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  1. #1
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    Default Welding Table top

    I am making a welding a table for the Tig

    I have been using 2nd hand 4x50x50 sq tube materials as I got it for nothing.

    20171119_190633.jpg

    The top I have had cut is 10x900x700 and will overhang the sides by 50mm and one end by the same. It will be flush other end as it will otherwise interfere with the bottles that will be on the (castored) table.

    Should I weld or bolt the top down.
    If its weld do I put angle iron tabs on top tubes so that its easier to weld (the tubing is rounded on the edges and may make it hard for me to weld without putting too much heat into it..will it warp ??).

    edit..note to self to edit out my welds in pics so that others dont see...paint can only hide so much

  2. #2
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    Default

    I made a similar table, however l used 12mm plate and just welded the 4 legs straight to it. The plate was pretty flat to start with, not so after welding. I was amazed at how much it bowed where the welds were - very anoying.
    From my experience l would recommend bolting the top down. Tap holes in the bench top, bolt from below and cut flush.
    Cheers
    Pete

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Petip View Post
    I made a similar table, however l used 12mm plate and just welded the 4 legs straight to it. The plate was pretty flat to start with, not so after welding. I was amazed at how much it bowed where the welds were - very anoying.
    From my experience l would recommend bolting the top down. Tap holes in the bench top, bolt from below and cut flush.
    Cheers
    Pete
    Or drill and countersink and use countersink socket heads.
    You're probably going to need more cross bracing as well or the top will warp between the 3 longitudinal rails after a few years of welding, especially if you start tacking jobs to the table during set up.

  4. #4
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    Default

    Gavin,
    I suspect that the bench top plate is better screwed to the frame.However, some considerations not immediately apparent might be :

    1. The bolt/screw driver socket will invariably get blocked by weld debris and grinding dust making the fastener difficult to remove.
    Solution- fit bolts/screws from the bottom to protect the driver socket.At the same time be careful to not weld over the threaded areas in the plate. Mark them distinctly with a ring of centre pops perhaps?

    2.if the plate is bowed, and the bow is not too great, it can be pulled flat against the tubes by the screws if they are substantial enough.

    3.The plate during its working life is likely to be ground ,ie tack removal etc. and that results is heat build up and bowing.
    I saw it in the benchtops in Tafe and later in high school weld bays. Therefore it is wise to allow for easier removal which welding is not.

    4.If the welding option is used - only tack in spots that are grinder accessible.

    I'll add my voice to the extra crossbracing notion.

    The welding is fine, its not a concourse de elegance competition ,its a bloody welding bench, not a Ferrari. Next it will be candy apple paint and pin striping
    Cheers
    Grahame

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grahame Collins View Post
    The bolt/screw driver socket will invariably get blocked by weld debris and grinding dust making the fastener difficult to remove.
    Possibly so, although the plates on my Stronghold table are secured by SHCS and they are easy to clean out with a shot of compressed air.

    I suggested doing it this way as the plate he's intending to use is only 10 mm thick. It he bolts up from under and subsequently needs to use the bolt to pull the plate back down then stripping of the thread is quite possible and would leave a tricky repair job. A stray weld could also leave the thread welded to the table top...

    Doing it the other way around means you can use a bolt and nut arrangement which would be easier to manage. It worked well on the home-made table I made before I got the SH table (and which is still in use by someone else now). I also welded crush tubes through the table frame tubes where the bolts were. Probably overkill but it seemed like a good idea at the time.

    Just my tuppence worth.

  6. #6
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    Default

    a couple (or even 4) short pieces across at the centre ?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by eskimo View Post
    a couple (or even 4) short pieces across at the centre ?
    Personally, if it were for me, I would add a minimum of 3 cross braces (so at 300 centres more-or-less) - anything you can do now to prevent the top from warping will be a lot easier than trying to flatten a warped top down the track.

    It really depends on how you intend using the table. Do you just want somewhere convenient to weld or do you want a permanently flat surface you can use to jig things up and which will restrain the work from stresses induced during the welding?

    It's probably overkill but, as an example, the frame for my Stronghand table is 50x75x6 RHS with longerons at 250 mm centres holding 16 mm plates. But then it scales at around 500 kg.
    sh_under.jpg

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by eskimo View Post
    a couple (or even 4) short pieces across at the centre ?
    If your 10 mm plate is bowed,yes! The 4mm tube wall thickness could be a problem.
    The devil is in the detail.If the plate is bowed -and by how much bow over 900 length.
    Are the long tubes flat to begin with.If they are bowed to start there will be a problem.

    One way to stiffen the tube would by intermediate tacking ( say miss 60 weld 10 ) some 25 x 6 flat bar along the vertical inner edges of the long tubes.

    Is your plate flat and are your tubes flat ?

    I likes your Stronghand table Gavin

    Grahame

  9. #9
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    Probably the easiest way to secure the top, is to tack weld 4 pieces of 50 X 50 X 3 vertically on the corners either inside or outside, of the plate. Basically all you need to do is to stop it sliding around if knocked.
    If/when the plate get too badly warped or bent, it can be easily replaced, without going through the hassles of trying to mark out the holes or lining them up.
    As it's going to be used only for TIG, it will probably outlast Eskimo and his grandchildren.
    Kryn
    To grow old is mandatory, growing up is optional.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gavin Newman View Post

    It really depends on how you intend using the table. Do you just want somewhere convenient to weld or do you want a permanently flat surface you can use to jig things up and which will restrain the work from stresses induced during the welding?
    Mostly for convnience Gavin...but I dont intend to track weld any to the plate top...well not at this stage anyways

    Quote Originally Posted by Grahame Collins View Post
    If your 10 mm plate is bowed,yes! The 4mm tube wall thickness could be a problem.
    The devil is in the detail.If the plate is bowed -and by how much bow over 900 length.
    Are the long tubes flat to begin with.If they are bowed to start there will be a problem.

    One way to stiffen the tube would by intermediate tacking ( say miss 60 weld 10 ) some 25 x 6 flat bar along the vertical inner edges of the long tubes.

    Is your plate flat and are your tubes flat ?

    Plate seems reasonably flat. and tube top looks flat ......to the eye.

    I have added cross pieces at the centre. As the top will be bolted I could add extra later if needed? albiet requiring a little extra work to remove contents etc weld in pieces and drill holes in top and cross pieces etc etc.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by KBs PensNmore View Post
    As it's going to be used only for TIG, it will probably outlast Eskimo and his grandchildren.
    Kryn
    Unless he starts welding aluminium with the TIG - from experience that will throw a shed-load of heat into the table top in quick order. Some form of restraint of the top would be in order I would have thought.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by KBs PensNmore View Post
    Probably the easiest way to secure the top, is to tack weld 4 pieces of 50 X 50 X 3 vertically on the corners either inside or outside, of the plate. Basically all you need to do is to stop it sliding around if knocked.
    If/when the plate get too badly warped or bent, it can be easily replaced, without going through the hassles of trying to mark out the holes or lining them up.
    As it's going to be used only for TIG, it will probably outlast Eskimo and his grandchildren.
    Kryn

    and mig...and anything else that I can think off

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gavin Newman View Post
    Unless he starts welding aluminium with the TIG - from experience that will throw a shed-load of heat into the table top in quick order. Some form of restraint of the top would be in order I would have thought.
    me weld aluminium? hahaha..you are funny Gavin..hahahaha

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by eskimo View Post
    and mig...and anything else that I can think off
    Now that changes the story a LOT. You would definitely need extra cross bracing etc to resist the distortion.
    Coming back from Adelaide yesterday afternoon, I saw a nice piece of plate that would do the job, 75 X 2400 X 4000
    To grow old is mandatory, growing up is optional.

  15. #15
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    Why fix the top at all?
    I've got a little welding table (something like 500x800) on locking castors that I've never fixed the 12mm steel plate to. It's actually handy being able to slide the plate across a bit if needed occasionally for a peculiar clamping arrangement. The weight of the plate means it's not going anywhere unless I want it to. The table has a small vice, but it's mounted on an vertical post that slides into a socket on the table frame. So the vice can be removed easily so there are no obstructions on the flat table top. The plate itself has stayed flat despite a lot of welding on it.
    I also have a sheet of 3mm aluminium which I just sit on top for when I'm tigging aluminium. Makes for a nice clean work surface without the expense of a great thick slab of the stuff.
    Cheers
    Mick

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