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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Mpls, MN
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    1,790

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    With a simple drilling jig, I knocked the whole thing out in an 8hr day (it was split up, because I needed leathers for the overhead welding of the slats in position), but apparently Miller either didn't believe me or like the design because I didn't make it in this years contest.

    Which is more useful, a mig gun holder, or an entire welding bench you can make without any help for $400?

    Here you can see more pics and explanation:
    http://z6.invisionfree.com/ToolBoxTa...showtopic=1777
    Last edited by Fishy Jim; 07-23-2008 at 09:38 AM.
    Syncrowave 250DX
    Invison 354MP
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    Airco MED20 feeder
    Thermal Dynamics Cutmaster 81
    Smith O/A rig
    And more machinery than you can shake a 7018 rod at

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    12

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    Jim, thanks for the pics. Your table is a lot more heavy duty than I have room for, but I bet I could build a folding frame, with the outside of the top being made of angle iron, open side of the angle facing up and in. Then I could use some type of slat arrangement on the top, possibly bolted in place, or possibly just dropping into the angle iron "tray" with some spacers tacked on to keep the slats the correct distance apart. I doubt I will be making this heavy enough to take a real pounding, so the drop in approach may be sufficient. We'll see - it's all real easy when I'm just imagining it!

    Tim

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Mpls, MN
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    The hardest part of dealing with the channel in this orientation is that the legs aren't square on the inside so you can't just cut things to fit. Make your brackets narrow enough to accommodate the radius, then align the slats once the brackets are bolted in place. I tacked the brackets on the outside corners, then went back through and put a bead between the tacks.
    Syncrowave 250DX
    Invison 354MP
    XR Control and 30A

    Airco MED20 feeder
    Thermal Dynamics Cutmaster 81
    Smith O/A rig
    And more machinery than you can shake a 7018 rod at

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    132

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    That's an awesome table, Fishy Jim. Good work.

    If anyone else has any pics of different kinds of 'skeleton tables' I'd be interested in seeing them.

    I have a 1/2" plate table in my shop and it has a crown in it I've been meaning to take care of.

    -James

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    673

    Lightbulb

    You could scale this one to any size you'd like:

    http://www.millerwelds.com/resources...=welding+table
    RETIRED desk jockey.

    Hobby weldor with a little training.

    Craftsman O/A---Flat, Vert, Ovhd, Horz.

    Miller Syncrowave 250.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Posts
    173

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    Step 1 is to decide what welding projects you will be doing and what is physical size.

    We live in a small house and has an even smaller 2 (?) car garage. As much as I would love a large and thick welding table, it ain't gonna happen.

    That said my primary welding is on Jeeps and trucks. The largest 'thing' I weld is a front bumper assembly for an off road rig. Even then a LOT of what I do is done on the vehicle itself.

    I currently have a 18" x 36" table that is 3/16 thick. Small and in fact is too small. I am going to rebuild and go to a 24" x 36" and I will most likely stay with 3/16. I have wheels on on end of my table so I can pick it up and move it around with ease.

    I just have to work with what I have, simple as that.

    I built a rolling stand that has a 6" and a 4" dual wheel bench grinders, drill press and a chop saw all in about 18 x 30" of space. It would sure be nice to have them laid out across the length of a tool table, but I just don't have that luxury.
    Don
    Scottsdale, AZ
    www.savagesun4x4.com

    MillerMatic 211 AS
    Hypertherm PowerMax30
    Bernard 300 Amp Q Gun
    Bernard 200 Amp Q Gun
    Milwaukee Band-saw/stand
    10 Angle Grinders 8, 4 1/2" -2, 7"
    DeWalt Chop Saw
    Craftsman Twin-Blade Saw
    12 Ton Shop Press
    Optrel Satellite Helmet
    Miller Elite Helmet

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Mpls, MN
    Posts
    1,790

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SavageSunJeep View Post
    The largest 'thing' I weld is a front bumper assembly for an off road rig. Even then a LOT of what I do is done on the vehicle itself....

    It would sure be nice to have them laid out across the length of a tool table, but I just don't have that luxury.
    Tool tables just get loaded up with "stuff." I thought my 3x6' table would occupy too much space in the shop along with my 4x8 bench, but both of them are covered right now and the saw is back on the floor for the time being.

    As for fabricating on the vehicle - that's nice for mock-ups, but your real money comes from the second, third, 20th, etc. You'd be better off with some way to make a jig that represents the vehicle's frame, then work off that to do multiples. You only get faster with more of them under your belt. Cost (time) per unit drops and your profits increase (or at least stabilize with how fast material costs keep rising).

    Just some thoughts to consider. You might be better off trading some space for a more functional fixturing device. Then you can eliminate the vehicle from the working environment as well. I know my customers don't like not having their cars for any length of time, so I'm planning on making some jigs off the components I build to do further production once the cars are gone.

    My giant bench isn't necessary for my daily operations, but I didn't want to build it and then wish for another foot this way or a couple feet that way when working on a kart frame or what have you. I can reach the center and a little beyond, so that makes it very easy to deal with.
    Syncrowave 250DX
    Invison 354MP
    XR Control and 30A

    Airco MED20 feeder
    Thermal Dynamics Cutmaster 81
    Smith O/A rig
    And more machinery than you can shake a 7018 rod at

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Posts
    173

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Fishy Jim View Post
    Tool tables just get loaded up with "stuff." I thought my 3x6' table would occupy too much space in the shop along with my 4x8 bench, but both of them are covered right now and the saw is back on the floor for the time being.

    As for fabricating on the vehicle - that's nice for mock-ups, but your real money comes from the second, third, 20th, etc. You'd be better off with some way to make a jig that represents the vehicle's frame, then work off that to do multiples. You only get faster with more of them under your belt. Cost (time) per unit drops and your profits increase (or at least stabilize with how fast material costs keep rising).

    Just some thoughts to consider. You might be better off trading some space for a more functional fixturing device. Then you can eliminate the vehicle from the working environment as well. I know my customers don't like not having their cars for any length of time, so I'm planning on making some jigs off the components I build to do further production once the cars are gone.

    My giant bench isn't necessary for my daily operations, but I didn't want to build it and then wish for another foot this way or a couple feet that way when working on a kart frame or what have you. I can reach the center and a little beyond, so that makes it very easy to deal with.
    Jim, thank you for the tips, 'preciate that.... Mostly I do custom work and it is really esential that I work off my clients rig. So often they too have made alterations that I have to work around and or integrate with and sometime both that I really need to test fit, measure and adjudicate. Sometimes this is on the rig and sometimes its on the table. In spite of my constrianed work space I am going to build a larger work table.

    LOL I really know what you mean by using the table to store stuff.

    My current table has wheels on one end and grab handles simliar to a wheelbarrow that allows me to move the table closer to the job
    Don
    Scottsdale, AZ
    www.savagesun4x4.com

    MillerMatic 211 AS
    Hypertherm PowerMax30
    Bernard 300 Amp Q Gun
    Bernard 200 Amp Q Gun
    Milwaukee Band-saw/stand
    10 Angle Grinders 8, 4 1/2" -2, 7"
    DeWalt Chop Saw
    Craftsman Twin-Blade Saw
    12 Ton Shop Press
    Optrel Satellite Helmet
    Miller Elite Helmet

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Mpls, MN
    Posts
    1,790

    Default

    I guess what I was trying to get at was that there's a whole bunch of stuff that's made to add to a bone stock vehicle, and your initial customer is paying you to do the R&D on their order. You'd be wise to make detailed notes (if nothing else) so that you can make more of them after the current customer is happily down the road. The next one takes you 20% less time, and you can sell it to someone else for the same money, and so on. I'm not saying you need to manufacture everything you one-off (lord knows I sure don't), but with some things, there's money left on the table if you don't make a few more of them and put them on CL or fleabay. You also benefit from economies of scale when making the components from the raw stock.

    Maybe some of the stuff is too personalized, but there's a good chance that there's a couple more people out there who'd love to get one of whatever you just made for someone else.
    Syncrowave 250DX
    Invison 354MP
    XR Control and 30A

    Airco MED20 feeder
    Thermal Dynamics Cutmaster 81
    Smith O/A rig
    And more machinery than you can shake a 7018 rod at

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Medford MA
    Posts
    538

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TimS View Post
    Had not thought about such a table - not a bad idea at all though. I will try to locate some examples. Got any favorites?

    Tim
    here's one I made
    it's made from 1" sq tube, about 2'x3'. the top tubes
    are on about 6" centers. it's great for clamping things
    to any which way i want/need. i did not put casters
    on it -- it's light enough that i just carry it where i
    need/want it.

    if you go this route - lay out all the top pieces
    on as flat a surface as you can and then tack them from
    what will be the bottom. that way you'll end up with a fairly
    flat plane to use as a reference for squaring things.

    i do need to get a smallish piece of plate for use as a
    solid top -- i've done a few small things where a solid surface
    would have been better. if/when i do it, it would be a smallish
    piece (maybe 6"x12" max) that is removable.

    i do light home/art/etc types of things so a huge beefy table
    is not needed.

    f
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