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Thread: Straighten 1/4" plate... with stick?!?

  1. #1
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    Straighten 1/4" plate... with stick?!?

    New hobby welder here. Working on a welding table using materials that I have. That includes a 48 x 30 x 1/4" plate that I would like to use for the top. It was bowed by about 3/8" at the highest point. Mostly a smooth camber. I managed to get almost 1/8" out of it by raising it up a couple of inches and parking the car on it for a while. Trying to figure out if I can get the rest of it flat enough to use as a welding table.

    I don't have much gear, just my 110V, 70A inverter stick welder. I was looking at flame straightening and wondering how I might do something like that using the stick welder to supply the heat, since I don't have an oxy setup. I was thinking of cranking the welder to max, using 3/32 6011 or 6013 and running beads, perpendicular to the bow. I'd start with one bead across the center of the sheet, followed by beads further and further away from the center, as needed. Obviously I'd be welding on the convex side.

    Am I crazy? Any thoughts on how to make this work? Better ideas?

  2. #2
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    Re: Straighten 1/4" plate... with stick?!?

    Quote Originally Posted by Montrealais View Post
    New hobby welder here. Working on a welding table using materials that I have. That includes a 48 x 30 x 1/4" plate that I would like to use for the top. It was bowed by about 3/8" at the highest point. Mostly a smooth camber. I managed to get almost 1/8" out of it by raising it up a couple of inches and parking the car on it for a while. Trying to figure out if I can get the rest of it flat enough to use as a welding table.

    I don't have much gear, just my 110V, 70A inverter stick welder. I was looking at flame straightening and wondering how I might do something like that using the stick welder to supply the heat, since I don't have an oxy setup. I was thinking of cranking the welder to max, using 3/32 6011 or 6013 and running beads, perpendicular to the bow. I'd start with one bead across the center of the sheet, followed by beads further and further away from the center, as needed. Obviously I'd be welding on the convex side.

    Am I crazy? Any thoughts on how to make this work? Better ideas?
    Run a piece of c channel across it underneath it weld a few dogs on the table top underneath it so the ear of the dog is over the c channel drive wedges between the bottom of the channel and the ear of the dog. or you can use some heavy homemade washers welded to the c channel and some 3/4" grade 8 bolts and nuts and pull it down with an impact wrench. Using either the dogs or the washers you are gonna need at least 3 I believe probably more if you wanna get it perfect

    I would leave the c channel under it and weld the table top to the channel, that will help to keep it flat

  3. #3
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    Re: Straighten 1/4" plate... with stick?!?

    What popeye suggested is what I did to my 3/8" top. It had a convex bow in the top. I put two 4" channels under welded on each end to the bottom of the table . Then rigged a chain and bottle jack to push the concave down to the channel and welded the top to the channel with stich welds. Not perfect but good enough for who it's for. I don't build nuclear reactors anyway, LOL!! If yours is concave on top then weld the channel to the center and then pull the top to the channel with C-clamps.
    Last edited by mla2ofus; 07-25-2021 at 03:53 PM.
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  4. #4
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    Re: Straighten 1/4" plate... with stick?!?

    Just build a stout frame, turn it U up, then clamp it to the frame, shim as needed, and tack to frame.

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  6. #5
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    Re: Straighten 1/4" plate... with stick?!?

    When I made my 1/4" thick welding table, I over-welded it on the bottom to the 1.5" x 1.5" tubing frame, which resulted in the top of the table being convex, like an umbrella. To flatten / straighten it, I used 1/8" 6011 run HOT to weld two big parabolas -- in kind of an "X" arrangement -- across the top of the table. The shrinkage pulled the warp right out of it. Then I ground off the bead with an angle grinder.
    Last edited by Kelvin; 07-25-2021 at 06:05 PM.

  7. #6
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    Re: Straighten 1/4" plate... with stick?!?

    As mentioned. Make up the frame the top will be tacked to. Clamp top to frame and check for flatness. If it doesn't meet your standards, you can tack say 1/2" nuts to the plate high spot or spots. Then add steel spanning where nuts are with hole add nut locations. Cut 1/2 " all thread rod to go into nuts and extended below added steel. Add washer and nut to rod and tighten down.
    Leave as is with rods and nuts and add tacks to secure. You could tack steel to underside of top to steel below if you prefer that.


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    Re: Straighten 1/4" plate... with stick?!?

    This 1/2” is dead flat. Strong square frame and very careful tacking in strategic locations all the while checking flatness with straight edge.Name:  782CCC10-BEAC-4080-89D1-0C14B6C8A4FA.jpg
Views: 149
Size:  79.0 KB

  9. #8
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    Re: Straighten 1/4" plate... with stick?!?

    Make a frame and it shouldn't be too hard to pull the plate down flat. When putting checker plate on large skids we used to use a bar with piece of 3/8" or 1/2" flat bar on the end. Tack the flat bar on the back corner to the checker plate with the other corner on the flange of the I beam or angle cross member. Have a helper push the bar to suck the checker plate up and tack the checker plate to frame. You could make a couple screw dogs too.

    https://www.aba-machine.com/pipe-han...s/welding-dogs

  10. #9
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    Re: Straighten 1/4" plate... with stick?!?

    Name:  20210721_142324.jpg
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