I've been wanting to build a welding table, because nothing I have is perfectly flat!
Does a small-ish piece of 1/4" plate (say, 2x3 feet) stay flat when welding the legs to it?
And if it's not perfectly flat to begin with, how do you go about making it nice and flat?
You can weld 1/4" plate and not bend it up. You can also bend the same 1/4" plate into a wavy plate depending on the amount of heat applied by welding.
The key is to apply enough heat to blend the parts but not to much that warps the steel. Do not weld your legs all in one run. Stitch small sections and let it cool down before applying a weld again. Not tack spots but short sections of good solid welds. Alternate your stitch welding from one side of the plate then move to the other side. Spread the heat applied to the whole plate than all in one spot at a time. You don't really need to weld up the legs 100%. You can get by with enough weld that the legs won't fall off if the table falls over.
You can add some thick angle backing in the middle of your plate to aid in preventing some of the warping too. Unless you are getting up to around 3/4" to 1" thick deck keeping a exact flat surface is tough. My table is 3/8" plate and has some minimal warping when looking at it with machinist gauges from welding on the legs but nothing that matters for any of my welding purposes. Regardless it's many times better than welding on the floor and a piece of plywood on saw horses.
Would maybe counter sinking some bolt holes and using a tapered type bolt (so that it's flush on the surface) keep the metal flat, since it wouldn't be welded on? Or is that maybe not a good idea?
Its a great idea, saves you from worrying about warpage. I'll do it to mine eventually when I have a base that I actually want to mount it to long term. Right now my junkyard 1/2" plate is resting on a slap together base I made from scrap...light duty but works for now. I just had to get off the floor... eventually I will drop the dime on some fresh stock to build the base the way I want it.
On another note, I have been slowly returning my junkyard 1/2" plate to flat(ish) by strategically laying beads. It will never be completely true, but it is a whole lot flatter today than when I got it. I work on it when I am bored, or just feel the need to practice laying beads. If you have a portion that is higher than its surroundings, lay a bead there and the contracting of the metal as it cools will pull the edges up even. Vary the shape of your bead to follow the highest points. You can also lay beads on the bottom side to pull things the other way. Speed the process by misting your fresh bead with water to encourage cooling. It will take some trial and error, but you get plenty of practice with a grinder, and you don't have much to lose since your table already isn't flat!
[QUOTE=Sundowner;13293000]Owning a Jeep of any sort is an experience rife with opportunity to expand one's knowledge...[/QUOTE]
I haven't made this yet, but drew it up in CAD on my lunch breaks this week:\
CNC laser cut/bent 3/16" A36 plate, 4"x4" fixture mount pattern, modular design allows for the removal of plates when needed to clear odd shaped work pieces, holes are compatible with Strong Hand tooling/mounts, can be made to any length, and self jigs/squares onto 2" square or rectangle tube so that everything is true.
I get off active duty in late September and will cut a few up to use in my shop.
Heres my little slat table I recently put together. I plan on going back later and making the slats bolt down so I can remove or replace as needed. Its made of C5x6.7 channel and 4"x2"x.120 tube.
I love being able to clamp anywhere on the table and being able to use my metal cutting circ saw on it.
Making sure its flat and square.
Easy clamping for the circular saw
Added a tray on the side, power strip, clamp rack, angle grinder holder, and torch holder.
Mine is pretty simple and only partially complete. Mine is really more of just a rolling, general metal work table than dedicated welding table.
It is definitely not as heavy duty as what most have, but I think it will work. I still need to add some more material for grinder holders, clamp holder, cord holder, etc.
The top and bottom shelf are only 3/16" because I had a full 4x6 sheet I needed to do something with and couldn't see the need to buy a new piece of 1/4" to use instead. The legs and frame underneath the top and shelf are 2x2x1/4" angle.
There is a torch holder on the left side just under the table top. On the right, there is a heavy wall pipe for a receiver. I have the vice on one mount and the bench grinder on another mount. The idea is to be able to drop them on the shelf below when not in use. A square receiver would've been easier, but we had the tube on hand.
The bottom of the table top and shelf are fully ribbed with angle.
Here is one I built. It has a half inch top with 4"x8"x.375" legs/frame. The edge has a mechanical lift to help level heavy stuff, run off of linear screws. The weld head itself travels on 1.5" linear bearings and has a full three axis movement mechanically (two more manually). Also has it's own smoke removal system and a supplied clean air system for the operator.
Heres one of the (2) tables in the welding shop. Its 5' x 5' x 4" im pretty sure. To make it easier to jig things off of the table there's 1/4" and 3/8" holes drilled and tapped all around the table. Makes it really nice when you have jobs like my current one where its easiest to suspend the peice instead of resting it on the table
"Piper, theres a big difference between wingin it, and seeing what happens"
Want to change my forum name to jeep wheelikers