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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    La
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    260

    Default Welding table thickness

    Hey guys, I want to fab a welding table out of aluminum. The top will be 4'x4'. In your opinion, what would be a good thickness. I was thinking between 1/4 and 3/8ths. I don't want it to bend or flex. Thanks for any input, Ja.


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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    Raymore Missouri
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    Default

    Why aluminum? That will be expensive. What type of welding will you be doing and on what?
    Nick
    Miller 252 Mig
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  3. #3
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    Mar 2011
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    La
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    Default

    Thanks for the reply Monte, the table will spend the majority of its time outside and will be moved into the shop when I need to work on a project. I don't have alot of shop room to keep it inside. Therefore, weight is an issue along with corrosion. Aluminum would be better than steel for my ap. I mig and tig both alum and steel, mostly small projects, ie under 100 lbs.


    Dynasty 200 DX
    Diversion 180 (FOR SALE)
    Millermatic 350P, XR-Aluma-Pro
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    14" Rage Evolution 360
    40 ton press brake
    Shop full of tools

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Raymore Missouri
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    Default

    Aluminum outside will get nasty also. Will you need to have access all 4 sides of the table? If not, and you have wall space, attatch it to the wall with hinges. Flip up when you need it and down when you don't. I would still go with steel because it's cheaper, and you tack jigs etc to the table if need be. Even if the steel was outside, coat it and cover it and its will be fine. I wouldn't my welding table outside. It's unsitely and a piece of aluminum that big is inviting theft.
    Nick
    Miller 252 Mig
    Miller Cricket XL
    Millermatic 150 Mig
    Miller Syncrowave 200 Tig
    2-O/A outfits
    Jet Lathe and Mill
    Jet 7x12 horz/vert band saw
    DeWalt Multi Cutter metal saw
    Century 50 Amp Plasma Cutter
    20 ton electric/hydraulic vertical press
    Propane Forge
    60" X 60" router/plasma table

    www.youtube.com/watch?v=jTu7wicVCmQ
    Vist my site: www.nixstuff.com
    and check out some of my ironwork and other stuff

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    La
    Posts
    260

    Default

    Thanks for your ideas, they are respected. I do need all 4 sides and this design still will suite me best. Still leaning toward alum. In this situation, what thickness plate would you use?


    Dynasty 200 DX
    Diversion 180 (FOR SALE)
    Millermatic 350P, XR-Aluma-Pro
    30A Spoolgun
    Lincoln Pro Mig 140
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    40 ton press brake
    Shop full of tools

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Raymore Missouri
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    Default

    I assume you will have a steel base under it. Of course you know you will not weld the alum plate to it so you will need to bolt it. Depending on the bracing under the top, you might get by with 1/4" bit if allowed to get hot during welding it may not stay flat. Myself, I would like to have at least 1/2" top. Then you could have overhang for clamping and such. With only 1/4" top and overhang, it will be too easy to deform the overhang when loadindg something heavy on it and it hits the edge. So much depends on how you will use the table.
    Nick
    Miller 252 Mig
    Miller Cricket XL
    Millermatic 150 Mig
    Miller Syncrowave 200 Tig
    2-O/A outfits
    Jet Lathe and Mill
    Jet 7x12 horz/vert band saw
    DeWalt Multi Cutter metal saw
    Century 50 Amp Plasma Cutter
    20 ton electric/hydraulic vertical press
    Propane Forge
    60" X 60" router/plasma table

    www.youtube.com/watch?v=jTu7wicVCmQ
    Vist my site: www.nixstuff.com
    and check out some of my ironwork and other stuff

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Edmonton
    Posts
    43

    Default

    I had an aluminum welding table, don't use it anymore because as soon as you have something clamped on it that overhangs, it would flip. Just wasn't heavy enough. You would want it pretty thick because it flexed a lot too.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Wa
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    587

    Default

    Aluminum would get trashed so fast with sharp, burr and slag covered pieces of steel. I would never build a welding table with less than 3/8 steel, and that would need good bracing built into it. I have 3/4 steel for my top. Just my opinions though. I understand you need to be able to move it. Any way you could just build a set of nice casters into a full steel table so it could still be moved? Steel would be fine outside if it got a nice coating everywhere but the top surface. Would just take a little maintaince to clean up the top when you need it.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Lake of the Ozarks MO
    Posts
    3,593

    Default

    Looking at your list of equipment there and it looks to me you have a pretty decent handle on what you need.
    That said, I'm guessing your wallet will help you make this decision.
    Simply imagine a heavy steel table and go from there.
    Heavy duty legs and all that good stuff. It'll be expensive
    There are many times I wish I had an aluminum top on my table for aluminum work.
    If money isn't a problem, then you may wanna go with stainless instead.
    Back on the aluminum I would say 1/4" would be ok as long as you didn't clamp anything much to it. Anything thicker would be better of course.
    The advice about nothing heavy, no hard (sledgehammer) banging/wailing, or steel mig/stick welding just goes almost without saying.
    I feel the alloy is as important as anything. Go with 6061 and it will be a ton stiffer than say like 3003 or even 5052. Use a heavy frame and barely tack or even tap and bolt the top down and it will stay flat.
    I have a 10ft plate of 5/16ths unknown alloy and it's gonna be a table top for sure someday more than likely. I feel like it can't be beat for aluminum tubing projects like I do on boats.....YMMV.....HTH

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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    1,031

    Default

    My welding table is 4mm thick ali.
    When welding rough stuff I place a sheet of ali diamond plate on top to prevent damaging the surface.

    Ji
    Grip it and Rip it

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