DIY Professional Grade Welding Table (with FREE Plans)

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Introduction: DIY Professional Grade Welding Table (with FREE Plans)

About: I like to do electronics, metalworking, woodworking, fixing things and all sort of cool and stupid things :) I also have a YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/c/JTMakesIt

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 :)

https://www.buymeacoffee.com/JTMakesIt

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

Total: 350€

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!

Thank you!

You can follow me on Facebook and Instagram
https://www.facebook.com/JTMakesIt

https://www.instagram.com/jt_makes_it

for spoilers on what I am currently working on, behind the scenes and other extras!

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First Prize in the
Metalworking Contest

3 People Made This Project!

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41 Comments

0
AllyMM
AllyMM

2 months ago

Submitted a quote to Metal Supermarket using the 2 DXF files in Toronto, Canada. Came back at $4,300.00 and I dont think that included the 1/4" metal. Am I missing something here. Did prices go up so much in 2022. Is there a cheaper way to do this eg like under $500 like in your URL? Any help is welcome.

0
Alexweld
Alexweld

3 months ago

I like the project. I also want to build one, bigger, and I have a question: the slots have a kind of "u"- shape, they are not perfctly square. Could you tell me why?

0
Nikesterrr
Nikesterrr

11 months ago

Very nice build and thanks for sharing the files. I was wondering, is there a specific reason the holes on the right angle brackets are 25mm from the edge/corner and the holes on the sides of the table are 31mm from the edge? I figured, if those line up, you could use the right angle brackets as table extensions. But I might be missing something else?

Thanks in advance!

0
JT_Makes_It
JT_Makes_It

Reply 11 months ago

Thanks!
About the right angle brackets - Why I didn't think of that! That would be very useful! There is no particular reason for the placement of the holes. I didn't account for the thickness of the table plate (6mm)
You can easily fix the design files with free QCAD software and make them the way you want.

0
mikeg
mikeg

1 year ago on Step 9

Thank you!
Excellent plans.... let the fabrication begin!

0
weevilknievel
weevilknievel

Question 1 year ago

Thanks for posting the files, they are a great start for anyone wanting to use as-is or as a base for a custom project.

I have a question about the lengths of the long interlocking slots in the reinforcement ribs - I notice that the distance from the underside of the top plate to the end of the slot in the short rib (which goes in first) is 75.1mm, yet the slot in the long rib is only 75.05mm long - which means the long rib will not touch the underside of the top plate because it will be slightly "hung up" on the slots. What is the reason for this? Was it done on purpose?

I was wondering if there should actually be clearance in the slots when the reinforcements are slotted together - but you seem to have them touching and leaving a very small gap between the long rib and the underside of the top plate?

Please let me know your thoughts!

0
JT_Makes_It
JT_Makes_It

Answer 1 year ago

HI,
It might be just an error. But as it is, the table assembles just fine. You need to consider also that the laser beam also has its own diameter. So holes become slightly larger and pins become a bit smaller.

0
rortmanns
rortmanns

1 year ago

It would be really great if you could post files for a larger version. This one is a bit small. Would you consider doing a file for a 2400 x 1200 or similar? I expect it’s an easy cut and paste if you know what you’re doing.

0
JT_Makes_It
JT_Makes_It

Reply 1 year ago

Hi,
Currently I have very little time to work on this, sorry, but I have attached all the plans. You can use free QCAD software and you can extend the design just by copy and paste.

0
masteed
masteed

Question 1 year ago

Great project! As noted, 6mm steel is expensive in the USA. Would modifications to your DXF file be necessary for thinner 4.55mm (3/8 inch) steel?

0
JT_Makes_It
JT_Makes_It

Answer 1 year ago

Thanks!
As you can see, the plates are interlocked together with small tabs that get inserted into small slots that get welded.
You should probably modify the dxf files with Qcad (free) software (or similar) and make that slots a bit narrower and tabls a bit shorter (depending on your material thickness), else you will have a lot of play when assembling the table and the result could be a bit crooked table.

0
masteed
masteed

Reply 1 year ago

Fantastic! Thank you very much!

0
chrisddj2000
chrisddj2000

Question 1 year ago on Step 1

Hi, this looks like a fantastic project that I would love for my garage, but the download wont open and just says DXF incomplete :(. I am running Autocad 2009, any ideas?
Thanks

0
lbcportagee
lbcportagee

1 year ago

I like the project and would have made it. The only issue is 6mm plate is cost prohibitive in the US and negates the benefit of cutting yourself. If this was in .25 inch it would have been a no brainer. I pulled into fusion 360, but it wasn't going to be easy enough to convert. Good work though.

0
mkoski
mkoski

Reply 1 year ago

Would you be willing to share the modified file? Putting it in a google drive folder and commenting the link would work well.

0
JT_Makes_It
JT_Makes_It

Reply 1 year ago

You will be able to find some similar dxf plans on ebay for imperial steel plates (not mine though)

0
oooooh
oooooh

Tip 1 year ago on Step 3

I can imagine a bolt on turntable on this (turning....) a fantastic instructable into a super welding table :)

0
Ramsey84
Ramsey84

1 year ago on Step 2

ive run a cnc router for years ive got a plasma table and while i know its not as accurate as a laser but is this a good first project for my machine? will the file need to be modified for a plasma table? im sure that the holes are going to have some fitment issues because the plasma is sure to take more material out than the laser would