View Full Version : Welding/Plasma Table Ideas
04-28-2004, 08:14 PM
I currently have limited shop space. Bought a MM175 last year and started builing a welding table that is 24x36 on casters so it can be moved around easily depending on what I'm doing and working on. Was originally planning on putting a 1/4" top on it but never quite got it done. Put a shelf on it 12" from the floor from a piece of chemical bench given to me (the stuff is very heavy and indestructible). But then I broke down and bought a Thermal 51 Plasma cutter and am trying to noodle how to make a "convertable" table for both welding and plasma cutting.
Any ideas on what I should do for the plasma portion? What would be the easiest way to covert to a flat surface for welding?
My thoughts so far are to use 1" angle on the outside, put kerfs in it every 2" and put 1" flat bar on edge in a grid pattern (ala Rocky D's design). Underneath, I was going to create a pan out of 16 guage sheet to catch the slag/dross/scrap.
For welding, I was just going to lay a 1/4" x 24 x 36 piece of plate on there for welding, but that seems pretty cumbersome.
Any ideas would be great
big rig guy
04-28-2004, 08:23 PM
I usually just clamp the material that I want to cut with plasma to the welding table, overhanging the edge. I guess depending on what you are cutting, ie designs etc, you need to support the material being cut and yet have nothing underneath, in order to allow the arc to come through. I also use work benches, auto body style, much like a sawhorse. They are cheap, and can extend different widths quickly.
Thats about as much as i can help, how do you like the 51, I have the 50 and really like it. Does yours have the new gun???
04-28-2004, 08:36 PM
I believe I have the new gun. I had gotten it between the Hypertherm and the TD. Found a real good price on the TD from Cyberweld. Only tried it for one or two quick cuts and was real impressed. I'm really looking to using it for some upcoming projects. I'll keep you posted.
big rig guy
04-28-2004, 08:44 PM
yeah, I would be interested in seeing how long the shield cup lasts, as the metal insert section on the new gun is larger, and I think that is to allow it to last longer.
I was looking at my cabling the other day and have some cracks, it does not affect operation, but I think I read something on the new 51, that the cable is more pliable.
Had my unit three years now, and not a fart out of it yet. Plasma does not like even a hint of moisture, so ensure that the air delivery is absolutely clean and dry.
What are you running for a welder?
04-28-2004, 08:58 PM
The cable is as pliable as wet spaghetti! I was really surprised given the guage of the wire and the tube that needs to run through it to deliver the air. Seems like a real well built machine. I've got a few other non welding projects to finish before I really get a chance to spend some time using it.
Right now I am running a MM175. Love it, but wish I had one of the bigger units with a 3035 spoolgun. I'd like to start working with aluminum. But I think if I asked my wonderful spouse to upgrade, she'd flip. I need to build her a new kitchen first!
big rig guy
04-28-2004, 09:06 PM
Pliable as a wet noodle eh, thats interesting, I find my cabling a little too tense, I have to make sure on long cuts that I have the cabling positioned properly.
I mounted my TD on top of a Powermig 200, and have the spoolgun as well. It's up off the floor, outta the way and can roll with the welder.
Ya better get off the puter and get going on that kitchen lol.
04-30-2004, 07:52 AM
Yeah, we've started on the kitchen by hiring an architect. I figure it will be a 2-3 year project as we will be blowing out 2 walls and doubling the size. That and I will be making all the cherry cabinets and islands myself. She also wants a steel pot rack for the ceiling! I'm trying to leverage that into a bender and ring roller!
For the table, I've had a bit of a change of heart. I was thinking or the metal stair material that stands 1"high and has metal round stock holding the flat stock vertically. I was then going to lay two 18"x24"x 1/4" sheet that I can take off for plasma cutting. Is 1/4" thick enough and does any one think there 2 peices of sheet wouldn't stay level for any reason?
I know there are several very creative people here. Any ideas would really be appreciated. Trying to get set up right to improve the skills.
04-30-2004, 08:12 AM
If you use 1/4" for weld top you might consider putting some angle on the bottom to keep it ridgid (flat surface). This can also index it to what's below to keep it from moving around.
04-30-2004, 08:16 AM
Another pic, showing the top in place.
04-30-2004, 09:05 AM
Hey I like that idea, Dave. I need to come up with some kind of lift table like that too because I am getting to danged old to keep on lifting things that outweigh me.
BTW, I thought about you last night while I was using my old Craftsman bandsaw; I always remember that you have one like it & I was wondering if yours still cuts as true as mine did last night. Everytime these guys start talking about buying one of those Harbor Freight saws I mentally thank my father for having left this one to me - such a sweet old machine.
04-30-2004, 12:25 PM
Thanks Dave. Great Idea, I was wondering how best to keep it in place. I was considering bolting it but didn't like the fact the bolt heads would be on the top.
04-30-2004, 01:34 PM
It still cuts great. I use it all the time. A well spent $85. Right after I bought it I sold an old Craftsman power hacksaw for $90. I had paid $35 for it and used it for several years. It's not about the money though.
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