ransom
ransom UltraDork
4/24/13 4:50 p.m.

But, am I approaching this wrong?

I have this notion that I'd like a table with a big, heavy, and very flat top (I've pondered looking into getting it ground flat), possibly with a grid of holes to clamp things down.

Then I'd have this great reference plane for the basis of everything I weld up.

Or is the surface of a welding table too often subjected to mayhem and damage, thus requiring a separate reference surface for stuff like this, or a jig or other fixturing for precision-critical assemblies?

I'm thinking mostly of subframes, control arms, that sort of thing, but I'm also talking about the one table in my shop where all welding would take place...

Of course, if I hit the lottery before I find or build something, I'll just grab this...

Anyhow, I'd love to hear input from folks who've found what works for them (and what doesn't).

mblommel
mblommel Reader
4/24/13 5:05 p.m.

In reply to ransom:

I want this: http://www.bluco.com/

but no $$$$

Nashco
Nashco UberDork
4/24/13 5:12 p.m.

How precise are you thinking your subframes, control arms, etc. would need to be? I can't imagine that a piece of 1/2" plate with laser/waterjet holes in it would not be accurate enough. Bolt it to a couple of C/I/H channels and you're trippin' if you think you'll damage it enough to be too wavy for subframes and control arms. Unless you happen to be forging stainless steel swords on the same bench that you build Formula 1 control arms on...

Bryce

ransom
ransom UltraDork
4/24/13 5:40 p.m.

In reply to Nashco:

I think that setup sounds absolutely brilliant.

I may have expressed my concerns poorly, but I was basically wondering whether in practice a welding table is subjected to too much gouging, spattering, etc to be relied upon for flatness at all, leaving me to use the welding table as a "flat-esque" surface and coming up with something else to use when I needed things fairly precise.

Sounds like, as usual, I'm over-thinking and/or worrying about things that don't require my concern... As long as I forge my swords over on the workbench.

Thank you for the sanity check!

ncjay
ncjay Reader
4/24/13 5:53 p.m.

I purchased a 1/2" thick piece of steel from a local supplier and built a base for it to lay on. You can design your own table for your needs and it won't cost an arm and a leg. I fabricated places to hold some smaller pieces of sheet metal, round or square tubing, and anything else I use often. I have not drilled/tapped any holes in it to bolt stuff down, but that's a good idea for my next table.

Toyman01
Toyman01 PowerDork
4/24/13 6:01 p.m.

I've always wanted to build one using this stuff for the top. It would be heavy as home made sin, strong as an ox and last a life time. With the proper support it would stay flat and you could clamp to it just about anywhere. With the bars being parallel, keeping things straight would be pretty easy too. Splatter and grinding dust wouldn't be a problem as it would fall right through. Of course so would all your tools.

Teh E36 M3
Teh E36 M3 Dork
4/24/13 6:15 p.m.

These guys build the one I like and own. Pretty much exactly what you sound like you want. I have the 2x3 and it is just right- fits perfectly on top of my HF tool chest, and takes standard clamps.

http://www.jmrmfg.com/featured-tools/fabrication-tables/

benzbaronDaryn
benzbaronDaryn Dork
4/24/13 6:46 p.m.

Had to pass on an acorn for 300$ just had no way to move it and it was like 5x4 so I had no room. Thing probably weighed 1500lbs or so.

In consolation I welded a table together of scrap I had laying around, not perfect but it works. I'll be making something better in the future.

ransom
ransom UltraDork
4/25/13 12:34 p.m.

In reply to Teh E36 M3:

That looks nice, and very reasonable for the top plate. I'll have to see what shipping is when it's time to pounce... Probably simpler and possibly cheaper than finding someone locally to cut tidy slots.

ultraclyde
ultraclyde Dork
4/25/13 12:55 p.m.

My welding table was a cast-off from the asphalt plant I ran for a while. It was built as a table to repair 4" & 5" asphalt pumps. It's made from 2" 1/8" square tube and has a 14 guage sheetmetal top and second shelf. It's a BEAST, but it's no where near level, plumb, or square. It's scarred, beat and abused. However, when you really have to whang the E36 M3 outta sumthin', it's your best friend this side of a 3lb hand sledge.

It's funny, I'm preplanning a fab project for a safari rack on my 'Sploder, and I was just trying to figure out how to make sure it's actually flat....

TRoglodyte
TRoglodyte Dork
4/25/13 3:03 p.m.

I went to a local scrap metal dealer and bought a 48" X 40" piece of half inch plate that had some holes already drilled in it. Added some 2"X2" square tubing for legs . Works well for scrap price + 10%

Giant Purple Snorklewacker
Giant Purple Snorklewacker MegaDork
4/25/13 3:27 p.m.

I worked in a place that used a storm drain cover.

RossD
RossD UberDork
4/25/13 4:29 p.m.

In reply to Giant Purple Snorklewacker:

That's what I was going to suggest. Go to your local recycler and ask for something along that lines. Tell them what it's for and they find you something.

jere
jere Reader
4/25/13 4:56 p.m.

In reply to Giant Purple Snorklewacker:

Hmm that would make a nice cutting table and free too...

My welding table is a rusty 5x4 ish piece of .25 inch plate, that I found buried in the backyard. The edges are braced by angle iron, and the legs are made of landscaping timber with cut up water bed for cross bracing.

If I had a nice table I don't think I would get nearly as much done with it. I can tack what I need to it for bracing or whatever and not be afraid of "hurting" it. If something needs to be precise I make a jig out of whatever scrap (wood or metal) is around. Something like this might not suit everyone's style but it works for me.

Ransom
Ransom PowerDork
4/16/17 3:17 p.m.

Resurrecting this thread. I'm going to build something. I think I have a line on a 24x40 chunk of 1/4" plate, and that's probably a dandy start. I came really close to ordering one of the Certiflat table kits, but with a good deal on said plate, the cost should mostly be in materials for the frame and legs...

Anybody have a link to a great looking set of plans? Features I should think about during assembly? I feel like if it matters that much off the bat to have holes or slots or something, that I probably should just do the Certiflat, but to get started, just make sure there's some overhang for clamps around the edges? My drill press can reach about 6" in from the edge; maybe rows along the front, back, and sides?

I just picked up one of the Eastwood Digital 200 AC/DC TIG units; will I regret just building a shelf for it (and a place for the argon tank) into the table? I've got a small shop, and am wondering how often I'll need to take the TIG to the work... The MIG is on cart, and I assume that's what'll be mostly used for stuff that needs to happen on the car anyhow. Not having a second cart would be a meaningful space saving.

Once again, "Dear GRM, I'm overthinking all the incredibly complicated setup that would sort itself right out if I spent as much time in the shop as I ought to. Please help."

EDIT: At least all this time later, the shop itself exists!

44Dwarf
44Dwarf UltraDork
4/16/17 7:34 p.m.

I had a custom sized one made for the shop at work. This kit rocks! They have a blemish sale going on now. https://weldtables.com/

jamscal
jamscal Dork
4/16/17 8:33 p.m.

Weld table thread on PM

^^^My thread over on PM awhile back with my table. Another member posted an even better table and there are several links to more cool welding tables as well.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
4/16/17 10:42 p.m.

My welding table has a frame and crossmembers made of 2x2 1/4" wall box that I built. They're from an old railing that I salvaged. The top is a random piece of scrap metal that's about 1/4" thick or so, but it's welded to the frame so it's not going anywhere. The whole thing is bolted to the concrete floor. It's probably 4x8'. Heavy bastard but it's not going anywhere so I can hammer, smash, lever and generally break things. I have captive nuts on the underside so I can bolt/unbolt my vise and grinder quickly and easily, but in practice the vise stays on and the grinder rarely gets mounted.

When I need to build a jig, I weld it straight to the table

NOHOME
NOHOME PowerDork
4/17/17 9:14 a.m.

I am kind of spoiled when it comes to a welding surface. The table I have is 1" Blanchard ground plate on an 80-20 frame. The wheels are nice but it's so heavy it should also have brakes cause it can run away on you!

Same as Keith mentions, If I need to fabricate a jig, I just use the table as a surface. The thing is going to outlast me no matter what I do to it.

It makes a great anvil, long edge to bend stuff, and like all horizontal surfaces, a great junk collector.

Ransom
Ransom PowerDork
4/22/17 1:21 a.m.

That's a neat trick as a mini-rotisserie...

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