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Converting rolling bench to welding table..

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  • Converting rolling bench to welding table..

    Some of you may remember the rolling bench I made..well I am going to convert it to a welding bench...

    I am planning to install a steel top and considering putting a thin sheet of copper on top...

    Some questions..

    1. Hot rolled or cold rolled?
    2. Is the copper sheeting a waste? Really adds to the cost, but welds wont stick to it. Sheeting thickness would be .064 or .0431
    3. My bench would be wood underneath..Am I asking for trouble or do I just need to be carefull?

  • #2
    I don't recall your bench, but if I were building a bench for welding I would just use hot rolled plate of the heaviest I could easily manage. 1/4" will work, 3/8" is better and half is even better still. The idea being getting some mass there, so if one wants to smack something into place, you aren't shaking the whole shooting match. This also gives you a larger heat sink, so the wood underneath is less likely to be scorched with quick welds.

    I wouldn't bother with the copper, weld spatter doesn't stick all that tightly, it can easily be knocked off with a swipe of a chisel or I use a 14" half round bastard file that has seen better days.

    I would try to keep the surface as flat as possible during the build that way you have a nice flat surface to use in layout and set up. Let the plate project out from the wood underneath so you can grab it with C-clamps for various jigs etc.

    If you find you have to weld right down against the surface of the table, then you can slide some scrap duct sheet metal, or copper if you really want to be picky between the table and the weldment. This has worked for me for a lot of years.



    • #3
      Originally posted by rollin45
      I wouldn't bother with the copper, weld spatter doesn't stick
      all that tightly, it can easily be knocked off with a swipe of a chisel
      or I use a 14" half round bastard file that has seen better days.
      I agree (and an angle grinder can touch up what seems too much
      splatter for the file.) On top of the initial expense, soft copper would
      soon get dented and scored from work pieces/tools being placed
      on it.

      I do not favour the use of a wooden base under a welding surface.

      For a surface consider material heavy enough to drill/tap holes for hold-down
      studs. While plate comes to mind for this, the Strong Hand Tools BuildPro
      modular table
      uses flat bar stock to create a table that has a lot of
      fixturing possibilities. An HSM equivalent may not have the same
      surface finish or number of holes

      BuildPro Welding Table Catalog



      • #4
        Well, i finished doing the conversion..Pics are a bit dark...

        Its .375 sheet sitting on top of .25 angle iron and the C channel is 3/16 I think..I figure that gives me .625 between the wood and the top

        I only lightly tacked the top down...3 small welds on each end. Its is slightly warped at the top, its a hair concave in the middle...when I put a straight edge on it I can see some daylight. Its actually quite minimal and there is none at the ends.

        This is also my first welding project also.. Still trying decide if I want the vise on the left or right..


        • #5
          Boy, I don't know if I'd ever feel safe with all those open wooden surfaces.

          Spatter can bounce off you and into those open front draws, smolder a little and you would not know because the fumes from the weld you just did.


          • #6
            That is a fire waiting to happen.



            • #7
              If you want it flatter then pee in a pan, weld a nut to the bottom of you center strut and put a 1/2 bolt up through the bottom to hold it flat. A lot of table saws have an adjustment for when th cast iron top sags over the years.

              No need to project the top, weld things to mine and then grind the weld off when I'm done. It's an expendable tool. I am getting ready to weld short sections of pipe vertically to mine so I can heat up some rod and bend it around the 4 sections of pipe as a mandrel. When done I"ll remove them and grind the table flat again.
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              • #8
                I think your bench looks good! Nice and mobile, light enough to actually move yet enough mass to enable small projects. Lots of storage, and you have given some room between the wood and the top surface.

                There is of course some potential for fire, but you are aware of it, so keep an eye on it and enjoy!

                nicely done