-inchs on all edges. This allows a nice place to attach C-clamps.

One of the happiest mistakes I've ever had in the shop was when the steelyard sheared the 1/4" plate for my bench 1" too wide. That 1" lip gets used all the time. Besides clamping I've bent sheetmetal on it. Overhang is good.

SP

BadDog
04-30-2007, 08:44 PM
One of the machine builders I used to deal with had a fabricating table. With a 1/2" steel top, (something most of us could only dream of) the fabricator could tack aligning blocks to the table to position precut details for welding. This was good for welding up multiples of the same assembly. When the job was over, the blocks were knocked loose and the table cleaned up to a flat shiny finish with the angle head grinder, usually equipped with a flexible sanding disk.
Wow, I didn't realize I was "living the dream"! ;) Yeah, mine is 1/2" top and it's wonderful to be able to tack fixtures right to the surface, and knock 'em off when I'm done. And I use a 7" 60 grit AO flexible disk to clean mine off too. I also left 2" over hang all the way around, and the perimeter support is 4"(IIRC?) channel turned open side out, so plenty of room to get a bite for most anything...

Fasttrack
04-30-2007, 08:55 PM
Next time i'm on the farm i'll have to take a pic of my dream welding table....

At 4' X 8' there's plenty of room for all sorts of projects. Plus there is a good six inch overhang and a nice little piece jutting out to hold the vise while allowing ample room for clearence. Oh, and its 1" thick! :eek:

I think someone else here had a table that was made from some old ... errm ... well i can't recall now but i seem to remember they were something like two inches thick! Maybe that was John? (or maybe i've gone nuts)

Fasttrack
04-30-2007, 08:56 PM
I also left 2" over hang all the way around, and the perimeter support is 4"(IIRC?) channel turned open side out, so plenty of room to get a bite for most anything...


I like the idea of the channel turned open side out - a little more flexibilty with clamping and whatnot.

BadDog
04-30-2007, 09:08 PM
Here is my table. I've been asked for pics an kept forgetting, so I finally just went out and took one. It shows one of my "receiver tube" mounts on the front right side, currently mounting a Wilton Mechanics vise. On the back side (in the pic) is a 1/2 locking screw that takes up any slop. On the back of the table are 2 more receivers that currently hold a Greenly style bender and a bead roller. Near side of pic shows a piece of scrap tack welded in place to form a MIG gun holster while working. Other junk is visible, should be obvious...
http://www.members.cox.net/darthtruggy/junk/table.jpg

Mike Burdick
04-30-2007, 09:32 PM
...another handy tip is to drill 1/2" holes on a 3"grid through the middle 1-foot of the table. These holes are handy for additional clamping that you can make from scrap. Use althread for the bolts. A welding table never seems to have enough clamping space.

If you want, you can weld nuts to the backside of these holes. I suggest using the nuts because the threads will get filled with spatter and will need to be re-tapping once in a while. If they get too bad, one can just "knock" of the nut and replace it. When welding these nuts on in the first place hold them down tight with a bolt so the clamp bolt will be perpendicular when used. You'll be surprised how often you use these!

Evan
04-30-2007, 09:34 PM
The table is 3' x 4'. I would have liked thicker plate but I had to put that plate on there by myself and the 1/4" plate weighs about 120 lbs.

The plate is supported across the center by a 2x2" piece as I explained.

I have plenty of big clamps that can reach under the 2" edge to clamps things. One can never own too many clamps. If I feel the need for a lip to clamp to then bolting a length of angle iron to the edge is trivial.

aostling,

We do burn the mill scrap. It's burned in a super clean 80 megawatt cogeneration plant. The scrap supplies the power to run the mills, the town and one copper mine.

Thanks for the comments guys. I'll be posting another project every couple of days or so.

BadDog
04-30-2007, 09:44 PM
The table is 3' x 4'. I would have liked thicker plate but I had to put that plate on there by myself and the 1/4" plate weighs about 120 lbs.

This is one of the times having a 20 year old (roughly) 6'2" son comes in handy. Mine is 4x4 and heavy for the 2 of us to move.


I have plenty of big clamps that can reach under the 2" edge to clamps things. One can never own too many clamps. If I feel the need for a lip to clamp to then bolting a length of angle iron to the edge is trivial.

Agreed on the clamps. I've got probably 30+ c-clamps ranging from 1" up to 10" (almost all are good quality old US made clamps). I've also go some cheap (cast steel?) c-clamps and vise grips that I weld to my table as needed. Some of the c-clamps have the bottom leg removed so I can weld them and clamp as needed. I've also got some 1/2" pipe clamps mounted to, well, pieces of pipe, that can also be welded down when/where needed. I've had a complete Dana 60 (1 ton GM 4x4, gotta be about 800 lbs) front axle setting on my welding table, V8 engines, all sorts of stuff. 1/2 thick is a bare minimum...

JRouche
04-30-2007, 10:38 PM
That is a nice light weight welding table Evan ;)

Whats nice is you made it and it fits in your spot between the doors nicely.

My table is a slab of 1-5/8"x36"x8' steel plate. I call it my anvil..

To be honest I have sucked up half of it mounting a square column mill to it. Kinda a waste of steel really.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v366/Jrouche/Weldtable.jpg

The only thing I see might be a problem with yours (for me anyway) is the shin banger shelf. I TIG and gas weld while sitting down on a bar stool, too shaky to stand (not cause Im still at the bar mind you). That shelf would be a real leg knocker for me while welding up close and sitting. A curved cutout would relieve that issue, if it ever became an issue.

Oh, the metal on the back wall, great plan, I should do the same. Will help with the grinding spray equally.

Small vertical sides (sides only, not the front) made of sheet metal would help keep the gravity from stealin yer goodies off the top also. Would only need to be an inch or so tall. Darn gravity never takes a break here. Im always hearing the clink of metal hitting the floor. JRouche

dicks42000
04-30-2007, 11:27 PM
Guys;
Welding benches with heavy steel tops are great, but educated people like Evan & Marv Klotz will realize that it is a somewhat obscure law of physics that governs "horizontal surface accretion"...kinda like icing on wings....
Also, the idea of expanded metal for shelves, storing stuff under your bench to increase the clutter, or not having a lip around the sides & back of the bench is a PITA as you get older.
Maybe it's a CSIS/ CIA/ (insert flavour of the moment) THEY conspiracy, but "THEY" keep moving the floor further away every year....
Tomorrow I gotta vacume out the chips, scale, dust & dead spiders from the scrap under my 3 ft. x 3 ft. welding bench (yeah, right, round tuit)....but it does have a used range hood as an exhaust fan....
Rick

BadDog
04-30-2007, 11:35 PM
J: Nice table, wish I could have found a bit thick slab when I built mine. That 1/2" was expensive enough.

D: Talking about clutter, I've got stuff tucked in every nook and corner of my shop. I'm a terrible pack rat and all my *stuff* (channeling George Carlan) takes up all my space...

Another thing I keep thinking I'll add to my table (another of those "round tuits") is a piece of angle or channel welded under the lip with the open side sorta up-n-out oriented. Good place for scribes, pens, whatever to keep it off the top. I also want to put a roll out shallow shelf about 2" deep right under the piece of channel visible in mine. That would be a handy place to store lots of fixturing stuff handy and out of site when it's doing duty as a work bench, assembly table, etc.

Mike W
05-01-2007, 01:53 AM
I built my last one to make it easy to clamp down work pieces with C clamps. Also it doesn't tend to collect stuff on top like normal flat tables do.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v110/tek798/Welding/weldingtable.jpg

Evan
05-01-2007, 02:18 AM
That is a nice light weight welding table Evan

That was entirely my intent, without it being a useless and flimsy joke like the plans offered on the Lincoln Electric site.

My table weighs only about 250 lbs and I can skid it around with no trouble if I need to move it.

lazlo
05-01-2007, 12:37 PM
Nice job Mike. Beautiful restoration of the Clausing too ;)

Your Old Dog
05-01-2007, 01:41 PM
SOMEBODY STOP HIM BEFORE HE USES UP HIS STOCKPILE!!

Nice to see you puttin out the work Evan! Wish I could find out what happened to my ambition/energy.

My welding table is about the same size as your and it works very well for my needs. 1/4" is fine for home use. I do find myself using my stock jack from my table saw on really long stuff.

My memory is so crappy I can't remember the name of these things used in wood working but if you drill a 3/4" hole in the middle of the table you can drop a threaded rod down through it, put a wingnut on the bottom and a 3/4 x 1 1/2 x 24" barstock with hole for 3/4" bolt and then clamp any damn thing to the table you wish by simply matching it's thickness with a jack on the other side of the bar from where the work piece is. If doing similar or repetitive stuff the jack end could be cam lever operated I don't suppose I could have said that any more complicated but it's kind like one would use on anchoring plate steel on a milling table with hold down kit. I've used something like this on my woodworking bench for routing, sanding and hand cutting dovetails.

mochinist
05-01-2007, 06:55 PM
Nice table Evan


One of my customers that builds some pretty hi tech machines does all his welding on a big granite surface plate, it is about a foot thick and is probably 8'x5'. Seems kind of odd(to me anyways) but he is one of the better welders I have ever met and his weldments come out extremely accurate

Fasttrack
05-01-2007, 08:21 PM
<gasp> welding on a granite surface plate?? lol

I guess if you've got the money to buy two - one for welding and one for layout work it shouldn't matter, but i don't think i would want to use the welding one for layout stuff. Just my 2 cents.

mochinist
05-01-2007, 08:51 PM
<gasp> welding on a granite surface plate?? lol

I guess if you've got the money to buy two - one for welding and one for layout work it shouldn't matter, but i don't think i would want to use the welding one for layout stuff. Just my 2 cents.The machine he is building right now is for Timken bearings, the last was for the govt, he has plenty of money. He doesn't use the granite for any layout type work like what we would use it for. Most of his machines are built on granite and I think he has plenty.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v471/mochinist/resource.gif

Evan
05-01-2007, 09:43 PM
SOMEBODY STOP HIM BEFORE HE USES UP HIS STOCKPILE!!

Never fear, there's more where that came from. :D

mark61
05-02-2007, 08:23 AM
For $250 I bought a 6 foot dia. table off of a verticle boring mill. "T" slots and 12,000lbs to pull against when using the 12inch vise I put on it almost make me feel sorry for you guys with punny little tables! But I know where are coming from having built half a dozen different tables before lucking onto this big fella! :~)

mark61