Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Millen Area,Georgia
If your already planning and have the funds for a 4x8x3/8 i'd definetly go with that..especialy since you said your planning for a welder and Plasma-arc..
Once you start messing around with those 2,you'll be finding many projects around the house and vehicles to save you money.
As always..the bigger the better..a 4x8 table is pretty standard in any fab shop,it makes it real nice to build things square and straight on a 4x8,rather than be just enough or not enough.
A 4'x8'x3/8" A36 plate is about 490 lbs,you can even save money by relacing the planned box tubing frame and legs with 1/4" 2x2 or bigger angle iron,that will be more than strong enough to handle anything you'll be working with at home.
Only stitch weld the bracing to the table,to prevent warping of the table,not much is needed to just hold th frame to plate.
Whatever you decide to use for framing,make sure you box the framing in as close to the outer edge of the plate,then put cross bracing inside the box to help with any possible future warping of the plate.
Welding and cutting on a table can warp it in a hurry,so when cutting with the plasma try to support your work up off the table so the heat doesn't warp it when cutting
It really doesnt take much heat to warp a 3/8" plate,so the more framing and cross bracing under it..the better.
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