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Thread: Welding Table

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
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    Default Welding Table

    I picked up a piece a 28"x96"x1/2" plate last week with the intent to build a welding table. I don't have a ton of space so it should give a big enough surface to work on. I also plan to put it on wheels to pull it out into the open to "hang" projects off both sides.

    I have a couple design questions for you guys. My local airgas has a arcstation on display. I was checking it out and I liked the slots that were in the table. They coule be used to clamp down to or to plasma cut straight cuts through. I am going to integrate sometime similar. I want my final table length to be about 4.5-5' long. I was thinking of putting a similar type slot every 12" or 18" to allow clamping in plenty of locations.

    Have you guys tried anything like this before? How well did it work?
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Default

    1/2" plate is ok for a welding table; you can beat on it and it will stay flat as long as the hammer is not a sledge. Be sure your plate is true and flat before you start. Your biggest problem is going to be attaching the plate to the frame you fabricate. You will find that the heat of welding the underside can translate into a hump in the middle of your table.

    I bought my 4'x8'x1/2" table from a fab shop going out of business. The top was stitch welded to the frame. It had a considerable "hump" that took me some time and effort to remedy. I think they put the table top plate on the floor and built the undercarriage by welding the frame onto it piece by piece and then turned it upright. That way the frame was just as warped as the plate by the time it was finished. My advice is to build your frame first and ensure it is flat, then attach the top in a way that doesn't cause heat warpage. Good luck.
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  3. #3
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    Default

    I figured it was a good compromise. Steel gets spendy when you get to the thick stuff. I would love a 3/4" or 1" table, but holy cow!

    So, if stitch welding put too much heat into the table surface, what would be better? I would like to keep my material flat. Have you tried to flatten your table with a flame? I've heard about that being successful. I was originally going to stitch the top to the frame I built, but now I am reconsidering that idea. i was going to burn everything together with my mm251 mig welder. Is the HAZ really enough to cause a rise in the 1/2" plate?
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    A rockcrawler, er money pit, in progress...

  4. #4
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    Default

    Also, I assume your username is your vehicle? I've got an LBZ that I DD and use to tow my jeep around.
    MillerMatic 251
    CST 280 w/tig torch
    HF-251-D1
    Cutmaster 42
    Victor Journeyman OA

    A rockcrawler, er money pit, in progress...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Default

    Yes, I drive a late '06 LBZ 4wd. Best pickup on the road IMHO.

    Perhaps spot welds over a period of time, allowing cooling between welds, moving around a lot, would keep your 1/2" top from distorting.

    I straightened my top by using my plasma cutter to cut all the welds at the ends of the table, leaving only those in the very center. Then, using bottle jacks braced against the end of the framework below, I simultaneously raised the ends of the plate beyond a flat orientation, overcoming the heat-induced bend. When I released the jacks the top came down to an essentially flat surface. After using shims between the plate and the frame to prevent pull down, I tacked it in a few places. It's close but not perfect; ok for my purposes.
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    Hypertherm Powermax 30
    O/A Rig, Enco 4x6 bandsaw, etc.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    388

    Default

    Counter-sunk bolts. and if the frame is warped shim between the frame and top plate.

  7. #7
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    Default

    Sounds good guys. Thanks for the help. I'll post some pictures when I get it all finished up.
    MillerMatic 251
    CST 280 w/tig torch
    HF-251-D1
    Cutmaster 42
    Victor Journeyman OA

    A rockcrawler, er money pit, in progress...

  8. #8
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    Made a little progress today on the table. The square is 2x2x.120 and the angle is 1.5x1.5x.125. Going to put some expanded steel for the bottom tomorrow. I have some snow removal work lined up so I might not make it as far as I hoped tomorrow. We will see...
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    MillerMatic 251
    CST 280 w/tig torch
    HF-251-D1
    Cutmaster 42
    Victor Journeyman OA

    A rockcrawler, er money pit, in progress...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    151

    Default Welding Table

    Looks good so far!

    Make sure to leave a 2" overhang and have you considered a mounting area for a vise? You could use receiver tube

  10. #10
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    I am planning on an overhang. I was actually going with 3". I made a little more progress today. Got the expanded metal floor cut and welded in. I also cut the 2 pieces for my table top. Just finishing the cleaning of the edges and going to use a wire wheel to get rid of the surface rust. I quit early tonight because it was 10*F in the shop and I am not in a big rush for this project. Also, apparently I only had a nearly used up grinding wheel left. Going to run into town tomorrow and pick up some more.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    MillerMatic 251
    CST 280 w/tig torch
    HF-251-D1
    Cutmaster 42
    Victor Journeyman OA

    A rockcrawler, er money pit, in progress...

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