Introduction: DIY Professional Grade Welding Table (with FREE Plans)
I always wanted to have a professional welding table. But the commercial ones cost couple of thousand dollars which is way too much for hobby use. So I have designed my own version which is very similar to the commercial ones, but it costs a fraction of a price.
The things that are really cool on this table:
- it has pretty much perfectly flat surface
- you can clamp your workpieces anywhere in the middle of the table and even on the sides of it. This increases the practicality a million times.
- it is on wheels
I decided to design a relatively compact table that would be still big enough for most of my projects.
The finished size is 125cm*75cm.
Here is an introductory video showing how it was made and in this Instructable I will further explain the details.
Step 1: The Tools and Plans
I attached the plans I made for CNC laser-cutting the sheet metal. This is a slightly improved version of what I have built in the video. It has bigger oval holes on the long reinforcement plates for easier accessing of the bolts for legs attachment.
Initially I wanted to sell the plans but I decided to give them for free to the Instructables community :)
But if you like to support me, you can always buy me a coffee :)
The plans don't include legs. You should make legs sized according to your needs.
The table top surface is sized 125cm*75cm.
Everything is designed to be cut from 6mm thick metal plate.
If you would use 1/4 inch steel plate or other, some details on the drawings should be adjusted accordingly for the parts to fit correctly together.
Editing is easy to do with QCAD free CAD editing software.
The clamping holes on the top of the table are standard 16mm diameter holes. You could buy the expensive welding clamps or you could make your own for 5 bucks as I will show you later.
For assembling the table, you don't need much tools.:
- a welder
- clamps or threaded rods for tightening everything together before welding
-angle grinder with cutting and grinding attachments
- a friend to help you manipulate the table when welding, since the thing weighs almost 100kg.
Step 2: Send the .dxf Plans to Metalworking Shop for Laser Cutting
I went to a local metalworking shop and ordered laser cutting for my parts from 6mm steel plate.
They were happy to do it. I got a very good deal and material plus work costed me around 250 euro. Which is dirt cheap for what it is.
Step 3: Assemble and Tighten Everyting Together
Parts go together like puzzles.
You should be able to fully assemble the parts with only light taps with a hammer.
You don't need a perfectly flat surface to assemble the table. The design of the table ensures the table will be perfectly flat even if you assemble it on a sofa :)
You just need to clamp everything tightly together. You want everything to sit properly together. You don't want any gaps in between the plates. The gaps would cause the table surface to be crooked and not perfectly flat.
I clamped the top plate down to the reinforcement ribs with threaded rods and then placed a ton of clamps around and around. I have borrowed clamps from my friends and family and I got almost 18 clamps in total :)
If you don't have so many clamps available you could use threaded rods to tighten everything all around.
Step 4: Weld, Weld, Weld
Then start welding.
You will want to have a friend nearby. The table weight around 100kg and it is very heavy to turn around by yourself. I also used a chain pulley to help lift the table.
Initially you want to lightly spot weld everything together and when everything is tapped, you should proceed to fully weld everything. This way the table doesn't end up warped.
The welds shall be made inside the holes where the two parts join.
I welded everything together with a stick welder since I do not have a MIG welder yet. I had some extra work with removing the slag, but it is doable.
I welded in short sleeves which is a big no-no. But the temperatures were very high that day. At least put on some sun cream, else you will get sunburn on your hands. Welding produces a lot of UV light.
Step 5: Making the Table Legs
Then I proceeded to make the legs.
I bought thick wall 50mm steel tubing and welded it to the laser cut plates. On the bottom side I welded the plates for attaching the wheels.
I wanted my table to be on wheels, since I work inside my garage and I need to move the table out of the way when not in use. You should buy wheels that have a brake and rotational lock. The table is much more stable this way.
I made my table to be a little higher - 90 cm height with wheels attached, so I don't need to bend down so much when standing next to it.
Step 6: Paint and Polish
I painted the legs and underside of the table with spray paint so it doesn't rust.
But you don't want to have the top side painted since you want good electrical contact between your parts and the table for welding. This way you can have the ground terminal hooked directly to the table.
After some work, you will see that rust can quickly form on bare metal.
I polished the top with polycarbonate polishing wheel on an angle grinder. This is a very good wheel, since it removes rust, paint and welding marks, but does not damage the metal and your table top will remain flat.
I finished the top with rust preventing oil. You can also use WD-40 or wax.
The finish needs to be applied every once in a while.
Step 7: Finished Table
Now you can enjoy your table in its full glory!
The cost breakdown:
- many hours of designing the plans for lasere cutting -> free
- laser cutting + material -> 250€
- steel tubing for legs + bolts, welding electrodes and paint -> 50€
- four wheels with brake and rotational lock - >50€
- Saturday spent with a welder -> free
Which is around five times cheaper than buying one.
Totally worth it!
Step 8: Cheap Welding Clamps
You will also need special clamps for using with this table.
You can buy then already made but a few clamps will set your wallet back more than you paid for your homemade table!
You need to make custom clamps yourself.
You will need to buy those cheap 5€ F-clamps and standard 16mm partly threaded bolt.
First, cut the top part off the clamp. Then cut the threaded part from the bolt
But the thread from the bolt and weld the bolt head to the end of the clamp. That's it!
I made myself four welding clamps and their total cost was 25€.
Step 9: Right Angle Brackets
In the plans you will also find two right angle brackets which come in handy when assembling bigger stuff.
Feel free to make them as well! They are heavy duty and will last you a lifetime.
This is all! I hope you enjoyed my Instructable! Please vote for it in the metalwork contest!
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