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Welding Table Build

BFHammer

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#1
I'm a YouTube taught welder. After a couple of years of welding on my Harbor Freight table and/or the basement floor I decided it was time for an upgrade.

I scoped out a bunch of great builds on the web and headed to the local steel yard. I was looking for a plate somewhere in the neighborhood of 30" x 48". As luck would have it the 1/2" plate on the top of the drop stack was closer to 4' x 8'. They made me a deal I couldn't refuse and I hauled it home.

It took the engine hoist to unload it and the plasma cutter to get it down to size. Since I now had more to work with I decided. 3 1/2' x 6' would work just fine.

For the past couple of months it has camped out on my heavy duty sawhorses. This weekend I finally got started on the build.

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BFHammer

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#2
The legs will be 3x3 3/16
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Since it needs to be mobile I got some 6" poly on iron casters. The caster plates are bigger than the 3x3 legs and I had plenty of left over 1/2 plate some I made some plates.
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Unfortunately to accommodate both the caster plate and the 3x3 legs it's a tight fit. I had to dry fit it to make sure I would keep clearance for the nuts.
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BFHammer

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#3
Got them welded up and everything still fits!
IMG_2320.JPG IMG_2321.JPG

I used angle iron on one side as I will be dropping a tool chest in that end. The small plate in this picture is just a spacer while I got it tacked up.
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Bob Korves

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#5
A 1/2" by 4x8' drop? I gotta find that place! Good score!
 

BFHammer

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#7
A 1/2" by 4x8' drop? I gotta find that place! Good score!
We're lucky to have a steel supplier here. They have an 'outlet' store for all us little guys. You never know what you might find. I misspoke on the size it was 4'x6'+. Best I can tell they just cut the end off of what was originally a 4'x8' and threw it on the pile. Of course it had been there long enough that it took half a dozen bear-tex grinder disks and a new set of respirator filters to get to the shiny stuff.
 

BFHammer

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#8
This is going to be one hell of a stout table when you're done with it!
I definitely have a little bit of an "overbuilding" problem. But I did want something that i could pound on - depending on how the welding goes - I might have to resort to the BF Hammer for those fine adjustments! :grin:
 

catoctin

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#9
While your on the subject of cleaning mill scale and rust from metal, I discovered something interesting this week. The guy on Welding Tips and Tricks had a video series on building a welding cart and he used a 3M bristle disc to clean up rust and mill scale on scrap metal. It seemed to work pretty well in the video so I bought a 4.5 inch one from Amazon for $27. I used the same brown disc he used (36 grit) and it works great. I cleaned up both sides of a 3 ft section of 4"x 1/2" mill scale crushed metal in a few minutes.
Edges will knock the bristles off but they can be touched up with a flap disc before welding.
 

Bob Korves

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#10
While your on the subject of cleaning mill scale and rust from metal, I discovered something interesting this week. The guy on Welding Tips and Tricks had a video series on building a welding cart and he used a 3M bristle disc to clean up rust and mill scale on scrap metal. It seemed to work pretty well in the video so I bought a 4.5 inch one from Amazon for $27. I used the same brown disc he used (36 grit) and it works great. I cleaned up both sides of a 3 ft section of 4"x 1/2" mill scale crushed metal in a few minutes.
Edges will knock the bristles off but they can be touched up with a flap disc before welding.
I am not familiar with that style disc. How about a part number or a link to one. Sounds interesting...
 

BFHammer

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#11
Catoctin - good to know. I have seen those but shied away because of the price and durability. I'll have to check out the amazon deal - $27 that's actually a little less than the price of three of the Norton BearTex (nonwoven) discs. They do a good job but they do load up if the material is in rough shape. I would think that would be the advantage of the bristle disc is it would be less likely to load.
 

catoctin

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#12
The Amazon part number is 048011330549. If you search on the part number you will see the business side of the disc in a picture from another vendor. It looks like they are going for $24.84 today. You do need to keep the disc off of edges or a few of the bristles will come off. Jody at Welding Tips and Tricks seemed to like them so I though it was worth a try. I thought 36 grit might be too aggressive but it didn't seem that bad.
 

abrace

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#14
Looks nice. Going to be a serious table. You are not messing around!

What are you using for wire/gas etc?

I don't know if you are looking for feedback or not, but some of those welds look a touch on the cold side. Might wanna crank up the heat a bit. That is thick steel, takes a lot to really penetrate.
 

Silverbullet

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#15
Looks good so far it's exactly the way I'd make mine. If I can ever get my projects caught up I will be building one too. I found a large piece of stainless steel on craigslist it had been from a table it's 5/8" x 34 x 80" with an extra 1/2 of aluminum frame around the bottom edge. Should be a great welding table. I hope.
 

BFHammer

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#16
Thanks for the comments guys.

Silverbullet - sounds like you've got a perfect start with that plate.

Abrace - definitely open for comments as I've only been welding a couple of years. I using MIG - E70s-6 .030 wire w/ C25 gas. I agree those aren't the hottest welds on the caster plates. I know you are supposed to weld based on the thicker metal but when I cranked it up much more it was really tough (at my skill level) to not blow through the 3/16. I did some testing with the BFHammer before I started and I think I'll get by with that on the caster plates.

Mark
 

abrace

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#18
Abrace - definitely open for comments as I've only been welding a couple of years. I using MIG - E70s-6 .030 wire w/ C25 gas. I agree those aren't the hottest welds on the caster plates. I know you are supposed to weld based on the thicker metal but when I cranked it up much more it was really tough (at my skill level) to not blow through the 3/16. I did some testing with the BFHammer before I started and I think I'll get by with that on the caster plates.
Mark
I am still learning too. It is a process, that is for sure.

While not a mechanical engineer, I don't think there will be too many stresses on those caster welds anyways. Only time they will be doing anything is when you are rolling the table around...otherwise they won't see any stresses.

I am not the best mig welder in the world, that is for sure. I have never taken a mig class...only Oxy/Acetylene, 2 Stick courses, and TIG.

Those specific welds looked like too much metal being deposited with too low of a voltage to me. Maybe your travel speed isn't fast enough and that is why you were burning through? Anyways, nothing like a good project to get practice...I can only run so many practice beads. There is nothing like the real thing to provide different scenarios and positions to get better.

That table is going to be serious business when it is done. I need to build a new one myself, so I will be keeping an eye on your project for ideas.
 

abrace

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#19
Oh, I meant to add one thing. When I do rebuild my table I will be welding some trailer hitch receiver tube to the underside of the table. It is not a standard 2 1/2" tube, so you can't use that. It is 2 1/2 .238 wall with the internal flash (weld) removed so it is smooth. Anyways, That will allow me to mount various attachments to the table like a vise, or even a grinder, and remove it whenever I want. You just make up some 2" solid steel, or 2" tube, with plate mounting plates welded on top and then they can slide right into the receiver. Gonna put a few mounts for this all over the table. I have seen a couple tables done that way and they are very handy. Thought I would mention it while you are still putting it together in case you are interested.
 
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GarageGuy

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#20
Wow, that will be an awesome welding table when it's finished! Stamp the date and your initials on it. It will last a lifetime, and beyond.

GG
 

firestopper

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#21
Wow, that will be an awesome welding table when it's finished! Stamp the date and your initials on it. It will last a lifetime, and beyond.

GG
I stamp the year on welding tables I build too.

BFHammer,
Adding a 2" receiver will make life easier for a vise, or jigs, etc. Converting to a blank table is swift.
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Bob Korves

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#22
I think the play between the receiver and the 2" mount would drive me crazy, unless you have a way to stop it. Perhaps a bolt or two, with T or L handles added, threaded through the receiver to press against the mount and take out the play? One of the greatest attributes of a vise is that it holds things still while you file or center punch or saw or...
 

firestopper

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#23
I think the play between the receiver and the 2" mount would drive me crazy, unless you have a way to stop it. Perhaps a bolt or two, with T or L handles added, threaded through the receiver to press against the mount and take out the play? One of the greatest attributes of a vise is that it holds things still while you file or center punch or saw or...
Agreed!
if you look closely, you can see a 3/4"nut welded to the receiver and a bolt is used to secure the jig or vise down. In fact there is a second nut welded 90ยบ from the one visible. I would not advise using a "T" handle on a bolt if you want it tight, just use a wrench and be done.
I use receivers on workbenches as well. Its nice to have a full table with nothing in the way.
IMG_0717.JPG IMG_0718.JPG
Just a recommendation.
Peace,
Paco
 

Bob Korves

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#24
Great, Paco. That is a good, quick change, and pretty rigid setup. Keeping tables clean is a great idea that I must learn someday... :(
 

BFHammer

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#25
Thanks for stopping by and commenting guys. I appreciate all the feedback. I think that I will definitely mount a couple of receivers - have seen a lot of great setups on the webs. My vise will be mounted tabletop but I'm sure I'll find uses for temporary mounted tools also.

Hurt my back a few weeks ago and have been taking it very easy so not much activity on the table but hopefully I will have some progress to share pretty soon.
 

bss1

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#26
I put receivers on anything I can when building from scratch. There is jus so much you can do with them. On my welding table, I use them for securing vises, ring roller, bender, etc.

To Bob's comment on the slack in the mount, a bolt to take up the excess slack is a necessity. I have done like Paco and drilled the receiver and installed a weld nut. I have used both plain bolts and T - handles. I prefer T-handles as it gives me something else to make and a tool free change out of the accessory. I put T-handles on lots of things for tool free change outs. If it is for something that I foresee not requiring max torque I use round bar for more ergonomics and aesthetics. For heavier duty uses, I use square bar so I can use an adjustable wrench to tweak the tightness if necessary.
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Bob Korves

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#27
It seems like a single bolt entering at a 45 degree angle from a corner of the receiver would be a good way to take the play out. A small 45 degree notch on the corner of the tool mount shank to mate with the end of the bolt would secure it in all three axes at once...
 

firestopper

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#28
Man, that sucks about your back injurie.
A speedy recovery.

As for a single nut at a 45 degree that would work great for most applications.
When using a receiver on a workbench, it's imparative to keep the bolt as close as possible to avoid any hinderance while working seated.
Very handy upgrade imo.
 

born2glf

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#29
very nice table, I am getting ready to build one hope it comes out as nice as yours. It will be my first big project,
 

BFHammer

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#30
After a bit of break I finally made some progress on the table.

Due to some other pressing projects (including the pending arrival of my mill and lathe next week :)) I postponed a couple of features that I originally planned to incorporate. I didn't mount receivers on the table and didn't add the onboard power. Fortunately both these will be easy adds in the future.

I did incorporate a built in tool box for storage, clamp racks, a grinder rack and under table storage. The casters are going to be great. Very stable when locked but easy mobility that I need in my small shop.

Not a lot of pictures as I wrapped up but here are a few. The logistics of maneuvering a project this size by myself was time consuming in itself. The last open item for now are four countersunk screws to keep the top from slipping - although I can't imagine that it would ever move on it's on! Hope to get that done tomorrow and will snap some photos of everything loaded up.



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