Glenn

Show me your work table

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Show me your work table, I am looking for ideas to build into the next one I build. 

Other than receivers, what modifications did you find most useful?

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As soon as I find mine under all this stuff I'll be sure to show it to you. :rolleyes:

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My workbenches have both a large post vise and a small one mounted at different corners to be able to handle different jobs.  I also have old steel lab chairs adjusted so I can work at the vises comfortably sitting down.  (Gulp I just looked at the "going rate" for these old chairs I got at the scrap yard for US 20 cents a pound...)

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I have had another big workshop move around since making this video (I've also removed the leg vise on this bench), but the adjustable wrench setup has stayed and it's what I'm drawing your attention to. Simple but effective. 

 

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My big table is 6.5'x 8' x 1" thick.

It has a frame made of 6" chanel, 6 legs made of 3"pipe.

It was the smallest table in a blacksmith shop I worked in in Boston which closed after a 97 year run. 

There are goesintos at each corner, I use 2" trailer hitvh receivers. My hossfeld fits in as well as many different vises, shears and othe tools. 

Under the bench is storage for steel, clamp racks on 3 sides and roon for about 12 5 gallon buckets full of tools etc. 

I made two bolt on fences of 2x2x3/8" angle

 

 

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I was going to comment, but Das already did it for me. 

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For torch work I have a heavy piece of storm drain that sits inside a 1/4" angle frame. I flipped the storm drain over so it is only long, straight pieces of steel on end, the other side is scalloped and has 1/4" round welded to it for support. A side benefit is that it is very flat and so far has stayed that way. I use it for painting stuff too. When not in use I put a piece of 1/2" plate over it.

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 Keep the edges and corners clear of obstructions. Mount vises to a solid post along side, attached  to the underside of the table for rigidity.

Set the legs back from the edges the depth of your deepest clamps.

Use heavy flat  plate with true square corners for the top and set it up level  so you can use it as a work surface that you can set up projects with an accurate reference to plumb, flat and square.

Put a heavy shelf  below to keep set up fixtures ,clamps etc.

Put good lights above out of harms way and a hoist.

Run a solid ground back to the welder.

 

https://www.iforgeiron.com/topic/53401-layout-work-tables/

 

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If your table has open space on it, yer not working hard enough.  ;)

5'*10'*1" plate. Base is 6" channel, legs are 4" heavy Gage ibeam. All set back 12" from the edge.table top is not attached to the legs/base.

I can attach a post vice a ywhere, or multiples if needed, but nothing is attached permanently. It is Not a welding table,,, it is Not a grinding  table. It's for layout and assembly. All surfaces are used to check such things as level, edge bend, twist, and to set right angles.

 Could t be without it

 

Table Top.jpg

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Wow beaudry I was going to post some pics of my work area and benches but after looking at that link with your shop I'll just tuck those pictures away for now......:(

 

Just kidding....sort of.....really nice shop though!

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7 hours ago, anvil said:

If your table has open space on it, yer not working hard enough.  ;)

I've never  quite understood the idea that to be productive a work space has to be a cluttered mess, although I admit, everyone has their own method to their madness. 

For myself, I try to keep my main work table clear except for the job at hand. There are three other smaller work tables close by where tools and parts that are in use are easily within arms reach.

There's steel topped cabinet right next to my layout table that houses the welder, tig cooler and plasma cutter that is about 3'' lower.

This enables me to pile tools on that surface below the level of long bars that overhang the  main table surface.

The difference in height also allows me to clamp all along that edge.

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2 hours ago, beaudry said:

I've never  quite understood the idea that to be productive a work space has to be a cluttered mess, although I admit, everyone has their own method to their madness.

I used to rent some workhop space off a fabriactor with a huge workshop. He worked solo on fabricating very large projects - boats, houses, film stunt rigs etc. His work was meticlious and always millimeter perfect, but you could barely see a surface or the floor from the junk that was piled high. Before a new project he'd clean it all out - give it a week and it'd be back.

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I've built several types of work tables tailored to what I plan on using them for.  Here is my latest work table built for experimenting on building gas forges, with storage cabinets for tools and parts as well as racks for use either with hot stuff or tooling. 

Table for gas forge labeled.jpg

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16 hours ago, beaudry said:

I've never  quite understood the idea that to be productive a work space has to be a cluttered mess, although I admit, everyone has their own method to their madness. 

First, you must have missed the emoticon.

 

Second , i had three small jobs running simultaneously. These brackets were a quick fill in. The second, of which you can see parts in the pic was from an "ironing" of a log home. I did brackets, lighting, rails, door and cabinetry hardware, fire place doors and accessories. The house was a six month commission. 

Sorry if I offended your neatnic fetish. :)

Third, cleanup happens when the job/ jobs are done.

Fourth, this is a post about tables, not preferences on shop practices.  ;)

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When we finishing a project, we clean up, put things away, and sweep. For some reason, no one seems to visit just after we sweep. 

If you want neat, put on an apron, help get the project completed, and out the door. Then ASK where I want things put away, not where you want to put them.

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I once had a "neat freak" friend who used to bug me about how messy my shop was compared to his---till I pointed out to him that he spent more time every week cleaning in his shop than I got to spend *working* in my shop!

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 Interesting thread drift. 

Like I said, everyone is entitled to their own opinions and to  their own personal methods to their madness.

My experience  and observation is that the people that are the most productive and the most efficient at actually making money at this keep things pretty well picked up and organized.

How efficient is it to constantly have  to move things out of the way of the task at hand or to  be hunting around for a tool or part or short piece of stock ?

 

My own preferred method is to take the last 10-15 minutes at the end of the work day to put everything back in it's place.  On a large or complex project it can be quite a pile that's accumulated.

When I start up again the next day, I know where everything is , so I'm not distracted  looking through heaps of stuff or cleaning up  before I can get going.

But back on topic , I find that one method to combat clutter  it's helpful to have side benches or auxilary tables  close by as a place for all the tools and parts needed for the job  without being in the way of the project underway on the main assembly/layout table.

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28 minutes ago, beaudry said:

it's helpful to have side benches or auxilary tables  close by

That's all and well, provided one has a spacious enough shop. In our case the shop is only 10 feet wide. The equipment forge/anvils/vise power hammer/grinder's take up most of the space so we only have room to turn around. No place to put tables while working.

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 They don't have to be auxiliary tables or benches to be useful.  

Shelves above and below bench height, tool racks on the wall , drawers or a rolling cart  all provide  ways  to organize and store tools close by but out of the way so that whatever work surface you have doesn't just become a dumping ground and catchall. 

The whole point I was trying to make is that a  dedicated and unobstructed  layout and work surface  is a  a really  [and in my mind vital ] useful addition to any kind of shop. 

Set it up to fit the scale of your work and the space available. 

 

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On 1/18/2018 at 2:50 PM, beaudry said:

My experience  and observation is that the people that are the most productive and the most efficient at actually making money at this keep things pretty well picked up and organized.

I've debated weather to respond to this or not. Be it because I believe when one implies "the way" or just mid Winter cabin fever, I will.

Wrt the above statement I have over the years worked in shops you can literally eat off of the floor and in shops that without gps, you would be lost within 5 steps. In neither of these extremes has this particular shop practice been an Indicator of their quality and creativity.

On 1/18/2018 at 2:50 PM, beaudry said:

How efficient is it to constantly have  to move things out of the way of the task at hand or to  be hunting around for a tool or part or short piece of stock ?

Interesting. Apparently you are stating under no uncertain terms that this is in fact the most efficient way to be,, your theme here.

Consider a railing job where you have say 100+ pickets with a tenon on each end.  Beyond having the ability to forge the picket to within a '64 th" consistently and each tenon the same, please consider this shop practice for efficiency.

Perhaps this particular run may take 2-3+ days.

On my table I have two pieces of angle iron slotted for tenon diameter. These are clamped on my table at a distance apart that includes the extra length due to expansion at a particular color with vice grips. And one 6' metal folding  ruler to check any lengths that may appear to my eye to be amiss.

At my lil giant(25#)  I have my tenoning tool, two stands(if needed) and a weight to hold my picket firm during forging.

At my anvil I have my go to hammer, a monkey tool and a 6' metal folding ruler to double check lengths as needed, a hot cut on the ledge at the base of my anvil Plus one or two adjustable stands.

So, you are saying that I should take the last 10-15 minutes of the day to break down the picket setup clamped to my table, put away the ruler, then walk the 10'  or so to hang up my tenoning tool and the stands at my power hammer, then put the monkey tool, another 5'-6' to its home along with the stands and hammer at my anvil? And then repeat the needed tooling up and setup the next morning?

A few one liners from a great man in my life seem to pop up often,,, "if it's good enough for you, it's good enough for me".  Meaning I support your decisions for you, but they may or may not appy to me.

Now since you chose to critique me even with the humor emoticon, may I return the favor? Again the above quote applies.

When I see your shop pics I see many things that would not fly in my space due to my own priorities. I see a coal forge with a swage block and anvil in front of it and a gas forge by there side. I assume that gas now holds priority over coal. No problem. 

The absolute priority in my shop is where I spend the most time. That's in the triangle  between my three most used tools. That's my forge(heating source), anvil(beating source), and my post vice. I place the anvil 2 steps(~6') from my forge. Same for my post vice and the same between my anvil and post vice. This makes an equalateral triangle.I'm the nut in the middle. This is the most efficient setup I've yet to see. I set my anvil and post vice permanent and firmly to a stump/post  in the ground. I absolutely require the ability to place a 20' bar in my forge from any angle(fore and aft, left and right and any I between). Also I require the ability to walk 360 degrees around both my a anvil and post vice. When scrolling 10' or more, via bending  forks and scrolling wrench, this is critical.

Between my anvil and and post vice and another 6' or so behind them. I set my power hammer and my treadle hammer. This enables me to be most efficient doing what we blacks.iths love to do,,, beat hot iron of any sort.

For what it's worth, the area in my triangle and the pathways to all tools always is clear of "boogers and traps")alas another one of those one liners from the past!!).

And finally, my table. It is not the center of my shop. It's function is assembly. This happens after all parts are forged. And alas,,, all parts are placed conveniently close and around my table, never put away til final assembly is complete.

I hope this will give anyone some food for thought concerning shop setup.

The message here is to beware anyone who states "the way". Time to check yer six and review yer premice.

 

 

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"the way" - any way that allows you to be productive and enjoy your craft. 

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This is my mobil plasma cutting / welding table

the table top is 1/4 plate the cutting grates are 3” on center and made from 1/8 x4” steel the frame is welded from 2” 1/8 wall tube 

the foot print is 30 x60 the table top is 35x60 

i have a small space and wanted a cut table and a welding table 

 

537245DA-A7A2-495E-9E2B-0D1F0E916E77.jpeg

DA493E54-5BB4-41D8-80C7-96A0CD8D1932.jpeg

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