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After you get past the expense:
Alum. is so soft: it'd get dinged & gouged every time something got tossed up on it.
Plus, Steel won't get warped- or bent out of being 'flat' as easily.
On my plywood topped workbench at home,
I've got a (scrounged) 2' x 3' piece of 1/2" Alum. that I do a little welding & plasma cutting on.
The surface of it is a pitted & burned up mess- just from doing a few of my little backyard projects.
After seeing how fragile Alum. is just for the little things I'd use it for-
If I had a big enough sheet of Alum. fall in my lap and was going to build a real work table:
I'd sell it for scrap and buy what I needed for the table top to be Steel-
Hopefully a sheet cut of armor plate from a scraped out Navy ship.
A steel table with a removable aluminum top would be fine for working on aluminum projects. Steel tables can scuff the crap out of your aluminum projects.
Other than expense, there is no reason why an aluminum table, properly designed would not be fine for an aluminum fabricating shop.
If you were to use it for working on rusty steel etc. it would be less than ideal IMO.
Miller Dynasty 700...OH YEA BABY!!
MM 350P...PULSE SPRAYIN' MONSTER
Miller Dynasty 280 with AC independent expansion card
Miller Dynasty 200 DX "Blue Lightning"
Miller Bobcat 225 NT (what I began my present Biz with!)
Miller 30-A Spoolgun
Miller Spectrum 300
Miller 225 Thunderbolt (my first machine bought new 1980)
Miller Digital Elite Titanium 9400
The shop I work for on the side has a large aluminum work table. They do allot of aluminum welding and no steel. I think its 3/4" thick and about 3' by 10' has 3" by 3" square tube legs and 3" angle bracing. been using it for 13 years now, has held up great.
"The only source of knowledge is experience." Albert Einstein
lots of portable guys have aluminum fab tables they carry around on their trucks. makes it easier to load and unload. I keep meaning to build one for the back of my truck but havent yet. They are handy even if its just a tool collector to keep the truck deck clear for the actual welding job.
Much of my work is tacked directly to the table (or the jigs and fixtures holding my work are). Ever try welding AL to steel? My table also occasionally serves double duty as an anvil, so if it was made from aluminum it sure wouldn't last long. I would never weld on a machinist's surface plate, just the same as I would never try to do precision work on a welding table.
I use my table solely as a work surface, not a dimensional reference - that's what squares, rules, and precision levels are for.
2007 Miller Dynasty 200 DX
2005 Miller Passport 180
I've topped my usual work surface with a piece of 1/4 6061 Hullamin. As most of the fab work I do is anodized aluminum this works great. But one quick lesson learned after doing this was (as another memeber noted) you gotta ground your work. Other wise the arc will jump across and can damage the pretty thing your trying to weld up!