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  • Matrix Welding Table

    Ok, first off. Everybody line up to pat me on the back. The top on my welding table is cleaned off for the first time in probably six months. Its experiencing a slight remission in my **HSD. Ok, very slight. Its already get a metal gate laying up on it for repair, but one might argue that the gate frame actually belongs on the welding table since it needs to be welded.

    Now about the title. What would your choice of method be to drill a matric or holes on the top be. Right now its got a 4x8 1/4 steel top. Not what I would have preferred, but I get a bunch of sheets for about half what the local metal vendors wanted for a sheet. I'm thinking of trimming the top down a little. Basically cut about a foot off one end. The base is enough smaller to do so. Then put that lopped off wing on square tube (double tube so its level when clamped in place) that will slide into the frame of the main table. Make it an extendable wing. While the wing is off I figured I could throw it on the Hurco mill, machine a matrix of holes in it, and use it as a template to bore holes in the rest of the table using close fit alignment pins after the first few holes are bored. This way I don't have a single use tool left over when I am done.

    The other way I considered was to make a T square with some extra step alignment holes in a second cross piece out of a piece of 3x3/8 flat bar I have laying out back. Of course that would be a single use tool...

    What other ways would you tackle it? I'm not particularly confident in my ability to hand measure and layout a bunch of center punch marks.

    *** I always wanted a welding stinger that looked like the north end of a south bound chicken. Often my welds look like somebody pointed the wrong end of a chicken at the joint and squeezed until something came out. Might as well look the part.

  • #2
    ***HSD = Horizontal Surface Disease
    *** I always wanted a welding stinger that looked like the north end of a south bound chicken. Often my welds look like somebody pointed the wrong end of a chicken at the joint and squeezed until something came out. Might as well look the part.

    Comment


    • #3
      There are 17 States where it's against the Law for the top of a welding bench to be clear & clean.

      Forget hyperaligned holes on the bench, ±1/8 is within tolerance and you can get there with a chalk line. Jury remains out on tapped holes in the bench, some psychos have actually been caught employing setscrews in benches to protect threads, and shockingly a few have claimed they were jack screws. Usually they're goobs who also claim to be golden elbows.

      It's also mandatory to have minimally an 18 x 18 area without holes a gas burner or bigas torch can go under for a lunch grill & percolator heater.

      Also be aware sliding extensions should be limited to square tubes only,
      You can also employ square tube to hold the vises and benders.

      Any bench beyond that which isn't an acorn can get you classified as a flower girl and require complete climate control of the welding area. You even have to use Hauserman partition for flash screens.
      It gets ugly and unnatural fast.
      Last edited by Franz©; 01-21-2020, 09:13 PM.

      Comment


      • #4
        I get it that weldments move. I just don't want to wind up with stacked errors from one end of the table to the other.
        *** I always wanted a welding stinger that looked like the north end of a south bound chicken. Often my welds look like somebody pointed the wrong end of a chicken at the joint and squeezed until something came out. Might as well look the part.

        Comment


        • #5
          Drywall square solves that, light weight and easy to accurize too.
          Most errors come from people who fail to check the dam square & level when the day begins and after lunch. Easy to do, takes less than a minute and saves hours of work, but people won't do it.

          Ruminating on it a bit, the big problem with large tables is they are large tables. You wind up climbing on the table and using it for a floor. W&K had 12 x 12 tables, against the wall, 24" high that spent most time wasting 8x12 of the table. I had a couple Blanchard plattens, 5 x 8+ I hauled from Albany and began wondering WTH I did the minute the trailer started heading my way. Wound up putting 4 tires under that hunk of iron so it could be towed out of the way. Sweet to work on, but a big PITA most days.

          Look at an Acorn, not a thing about it is accurate, only a weldor can love one, but once you learn to use it it's a sweet tool. You sure don't want to move one, Insurance guys give you crap about them being unsafe cause they're too edummycated to understand dogging, They're so fun to dig crap out from under, and where did that dog yer looking for go, and lets not forget the suit & tie wearing Certification inspector with his tool kit including clamp on ammeter and dial indicator he barely knows how to get out of the box.


          Bolting down comes with it's own set of PITA. If I was doing it again the table would have ½-12 boiler threads or metric so the bolts don't get used elsewhere.
          I'm still waiting for somebody to show me the value of square tube frame beyond an enginincompoop's mind, especially when pipe drops can be bought for scrap. Then again, I build inverted just like Odenback built ships, cut welding cost, and look for improvements I can make before I flip it upright. You also gotta factor in how many pounds the table concentrates on how few square inches of floor.

          You also gotta ask yourself if you really want them jobs.

          Comment


          • #6
            Actually we built the table upside down out of square tube with nine (yes (9)) legs. We tacked out the entire table, all the braces, Bottom shelf cross supports, and even the lift mechanism. Then my son and I spent most of a day tag team welding it out with two welders. When we got close to done we had one (yes just (1)) tack pop. The gap was less than 1/16th and a bar clamp brought it right back into place to finish the weld out. When we flipped the frame I fully expected a couple of the legs to be dangling in the air. All 9 of them set on the floor even before adding the weight of the top. I welded in leg caps threaded for elevator bolts anyway. I kind of wish I hadn't. I may take the elevator bolts back out someday. Its just a hair to high now. Ok maybe three hairs.

            I'm also considering not drilling dog holes in the whole table. Just a few rows around the table.

            Yeah, its big. A little too big, but if I can ever get my shop cleaned and organized it won't be in the way to much.

            Most of my welding projects are for myself or supplemental. I do not advertise welding. I did as a joke start an FB page called:

            .
            Hack Job Welding and Fabrication
            If just need a hack job fine, but if you need it certified call somebody else.



            Nobody has contacted me to do any welding. LOL. I don't want to do that kind of work for hire. I have forgotten a few times and welded when CNC machines were running, but I'm deathly afraid of RF and EMI causing issues with nearby CNC machines. Generally I do not weld when any of the mills are running, and then only with DC non-pulse. My bigger issue though is current. I put only a 100 amp service in my shop when I built it. That was overkill since it was just going to be a small office and warehouse for my contracting company. If I do any heavy welding and the big mill is making heavy cuts, when the air conditioner or air compressor kicks on something is going to trip. Realistically its not likely to ever happen that all the other machines would hit peak load at the same time, but I have tripped the 50 amp circuit I use for welding with the Miller 212. Welding flat draws some current depending on what you are doing. I try to only weld when no other machines are running. Taking on welding work would reduce my income. I'd have to shut down other machines. Besides I'm not a good welder.
            *** I always wanted a welding stinger that looked like the north end of a south bound chicken. Often my welds look like somebody pointed the wrong end of a chicken at the joint and squeezed until something came out. Might as well look the part.

            Comment


            • #7
              Personally I hope to outlive the square tube fad. I already outlived angle which is overkill in 90% of the places it's used. Sheet + flat on edge = angle, what was accomplished with the extra flange? I do admit I enjoy soda blasters, year 1 after they spend cleaning up the mess, year 2 they bring in lawn contractors to figure out why all the green crap croaks. Special credit should also go to the wonderful folks doing fire restoration with soda blasting.
              Disclaimer: Yes I did cause near evacuation of 5 downtown blocks and uncountable fire trucks arriving by following the Enginitwit's plan to the letter using less than 1000 pounds of soda and a 600cfm Gardner Denver.

              100 amps is a hell of a lot of power. My P&H will suck 100 putting 300 out and it's only popped its breaker 2x in 40 years. My guess is most welders rarely suck over 50% of rate, although I'm too lazy to hook up instrumentation to prove that. My beloved Lincoln coffee grinders pull less than ½amp idling and rarely suck 20 burning at 120 amps. CNC machines and I haven't found a relationship, they might be fine for production but I rarely make 3 of anything. I've also noticed them overpriced routers drop value faster than lead falling in a shot tower. Riggers do love em though, put in, take out, replace.

              Compressors, 50 bucks will build you an unloader that eliminates start spike and increases service life on the machine. I have aversion to Demand premiums and the way they are charged, but people love paying them along with Capacity in place charges more than they like paying me to lower them, so I sit back and watch.

              Effective dogging is a function of what you're making and how many you'll produce. That plate you might cut off also might make a nice bending plate if enough holes get drilled in and you can remember what holes work on which job. In the end it winds up something like the capstain in the floor surrounded by pegboard plates. Just remember to number the holes and write down which holes work on which jobs.

              MOST important is the corner with the burner under it.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Franz© View Post

                MOST important is the corner with the burner under it.
                Yeah, I don't want to put my hand on the stove... or a paint can.

                *** I always wanted a welding stinger that looked like the north end of a south bound chicken. Often my welds look like somebody pointed the wrong end of a chicken at the joint and squeezed until something came out. Might as well look the part.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Bob La Londe View Post

                  Yeah, I don't want to put my hand on the stove... or a paint can.
                  Ya gotta trust me Bob, you won't. If yer totally non observant just leave a couple pancakes sitting there.

                  Once we get the grill corner down I'll move you along the path to a DIY home made coffee heater, welder powered for weldors. Yer gonna love it.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Back when I worked in high production Wire EDM shops we would spend enough time to get our printers and plotters very closely calibrated with our CAD programs. If we had repeat jobs with a lot of start holes, rather than tying up a miller or scribing out each plate, we could print out a paper sheet with all the start hole locations and double sided tape it on the plate. Center punching the holes through the paper prints and using a good drill press was plenty close enough for the Wire EDM to auto thread and run.
                    You could CAD layout your hole matrix in a wire frame border, check the accuracy of your printer, cal if needed, print a bunch out, trim with scissors and then place your layouts in various positions on the plate until you have what you want. Then tape them down and center punch your holes.
                    Illigitimi non Carborundum 😎
                    9X49 Birmingham Mill, Reid Model 2C Grinder, 13x40 ENCO GH Lathe, 6X18 Craftsman lathe, Sherline CNC mill, Eastwood TIG200 AC/DC and lots of stuff from 30+ years in the trade and 15.5 in refinery unit operations. Now retired. El Paso, TX

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                    • #11
                      P.S. My compressor shut off switch has an unloader. It was a lot less than $50 buck when I had to replace it.

                      The pain is every once in a while the check valve in the tank will fail. First time I cleaned it up and dropped a buna o-ring in it. Worked for almost a year. Second time I cleaned it up and dropped a viton o-ring in it. Its been almost a year and a half. Simple flat seal application.
                      Last edited by Bob La Londe; 01-22-2020, 07:59 PM.
                      *** I always wanted a welding stinger that looked like the north end of a south bound chicken. Often my welds look like somebody pointed the wrong end of a chicken at the joint and squeezed until something came out. Might as well look the part.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Shutoff switch unloaders are worthless. Throw a meter on the machine and watch it spike. Average compressor needs 2-4 seconds to get to speed and pump without spiking the electric meter.

                        I called out $50 cause I have no idea what labor rate you charge yourself.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Franz© View Post
                          Shutoff switch unloaders are worthless. Throw a meter on the machine and watch it spike. Average compressor needs 2-4 seconds to get to speed and pump without spiking the electric meter.

                          I called out $50 cause I have no idea what labor rate you charge yourself.
                          Fair enough. If I counted labor it was definitely more than $50. The biggy wasn't the part or the labor, but the down time until I thought to use my old roll around for shop air while I waited for a new switch. I bought two of them so I have a spare on hand if it fails again. Not OEM. Yeah the switch unloader just drains the line between the compressor and the motor so it starts at zero PSI every time. I'm sure it closes the instant the switch closes.
                          *** I always wanted a welding stinger that looked like the north end of a south bound chicken. Often my welds look like somebody pointed the wrong end of a chicken at the joint and squeezed until something came out. Might as well look the part.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            With my annual raises and longevity bonuses I can't even afford to talk to myself about projects any more.

                            You want cheap and dirty it only requires a reverse acting solenoid on the line from head to receiver and an adjustable timer that starts counting when the switch closes. Motor pulls against near zero load till the machine comes to speed. Valve closes and compressed air gets made.


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                            • #15
                              Your plan with the drilling jig is a good one.

                              One of the projects high on my list of finishing right now (top 5 I swear) is to move my welding table away from the wall (need to clean it off first), and into the middle of my shop and give it an overhaul. It's just a ~3'x4' (can't remember exact size) 1/2" plate with welded on pipe legs I picked up at a farm auction down the road for $50. My plan is to drill 5/8" holes with an annular cutter in a grid on 5" centers with a mag drill. I thought about cutting the top off and bringing it to work to square it up and drill the holes on the VF6, but for my purposes, laying the holes out by hand will be close enough. Somewhere on there I want to drill and tap some screws to bolt my extra cast iron table saw wing I have lying around so I can use it as an angle plate. Not sure it's gonna work that great, but it beats having it continue to lean against a wall after I replaced it with a router insert wing 15 years ago. Might as well put it to use. Also make it so it can bolt on the end upside down too. having a big flat right angle corner on the edge like that would be handy. Maybe you could do that with the wing you cut off after you use it for a drilling jig.

                              There's so many great ideas out there for welding tables floating around, you can make it as simple or as complicated as you want. It's both good and bad watching you tube for ideas sometimes, because I always think of something new to do and nothing ever gets done. Analysis paralysis.

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