View Full Version : Welding table advice
04-08-2004, 05:50 PM
I am just starting out and looking for pointers on features for a MIG welding table. From reading this forum and other sources, this is what's on my feature list so far:
1) top surface should overhang frame to allow for easy clamping
2) add a tab to on the frame to clamp the ground to
3) table height should be around wrist height
4) have a shelf built in for misc bits, clamps, etc.
1) Wheels vs no wheels
I am setting up shop in a barn with lots of room and I THINK that I won't need to move the table once its in. Is this stinkin' thinkin'?
2) Table top thickness
a) If I make a sturdy frame, does it matter how thin the table top is? Or should I just get the thickest dang plate that I can lift.
b) If I go with a 36" x 48" table top, then I'm thinking I wouldn't go thicker than 1/2" because of weight. Is 36" x 48" a good size?
big rig guy
04-08-2004, 07:09 PM
I thought of adding wheels to my table, but I have a vice mounted and when I am hammering or bending something I don't want it to move. I have access to a forklift as the table is very heavy, as I have a hard time moving it. The table does not get moved too ofte.
As for thickness, depends if you have to ever move it. I like the sound of the thud from the heavier stuff. I kinda go overkill with everything anyhow. Hammering on a thin top would drive me nuttier than I alreay am. I have 1/2 inch plate about 5 feet by 5 feet. I like things square, but 36 by 48, no problem, depends again, what you want to put on top to work on too.
Definetely make a sturdy frame. Keep it inboard as you said, so to clamp your work.
04-08-2004, 07:24 PM
No wheel, 3/8" minimum on the top, size is fine. Here is the link to a fromer post on tables:http://www.weldingweb.com/showthread.php?threadid=33
04-08-2004, 07:24 PM
Willy, my table is 36" high (I'm 6'3") which is 2" higher than my wrist. I would say that if you plan on doing a lot of welding on
your bench, that you cannot sit down to do, make sure that you don't build it too low and have to stoop down. 6/8 hours of stooping will kill your back.
I agree with the top overhangiing the frame (4-6") My top is 3/8" material and 32" x 60". Try to find a fairly flat piece. I had just a little roll (going the long way) and was able to pull it almost absolutly flat. Generaly the thicker the top the flatter it will be, but harder to push & pull. :-)
I have wheels on mine (steel el no melto) so that I can use it as a cart to roll the 20' beams out the 10' wide doors. YMMV
If you are tight for storage space, the built in shelf would be okay, but my first table had one and after a couple of years it was full of grit and chunks on offcut metal. I like my clamps and tools behind me, out of the way as I tend to clutter up my work area fast.
04-08-2004, 07:37 PM
After more than 40 years of makin sparks, there is one thing I'm absolutely certain of; NO damn welding table is ever the right height!
Expecting any table to be the right height is a dream, because unless you are welding the same production job for years on end, the job you're working will always require welding at different levels.
Either build a hydraulic elevating table, or build one at a comfortable height to hammer on and live with it.
If you're only going to MIG onit, 1/4" with appropriate cross members is sufficient. If you're welding directly on top of the table, or stick welding on the table, go to 3/8. Use cross braces to control warping. Any thickness of steel will warp if you put sufficient heat onto it.
04-08-2004, 07:52 PM
a picture of mine. it 4x4 by 1/2 thick
04-08-2004, 07:55 PM
What are those orange things on your grinders?
04-08-2004, 08:06 PM
i found them a harbor freight they said they were cable ties. i have tried every thing to keep the cords on my grindes neat.these things really work good you can click them closed and then reapply them
04-08-2004, 08:11 PM
messed up picture trying agine
04-08-2004, 08:36 PM
Bench height is very subjective. My bench is on wheels due to space constraints in the Magic Garage. I don't like shelves on benches, as "sdean" pointed out they get full of chips and junk. My top is 1/2" 29" x 36" I made it 29" wide so I could roll it on the back porch so I can use it to cast bullets.
Cutter, note the Wilton vise. I got that 25 years ago from my buddy the "Sea Bee" I didn't ask where he got it from, But Franz says Sea Bee's are all honest:angel:
04-08-2004, 08:38 PM
Here's the bench My buddy 1911man built. (He's a lot sharper than he looks:D )
His has a 1/4" top, and is 24" X 48"
Note the expanded aluminum shelf to allow trash to fall through. He still owes me for that material, it was left over from a job.
04-08-2004, 08:41 PM
look at the shelf under my table slag and dirt fall thru it
Be sure to include some form of adjustable legs, so you can level the table when it is standing where you want it. Use some bolts (i used some 1 inch i had laying around) weld the nut to the leg, and a plate to the head.
I have a 3 x 8 foot work bench built out of pipe and 1/4 plate, broke to have a back splash along the wall.
Personaly, I like the table my neigbor has in his shop: a 4 x 8 sheet of 1 1/2" steel, with 5 4 inch square legs welded straight onto it. (adjustable of course) Man that thing is solid. Expensive, but well worth it. I will build one when I get a large shop again.
04-08-2004, 08:49 PM
Dull knife, I noticed that. I might add, being a pack rat, (besides being a shop rat). If your bench is too large, it becomes a "horizontal storage facility", and pretty soon you won't have room to work. Most of the horizontal surfaces in the Magic Garage are filled with "Stuff":blush2:
04-08-2004, 08:55 PM
jim; you are right. that is my bench. lo to any one that puts any thing on that bench. i have enough other benches i can keep that one pretty clear. ken
04-08-2004, 08:56 PM
Dullknife is prevaricating! Those are wirecuffs, in his case grindercuffs. He has to cuff his grinders to the bench cause they runn off otherwise.
Jim, yer damn straight all CBs are decent honest hardworkin men, who would never purloin government property. Rumors of CB programs to speed the early retirement of government property to civilian custody are pure lyes made up by Marines and Navy CID.
I didn't do it, Nobody saw me do it, Ya can't prove nothin.
PS: anybody who posts a picture of a clean welding bench is either a lyar, NOT a weldor,or psycotic.
04-08-2004, 09:04 PM
can,t say much about the navy my granddaughter is in it. Tryed to tell her. they say that if a staff car were to go by the magic garage it would hit a brace.
My welding table is about 4x4 with 1/4 plate top,small leaf break i built a few years ago.but right now its a catch all reall need to clean it off. Hope to get to it soon if i can find it!!!!
04-09-2004, 11:28 AM
Thanks for all of the feedback. One follow up question....
If I end up with a 3/8" or 1/2" top, do I:
a) rest it on the frame
b) tack it to the frame
c) weld it at every point it contacts the frame
04-09-2004, 03:17 PM
Weld it to the frame in 2" segments every 8-10" would be fine. Too much heat will warp the top.
04-09-2004, 08:23 PM
Okay Franz, I guess I must be the psycotic one. The only thing on the table is the current project ready to weld in the am. What I am NOT showing you is the table behind me :D
p.s. I originally posted the wrong size top. It's 36" x 72" (by 3/8").
oops, picture din't work.
04-09-2004, 08:26 PM
Here's the table I tried to post above.
04-09-2004, 09:26 PM
[Homer voice] MMMmmmmmm... Ironworker..MMmmmmm[/Homer voice]:cool:
How about using trailer jacks for the wheels? Then you could adjust the height. It would be a bit spendy, though.
04-09-2004, 11:48 PM
SDean I worked for a TRUE PSCYCO when I was a kid. He even had a 6' rod he could pull tools out from under a truck with, while you were workin on it, and then wipe em off and put the tool back in the drawer. The man was an absolute fenatic about anything layin on the floor. I just kept repeating Nothing EVER fell off the floor.
04-10-2004, 07:08 AM
If a cluttered work bench is an indication of a cluttered mind!
What is indicated by a empty wench bench??:blush2:
04-10-2004, 09:57 AM
Just to show Franz that I'm not a "TRUE PSCYCO" (tm), I''l now show you the table beside the other one.
04-10-2004, 11:06 AM
Looks like you got some nice stuff there Sdean. I guess that's a group picture of your sisters over there on the wall? :)
04-10-2004, 01:41 PM
Cutter, for a guy who has sandy eyes, you sure don't miss much.
Sdean you would have been rated subpar in the Pscyco category because of all the available shelf space on the saw, but I raised your rating when I noticed the sawdust in the base. Keep at it.
04-10-2004, 04:13 PM
How does this rate Franz??
sdean. send us more pictures of your shop. Looks nice. What size is the lathe? I wish I could justify an "Iron worker" I have an old South bend 13", and a Mill Drill.
Magic Garage work bench or horizontial storage facility:blush2:
A clean work bench is the sign of a sick mind!!
04-10-2004, 07:12 PM
Looks about right Jim, as soon as you sh!tcan that drill doctor POS it will be perfect.
04-10-2004, 07:45 PM
:cool: I figure you younguns are never gonna learn unless I set a good example for ya, and show ya what a proper welding bench looks like. :D
Note, the vise is fully accesable, and there is a piece of 4 x 6 angle 16" long that can be used in the vise if a flat surface is needed.
The drill press is also conveniently located, and accessable.
If you look carefully, you can locate the TIG torch, cooler, and TIG machine, along with the plasma unit.
Mike Sherman would instantly go into cardiac arrest seeing this bench.
04-10-2004, 10:23 PM
From Cutter: I guess that's a group picture of your sisters over there on the wall?
If my sisters looked like that I'd be sponging off of them and living in Hawaii :laugh:
but I raised your rating when I noticed the sawdust in the base
Yeah, can you imagine a metal fabricator that has a table saw clogging up about 1/4 of his workspace. I need to sell it. I've got my eye on a 20" verticle bandsaw and an Ellis DC drive drill press.
From Fla Jim:
What size is the lathe?
It's the 14" x 30" gear head. I don't know much about machining. I just do the rough stuff on it. I have a friend with a full machine shop, (he knows how to use it) for the stuff that needs accuracy.
And the Ironworker, it's :cool2: I can make long bars of steel into little bars with holes in no time at all!
vBulletin® v3.8.7, Copyright ©2000-2013, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.