Intro: 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.
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
Step 2: Strip Table and Move Wheels.
We replaced the old laminate table with the new metal table and put wheels on the back so that the table can be moved like a hand-truck.
- Remove the wheels from the bottom.
- Take the top off of the table.
- Re-attach the stable wheels to the back bottom.
Step 3: Fab the New Table.
Figure out how the new table will bolt onto the base. The old table screwed in up on the back underside and from the interior underside horizontally. The new table would re-use the back table base holes, and we would drill some new ones on the front underside. Measure the framing needed to fit the base platform and the total table size. We used 1" galv. square tube for the frame and some 1" flat stock for supports. This first is the basic frame, the second the completed frame. We will add the bike clamp hardware and the top later.
Step 4: Create Bike Clamp Arm.
The first picture is what I started with in plan "A" (including the table shaft pipe to hold the clamp arm). The next two are after some cutting and cleaning.
By the time I got to plan "C", you can see what the "teeth" ending looking like. I was going to make them swivvle on the end of the clamp jaws, but I settled for a static angle. The last picture is the final result.
Step 5: Create Shaft for Clamp Arm to Connect to Table.
The idea is the clamp the arm onto the bike, then lift it and slide it onto the table and twist and secure it at the right angle.
Back in the first "get the stuff" steps, one critical thing was to get two strong pipes that would fit together - one big (1 1/4" x 10" galv.) for the table shaft and one smaller (1" x 14" black pipe) for the clamp arm.
The finished shaft has to be just long enough to be welded to the underside of the table and be also hold the clamp arm for a good length.
- Cut a whole in the pipe a ittle bigger than your bolt.
- Weld the nut over the whole.
- Re-tap the nut to make sure nothing is in the way.
- Weld to the front end underside of the table (I over welded most things - but this one probably needs it because it will carry the weight of the bike).
I love finding just the right stuff. The Mac Tools speed wrench was almost a give away at the thrift store. The swivel handle on the end was a prize.
- Cut off the "L" back end.
- Heat the angle and bend it to 90 deg. (I also heated the front end to straighten it and keep as a lesser speed wrench)
- Weld the "L" handle onto the lock bolt and clean it up (it needs to be smooth, as your hand is going to blindly reach for it under the table).
The end result is a work of art (IMOO).
Step 6: Weld on Table Top and Add Finish.
Weld on the top and put a finish on it. I welded first from the underside. (This, unfortunetly, warped the sheet metal some. So, I will have to live with it. Better clamping would have fixed that.) I completed the top by welding ~1" beads at intervals around the top edge (a complete bead would have been better, but this may have warped the top more). I ground the beads down smooth and cleaned up the edges.
Lastly, I did a swirl sander finish on the top and a straight sand stripe down the sides.
Step 7: Add Handle to Assist Rolling Table.
The first shot is the before and after of the handle stock. The bar on top is some very rusty scrap from my neighbor. I sanded it down and bent the handle to form (no heat this time - I didn't have the torch available and I was impatient).
I left the ends longer than needed so that I could trim it to size and still have enough leverage when I bent it.
I measures the holes to set the handles into the back side of the table, then drilled them (1/2" for the 1/2" steel bar). Last, I cut the ends off to size and welded the handle to the table. The last photo is the finished handle after grinding and sanding down the welds.
Step 8: Final Product - Next Steps
Here it is again. The only problem, which I expected from the beginning, is that it is not completely stable. This is nature of the shape/design of the table base - given the amount of weight that is hanging off the end of the clamp. But, actually, it is more stable than I thought it might be. It won't fall over, but it will sway a little.
The last steps were to bolt the table onto the base and insert some plastic caps into the tube holes.
All that is left is to finish the clamp with some plastic-dip and spray paint. I will keep the rest of the table top raw metal and just coat it with some silicon lube (or something else like WD-40). I can't paint it if I want to use it for welding, because it has to stay conductive.
I also want to add a way of storing the clamp on the table. I won't leave it hanging on the end, and I don't want to leave it laying around the shop. So, I think I will cut a 2" piece of the same size pipe as I used for the clamp table shaft, and then weld that piece at an angle on the table support arm. Then I can just slip it in and it will be out of the way under the table.
Step 9: Added #1 - the Clamp Holder
As described in the previous step, I wanted a holder for when the bike clamp is not in use.
I used the scrap end that was cut off of the pipe I used for the clamp support. I first welded this to a section of channel stock (first photo). Then, I ground off the paint on the table support welded the pipe assembly at an angle.
The final photo shows the holder in use. It will need a primer and paint coat to finish it.