Temporary table thickness? - Cut it up later
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  1. #1
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    Temporary table thickness? - Cut it up later

    I'm learning MIG and other metal working, all while setting up a shop/man cave using metal in a residential garage (w 50 AMP service!).

    I want to buy a plate and use it for an temporary welding table placed on metal saw horses (for thin wall square tube as I make shelve brackets, bench legs, etc.) I'll need to tack stuff to the plate for jigs.

    Eventually I'll make a nice welding table with C-Channel, so I'll want to be able to cut up the plate for whatever down the road.

    What's a good thickness that I'll be able to cut in a garage workshop (probably with some hand tool I don't yet own?)

    I have a nice De-Walt angle grinder, but don't mind buying new hand tools.
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  2. #2
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    Re: Temporary table thickness? - Cut it up later

    You can cut 1/2" rather easily with a metal cutting circular saw.
    Eventual master of the obvious, practitioner of "stream of consciousness fabrication". P.S. I edit almost every post because because I'm posting from my phone and my fingers sometimes move faster than my brain.

  3. #3
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    Re: Temporary table thickness? - Cut it up later

    I would go with 1/4 as long as your not doing to much tacking to it or making to big span between saw horses.

  4. #4
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    Re: Temporary table thickness? - Cut it up later

    1/2 '' would be fine . Where you located ??? I have a 1/2'' plate that is 26'' x 55'' with radius cut corners , you can have it as a CHRISTMAS GIFT !!! I hope you are near Northern Illinois or Southern Wisconsin.

  5. #5
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    Re: Temporary table thickness? - Cut it up later

    3/8" plate or thicker would be a good way to go, with intentions of using it later for the top to a permanent table top when you get the chance to build one. The top to my table is 3/8", and I used it on steel saw horses for several years before I made it into an actual welding table. So give that a thought before figuring you will end up cutting up the top to your temporary table.

  6. #6
    Advan Guest

    Re: Temporary table thickness? - Cut it up later

    So we've heard 1/4, 3/8, and 1/2" thus far, and I'll put my vote in for at least 3/8". Easily cut with an angle grinder and zip disk, and even if the price seems steep right now, you wont regret if you plan to build a nice table at some point down the road.

  7. #7
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    Re: Temporary table thickness? - Cut it up later

    Quote Originally Posted by Advan View Post
    an angle grinder and zip disk
    My De-Walt angle grinder with the 1/8" disk?

    Not sure what a Zip disk is, but it sounds fun.
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  8. #8
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    Re: Temporary table thickness? - Cut it up later

    It is like a grinding disk ,just thinner made for cutting

  9. #9
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    Re: Temporary table thickness? - Cut it up later

    Quote Originally Posted by Brad Hodges View Post
    My De-Walt angle grinder with the 1/8" disk?

    Not sure what a Zip disk is, but it sounds fun.
    Does Zip disk mean explicitly Walter ZipCut?

    Or is this like Kleenex?

    Zip means a thin wheel for hand help grinders designed specifically for cutting?
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  10. #10
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    Re: Temporary table thickness? - Cut it up later

    Quote Originally Posted by BD1 View Post
    1/2 '' would be fine . Where you located ??? I have a 1/2'' plate that is 26'' x 55'' with radius cut corners , you can have it as a CHRISTMAS GIFT !!! I hope you are near Northern Illinois or Southern Wisconsin.
    Where you at? I am by Lake Geneva

  11. #11
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    Re: Temporary table thickness? - Cut it up later

    Quote Originally Posted by flushcut View Post
    Where you at? I am by Lake Geneva
    Wait a minute, YOU ARE NOT Brad Hodges ....... Ah ha , FLUSHCUT is trying to be a make believe '' Brad Hodges ''

  12. #12
    Advan Guest

    Re: Temporary table thickness? - Cut it up later

    Quote Originally Posted by Brad Hodges View Post
    Does Zip disk mean explicitly Walter ZipCut?

    Or is this like Kleenex?

    Zip means a thin wheel for hand help grinders designed specifically for cutting?



    Yes, I meant "cutting wheel", but "zip disk" is a common colloquial term for the same thing. 1/8" is a little big, cut-off wheels in the 4.5-5" range are usually between .040 and .063" thick.

  13. #13
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    Re: Temporary table thickness? - Cut it up later

    I'll be who ever you want me to be for a free plate.

  14. #14
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    Re: Temporary table thickness? - Cut it up later

    Can you move the metal, weightwise? Get cut before you bring it home. 3/8" or larger will give years of service. 1/4 is a minimum. Calculate the weight you will be moving around before its a table.

  15. #15
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    Re: Temporary table thickness? - Cut it up later

    Being a temp table to cut up later ,I think a hobbie welder would have more use for thinner plate then thick plate.

  16. #16
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    Re: Temporary table thickness? - Cut it up later

    Quote Originally Posted by Bls repair View Post
    Being a temp table to cut up later ,I think a hobbie welder would have more use for thinner plate then thick plate.
    Especially if it's sitting on a set of saw horses....

    ever drop a 1/2" plate on your foot????
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  17. #17
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    Re: Temporary table thickness? - Cut it up later

    Quote Originally Posted by tapwelder View Post
    Can you move the metal, weightwise?
    Now that I realize how thick I can cut with hand tools, you are correct, overall weight is the key, if I can't easily move it, it's too thick for my needs.
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  18. #18
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    Re: Temporary table thickness? - Cut it up later

    Wood might suit your need. Especially if you don't plan on using it for a permanent table.

  19. #19
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    Re: Temporary table thickness? - Cut it up later

    I've seen 3/16 steel sheet overlain on a piece of 3/4" plywood which had a new heavy welding blanket, (insulator) under the steel table surface used for a table in a couple of places. The table framing was wood also but substantially braced and it worked for years without burning up. It was used for setup and tack welding before being moved to final weldment.
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  20. #20
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    Re: Temporary table thickness? - Cut it up later

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    You can cut 1/2" steel easily with a metal cutting circular saw. I have a Milwaukee 8" metal cutting saw and it made these cuts trough 1/2" steel at a rate of approximately 1" per second. I would recommend 1/4" because you may never need 1/2" plate in any of your hobbyist projects. If the plate is free get the 1/2". I cut this off of a welding table because nobody wanted it on the back of the table. So I had a piece of 8 foot long 6" wide 1/2" steel 80 lbs of scrap. I didn't want to waste it so I cut it up onto 6x6" and 3x6" pieces to use a gussets and welding practice. 1/4" is a very useful size that you can always utilize in a lot of projects. You just need to brace the table with some channel or square tubing under it to keep it from flexing like a wet noodle. The 1/4" should be fine for tacking light tubing and you can still lift it safely with 2 people. A 4 x 6 foot piece of 1/4" steel weighs 245 lbs.

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  21. #21
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    Re: Temporary table thickness? - Cut it up later

    Quote Originally Posted by 69sa200 View Post

    You can cut 1/2" steel easily with a metal cutting circular saw. I have a Milwaukee 8" metal cutting saw and it made these cuts trough 1/2" steel at a rate of approximately 1" per second. I would recommend 1/4" because you may never need 1/2" plate in any of your hobbyist projects. If the plate is free get the 1/2". I cut this off of a welding table because nobody wanted it on the back of the table. So I had a piece of 8 foot long 6" wide 1/2" steel 80 lbs of scrap. I didn't want to waste it so I cut it up onto 6x6" and 3x6" pieces to use a gussets and welding practice. 1/4" is a very useful size that you can always utilize in a lot of projects. You just need to brace the table with some channel or square tubing under it to keep it from flexing like a wet noodle. The 1/4" should be fine for tacking light tubing and you can still lift it safely with 2 people. A 4 x 6 foot piece of 1/4" steel weighs 245 lbs.
    I asked for one of those saws but only received a very large lump of coal for my stocking as my Christmas gift from Santa. My wife said she couldn't find the saw according to my description but once I identify it to her, and dependent upon my behavior, (hate that) she'll order one for me. Of course she also says if I'm not good she's gonna "nutt" me too. I'm always good; you can ask me for confirmation.....
    Slob

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  22. #22
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    Re: Temporary table thickness? - Cut it up later

    Wood, 3/4" (MDF or plywood) on two sawhorses, with a 1/8" sheet metal on top. Use countersunk screws if you want them permanently together.
    Don't tack anything to it - you might warp it and the wood gets charred. Use clamps instead.
    Last edited by Pete.S.; 12-27-2016 at 02:35 PM.

  23. #23
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    Re: Temporary table thickness? - Cut it up later

    Thanks for all the advice, I went 1/4" with Ace Hardware $22 metal saw horse legs

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  24. #24
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    Re: Temporary table thickness? - Cut it up later

    That should do what you have to do.

  25. #25
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    Re: Temporary table thickness? - Cut it up later

    Do yourself a favor and tack the plate to the horses.

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