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Thread: Rotary welding table

  1. #1
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    Rotary welding table

    So, I am in the process of fabricating a rotary welding table. Base table is a 22" lathe cast iron faceplate, that I have fabricated a heavy duty taper bearing and spindle to mount it to a base. Here is my question. Grounding the work piece is easy as the table will be grounded. so, do I need to be concerned about running the ground current through the taper bearing the table rides on, or should a fabricate a grounding contact that will basically be a sliding copper "brush" that is spring loaded against the bottom of the face plate? I am a little worried about actually using the bearing for transmitting the ground connection.

    thoughts? Am i overthinking this...............
    Last edited by tom fleming; 09-11-2020 at 09:46 PM.

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    Re: Rotary welding table

    I would use at less two slip rings
    You find brushes on internet and slip just find brass or copper rings or just use brazing on steel ring .
    Since a rotating table it 100% duty cycle.

    Dave

    Quote Originally Posted by tom fleming View Post
    So, I am in the process of fabricating a rotary welding table. Base table is a 22" lathe cast ironfaceplate, that I have fabricated a heavy duty taper bearing and spindle to mount it to a base. Here is my question. Grounding the work piece is easy as the table will be grounded. so, do I need to be concerned about running the ground current through the taper bearing the table rides on, or should a fabricate a grounding contact that will basically be a sliding copper "brush" that is spring loaded against the bottom of the face plate? I am a little worried about actually using the bearing for transmitting the ground connection.

    thoughts? Am i overthinking this...............

  3. #3
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    Re: Rotary welding table

    You don't want the potential for the bearing to arc from the welding current. You can probably set up a rotary ground clamp for the table.

    https://www.esab.ca/ca/en/products/a...und-clamps.cfm

  4. #4
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    Re: Rotary welding table

    I have used slip rings or simply fan out the cut end of a piece of welding cable and let it drag on a smooth portion of the bottom of the plate. There is a copper anti seize that has reported excellent results in cable reel bearings as well.

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    Re: Rotary welding table

    I finished building mine about a year ago. It was a two year long project(always something else comes up). I had meant to use a proper brush, and ring. Urgently needing some circular plates cut , I decided to short cut the first one, and clamped the ground cable on the top plate a few times(until I nearly dragged the plasma cutter into the turntable). Then I decided on this solution. I have migged, tigged, sticked, and plasma cut on this a few times a month for the last year, and still dont have any pitting or discoloration of the shaft yet. Disclaimer, I haven't done much high amperage welding/cutting on this table(less than 200 amps).
    I also have a 3 jaw chuck, and a burn tabletop for this turntable.

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    No, I don't believe you're over thinking it. If you don't make a big enough path for the current, the bearings wont last long. Without a good ground on low amperage tig welds you might expect to get some current fluctuaction also. So far the HF hasn't been a problem for the DC motor, and DC drive, but I've only done a small amount of AC tig on this unit. I would love to set this up with a stepper motor drive sometime in the future so I could get repeatable and reliable speeds.

    HTH
    Last edited by albrightree; 09-12-2020 at 01:29 PM. Reason: added hf concern
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  7. #6
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    Re: Rotary welding table

    Abom79 did a really nice series of videos on building a rotary table like you're talking about. Tons of details and a lot of really good ideas that I'm sure you'd benefit from -- including how he installed a ground.



    Personally, I was pretty sad to see the table get finished and then not really used in any of his subsequent videos. Were it me, though, I'd have moved that beauty into the house right next to my reclining chair so I could relax in style!

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  9. #7
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    Re: Rotary welding table

    Looks great
    Simple but looks like it will do the job

    Dave

    Quote Originally Posted by albrightree View Post
    I finished building mine about a year ago. It was a two year long project(always something else comes up). I had meant to use a proper brush, and ring. Urgently needing some circular plates cut , I decided to short cut the first one, and clamped the ground cable on the top plate a few times(until I nearly dragged the plasma cutter into the turntable). Then I decided on this solution. I have migged, tigged, sticked, and plasma cut on this a few times a month for the last year, and still dont have any pitting or discoloration of the shaft yet. Disclaimer, I haven't done much high amperage welding/cutting on this table(less than 200 amps).
    I also have a 3 jaw chuck, and a burn tabletop for this turntable.
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    No, I don't believe you're over thinking it. If you don't make a big enough path for the current, the bearings wont last long. Without a good ground on low amperage tig welds you might expect to get some current fluctuaction also. So far the HF hasn't been a problem for the DC motor, and DC drive, but I've only done a small amount of AC tig on this unit. I would love to set this up with a stepper motor drive sometime in the future so I could get repeatable and reliable speeds.

    HTH

  10. #8
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    Re: Rotary welding table

    My live welding reels on my truck have the current going through the trailer bearings they are made from and I have never had a problem. I built them around 30 years ago and copied an old weldor's reels that he had been using for longer than that with no problems.

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    Re: Rotary welding table

    Quote Originally Posted by smithdoor View Post
    Looks great
    Simple but looks like it will do the job

    Dave
    That will last for ever . That is what they do on steam turbines to ground the rotating assembly. Only they use a little heavier copper braiding . They run 24/7/365 and the shaft shows no wear other than just seeing the rub mark. In fact those are only held from one end and have a light spring that makes the copper stay in contact with the shaft. Those assemblies weight 25+ tons and believe it or not there is a good amount of electric power passing through that rotor to ground on those turbines.

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  13. #10
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    Re: Rotary welding table

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob View Post
    My live welding reels on my truck have the current going through the trailer bearings they are made from and I have never had a problem. I built them around 30 years ago and copied an old weldor's reels that he had been using for longer than that with no problems.
    With a welding lead reel , they're probably not moving when you weld with them. I would imagine also that you usually have about 50lbs load on the bearing in a downward direction all the time. For your application, I'm sure the reels will last another 30 years. He did say he was using a " heavy duty taper bearing and spindle " . If he was MIG, or stick welding at about 120 amps or so a couple of times a month, it would likely last a long time and never have a problem. However, he didn't say what he was welding, or how, so maybe I overshared.

    My concerns are when TIG welding aluminum at 250 amps AC/HF many times I need to use a piece of cable underneath the ground clamp so I dont get arcing on the ground area. I'm not sure how much of that a bearing could take. I also TIG weld 24 gauge stainless, even on the bench a good ground is necessary to maintain a consistent arc, and current.

    My $12 solution seemed like a good idea at the time, and I haven't any probem, yet.The bearings cost about $50 each new (these are salvaged from and old Sanka packaging machine from 1962 that we did upgrade on.)

    "do I need to be concerned about running the ground current through the taper bearing the table rides on " ? I'd guess it all depends on what you're welding, and how.

    Post up some pic's and let us know how it works out.
    Best of luck.

    PS @ Bob got any pic's of your reels ? Looking at making a set for my Milller AEAD-200 which I'm going to mount on a trailer. oops sorry I don't want to Hi-Jack this thread so maybe I'll start another.
    Last edited by albrightree; 4 Weeks Ago at 11:11 AM.
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  15. #11
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    Re: Rotary welding table

    Quote Originally Posted by thegary View Post
    That will last for ever . That is what they do on steam turbines to ground the rotating assembly. Only they use a little heavier copper braiding . They run 24/7/365 and the shaft shows no wear other than just seeing the rub mark. In fact those are only held from one end and have a light spring that makes the copper stay in contact with the shaft. Those assemblies weight 25+ tons and believe it or not there is a good amount of electric power passing through that rotor to ground on those turbines.
    I had meant to use a spring, but I cut/terminated the welding cable a little too long. Bent the hooks a little bit to keep tension on them.
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    Lotos Cut60D

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  17. #12
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    Re: Rotary welding table

    why couldn't you use a roller tappet fit into a piece of tubing with a nut welded to the bottom for a brass bolt to adjust pressure against the platen?

    Probably could make a wheel out of bearing bronze and silver braze a bronze plate to the bottom of the rotating platen for tremendous continuity.

    https://www.onlinemetals.com/en/prod...aring%20Bronze
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    Last edited by tackit; 4 Weeks Ago at 02:30 AM.

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  19. #13
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    Re: Rotary welding table

    I was originally going to copy this one : https://weldingweb.com/vbb/showthrea...ing+positioner

    He made his own brush holder, made from sheet metal and a chunk of brass. I also have a 250 amp capacity warner electric brush holder assy on my scrap pile from an old packaging machine.

    Thanks for the idea, but I probably wouldn't go with a roller on roller design as it puts all the contact in one point , and if any debris were to get on the wheels it could break continuity, or arc even with brass or bronze. I often use the table for plasma cutting, which make a lot of debris. The system I've been using for about a year has never gotten hot (even after welding 8 - 6" sch 40 pipe flanges) and never arced, or pitted the shaft. Have also done AC tig with HF at 180 amps, no problem. With aluminum the problem was getting continuity from the work to the table top (I used a stripped piece of welding cable so I wouldnt get arcing craters from the ground on the aluminum). If I do get some time to work on it , putting some slots for hold downs will be next.

    Seeing those tappets just makes me think of the noise my 2005 hemi is making now. 235,000 miles and the ticking just gets more noticeable. Saw a youtube video , a guy showing how his tappets, and cam wore out on his hemi.


    I haven't found it yet , but there was a TJS that had posted before the crash a rotary table too. I think thats where I got this idea from. His mounted into a 2" reciever on his bench, and used a scooter motor for rotation.Cant seem to find the thread through search though. Went to look a the Abom table , nice table , but he has at least 13 30min videos ..... wow . He does some really awesome machine work though. Wish I had the time to watch more of it.


    Old thread with aaron6061 in it https://weldingweb.com/vbb/showthrea...ing+positioner

    older one with the ground strap, and spring - https://weldingweb.com/vbb/showthrea...ing+positioner


    HTH
    Airco 250 ac/dc Heliwelder Square wave
    Miller Synchrowave 180 sd
    Miller Econo Twin HF
    Lincoln 210 MP
    Dayton 225 ac/dc
    Victor torches
    Snap-On YA-212
    Lotos Cut60D

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