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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Northern West Virginia
    Posts
    37

    Default Welding table top, material choice and thickness

    I called a metal supplier near Pittsburgh earlier today about buying a 36" x 24" plate of steel to use as the top for a section of a work bench we are building into my son's new garage. I intend to inset the plate into the table-top where it will be the "welding table"

    I know know next to nothing about alloys of steel or it's finishing. I told that to the sales person, I was at his mercy right from the start.

    I told him what my intended use was and the thicknesses I was interested in; 24"x36"and prices for both 0.375 (3/8") and 0.50" (1/2"). He suggested Hot Rolled A-36 steel.

    i was given prices of $109 for the 3/8" stuff and $149 for the half inch. There will also be a $20 cut fee added to either one and state sales tax of course.

    I'd like to hear tour opninion on mt choice in size and thickness of the plate keeping in mind that the plate is just part of the larger work bench which is 14 feet long and 32" wide. I'd also like to hear your opninion on the salesman's recommendation for the hot rolled A-36 steel.

    anything you have to say will be of great interest to me and might help out a few others as well.
    Last edited by 1_old_man; 04-01-2014 at 07:28 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Wa
    Posts
    577

    Default

    A-36 is just standard, common steel, it would be good for your purpose. Given it sounds like you don't purchase from this supplier often, I feel their prices seem fairly reasonable. I would choose the thickest steel you can afford. With that said I would never build a welding table with anything less than 1/2. Consider making provisions to be able to clamp material to the top. Some people will have holes drilled and tapped on a pattern, or mill slots so you can clamp through them.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Northern Arizona
    Posts
    498

    Default

    Mine is 30"x60" a36 with a 2" gap in the middle to clamp stuff in the middle of the table. The biggest problem I find is that it is too small. I bought the steel because I got a 30"x96" piece fresh off the shear for $.55/#. I wish I would have gone with at least 3/4 but oh well.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Belle Plaine Iowa
    Posts
    270

    Default

    By your wording, "building into" it sounds like a bench along the wall. I would not build a welding table up against the wall. You dont want hot stuff going and resting against wood wall material. Now if youre building out of cement block that would be a different deal. I only say this because I had a house fire once and am now super careful about things like that.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    greenfield new hampshire
    Posts
    878

    Default

    i would suggest going to some scrap yards, i bought a 4'x5'x1 1/4" thick slab of steel for a table top

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    not near you
    Posts
    146

    Default

    Thicker is better.....1 inch is just about right...If you buy from a scrap yard, make sure the pc of steel is flat.....very important...I feel it is mandatory to be able to walk all around the welding table. Also mandatory to keep the edges of the table free of legs and framework so that items may be clamped to the table....Good Luck ...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    western mass
    Posts
    205

    Default

    id agree and disagree here. as most said a 1 inch table is nice. i have a 5' x 10' acorn table that is 6 inches thick and i can gaurantee there is no flex to it, but it also weighs about 5 thousand pounds. given the very small size of yours at 2'x3' i dont think your clamping down monster weldments. i would think for a small table 3/8" would work ok? on the back of my welding truck i have a 3/8" table 2' wide and the width of the truck. definitly leave a lip around the edge for clamping. its sad years ago you could find a small table everywhere for next to nothing, but with all the scrappers around you dont find much anymore.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Northern West Virginia
    Posts
    37

    Default Thank you very much.

    Quote Originally Posted by Flyingpig View Post
    By your wording, "building into" it sounds like a bench along the wall. I would not build a welding table up against the wall. You dont want hot stuff going and resting against wood wall material. Now if youre building out of cement block that would be a different deal. I only say this because I had a house fire once and am now super careful about things like that.
    Your posting made me rethink my entire plan. You were correct in your assumption and you were equally correct to point out what had not occurred to me, how potentially dangerous my half-baked idea actually was.

    Revised plan: Build a bench but also build a separate welding table of the same height and built so as to be integrated withe the larger bench most of the time but also easily moved to a safer area in the garage when used for hot work.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Wa
    Posts
    577

    Default

    That's a good idea. Make sure to hold the frame that's going to hold the top away from the edges of the top a couple inches so you can easily clamp material down.

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