***I made a video to go along with this Instructable in case anyone had any questions***
I made this welding table with the intensions of using it for more than just a welding table. It was eventually have a removable solid wood top for woodworking as well. My garage is somewhat small so I needed all the room I could get. And with a big bulky table set in the middle of the floor, this would not be an option.
The table I designed is completely maneuverable being that it's on 4 casters; all 4 swivel and 2 locking. It also is the same height as my table saw and thickness planer so this doubles as an out-feed table as well.
Materials I used were:
- 1/4" hot rolled steel
- 16 gauge hot rolled steel
- 1 1/2" x 3/16" angle
- 1/2" square stock
- 2" Schedule 80 Tubing
Tools I used were:
- Carpenters Square
- MIG welder
- Stick welder
- Scratch Awl
- Welding Clamps / Pliers
Consumables I used were:
- .045 Cutoff Wheels
- 80 Grit Sander Disc
- .023 Solid Wire
- 75/25 Dual Mix
- 3/32 7018 Electrodes
PPE I used were:
- Welding Hood
- Face Shield
- Safety Glasses
- Ear Plugs
- Sleeves For Your Arms
Step 1: Step 1: Prepare the Frame
Now every setup and situation will most likely be different than mine, but if there's anyone here whom would like to copy what I did, here's all the measurements for the frames.
Started out cutting 4 angles at 68 inches and 4 angles at 31 inches. I then marked 1 1/2 inches in on both sides of all 4 of the 31 inch angles with my scratch awl. I like using this opposed to soap stone because this gives you a very fine line to follow...
I then notched both sides of each angle using a grinder with a cutoff wheel. Take a look at the pictures above to get a better visual if you are not familiar with this way of coping for a 90 degree corner.
Using a cutoff wheel will leave burrs on the metal so be sure to grind those off when you're done.
Step 2: Step 2: Assemble Top Frame
Now it's time to assemble the top frame. Take one long side and one short side and flush them out. Put your square to the side and line them up until they are 90 degrees. Once it's 90 degrees give it a small tack on the vertical side. Check to assure that the two pieces did not move and give it another tack on the flat side. Do this 3 more times with the other loose pieces.
Now once all 4 pieces are tacked up we can make 2 squared up rectangles. Align each half piece so that both ends are flush and tack those as well. And repeat for the second frame. You should now have a perfectly squared rectangle. (Again, please refer to the pictures or video if you have any questions)
***For extra support, I added 2 angles in the center and spaced them out evenly***
Now that everything is tacked up it's time to start welding. Weld every seam solid. This includes the backside of the frame as well.
Now that everything is welded solid, flip over the frames and grind your welds flat.
Step 3: Step 3: Bottom Frame
In step 2 I denoted that I added a couple extra supports. I also added a couple extra supports for the bottom frame but these were flipped upside-down for the reason that the shelf would be sitting on top. I followed the same principal that I did for the top frame except I ground my welds flat on both the top and bottom.
(Refer to pictures or video)
Step 4: Step 4: Add the Legs
I cut my legs at 27 inches. I attached them to the bottom frame using a square and a pair of welding pliers. You have to make sure that the leg is plumb before it's welded. To do this I flushed out the leg with the frame and put a grip on one side. Then I used a square and gave it a small tack on the back corner. Then I squared the opposite side of the leg and gave it a tack. Now your leg should be completely plumb with the frame.
After all 4 legs were put on I took the frame off the table and set it to the side for later.
Step 5: Step 5: Attach Frames, Top, Casters
So because my welding top weighed so much I had to build everything upside down. The top measured 6' wide by 3' high and was made out of 1/4 steel. I laid the top frame down on top of the plate and centered it on all sides and this allowed for about a 2 inch over-hang which works out well for clamping material.
My MIG welder is only good up to 3/16 of an inch so instead of preheating each weld area I decided to use my stick welder. I used 3/32 7018 electrodes and it laid in very nicely even being that I was on 110 voltage.
After the top was attached to the top frame it was time to set the bottom frame with legs we previously built on top. Being that I'm such a stickler for accuracy this ended up sitting right where it was supposed to. (Something finally good came from this!) All I had to do was flush everything out and give it a tack and weld the legs to the top!
Once everything is welded it's time for the casters. Each caster I used was good for 250 pounds so being that this welding table weighs approx. 425, I should be good for 525 pounds on top of that. I used 4 swiveling casters with 2 that are locking. I welded the casters wherever I could.
Step 6: Step 6: Bottom Shelf
For the bottom shelf I had a bunch of pieces of 16 gauge laying around so I decided to use those. I cut some pieces with my acetylene torch and others with my grinder. Needless to say that either way I did it, I had to grind either the slag or the burrs off in the end. Plasma cutter would be the way to go here, but these two methods worked just fine for me.
***While cutting with acetylene you might notice some warping. This is most likely due to your tip size being incorrect***
Then I staggered the bottom shelf pieces and gave them a big tack weld. Afterwards I ground them down a little ways. But not all the way down to the metal.
Step 7: Step 7: Top Shelf
I thought it might be handy to have a top shelf underneath the table as well for storing magnets, gloves, tools, grinding discs, etc. So this was done in the exact same way that the two frames were done except I added the top angles to the outside of the frame. The top shelf measures 19 inches deep by 29 inches wide and hangs down 8 inches from the top.
Step 8: Step 8: Finishing Touches
So once the top shelf is ready, it's time to hang it. This would have been easier if I were to build the top shelf while the table was upside-down and attached it then. But I made some marks underneath the table and aligned the shelf and held it up with one knee while I tacked it into place. Then welded overhead to the bottom of the table.
I wanted to add a couple places for me to hang my MIG torch so I used some 2 inch schedule 80 at about 2 1/2 inches long on both sides of the table. And Also used some 1/2 inch square stock at about 4 inches long on both ends of the top shelf for things like grinding discs and a welding hood / face shield.
So that's how I completed this project. I use this table every weekend and couldn't be more happy with it. Thanks for looking!