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I Forge Iron

Welding Table ?

Ron Hicks

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I would like to make a small welding table not sure what I need.

I havent much room maybe something 30in. X 30 in.?
I would like to use it for stick welding,torch welding & cutting.
I want casters or wheels on one end like to take it outside.
maybe a small leg vise on it. You know, I really dont know.
Just dont want to end up with a mess want it to be handy.
I guess I need a good thick plate for a top.
I could use some advise
Thanks Ron

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Ron: I have several flat metal tables I've made for welding and layout. But the handiest one when space was a factor uses a 3 foot diameter 1/2" plate. With only 3 legs, it is always steady regardless the floor surface. For a welding table, I prefer a small machinist vise rather than a leg vise because they rotate to hold the work.

At one time, I had an open grate for cutting as part of the circle, but found it just as easy to clamp work to the side of the table and cut off the edge. Now the top is just a flat round plate I picked up from a scrapyard. I think it was a temporary tank or manhole cover because one side is diamond tread and had handles welded into it.

My layout table is thicker, but for a small welding table, I think 1/2" thick is fine. If you make something you like and find after awhile that you want something different... well, just cut and weld till you like it again. There aren't any rules on homemade tables that I know of, though some common sense on height and rigidity probably should apply.

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Mainly you'll want something thick, flat and stable. With a thick table you can weld jigs, braces, whatever directly to the table to support your table. If you use something thin (depending on what work you do, but anything less than 1/4 inch) it will warp with the heat and not give you much to grind smooth.

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Check your yellow pages for plastic injecton molders in your area. They often times have outdated molds of of different sizes. They are built up of flat plates from 1 to 14" thick. Some of these will have holes and pins for bending and hold downs. I have my eye on one at my brothers shop that is 3780 lbs of H-13 for an anvil stand if i could just figure a way to get it off my truck at my end.

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Ive been using a 55gal. barrel(dont worry it is safe) for a table.
I havent the $ at this time to make a nice table , went ahead and used what I had.
I had some 3/4 sq. tube rust bombs that been outside for 10 years & 1/8in. thick sheet.

All I had was 1/8 in. 6013 rod- what a pain to weld that thin walled tube.
I set the welder as low as I could and still get the rod to burn 90amps.
I finally dobed it together then set to 105 amps and welded over the spot weldes.
I wont do that again- anyhow I have a 32 X 32 table beats an old barrel rocken around.
I will make a nice table when I have the $.
It will get me by for now

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DO NOT weld on a 55 gallon drum without removing one of the heads in a safe manner.

If your not sure how to safely remove one of the heads, have someone else do it while you go buy them a burger. Do not stand beside them and watch, because if something goes wrong, BOOM is not a nice noise.

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I made a welding table about 15 years ago, 3 x 4 feet of 1/2" plate, with .120 wall 1-1/2" Sq. tube frame, six inches in from the edge. The mistake I made, is welding the plate to the frame. I skip-welded 2" every 12", and the plate warped very symmetrically all the way around the edges. If I had to do another one, I would bolt it to the frame with coutersunk allen head screws. This would also double the life of the table, after 25 years, you could turn the plate over, and have a new top.

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1: check local newspaper for farm auction
2: go to farm auction
3: buy ridiculously large welding table at ridiculously low price
4: cut to size
5: use

In all seriousness, this is how i got my 4'x7' table. it is on a dimensional lumber frame (which i could take or leave, but i figured there's not much of a chance of the base ever getting hot enough to burn) and has a 1/4 inch plate top. probably about 4-5% loss of the plate to rust, but for 20 bucks i wasn't gonna pass it up. For what you are talking about keep it at about waist high for convenience. My tabletop is only about 20 or 24 inches off the floor, so on bigger projects I can hop up on the table to work. My regular metalworking bench is a little above waist high (it is a 2.5' x 5' chunk of 1/4" plate on an angle-iron stand). I do most of the small welding on that bench, and save the big and low table for the larger stuff.

Habu: 3780 pound chunk of steel for an ANVIL STAND?!?! That sounds like it would make a better power hammer anvil!

Also, IMHO, I don't think thickness is that big of a factor. Obviously a thicker plate will last longer, but for stiffness scrounged pieces of angle iron for braces can make for a mighty sturdy top.

-Aaron @ the SCF

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Not to worry Glenn
the old barrel came from a place that makes Jelly with removable lid.
One of the girls I went to school with - Her Dad was cutting tops from barrels
and Boom it killed him.
I have cut a few with a cold chisel and allways filled with water first.
& I ant ever never weldin on a gas tank.

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