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Thread: Welding Table Advice

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    Northeast, PA
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    627

    Default Welding Table Advice

    I am going to be build a welding table soon and am looking for some advice. It is going to be 4'x4' and the frame built out of some decent size box tubing that I got for free from my work. I will use as thick of a top as I can afford, but will probably be in the 1/4-1/2" range.

    My questions are, would you make the table top come out further than the frame of the table? I can see some advantages for easier clamping but I don't want to see the edge of it geting bent down.

    Would you have a grid of tapped holes(or un-tapped holes) put into the top? What size holes and how many. I am not sure if I want to lay an entire grid out and drill and tap by hand, but there is a chance that I might be able to get the holes put in on the flow-jet at work.

    Wheels, I need to have them to be able to move this around. Would you also put legs/feet on it to make it stationary and/or level it out? The feet would most likely be a swivel style foot with 1"-8 threads on it. Should the feet be directly under the legs or should the wheels? Will the 1"-8 legs make the table stable enough, or would a better idea be to make the actual legs of the table come all the way down to the floor, use shims to level if necessary and then make the wheels so they could screw down and retract up when not in use? Thanks.
    Last edited by oxford; 04-15-2012 at 06:56 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    North west California
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    852

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    Oxford,

    Table top inch. 1 inch lip on sides should be strong yet allow clamping. X 2 inch angle under table 12 inch on centers or equal to stiffen table. No holes. Especially tapped weld splatter will soon ruin threads. Weld tabs or nuts if and where needed then grind or break off. The 1 inch by 8 leveling feet I like. Wheels only if it does not become unstable.

    Bob

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Riverdale, Nebraska
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    217

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    Made a table maybe fifteen(yikes!) years ago. Top was some sort of machine base I snagged at the scrapyard-1/2" plate 4' square with heavy 2" angle around the edges. Made legs out of heavy wall 2" pipe. Three equal length legs-fourth leg has a 1" nut welded in the end, and a 1" bolt is the adjustable foot. Takes out the rock, but won't level the table. No need IMHO, if the floor is level the table is too.

    Horizontal crossbars connect the legs, and let me move the table with a pallet jack. (I've made a big push to have every sub 5000lb. item in the shop either pallet jack or forklift mobile.) I bolted a big vise on one corner and later added a welding positioner to another. Don't think wheels are a good idea on something you really need to be stable....put the money towards a pallet jack.

    I keep threatening to cut the angle iron flanges off at least two sides of this table. It is an impediment to clamping. Leave at least a couple inches open.

    Some miscellanous holes might be handy, not so sure about tapping them.

    I would not bother with anything thinner than 1/2" and I would be real careful welding stringers underneath-pretty easy to create a big bow.

    Scott

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Burnet, TX
    Posts
    2,128

    Default Welding table construction

    I would recommend a 1/2" table top with 1/2" X 3 flat set on edge and attached about 4 back from each edge. This will also give you something to attach the legs to. The flat is straight and ridgid. I was surprised how floppy a 1/2" plate was without the stiffners.
    Byron Boucher
    Burnet, TX

  5. #5
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    Jun 2011
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    Northeast, PA
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    Thanks for the replies. SVS, if you would see my garage floor you would know I need leveling feet on the table . I can put as much support as needed under the table top, I had got a good amount of box tubing for free. Legs are 3x3 or 4x4, then I have a 2x4 for the sides and 2x3 that I can put in for support in the cener. I was hoping not to do any welding on the top to add support or attach it to the base. I figured a couple of counter sunk screws would do fine.

    I will probably use 1/2 for the top, and after your replies and doing some more reading I think the holes are out. Tacking the piece down or welding nuts for hold downs will work fine. I can always drill needed holes after the fact.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Austin, Texas
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    Out of curiosity (and especially @ Byron) -- how much are you guys paying for a 1/2 sheet of 1/2" plate?
    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did."

  7. #7
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    Jul 2005
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    Burnet, TX
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    Robert, I bought several 4'x8'x 1/2" sheets back in the 80's. That is about used up and I will probably have heart failure when I purchase some more.
    Byron Boucher
    Burnet, TX

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Owl's Head, Maine
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    Another way to do a top, different from the advice above, is to not have a solid top but a top made of parallel bars - flats on edge, about an inch apart, welded at each end to the angle that forms the perimeter of the top. I made my welding table that way and have never regretted it. Spatter and slag and other stuff can drop through onto a pan/shelf situated just below the table top. For a base for clamps and my vise, I just lay a loose rectangle of steel sheet on the top, bridging the bars at the appropriate location. I have casters on two adjacent legs of the table, no casters on the other two legs. That way, the table is immobile when working, but for moving it to a new location, I just lift on the no-casters end of the table and roll the table like a wheelbarrow. Haven't regretted that either. At the side of the table, welded to the legs, are upsloping pegs for my helmet etc. and an upsloping, open ended, steel box sized for a box of rods.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
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    Really depends what you want to do with it.

    Flat tops have their place, and slotted ones are excellent for quick fixturing, but you have to cope with gravity and the cracks.









    I built this about 5 years ago, and find it extremely handy on a regular basis.

    All the channel was purchased as drops. It cost about $400 and weighs 1,000lbs. Took one day to build without using anything but a hand drill and a drill press - I'd rent a mag drill if I had to do it again.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Owl's Head, Maine
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    48

    Default

    That's one nice welding table - good job on it.

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