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darryl
07-16-2009, 02:42 PM
The idea of hammering on your vise brought this idea up again. It's often awkward to punch center holes in sheet material if you're wanting to back it up with something solid, and you don't have three hands to hold it flat on the anvil. Sure you can just use the benchtop, but that's often bouncy, etc. Why not cut out an area on a benchtop so you can insert a piece of steel through from the bottom such that the steel comes flush with the surface- the steel could be whatever heavy piece you can find, as long as it's supported from the floor itself. This way the bench can be used to hold the piece you're working on, and the steel becomes an area where you can center punch, rivet, flatten, etc. Taking this idea further, you could have a replacable top section to the steel piece so it could be replaced when it's damaged too much. If you did this, you could then have custom pieces made for specific purposes such as hole punch sets, dimpling or other minor forming operations, etc. An overarm could be arranged to swing down to horizontal to guide the forming tools, etc. In a sense this would be a poor mans press- you get to apply the force with a hammer.

Jim Shaper
07-16-2009, 03:11 PM
You mean like my fabrication table... :D 6" channel with 1" spacing between slats. The slats come out with 3 bolts per side, and are easily replaced if damaged.

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y242/FishyJim/DSC00634.jpg

Fasttrack
07-16-2009, 03:30 PM
I like that table, Jim. Pretty slick idea.

I always center punch on my welding table. It's not nearly as sweet as that table, but it doesn't bounce and provides a good surface for hammering.

BadDog
07-16-2009, 03:41 PM
My main fab table has a 1/2" steel top, with 4" channel like Jims forming a horizontal support 3" in from perimeter all the way around. Then inside the channel "belt" are vertical legs made from 2.5" 1/4 wall square tube that goes up flush with the bottom of the plate top (top of the channel belt). You can beat on stuff pretty energetically anywhere on the table, but over the legs at the corners, there is no give or bounce regardless of what you do. And the 1/2" plate is plenty strong to allow fixtures to be tacked on, then removed when done.

I also just finished a t-slot fab table made from a table off a small horizontal boring mill. It's got 3/4" t-slots and the top alone weighs around 400 lbs. Total weight is at least 600 lbs estimated. But this is for fixturing complex weldments, not for hammering...

Jim Shaper
07-16-2009, 03:50 PM
The idea was that no point on the surface is more than 3" from an edge, so I can put a C clamp anywhere it's needed. Also, having the sections removable means I can clamp an irregular item and allow portions of it to protrude through the plane of the table.

As for weight, I've got 1100# of material in it. Back when I bought the stock, it cost me 38 cents a pound as surplus. Only took a day to make all the brackets and weld it up. Would've been quicker if I had a mag drill, but I only need one about once a year and it's not worth it to have that much money sitting on the shelf.

The web of channel isn't flat, so there is a little deviation in the surface, but it's no more than plus or minus 1/16" - far better than any plate I've come across for a 4x8' sheet.

The frame rails are 6" i beam. It doesn't go anywhere when I beat on it. :)

BadDog
07-16-2009, 04:26 PM
Yeah, I like your table very much. And I wish I had room to build one like it, very nice.

I got tired of welding stuff onto my table to clamp in from the edge, which is why I built the smaller t-slot table (not to mention the cool big-ol' chunk of cast iron). Whatever is built, you need to think about fixturing and clamping. My plate table works well enough, and I've got a pile of 6" x 1/2" angle iron (used like angle plates and for horiz clamping), channel, all sorts of stuff that I clamp or weld onto the top as needed. But it's just that much more work and hassle...

Jim Shaper
07-16-2009, 04:54 PM
I agree it's a monster of a table. I've even considered selling it and making a smaller one since I have more stuff in the shop now, but with the price of materials where it is I can't expect to break even replacing it.

TexasKnifeMaker
07-17-2009, 02:07 AM
I agree it's a monster of a table. I've even considered selling it and making a smaller one since I have more stuff in the shop now, but with the price of materials where it is I can't expect to break even replacing it.
Jim - if you want to sell it, you need to price it based on the material replacement value, not what you paid for it.

for the original problem, I use an automatic center punch which eliminates the need for the hammer. One hand hold the material on the anvil and the other controls the punch. If I need to really punch a hole in sheet metal, I position the work over the hardy or pritchel hole.

Jacque

Jim Shaper
07-17-2009, 02:18 AM
In the current economy - no ones going to give me $1K for that table. I'll be keeping it. :)

BadDog
07-17-2009, 03:02 AM
NO, you don't want to sell it even if you could get the money. That would doubtless be one of those "I shouldna done that..." moments. :D

Fab tables are like shops, can't have one too big. At one point, years ago, I had access to a number of heavy section I beams, 8 or 10" as I recall, each about 12' long. I thought it would be really cool to build a large table out of them, kinda like yours, but using the "I" (or maybe it was "H", hmmm) beams like your channel. At the time I was thinking of getting into building "rock buggy" chassis for myself and maybe for others as well. Ever seen an automotive frame machine? I figured on using the beams as "rails" for fixturing "towers". But reality was I just didn't have the room, and I could see the writing on the wall as far as my deteriorating legs were concerned.

Dawai
07-17-2009, 10:19 AM
http://photos-b.ak.fbcdn.net/photos-ak-snc1/v2368/204/30/1298124187/n1298124187_30058665_1994.jpg
Crappy anvil modified with UHMW, to straighten trim on a antique car, you cut the profile of the trim with a file, then slide the trim down it and tap out the dents.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v85/ibewgypsie/DSCN2139.jpg
Beater table, has 2x2 sockets on each end for tools. I was welding on the e-wheel frame there, red hot metal right behind his butt when he jumped onto the table.

Making all your "small" tables the same height allows you to do big jobs on them.

Jim Shaper
07-17-2009, 01:31 PM
Russ, when I built that table I didn't have a 13x54 horizontal machine, or my 9x7' square footprint cnc turning center (in addition to my 16x60 lathe and 9x48 mill)... There's hardly enough room to get around the fab table right now (if you can make it around on one side, you can't on the other). I'm also not doing the big weldments like I once thought my business would turn towards.

Having the biggest of everything does no good if you can't use them in the space they occupy.

ckelloug
07-17-2009, 01:47 PM
Hey David,

I've heard of lathe dogs but anvil dogs? Do they clamp well? ;)

BadDog
07-17-2009, 06:40 PM
Having the biggest of everything does no good if you can't use them in the space they occupy.
Now THAT I understand. With my machines (2J, 17x60 lathe, surface grinder, tool grinder, welder, plasma compressor, tool boxes, you get the picture) all in a *1 car* detached garage, space is tight. That's why my fab table is only 4' x 4'. And I've got a "path" that goes down one side, around the fab table, and back out on the other side. All the fab stuff (welder, plasma, fab table, bender) and grinding table/cart form the "island".

MasterMaker
07-18-2009, 08:34 PM
I am going to use this idea with a small mod.
A 180x180mm stainless(what I have) plate 10mm thick machined flat and glued to a piece of 19mm mdf for all my banging needs.....hm that didnīt come out right:D



Why not cut out an area on a benchtop so you can insert a piece of steel through from the bottom such that the steel comes flush with the surface- the steel could be whatever heavy piece you can find, as long as it's supported from the floor itself. This way the bench can be used to hold the piece you're working on, and the steel becomes an area where you can center punch, rivet, flatten, etc.

lynnl
07-18-2009, 09:05 PM
Good looking dog you got there David!