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Welding table/work bench

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by dremu, Aug 3, 2005.

  1. dremu

    dremu Officious Thread Derailer Premium Member

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    I think this is on topic for the forum, but if it belongs in the lounge, mods, feel free to move.

    So I'm cleaning and re-arranging the garage, and I finally have space for a decent work area.

    I could just throw together some 2x4's, slap a sheet of plywood across the top, and call it good.

    I could go out and drop the coin on a sheet of 1/4" or 3/8" steel, weld some legs on it, and have me a metal surface. I *fear* what that would cost, though, with today's prices.

    Or, I suppose, I could do wooden legs for a metal top. Save me some $$, but otherwise, is there any point?

    Am I gonna regret doing occasional welding on a plywood top? There are some burn marks on my existing bench.

    If I do go with metal, do I paint it, leave it bare, what?

    -- A
     
  2. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    See if you can find a place that sells used steel near you. We picked up some really cheap 6" 'I' beam for our fab table at work. Yes we did pony up for a beefy table top (1" x 48" x 96"). You certainly don't need that thick or heavy a top for a home shop though. I can say that any welding on plywood just sucks.


    For my buddy's garage/shop we built a 24" wide table 72" long out of 2" pipe that was used and free. Still need a top for it, thinking 1/4" would be just fine for that.

    Rene
     
  3. afroman006

    afroman006 1/2 ton status

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    I looked up my post from over a year ago that had pics of the table I made in it but the pics are dead. Here's the description and I'll try to get more pics of it tomorow.

    The main 4' x 8' frame is made out of 3" .188 angle. The legs are 4" .188 angle. The outer two crossers are 3/8" x 2" strip and the inner 3 crossers that the plate will be resting across are 2" (whatever the next size down from .188 is) angle. I have 1 4 x 8 sheet of 3/8" and 2 4 x 8 sheets of 1/4". I am planning on using the 3/8" for a couple of winch and bumper mounts so I think I'll stick with 1/4", I dont feel like spending $300 on another sheet of 3/8"
     
  4. az-k5

    az-k5 1/2 ton status

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    I agree plywood is awful. For the uber cheap you can get scrap fence posts (careful they are galvy), build the frame, top it off with a piece of plywood and then cover the plywood with 1/8" sheet. It won't make a very good jig table but works well as a welding table. Also take into consideration what kinda welding you do. If you have a small machine (110v) then you can get away with less thickness on the top due to the lower power transfer and duty cycle.
     
  5. big83chevy4x4

    big83chevy4x4 3/4 ton status

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    my current bench/welding table is 2x6 legs and 2x12 top all wood. it works for holding what im welding off the floor. i would love to build a all metal welding table.

    when im welding, if the back side of the weld is touching the wood, it does smoke. most of the time it just sisles the moisture out of it. if i prop it up like a 1/2" then i don't have a problem. i just make sure what ever im welding, the back side is not touching the wood. one thing i hate about the wood, is you can;t just put the groud clamp on the table and weld like you can with a metal table.

    what i plan on doing for a welding table is 1.5" or 2" square tube for the legs and supports for the top and 3/16" plate for the top
     
  6. k5freak44

    k5freak44 1/2 ton status

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    :D i have a craftsman workmate im using right now, when i burn all the wood away im going to weld on some thick steel
     
  7. shoudabinacowboy

    shoudabinacowboy Registered Member

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    At my work we make tons of carts and tables out of 1.5" square tube. We just use 10 ga. (0.135") or 12 ga. (0.105") sheet for the top. This works great for welding on because you can attach your ground to the table and still be able to move your part around. To make it lighter a wooden frame would be fine and just attach the steel to the top. Makes for a nice durable surface too.
     
  8. TJS

    TJS 1/2 ton status

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    I built mine. I also have built a couple for people. Steel is very high. I quoted someone and two weeks later he asked me to go a head and build it. I went to get the steel and it was 25% higher from when I got the quote. I was like WTF. Oh well the customer went for it anyway.

    http://www.tjsperformance.com/workbench.htm


    T.J.
     
  9. alf4444

    alf4444 1/2 ton status

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    WOW nice job! :D
     
  10. dremu

    dremu Officious Thread Derailer Premium Member

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    Thanks all for the info so far. TJ, that is a sweet table -- total overkill for me, but sweet nonetheless :bow:

    Rene, yep, we have a scrap place local here, but steel's still stupid money no matter what.

    So I'm curious about the business about putting the ground clamp on the table. Seems like the slightest amount of dust or crap on the table would impede the ground connection and make the welds crappy. I tend to get anal about having a really GOOD ground on my work.

    I suppose if you have a decently heavy piece on the table, it'll make a good ground regardless?

    Also, this means leaving the table unpainted/treated ... any rust issues? What do I do, just scrub the thing off once a year or so?

    -- A
     
  11. jjlaughner

    jjlaughner 3/4 ton status

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    I got used steel from the steel place here. 1/2" x 36" x 36" top, 2x2 angle and 2x2 tube all for around $80

    [​IMG] there will be a drawer in the front
    [​IMG] welding the legs on


    I'm going to weld snow plow feet in the bottoms of the tubes to raise it up 1.5" and make it easier to pull around on concrete and up and down off the 1" ledge into the garage door.
     
  12. BrianDamage

    BrianDamage 1/2 ton status

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    I used the table in this article as a basis for the design of mine :

    http://www.uniqueprojects.com/projects/weldingtable/weldingtable.htm

    I just didn't have the shelf extend outside the edge of the legs (I don't have any bottles)

    Only thing I messed up on is I didn't make the shelf low enough for my welder to sit on, so it sits on the floor. That's ok though.

    I had a little over $300 in mine when I made it 2 or 3 years ago. Most expensive piece was the top .. I bought a 4x8 sheet of 3/8 thick steel, and ended up we decided to cut 1 foot off the 4' side, so it's 3'x8'

    Spent al lthat time & money, and I bet I haven't used it 5 times since then :haha:
     
  13. BadDog

    BadDog SOL Staff Member Super Moderator Author

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    This is mine. 4x4 top, 1/2" thick.

    Before I built it, I used a wooden "table" with 3/4" particle board top and a piece of 1/4" plate laying on top under where I was welding. It worked, but I did get a few burns on the table, mostly from relocating the piece for the next weld, and accidentally moving the previous hot weld off the steel onto the wood. Obviously wood is NOT really a good surface to weld on...
    [​IMG]
     
  14. Geargrinder

    Geargrinder 1/2 ton status

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    I used 1 1/2" angle for the frame of mine, and a 1" sheet of plywood for the top, then I cover that with a sheet of 1/8" aluminum bolted through to the steel frame so it carrys the ground. this keeps the overall weight down (in case U decide to move it) and it is a rust proof top.
     
  15. shoudabinacowboy

    shoudabinacowboy Registered Member

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    Here at work we just take an air sander to the table every now and then when it gets dirty gets too many weld spatters on it. There's not too many rust issues here, but all the tables are inside. If you're going to take it outside where it could get wet then I'd paint it or it'll look like crap.
     
  16. Desert Rat

    Desert Rat Fetch the comfy chair

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    BadDog, where did you get that little cart for the welder? I have a Miller 175 that I hate trying to carry around the garage and back yard. That cart would be perfect.
     
  17. diesel4me

    diesel4me 1 ton status Premium Member

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    A few ideas...

    I have a friend who made a decent welding table from an old manhole cover with 4 pipe legs welded to it...the underside is smooth,the top was "checkerboard"..so he used the smooth side up..he got it at a local scrapyard for 50 bucks...that was a while ago,scrap is higher now,so it might not be that cheap now..(crackheads steal them all the time here,so be sure to get a receipt if you buy one!--the police might want to see it!)...

    I know of another guy who used an old cast iron wood stove for a welding table..it actually worked pretty well!..

    I got lucky at the dump one day,and found a metal table with a 1/4" plate top,and angle iron legs,and a shelf made halfway up!-( its about 2' square!)-I also got a homemade "hand truck" made specially for garbage cans or 55 gallon drums at the same time!...one of my better scores! :laugh:

    I also found several metal fixtures that held flouresent lights from a school building undergoing renovations..I have no idea why the felt flouresent lights needed a 3/16" thick metal thing around the bulbs!(maybe fire protection??)--anyhow,they looked like tables without legs,so I took 3 of them,and made legs out of 2x4's..thats what I use most of the time it I need a larger table(its about 2'x5')...now,all I have to do is find out why my welder is tripping the curcuit breaker as soon as I turn it on! :doah: --its an aincient Miller arc welder,and I'm fearful it might have croaked! :( --I'm hoping its the "extension cord",and NOT the welder! :crazy:
     
  18. BadDog

    BadDog SOL Staff Member Super Moderator Author

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    Like most everything else, I built it.
     
  19. Desert Rat

    Desert Rat Fetch the comfy chair

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    Crap, ah well, maybe I should try and do the same with my booger welding...
     
  20. FRIZZLEFRY

    FRIZZLEFRY 1/2 ton status

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    Heres mine.The top is 4'x8'x3/4",the legs are 4"x4"x1/4",and 1/2"x4" to keep it flat.Everything is inset from the edge of the top enough to not get in the way of C clamp vise grips and there is angle between the legs on the ends to hang clamps and grinders from.I also cut two slots out in the middle of either end to be able to clamp stuff down away from the edge if I need to.

    Its a little light,but it gits the job done :D

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     

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