Instructables
Picture of Scrap-Iron Patio Table
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A couple of years ago, I found a fantastic piece of scrap iron at the salvage yard - an access grate, something like a manhole cover or storm sewer cover. It's about 36-inches across, and best of all, says "DANGER HIGH VOLTAGE" on it!

The "High-Voltage" lettering struck a chord with me, as I've been on a bit of a journey of self-discovery these last few years, working on electric vehicle and related projects.

This Instructable will take you step by step through how to make a patio or lawn furniture table, completely from scrap iron. I wanted to name this project something like HIGH VOLTAGE TABLE, but with projects I've worked on before, people might assume that the table was somehow battery-powered or featured an electric motor!

Nope, this is just a table, but it was made completely from scrap metal, and I'm pretty proud of how it turned out.

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Let's start by taking a look at the tools and materials needed for the project.
 
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Step 1: Tools & Materials

Picture of Tools & Materials
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The scrap-iron patio table is a basic metalworking project. Essentially, it's an exercise in recycling, welding, and grinding.

Being able to weld is a FANTASTIC skill. If you don't have any experience welding, I highly recommend that you learn from a friend or through a class at a technical college.

Even if you don't own a welder, that's no reason no to learn. There are now "hackerspaces"  and other tool-sharing groups and collaborative workspaces which provide specialty tools and training to members. For example, in my area, we have the Milwaukee Makerspace. Members who don't own welders or shop space for them, use the welders at the Milwaukee Makerspace!

For this project, I used

Materials:
3-foot diameter cast-iron grate. (This could be any material, but the unique grate is really what makes it special for me.)
1&1/2-inch diameter steel pipe (about 6 feet)
1 inch by 3/16th inch flat iron stock, about 18 feet long total.  (this is the same material I used as the corners on my anvil stand.)
2 each 3/8th inch bolts, nuts, and washers
Spray paint and primer.

To build the project, I used primarily an angle-grinder and welder.

TOOLS:
4&1/2" angle grinder
Metal-grinding, Metal-Cut-Off, and Flapper discs for angle grinder
Welder
Marker
Square
Tape Measure

Safety Equipment:
Work Gloves
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Welding Helmet
Welding Gloves
In addition, a face shield is highly recommended for metal grinding.

It looks awesome in your living room!

Dr.Bill9 months ago
Make ah fine grate for fire pit cooking with cast iron pots and pans.
Bugsley1 year ago
Ahh, that's badass.....
Bugsley1 year ago
Good enough for the inside of the house!
bennelson (author)  Bugsley1 year ago
Hmmm, you're right! I brought the table into my living-room and thought it looked pretty nice in there. I added a few photos of it in my living-room to the last step of this Instructable.
SIRJAMES091 year ago
AWESOME INSTRUCTABLE!!!!!!
Q:
so ONLY 2 legs are attached to the top? The other 2 are just there for support? Is that correct?
Thank you for sharing Sir!!
bennelson (author)  SIRJAMES091 year ago
Only the two are directly bolted to the top. The original cast iron grate had two points for bolts that would mount it to whatever it went to. I put two of the legs there and the other two legs at 90 degrees from the first two. There are several small tabs on the back of the grate, including ones right where I wanted the other two legs to go. Those tabs are less than an inch and a half in size, so the two legs go right over them.
In the second photo of the entire project (where the table is tipped-up) you can see one of the unused tabs on the underside of the top in the upper center left. (Hmmm. I'll have to edit in a comment box for that!)

So, yeah, in a nut-shell, only two legs are bolted on, but gravity, the position of those tabs, and the stiffness of the cross-bracing hold the other two firmly in place.
Thank you Sir for clearing that up for me....
sometimes I can be a bit of an air-head & need a wee bit of an explanation....such is my life I guess.
TY again Sir
bennelson (author)  bennelson1 year ago
OK, that was wordy. Please see Step 3, Photo 3 for the best view of those tabs used for aligning the other two legs.
rimar20001 year ago
Very nice table, Ben!
ardnon1 year ago
awesome idea. love it.
Galway1 year ago
Good job! Serious envy here.
Envy? Shoot I'm jealous! LOL
Very cool! Agree with you on the "DANGER HIGH VOLTAGE", very nice addition :)