Minimum gauge for
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    645

    Minimum gauge for

    I don't have a proper garage or welding space so i do most of my welding outside and cart my welder in and out as i need it. I recently chopped the posts off this old potting bench to make it a welding table. I am planing on covering it with a 306L stainless sheet. My question is what is the minimum gauge stainless i should use to cover the wood. I am assuming that gauges of sheet metal carrying current is not too much different from gauges of wire carrying current. I.E. you want to make sure its big enough to carry the current at hand?? The largest welder I will be using is a Lincoln Ideal arc Dc 250. Since the wood will be carrying most of the weight I am not really worried about thickness for structural support and i want to go as thin as possible to keep costs down.

    Any help and suggestions are appreciated.
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Arizona
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    969

    Re: Minimum gauge for

    The thickness of your metal will not matter for the current flow. However thin metal will warp easily when heated, and the wood under the metal will probably get black and smokey. When I was using a wood bench I put 1/4" plate on it and spaced it off the wood with 1" square tube. A lot of guys here like really thick tables, like 1".
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    North Ga
    Posts
    27

    Re: Minimum gauge for

    I agree with bigb , you'll want something thicker than gauge metal because of warping. I'd go with at least 1/4" with some kind of frame to keep it off the wood. If you lay thinner stuff on that wood it'll end catching on fire. My table at the house is just 3 ft sq and is 3/8" thick. My table at work is 1/2" 5'x10'.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Anchorage Alaska
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    3,679

    Re: Minimum gauge for

    Nothing less than 1/4" unless you will be doing nothing but light bed frame trinkets brackets and artsy fartsy stuff.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    BA, AR
    Posts
    281

    Re: Minimum gauge for

    I would try using 5/16" CRS and above this one, a 14 ga SS.
    Mauricio

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Round Rock,TX
    Posts
    59

    Re: Minimum gauge for

    I'd go with the 1/4" steel plate with the spacers too. Don't need a fire!
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    283

    Re: Minimum gauge for

    You want something around 1/4" at least. the thicker the better. The fab tables I use at work are 3/4" but then again we have a forklift to move them around. Heh heh.

    Thin material is going to warp. You'll be wanting to tack objects to the table for fitting-up purposes. That method saves a lot of time and brain space. You'll want your table to be as flat as possible and that won't happen with thin stuff.

    If you want to save money, use mild steel. then buy a piece of plywood to cover it when not in use. No reason to spend money on stainless when you're going to scuff the hell out of it anyway..

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    645

    Re: Minimum gauge for

    Really you think milled steel will work even though It will be left out side all the time. I thought about it but didn't seem like a good choice due to the rust. Plan was to preserve a flat surface and not bolt the piece of metal to the bench. I was going to do this by welding three hooks directly to the under side of the metal. Hooks that would fit snug under the overhangs of the bench.

    So i guess i could clamp a piece of ply wood to the steel. But in my neck of the woods a piece of ply wood will break down in a year. Way too much water even for pressure treated.I would have to seal it. Honestly i don't think its a good idea.

    The bench is of decent size as well I may try to stick to some thing thinner and simply insulate it. Thanks for the tips it helped me think it out ill post some finished picks when its done.

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