Picture of Adjustable Welding/Bike Worktable
A combination, height-adjustable, small welding table with a built-in clamp bracket for working on bikes. Height adjustment comes from old hospital bed table. Bike work clamp is based on standard ParkTools(tm) style bike work stands.

I am tall, so I wanted a bike work stand that was versitile, like they had at the local bike shop, and that would get me off of the ground when I need to work on some cycle. Also, I wanted to make a welding table, and a guy I mentioned it to said "I would make mine adjustable height". So, when I saw the old table at the thrift store....

Step 1: Get the stuff.

Picture of Get the stuff.
Gather supplies. This is always an on-going process, but ou have to get some basic stuff to get started. Here is my semi-complete final supplies list (with my cost and source):

- Old hospital bed table - ($3.99 - thrift store)
- Misc. metal - (maybe $10 - plumbing supply, thrift store, neighbors scraps, school shop scraps, etc...)
- Vise-Grip style 11" c-clamp - ($6 - harbor freight tools)
- 1/2" nut and bolt - ($1 - hardware store)
- 1/2" socket speed wrench - ($1.29 - thrift store)

Also, here is a list of most of the tools used:
- Air cut-off tool
- Mig welder
- Bench grinder with brush attach.
- Angle grinder
- Die grinder
- Metal chop saw
- Hand drill
- Rotary sander
- Oxy-Acet. torch.
- Big Hammer
- Clamps
co2wms7whcc4 years ago
Where did you learn to weld? Try dragging the puddle back and forth from each peice of steel. That should make a prettier weld.

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dschwant (author)  co2wms7whcc4 years ago
Obviously from the hack job you can see in the photos, I never did learn to weld! Good thing I don't get paid for how pretty it is, but it has held up very nicely.

Thanks for the expert advice!
gmhowell9 years ago
Welders are awesome. I highly recommend. Even a cheapy stick (esp. if you plan to go TIG in the future). Two suggestions: First, instead of solid plate, I have seen some people use the same mesh you see on some trailer ramps for the table surface. Downside is that slag, sparks, etc. go to floor. Upside is a much lighter table. Could help your balance issues. Second, I would weld a nut or piece of round bar to the bottom of the table or the support post that you can attach the ground clamp to. If you go on the support bar, make sure it's on the part of the bar attached to the table, NOT the base. If you have ground at base and electrode on surface, you might get a weld in the gears of the height mechanism.
i have a cheapy stick but i not going tig in the futue because im cheap
dschwant (author)  gmhowell7 years ago
On #1 - I thought about a mesh, but went with solid because I knew I would also be using the table for more than just welding. Even though it isn't perfectly flat, its still a very good utility table. #2 - I clamp onto the handle (step 7) for ground. You are very right about not clamping to anything but the table top!!
It looks like you're welding some galvanized, or zince coated metal (like the vice grips, and the bolt).  Did you make an effort to avoid the fumes? If so, did you just grind off the zinc before welding, or just have a fan provide ventilation?
jolshefsky7 years ago
That's a fantastic design. I particularly like the bike frame clamp. I've been looking for a good way to do that and this looks like a winner. I have an assortment of gears that I might try to mate with a screw to create a crankable pivot for the bike clamp. Of course, then I couldn't stow it like you can with yours.

Oh, and I almost forgot: I noticed also that welding a bead to attach a sheet metal to a beam doesn't work. I had tried it when I made the frame for the Bike With 2 Brains, a project I made a couple years ago, and had the same problem. The sheet metal warped so strongly, that it actually bent the 1" water pipe I was welding onto. I even tried tacking it at several points but the finish weld ruined it. I ended up cutting it off and installing brackets to bolt it on instead.
dschwant (author)  jolshefsky7 years ago
Yes, trying to weld the sheet metal onto the table top frame was an education on metal thermodynamics. By the time I saw how much warping it created I was committed and didn't want to rework it. So, I got out the big hammer and started pounding the sheet back to as close as I could get it. It isn't perfect, but still very usable. If I did it again, I would probably rivet it into the square tubes. While is would leave the bumps from the rivets, bolting to brackets would do the same (I think).
srilyk8 years ago
Here's an idea for stability - hospital tables aren't really designed so that they can hold much more than a hospital tray... but if you extend those legs on the front or the front & back - or like in my diagram, create movable legs, that should help with the stability. If you came up with the idea for this table, I'm sure you could come up with improvements on my idea, but this should help get the juices flowing! Wish I had a welder, I know I'd love a bike stand... I just use two straps hung from the ceiling :P
dschwant (author)  srilyk7 years ago
Great idea! I know that part of the stability problem is the base. I think that most of the issue is that the table top is a cantilever, and the vertical support is not rigid but has a significant amount of yaw (I think that is what it is called).
very cool
ed garza8 years ago
that is pretty nice
brob9 years ago
awesome project. Wish I had a welder.
firstscout9 years ago
Very slick idea