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Thread: Looking for feedback, bench

  1. #26
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    Re: Looking for feedback, bench

    Well, I've run into a slight problem that I would love to hear your input on. I planned on capping the top with 12 ga steel. Best price locally is $550 for the material, burning and bending to size. It would cost me another $80-90 to get it to my house. It comes to $19.22/sq ft.

    That's almost as much as I paid for both the tool boxes. Not complaining, if that's the cost so be it, but I'm not sure I'm willing for the surface to be the most expensive part of the build. Chalk it up to lesson learned.

    But...

    Is there another way?

    Given that it is fully supported by the plywood, would 14 ga be sufficient? That might save me some on cost of materials.

    Also, does a 12' length normally come at a premium over 8' length sheets? The cost of the 12' sheet is roughly $4.81/sq ft. If so, perhaps I could get two 4'x8' sheets, have them bent and seam weld them together (and have some extra 12 ga for the drilling cabinet/stand I want to make)?

    What if I did the seam welding? What are the chances that I'd scrap the whole thing? If I went (super) slow and spot welded the whole way, could it possibly be flat (after careful grinding)?

  2. #27
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    Re: Looking for feedback, bench

    HRS, CRS, or SS ??? MIG TIG, or Stick ???
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  3. #28
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    Re: Looking for feedback, bench

    I don't have a big brake to bend metal with, so I either buy it sheared to the necessary shapes, or cut it myself with a dewalt 18v sheet metal shears .The shears are good to 14 ga CRS which is what I would recommend using. If you have a mig machine with shielding gas, some .030" 70-S6 wire, a 4 ft length of 1-1/2" x 1-1/2" x 3/16" angle aluminum , and 4 - 8 C-clamps , are all you need. There's a guy fitzee who has a pretty good video on how to set your mig welder to join sheetmetal, he is an old school hot rod guy, and makes good videos. the basic idea is to clamp the edges to the angle aluminum so you have a tight joint, and then stitch welding the joint 1" at a time , and then skipping a few inches, and then let it cool. Its okay to have the bead stick up a little bit , you can sand it smooth when all the welding is done .The angle aluminum will help hold together the weld, heip prevent blow through, and help reduce warpage . You may still get some or all three of those defects, but its a project, and because its metal its fixable. 14 gauge should be fine for a plywood topper. 16 gauge would be okay also, and probably easier to cut and bend by hand when making cabinets. I made the assumption you were making a 12ft x 4ft table when I made the drawing . if you needed something thicker as a temporary fix you could find a scrap plate of 1/4 HRS like 2 ft square to put on your table when needed.

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  5. #29
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    Re: Looking for feedback, bench

    Looks great
    Dave

    Quote Originally Posted by tiggen View Post
    Hello all, building a bench. Mig, .030, Handler 190, 75/25. First project with gas. Anybody willing to provide feedback on my welds?
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  6. #30
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    Re: Looking for feedback, bench

    So things changed a little. I called the steel supply, and they said that it would be cheaper to do just two bends instead of four. I had them bend the long edges, and I'll have to cut the excess and weld on the short edges. Still gonna be 12 ga.

    My plan is the cut off the excess length (probably a grinder, maybe a friend's plasma cutter), cut two flat plates from the excess, then weld them on like @albrightree said w/ aluminum angle backer.

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    Also, I painted the drawer pulls to match the frame. I really don't like silver/chrome/shiny bits. (The crap continues to pile on!)

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    Next will be trying to get the mill scale off the cap. Vinegar? Scotch brite?

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  8. #31
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    Re: Looking for feedback, bench

    Quote Originally Posted by tiggen View Post
    So things changed a little. I called the steel supply, and they said that it would be cheaper to do just two bends instead of four. I had them bend the long edges, and I'll have to cut the excess and weld on the short edges. Still gonna be 12 ga.

    Next will be trying to get the mill scale off the cap. Vinegar? Scotch brite?
    Think about how you're going to use the table before worrying about bending anything more than the front edge. The front is where you're always going to be banging into it with things, but the sides and back will get almost no contact and can't be seen. Unless you're bending up the back edge to create a backsplash, there really isn't any need to have it there at all. Sure, it's nice, but certainly not necessary and adds to the cost.

    Muriatic acid from the hardware store does a great job of removing or loosening mill scale. You have to let it sit a bit, and it's a good thing to put some plastic sheeting over it so it doesn't evaporate quickly. Not too big a deal, though, and easily neutralized with Windex or baking soda.

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  10. #32
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    Re: Looking for feedback, bench

    I think that your bench is perfect as is.... for a working bench.

    In my opinion, a welding table should be all metal, sturdy and be accesible from all sides (not pinned against a wall) and allow to clamp stuff anywhere (either good overhang, made of space strap or solid top with hole pattern).

    I would suggest leaving your current bench as is and build a smaller table (3x3 feet for example) on casters (two of them locking) that fits the above characteristics.

    Mikel

  11. #33
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    Re: Looking for feedback, bench

    Mikel is probably right on about leaving the wood top alone. If you cover it with metal you may want to tack or weld jig pieces to it and it will be pretty light to to much of that before it distorts. You may also have problems getting clamps onto this to secure work in place on the top (leading to tack welding jigs and fixtures). Additionally if it gets red hot from working on it the heat will be distributed thru to the wood top, maybe leave it smoldering. I have a 3' X 2' X 5/8" top tab;e that takes hammering, cutting, welding and other abuse with no problem. Put this on wheels and fit it into the opening you have there and don't take up any additional floor space

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  13. #34
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    Re: Looking for feedback, bench

    Well, unfortunately that ship sailed, guys. I do appreciate the feedback, though. My last bench was urethane coated wood top, which I liked, just wanted to do something different this time.

    I pick up the top today. If I don't like it, I'll cut it up to make a cabinet/stand for my drill press.

  14. #35
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    Re: Looking for feedback, bench

    You might be better off with the back edge as a back splash to keep things from falling behind table(including sparks if you weld on it). I think you should wait to remove the mill scale except for the areas your welding. Most of my work benches have the original scale and very little rust. It doesn't chip, peel, or burn like paint. If you get some BB's stuck to it while welding, you can just sand them off.

    Good Luck
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  15. #36
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    Re: Looking for feedback, bench

    Thanks for the continued ideas. I thought about a backsplash, but there is plenty of room under and around to get to things that drop. Won't be welding on it as I hope to have the plans/money for steel for a fab table by mid summer. Just wanted to try a metal bench.

    Finally got it installed, btw. (Sorry about all the crap on the floor, but it needed to be moved off the bench ... ).

    You can see the bow in the middle. It could be due to my crude wood working skills, or a mismatch in radii between internal bend of the metal and the 1/8" round router bit I used. Will try to weight it down or maybe flip it around to see if the back edge covers the front better. It's longer than the bench top as well, but not sure if I'll chop off the excess and weld the ends like I planned. Might just see how I like it for a while.

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    @albrightree, I think I will leave the scale on. Gonna wipe it down with acetone or mineral spirits to clean it, then maybe heat it up and rub some light oil. Thoughts?

  16. #37
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    Re: Looking for feedback, bench

    Quote Originally Posted by tiggen View Post
    ... It's longer than the bench top as well, but not sure if I'll chop off the excess and weld the ends like I planned. Might just see how I like it for a while...
    Don't leave it like that. There is a chance you could cut yourself severely with that sharp downward pointing corner AND exposed edge. I would suggest you trim it to be flush with the wooden top.

    Mikel

  17. #38
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    Re: Looking for feedback, bench

    Quote Originally Posted by Mikel_24 View Post
    Don't leave it like that. There is a chance you could cut yourself severely with that sharp downward pointing corner AND exposed edge. I would suggest you trim it to be flush with the wooden top.

    Mikel
    Good point. Off it comes. THx, and hope you didn't learn that from experience.

  18. #39
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    Re: Looking for feedback, bench

    Didn't you pay extra to have the table made that long ? I would add wood at the very least, no reason to cut that beautiful metal unless the table doesn't fit somewhere. I think you should weld the end caps on with mig, tack weld it on , and then stitch it together. Then you can finish grind, and sand smooth, paying extra attention to the sharper corners.

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    There is never enough table top in a workshop.
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  19. #40
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    Re: Looking for feedback, bench

    Agree with albrightree - keep the overhang. deburr the edge and round off the sharp corners- - then fit a piece of wood underneath it and screw it in from the front vertical face and back end - so that the edge lines up with the steel - provides support and removes the chance of slicing your finger/leg on the edge. Also - the overhang may just come in handy as a clamping location - might even drill a hole through from the top for - whatever need you might find....a lot of possibility - agree that you want to address the open end of steel though - but might not need to cut it off to do that.... nice bench!

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