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Thread: Portable welding/work table ideas?

  1. #1
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    Portable welding/work table ideas?

    All,

    Do you have any ideas on a portable welding/work table?

    I have used mostly a stool, stump, truck tailgate, and a cheap plastic collapsible table for my work surfaces for years. I have a multi-position Wilton vice (I want to say its a 5" jaw) that I bolted to a 1/2" plate base some years back. It is still a "portable" vice, the plate is a great stabilizer for it but I still move it around to different locations depending on what I'm up to, though it is quite heavy with the plate.

    I would like to have a better "table" that I can set up to use then break down to store where I can set up work on it and clamp it down that doesn't matter if I get weld splatter and slag on it (just grind off if I have to).

    I'm thinking having threaded thru-holes in the table top would be fantastic. If that is the case a plate top wouldn't work real well without stand-offs.

    Laminated C channel is another idea - take a bunch of C channel parts and weld them together to create the "table top", drill, and tap the holes.

    I guess you could take the C channel idea a bit further and combine it with a plate. Use the plate on top and angle iron on the bottom. Weld the angle iron as a T joint on the underside of the plate. This would create the same affect as the laminated C channel, only without the weld joints on the top - one uniform table top.

    I think I like the plate + angle iron direction.

    As for plate thickness - with the angle iron welded underneath to add bracing the plate thickness could be less = lighter to help move around.

    Ideas? Does anyone have any pictures of their ideas?

  2. #2
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    Re: Portable welding/work table ideas?

    herer is a web search for you to look at many different setup here.
    https://www.google.com/search?q=DIY+...hrome&ie=UTF-8
    I bought one of these and am very happy with it.
    https://weldtables.com/products/copy...ab-slot-u-weld
    Last edited by acourtjester; 08-24-2020 at 11:06 AM.
    DIY CNC Plasma table USB BOB Price THC
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  4. #3
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    Re: Portable welding/work table ideas?

    just throwing it out there, but can you use an aluminum table top? splatter would not stick, its much lighter than steel....and for hold downs you can just drill and tap a hole where you need it.... you just wont be able to tack weld to it.....

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  6. #4
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    Re: Portable welding/work table ideas?

    Quote Originally Posted by acourtjester View Post
    herer is a web search for you to look at many different setup here.
    https://www.google.com/search?q=DIY+...hrome&ie=UTF-8
    I bought one of these and am very happy with it.
    https://weldtables.com/products/copy...ab-slot-u-weld

    I'll check out the search you mention.

    I'd rather make something than buy something. Of course, sometimes making things you still have to buy materials. If it's like the hydraulic press I bought - I got the whole new kit with a jack for less than I could buy the raw materials for, let alone the time I'd have in the fab work... So I was money and time ahead buying.

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    Re: Portable welding/work table ideas?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hobbytime View Post
    just throwing it out there, but can you use an aluminum table top? splatter would not stick, its much lighter than steel....and for hold downs you can just drill and tap a hole where you need it.... you just wont be able to tack weld to it.....

    Absolutely. That is a good idea on the splatter not sticking well to aluminum.

    Material, I suppose, doesn't matter as long as it is strong and conductive (so as to clamp work and conduct for welding the work).

    Aluminum will be a lot more expensive to purchase than mild steel, however.

    I do have some aluminum SMAW rods. I wouldn't consider a work table a critical weldment so that might be a good project to practice welding aluminum with stick.

  8. #6
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    Re: Portable welding/work table ideas?

    I agree with making it your self, but the table kit had all the holes for the clamp positioning and the tab and slot assembly, I did get it on sale about 4 years ago too. I built a fold down type assembly for storage but have not ever folded it up yet.
    I also make a few clamps for use on the table as shown here, cut the parts on my CNC Plasma table
    Attached Images Attached Images      
    DIY CNC Plasma table USB BOB Price THC
    Hypertherm 65
    Everlast PowerTig 255 EXT
    Miler 180 Mig
    13" metal lathe
    Mill/ Drill
    ECT, ECT,

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  10. #7
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    Re: Portable welding/work table ideas?

    Just throwing this out there...might spark an idea in a different direction...

    I found a collapsible roller conveyor on craigslist for stupid dirt cheap. Took about half of it, welded (2) 3/16" plates to the wheels at each end. It folds up fairly small with the plates overlapping each other, but extended is 4' long and 18" wide.

    It is a first "draft", when the weather cools off I'll re-do it and fix several mistakes - but it works well enough for me.

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    The steel plates can be flipped over and out of the way so I can still use it to unload the truck too (doesn't show in this pic - but for a visual I'm posting it)

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    Yeswelder MIG-205DS
    (3) Angle Grinders at the Ready
    Just a hobbyist trying to improve

  11. #8
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    Re: Portable welding/work table ideas?

    If you want large convenient castering, lockingg wheels scaffolding casters are quite reasonable in large wheel diameters (check Ebay for deals) and since they slide into sections of pipe they're not permanent so you can use them to roll multiple items.

  12. #9
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    Re: Portable welding/work table ideas?

    Thanks for the replies.

    How about an aluminum base to start with - maybe 3/16" thick, reinforced with some angle or C channel, then relatively thick sheet steel (12-16 gauge) on top for a tack-able surface when necessary?

    I am not sure I like the "hole" method. For smaller tables like a mill or drill press that is one thing (though a mill table you have T slots) but a bigger surface like a welding table putting a nut on the back side, or threading a bolt up from the bottom, would seem inconvenient. Having threaded holes in the table top seems like it would be a bit more convenient. Maybe there are reasons why not to do that? For example - a stud style step clamp set for a mill - take the T nut out of the scenario and screw the stud straight in to the table top.

    Quote Originally Posted by acourtjester View Post
    I agree with making it your self, but the table kit had all the holes for the clamp positioning and the tab and slot assembly, I did get it on sale about 4 years ago too. I built a fold down type assembly for storage but have not ever folded it up yet.
    I also make a few clamps for use on the table as shown here, cut the parts on my CNC Plasma table

    Excellent work on the clamps. That looks really good. That would be a neat project also - clamps, jigs, and fixtures.

    When I was in school we used a lot of the bolt plunger-style cam clamps. I've never used them on anything personally since - just C clamps of various types, various vices, various locking pliers, and various bar clamps.

  13. #10
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    Re: Portable welding/work table ideas?

    Are you dead set on making it yourself? Fireball Tool Co. offers a very nice (read: pricey) small welding table that gets rave reviews from the folks that have them. I love his squares, but haven't pulled the trigger on his portable table. I had the thought of fastening it to a hydraulic lift cart so I could raise and lower the work as I needed, and keep the whole thing small enough that I could tuck it out of the way when I didn't need it.



    Here's a vid that describes how it's designed....



    One of these days, when I'm not pinching pennies, I just might have to invest in his drill press table. I can see it being a serious upgrade to the OEM table.

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