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  • Substitute welding table surface

    Hello all,
    After years of wanting/needing a Mig welder I finally made the jump and purchased a Millermatic 140 Autoset. It will be used for DIY projects-mostly sheetmetal stuff. Problem is that space is limited so I can't have a proper welding table so I thought that if I ground to the work pieces I might be able to use cementboard as a work surface. Is this acceptable or is there a better alternative?
    Thanks,
    Gene

  • #2
    cement board will be fine, a thin sheet of steel over it would be even better. a sheet of 14 or 16 gage is light enough to still have a move able table. with some tubing it could be a nice top even without the cement board. there is not a lot of heat transfered into the table, so you don't need a thick table. its nice but not needed.
    congrats on the new MM-140.

    there may be a few collapsible designs in the projects gallery, you could look them over for idea's.

    welcome to the site, always good to have new members.
    thanks for the help
    ......or..........
    hope i helped
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    • #3
      Could you use something like this? http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/...500_AA280_.jpg They made something like this for racing go karts. They are real sturdy yet can be folded up to store in the enclosed trailer. Maybe you could build a simpler one keyed more towards your welding. Dave
      Originally posted by genet View Post
      Hello all,
      After years of wanting/needing a Mig welder I finally made the jump and purchased a Millermatic 140 Autoset. It will be used for DIY projects-mostly sheetmetal stuff. Problem is that space is limited so I can't have a proper welding table so I thought that if I ground to the work pieces I might be able to use cementboard as a work surface. Is this acceptable or is there a better alternative?
      Thanks,
      Gene

      Comment


      • #4
        You are almost always better off to ground to the workpiece anyways. I have left some pretty nasty arc spots on stuff by grounding the table instead of the piece
        Just out off curiosity tho how does that piece of cement board take up less space?? Are you laying it on top of a appliance or something already taking up space?
        There are some cool plans on here for folding welding tables and such also, as already suggested by Turbo and Fun.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by genet View Post
          I might be able to use cementboard as a work surface. Is this acceptable or is there a better alternative?
          Thanks,
          Gene
          Just be aware of the fact that in addition to cement and fiber glass fabric it contains silica sand. And if the surface and edges aren't protected dragging stuff across the top or edges and grinding it into a powder.

          The manufactures state, that it shouldn't be used for anything other then the intended use of the product. Backer board/underlayment, even to go as far as saying it should be cut with a score and snap not a power saw.

          It can lead to free silica floating in the air, and you breathing it. Long term and repeated exposure can cause silicosis.

          A wood bench/table covered with sheet metal and a good ground clamp to the work item always, is a better idea.
          glen, If your not on the edge, your wasting space

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          • #6
            I have a feeling you're going to be unhappy with the cement board before too long if you actually weld anything on it.

            Concrete will "pop" and spit chunks out of its surface if you get it too hot. I'm thinking that backer board will do the same, or worse.
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            • #7
              Thank you everyone!!!

              This group is really great!!!! There were many points brought up that never occurred to me!!! The problem I'm having is that I have limited work space and am primarily a woodworker and it seems that sawdust and welding sparks aren't a good combination so I have to try and squeeze some space somewhere dedicated to welding/metal working. Thank you again for your valuable input.
              Gene

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              • #8
                Originally posted by genet View Post
                This group is really great!!!! There were many points brought up that never occurred to me!!! The problem I'm having is that I have limited work space and am primarily a woodworker and it seems that sawdust and welding sparks aren't a good combination so I have to try and squeeze some space somewhere dedicated to welding/metal working. Thank you again for your valuable input.
                Gene


                Genet -
                I'm in the same boat as you - I do woodworking and have a dedicated woodworking shop attached to my garage but dare not even light a match in there for fear of the entire structure going up in a blaze of glory. I have been looking around for ideas on folding tables - perhaps even something that is hinged on the wall of the garage and I move the cars out when I put my Mr. Metal hat on and hang my Mr. Wood hat up. Check out the hobart welders forums as well as the projects here - there are some good ideas in there. In the end it will probably be a custom design suited to your space.

                PS - I really like the idea of that go kart folding table as the basis for a welding table - thanks for the posting on that one.

                Good luck and make sure you post up anything you find or create.

                Cheers,
                Lewis

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                • #9
                  LOL, the entire level above the 3 bay garage I have for welding is a wood shop. My father ran a double barrel woodburning stove in there for the last 30 years and it's still standing :-O
                  Originally posted by LewisCobb View Post
                  Genet -
                  I'm in the same boat as you - I do woodworking and have a dedicated woodworking shop attached to my garage but dare not even light a match in there for fear of the entire structure going up in a blaze of glory. I have been looking around for ideas on folding tables - perhaps even something that is hinged on the wall of the garage and I move the cars out when I put my Mr. Metal hat on and hang my Mr. Wood hat up. Check out the hobart welders forums as well as the projects here - there are some good ideas in there. In the end it will probably be a custom design suited to your space.

                  PS - I really like the idea of that go kart folding table as the basis for a welding table - thanks for the posting on that one.

                  Good luck and make sure you post up anything you find or create.

                  Cheers,
                  Lewis

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                  • #10
                    Cement board is not very smooth or even, so if you want a way to
                    keep thinks lined up/etc, it may be less than ideal. It's also hard
                    to tack-weld things to it to hold them in place while you do the real
                    welding.

                    As to mixing woodworking & welding/metal-fab, besides the sawdust
                    and fire hazards, metal work can throw off a lot of grit and metal
                    chips and stuff like that which does not always mix well with
                    woodworking tools. If you can keep them separate, you should.

                    Frank

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                    • #11
                      I've done a large amount of work over the years on wood work tables.
                      The result is a lot of burn marks and scars but you have to try pretty hard to set a plywood tabletop afire doing small jobs on it.
                      This was not in my home, but in plant settings where hot work permits were required and all hot work stops 30 minutes before the crew leaves.

                      I've done even more welding with plywood covering (protecting) the floor. Same thing, lots of burn marks but no fire unless you use a torch, that will set the wood on fire. Sand will prevent that, or wet down the small area before/after.

                      JTMcC.
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