Instructables
Picture of How to Make a Welding Table
Whether you're a weekend hobbyist or a professional daily welder, a solid welding table is a must have for any job. A great welding table has several important traits. It will be able to stand up to long term abuse. The work surface will be made of thick metal that won't warp or deform under heat, loads, or small accidental cutting. It will be at an appropriate height for the given fabricator to use in a comfortable position. Simplicity is key! Make something easy that will get the job done in the long run. The beauty of welding is that you can always add on more later.

All things considered, there are many potential hazards associated with performing this task. Always double check to make sure all safety equipment is in place and that you are properly protected with gloves, safety glasses, and helmets.
 
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Laying Out the Pieces

Picture of Laying Out the Pieces
The first step in preparing this table is acquiring the necessary equipment. While there may be alternatives to the equipment I have used, this equipment will guarantee a time efficient process while maintaining quality work. From left to right moving across the top of the picture we have:
- Bench grinder (with a wire brush wheel) mounted to a stand
- Oxy acetylene cutting torch
- Tape measure
- Striker to ignite the cutting torch
- Permanent marker
- Regular safety glasses
- Darkened safety glasses for use with the brightness of the cutting torch
- Leather gloves
- Welding helmet
- TIG filler material
- TIG welder.

Directly in the middle of the table are the unclean pieces that will be used for fabrication. For my design, there are 11 frame members and three heavy duty steel plates.

*Note: This project requires, at minimum, an introductory knowledge of the shop equipment listed above in order to complete fabrication*
Jeffrey G C10 months ago

Just a suggestion, but you could take a 1/4in of that square stock, and weld it to a leg to place you welding torch / gun. (MIG gun or TIG torch only, stick clamp might be interesting if it isnt isolated) Also A few holes could be drilled into the table to make clamping parts down easier.
Since I am in college, and my welder is with my parents, I just welded a tab to a thin plate for me to use as a "table" until I can get my own place where I can set up a my own welding booth and fabrication shop. But something like this will eventually be built in said shop.

Thank you for the great instructible, it's very well put together.

granz1 year ago
This is a great instructable. Well thought out and excellent pictures along the way. One of the best I've seen. I used a 240V 20A MIG welder to build my table frame though, as I don't own a TIG welder. 3/4" plate is a bit thick for this MIG Welder so I used 1/2" plate. The welder specs say only 1/4" max, but I was able to get some decent looking welds anyhow on 1/2". I figure it's staying upright anyway, so the welds to hold the top on don't need to be super strong.

hurly26 (author)  granz1 year ago
The nice thing about the TIG that I used is it has a range from 0 to 150 Amps. I've never come across a reason to use the 150 though except for quickly cutting through a piece of metal. I find you have a lot more play on what you can do with TIG because you add filler in as you want. So, if you aren't satisfied with how far into the metal you've penetrated, you can just keep heating without adding more filler. And I agree, if you table is standing then you're fine. The table itself isn't meant to hold outrageously large loads so as long as you don't plan on welding 50 foot industrial I-Beams together anytime soon it's not so important to have it be super structurally sound (although it's not a bad idea to do so too).
granz hurly261 year ago
Actually, I wasn't thinking when I listed the MIG specs, it takes 20A from the wall, but the welding current goes up to 110A, so it did pretty well. I've been doing MIG mostly for automotive work for years but I'd like to get into TIG sometime soon. What type of TIG welder do you use and would you recommend it (It's hard to see in the first picture)?
hurly26 (author)  granz1 year ago
Sorry it took a bit for me to get back to you! I have two TIG machines in the shop I have access to. One is a Miller Maxstar 150 STL and the other is the Miller Maxstar 150 STH. They're both fairly simple welders that are easy to set up and get to welding. Me recommending them really depends on me knowing what you intend to use them for. If I were you I would decide on a budget and then after you've decided on that then go to http://www.millerwelds.com/products/tig/ to see what's available for your needs in that budget range. They give all the specs there. Also keep in mind what you're going to be welding. For instance, I didn't need to weld those heavy duty plates for a structural purpose but more for just securing them. As you'll notice, the 150 isn't rated for anything even near that thick. If I had needed to make them structurally sound I would've needed the 700 model. Also, pay attention to which ones offer AC/DC and which only offer DC. Based off of you saying that you spend time working on automotive pieces I'm going to guess that you'll probably want a welder that is made to be able to weld aluminum just in case.
granz hurly261 year ago
Thanks for the info! Yes, you are correct in that I am interested in welding aluminum. Actually, that's the main reason I'd like to get into TIG. Best regards, Chris
Nice job, Hurly26, nice job!!
The last bench I made I just used a piece of 1/2 plate & some angle iron for legs, which is a very small one right outside of my garage. I never use a frame, in fact as I always use a single sheet of plate. The one I made for my shop many moons ago I used 6" sch 80 for the legs and 2" x 6' x 8' plate for the top.
hurly26 (author)  kwhit1902111 year ago
Thanks for the positive feedback! That's great especially coming from someone that, as it sounds, has experience from past projects!
Hurly26,
Nice to me you.
Yes I've done a lot of projects since I retired.I was a juourneyman pipefitter for 38 years & I am well versed into making honey out of poop!! :) It came with the job.
So now that I am retired,I can start doing all the projects that I had on the back burner because I was working.
I got my list & the wife has another list, so you know which list has the priority, right?
Yep, not mine :) :( :). What can I do. It didn't take me long to know, if I keep moma happy, I'm happy!!
Hurly, keep up the good work.

Keith
obrie0211 year ago
Why tig and not mig or stick?. Was it just what you had on hand? My experience tells me a hand grinder is a better choice over a bench grinder. Just curious about your choices since I didn't see anything about your preferences. Forgive me if I've missed that part.
hurly26 (author)  obrie0211 year ago
No, I have access to MIG and Stick as well. I chose TIG because it's easy to manage, produces really clean looking welds that don't use excess filler even if you make a mistake, and the welds are strong. I do believe I mentioned in the second section (first step) that the project can definitely be accomplished with alternative equipment. As far as the grinder goes, I feel a bench grinder is definitely easier in this case. I'm just using it to run down the length of the metal to clean it. If I was going to use a hand grinder with a brush attachment I feel as though it would be tedious. I feel this way because I don't know how you could use the grinder on the metal without having to clamp the metal down to something every time you needed to clean a different side. With the bench grinder I can just hold it in my hands and rotate.

Does that help?
At first i thought you didn't understand - but following your link I realized you just spammed us...
this is a welding table not a wedding table!
wizard4nh31 year ago
you should have put stick or arc welding which are the same thing tig requires some training and are not as available as arc welders.
hurly26 (author)  wizard4nh31 year ago
Techincally speaking, MIG, TIG, and Stick (or GMAW, GTAW, and SMAW respectively (which stand for Gas Metal, Gas Tungsten, and Shielded Metal Arc Welding, again respectively)) are all forms of arc welding. The term is not specifically reserved for Stick. They all depend upon the formation of an "arc" as opposed to other forms of welding such as oxy-fuel welding which is the combustion of gas. I have experience with all three of those forms of arc welding however, so if you wish to find tips for completing a table with Stick, feel free to message me. All in all it will be the same steps. This was meant as a guide for building a welding table, not a guide to illustrate which form of welding best suits a specific task. You are certainly correct in terms of TIG taking more practice to get down though!
wizard4nh31 year ago
You should have put stick or arc welding which are the same thing. TIG requires more than some training and are not as available as arc welders.
rimar20001 year ago
Great work. I think you will need some holes to pass to the lower side of a big piece (ie a grille) to retouch a welding.
travelfeet1 year ago
I see the table top overhangs the top of the legs, and so your design makes more sense to me now.

Nice table!
hurly26 (author)  travelfeet1 year ago
Yup, I considered mentioning that as well but I decided to leave it out because the reader can do as they please (in retrospect, maybe I should add that in). The reason I have the overhang is because it makes it much easier to place the ground on the table as opposed to constantly having to place it on each new project you want to weld. With it on the table you can easily move the project around without having to adjust your ground.
travelfeet1 year ago
Is there a reason the top of the leg assemblies are next to the top frame instead of under it? I would think that under would have been a stronger design.
hurly26 (author)  travelfeet1 year ago
Great point, go for that if you get around to the project! As far as I was concerned, the frame pieces are there to keep the thing together so it doesn't bow out under the weight of the plates over time. Aside from this, I know you can't really see it, but these members all have vertical welds on them as well as on top and bottom. With the filler material I used, the shear capacity of an inch long weld along the vertical on two sides is more than enough to support the plates indefinitely. Does that help?
Thank you so much for sharing this project! It rules!
hurly26 (author)  audreyobscura1 year ago
Thanks for the positive feedback!