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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    180

    Default Trying to fix warped wedling table

    So I picked up a used 4'x8' welding table for $50 from a pre-fabbed barn manufacturer going out of business. It is made of 1/2" plate, galvanized on the top with a frame made mostly of 2" x 3/16 sq. tube. I welded on plates for casters on the corners and installed retractable screw supports on the center two legs. Then I discovered that the center of the table top is higher than the ends. It is kind of hump backed with the center about .20" higher than the ends. I'd like to find a way to restore it to flatness.

    I'm guessing that the frame assembly is somewhat responsible for the warped top. Take a look at the photos. I'm considering gouging out the welds holding the top to the frame with a plasma cutter, except for the ones in the center of the table, to see if the ends of the top spring up. There are about 36 1" to 2" welds I'd have to eliminate. Later, I could even play an O/A rosebud flame under the center of the top to see if that forces it in the desired direction. If those methods work, I would shim between the top and the frame as necessary and reweld.

    I'm alternatively considering severing some of lower parts of the frame to see if weld shrinkage in that area has bowed the top. At least one of the lower connectors was welded with a gap (see photo). Or maybe there's another option I haven't considered yet. Your suggestions are appreciated.
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    1,508

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dmaxer View Post
    I could even play an O/A rosebud flame under the center of the top to see if that forces it in the desired direction.

    Dont do that!
    That is opposite of where you need to apply the heat!
    Place the heat on the crown of the hump. Id remove the gap in the frame first, then look at adding a center support in the frame.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Lake of the Ozarks MO
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    Default

    I would seriously consider cutting the top completely loose and flipping it over.

    By cutting it loose you will find out what is really going on. You are not gonna staighten it if it is welded together wrong. That doesn't happen on sheet metal, let alone 1/2" plate.
    If you was to heat it to bring the top down without cutting the frame loose it will most likely bend the frame some when it comes back flat...that metal has to go somewhere. And that's providing the frame was square in the first place. I'm betting it was all the perimeter welds that BOWED it in the first place, which is a common rookie mistake. Most flat tables have very little welding done on them. You can lay one decent weld and lay a staightedge down and watch it warp as it cools almost anywhere you do it.
    I would attempt to get it almost flat while loose and then let a couple of tacks to the frame do the rest for me.
    If the bottom isn't galvanized (?) flipping it would be a good thing in my mind.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    Default

    [QUOTE=FusionKing;197725]that metal has to go somewhere. QUOTE]
    Contraction!

    When the heated zone cools, those little molecules in the steel get closer and closer and closer! Kind of like a group hug.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Lake of the Ozarks MO
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    Default

    If it is warped from welding the perimeter you won't bring it back by heating the middle.
    It ain't gonna happen! BTDT, you will end up with a wavy POS. You need to UNDO what is wrong with it.
    You may make it close enuff tho...myself I would much rather strive for perfection.
    If I had wanted to put a bow in that table I would have welded it exactly like they did
    One thing you can do is weld all around, at the welds only on the opposite side and then grind them off.
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    Default

    That box tube frame pretty much has the plate trapped from moving, (much).
    First thing Id do is cut the plate loose from the frame; place a straight edge on the plate to find the crown. The size of the crown would determine what method Id attack the bow with.
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    180

    Default

    Looks like the consensus so far supports cutting the top free of the framework. I think for now I'll resist the urge to flip the top just because I want to preserve the galvanization for the future (and because it's so d**ned heavy).

    FK, your idea to apply welds on the top was intriguing, but I think I'll try another approach first for the same reason.

    Thanks FK and Sonora for your thoughts.
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  8. #8
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    Default

    If you dont want to use heat, you can always do it the tuff way. With a beam and port-a-power.
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    greenfield new hampshire
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    876

    Default easy way

    nobody really suggested, except sonora, its just mild steel, why make it a career, move it cold, it will go, know some one with an excavator, block 4 corners, push down the ctr, but if you use it alot for welding and tack on it alot, it will still move around

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Guam
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    177

    Default easy way II

    For better control you could use a hydrualic jack between the plate and say the stright axle on a heavy truck or a pallet loaded with something heavy on a fork lift. Be Carefull.

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