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Tradetek
05-09-2013, 07:05 PM
So, by now probably everyone has seen one of those professional welding tables with all the holes in them for specialized welding jigs and clamps...

Well I don't know about you, but I simply can't afford one of those no matter how much I want one... But after making my first attempt to start a build, I realized that I wasn't getting the precise angles that I wanted simply using c-clamps just on the tubes, and I found out the hard way that using magnets to hold the pieces in position while I tacked them together was problematic with TIG welding. Have heard that it can be a problem with MIG as well, but don't know for certain.

So I am working on using 1.25 inch (31.75mm for Steve G. :) ) angle "iron" to make a clampable work surface.

Basically it is a bunch of angle running horizontally with space separating them so that I can put the head of a c-clamp through the surface and then use it to secure a tube to my work surface instead of trying to keep things aligned while clamping the tubes to each other.

Also, when I started planning out the table, I was originally going to turn the last piece of angle in the other direction as the rest of the pieces so that the entire thing would have a nice square frame... but after thinking about using the surface a bit, I realized that by having the back of the surface "open" that it would give me a really good location to attach my welder's clamp to without any funky twists or bends.

Here are some pics of where I am at right now. Hoping to weld it up tomorrow if I can stand (spent about 3 hours on my feet today so standing tomorrow is not a given...)

Have a good one, and hope that the idea helps someone else.

7102 7103

Ticktock
05-09-2013, 09:28 PM
Hi,
Great idea on the table. Should make things a lot easier. Good thinking about the earth clamp, as it usually gets forgotten until the first weld!
Sorry, but 31.75mm angle is not available in China! You would have to choose between 1.1811" or 1.3779". Life is full of tuff decisions!
Steve G
Beijing

Tradetek
05-09-2013, 10:48 PM
The size decision was easy... at 60 cents per pound going with the more than adequate 1.25 inch angle saved me a couple of dollars.

Picked up an 10 inch piece of thick walled aluminum 1x3 rectangle tube to use as a hand rest while TIG'ing. The place sells aluminum cut-offs for $1 per pound, so it was an easy pick up and will help give me a heat sink to rest on because man does steel get hot while welding and when TIG'ing you tend to drag the heel of your palm along the piece being welded while wearing gloves that are a LOT thinner than MIG/Stick gloves.

Bill

Tradetek
05-09-2013, 11:26 PM
This is a drawing of what the finished product should look like. So far the only difference is that I screwed up my angle cuts on the first "rung" so it will only have 9 rungs instead of the 10 pictured.

There will be 1.25 inches between each rung.

Each rung will be 23 inches wide and the total depth will be 21.5 inches.

7105

FrankCrank
05-10-2013, 02:42 AM
....pretty much how I did mine Bill, cept I had all the angles facing outwards so only had to deal with straight 90 degree cuts. At least your way you get to practice some fancy notching, and makes a very goo practice piece to get started on...

charlie_r
05-10-2013, 06:46 AM
Project looks like a great idea!

I might have to build one myself, if the "honey-do" lists ever slow down. We all know they will never stop, just get a little thin after a while.

Tradetek
05-10-2013, 08:59 AM
I hear ya Charlie!

Frank, definitely getting a lot of grinder and fitup experience! Each rung is getting notched such that the entire surface is flush all the way across. I plan to weld the top of the joints in addition to the bottom which will give me a bunch more TIG practice. I recently picked up some rod to try doing some Stick welding, and boy did it make me glad I didn't buy a stick only machine!

When are we going to see an update on your Stainless Steel experiences? I'm really interested in hearing more about your experience with it and the tips that come out of it... ;)

Bill

FrankCrank
05-10-2013, 10:11 AM
....I'm still back in the UK nearing the end of my hols, home to Thailand on Monday. Got to finish off some stainless kitchen shelving there, then onto the Mk2 trike, so watch this space as they say...

sandman
05-10-2013, 02:36 PM
I hear ya Charlie!

Frank, definitely getting a lot of grinder and fitup experience! Each rung is getting notched such that the entire surface is flush all the way across. I plan to weld the top of the joints in addition to the bottom which will give me a bunch more TIG practice.
Bill
Hi Bill,
I would recommend you only stitch weld the top face with the minimum amount of weld, fully welding over that length even with the depth of the angle you have will produce a nice banana shape although you can pull it straight with more weld on the bottom edge and when tacking up its a good idea to have a sequence of tack welds so the following tack pulls in the opposite direction to the preceding one. If this is stuff you already know my apologies.
Regards
John

Tradetek
05-15-2013, 01:15 PM
Thanks for the feedback John, somehow I missed it though and I tacked it all up all couple of days ago. I think I did an okay job relieving the stress, but there are one or two rungs that are at a slight angle. I rotated through my tacks and had seen a video saying to place your last tacks at the edge where you need the compensation, so I first did the open edges alternating sides and then went back and did tacks near the inside corners.

My fitup didn't end up as well as I had hoped, I understand why people get those bench sanders with the vertical sanding discs so that they can get a cleaner 90 degree edge.

Anyhow, my chop saw has been struggling to make it's way through a sheet of 1/2 inch plate that I have and I want to make a small rod bender for an art project I have in mind for my wife, so I used the surface today to secure the plate and rip through it with my .045 thick cutting disc on my angle grinder. Took a bit but got through it and really like having the new surface to clamp things too... now if I can just figure out where my other 3" c-clamp went...

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/18993675/Welding%20Surface/photo.JPG

Bill

darnthedog
05-15-2013, 03:03 PM
Sounds like it might be time for either a sawsall or a plasma cutter if your going to continue playing with the thicker material.

Tradetek
05-15-2013, 03:11 PM
Have a sawzall but I couldn't control it enough to cut this thick plate. I was going to try my jigsaw but didn't think about it until reading your post! Even bought metal cutting blades for it a week or so ago. :oops:

trikedoc
05-15-2013, 07:28 PM
Have a sawzall but I couldn't control it enough to cut this thick plate. I was going to try my jigsaw but didn't think about it until reading your post! Even bought metal cutting blades for it a week or so ago. :oops:

Ouch, Trying to plunge cut in the middle of a 1/2" steel plate. Chop saw just can't work with that much cutting surface. They will cut 1/2" on edge with no problem. (even 1") We have removed the screw clamp base, locked the saw down in the storage position and put a small clamp on the blade guard to hold it up an 1" Just in-feed like a table saw. Good for 12' to 14" cutting from both sides.
Al

Trike Lover
05-15-2013, 08:00 PM
Thanks for the feedback John, somehow I missed it though and I tacked it all up all couple of days ago. I think I did an okay job relieving the stress, but there are one or two rungs that are at a slight angle. I rotated through my tacks and had seen a video saying to place your last tacks at the edge where you need the compensation, so I first did the open edges alternating sides and then went back and did tacks near the inside corners.

My fitup didn't end up as well as I had hoped, I understand why people get those bench sanders with the vertical sanding discs so that they can get a cleaner 90 degree edge.

Anyhow, my chop saw has been struggling to make it's way through a sheet of 1/2 inch plate that I have and I want to make a small rod bender for an art project I have in mind for my wife, so I used the surface today to secure the plate and rip through it with my .045 thick cutting disc on my angle grinder. Took a bit but got through it and really like having the new surface to clamp things too... now if I can just figure out where my other 3" c-clamp went...

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/18993675/Welding%20Surface/photo.JPG

Bill

Bill, I like the idea of the table with slats, although I see the problem in compensating for heat warping. I wonder if you could get around this by welding some studs to the underside of one edge of the outer frame, and then drill holes slightly larger than the studs in the crosspieces that join there. Secure the crosspieces from the underside with nuts - with a tack weld to keep them from backing off if necessary. There would be a very small amount of "play", so that the heating and cooling of the crosspieces would not result in bowing. You'd only have to do this on one side, of course. In fact, if you did the side with the studs first, welding the opposite side of the crosspieces should have "compensation" built in to accommodate welding expansion/shrinkage.

Just a thought.

Jim

Trike Lover
05-15-2013, 08:10 PM
Sounds like it might be time for either a sawsall or a plasma cutter if your going to continue playing with the thicker material.

Back in the day when I worked in engineering research, a large part of our work concerned pulsed plasma jets, and continuous plasma jets using a feed gas into the plasma chamber. We always had problems with the walls of the plasma cavity eroding, even though we used very pure aluminum ceramic compounds (made by Coors, the same company that makes the beer). I've wondered quite a bit since retireing if a home-brew add-on to a standard welder could be built using off-the-shelf parts. An idea I'm still working on - one fly in the ointment is that to get the plasma started required quite a healthy "zap" that was both high voltage and high current. Once the "breakdown" had occurred and the plasma path was created, much lower (and safer) voltages would sustain the plasma jet.

I haven't taken a commercial one apart, but I be it can be replicated with a bit of ingenuity.

Tradetek
05-16-2013, 12:01 PM
Al, I have been thinking about doing something similar to my chop saw also but slightly differently... I've actually been thinking about building a chop saw stand with a steel surface and then removing the chop saw from it's current base and mounting it directly to the top of the stand and making some sort of quick release for the back plate and securing clamp/press bar thing.

Jim, the hole thing is built using 1/8th angle iron and I actually notched the rungs so that they fit into the sides and then welded them to the side and top portions of the sides with an expectation that this should prevent any warping of the rungs. Let me know if you think this will not solve the problem.

And Jim, if you figure out a cost effective way to make a DIY plasma cutter, I'd LOVE to hear more about it. I had been playing with trying to sneak one into my garage until I realized that my compressor is only rated for 2.5 SCFM at 90 psi, and it looked like all the inverter based plasma cutters required at least 4 SCFM at 90 psi and I simply can't justify the cost of the plasma cutter and a new compressor right now when I'm on the verge of having my income cut by 33% if I have to go on long term disability... :(

darnthedog
05-16-2013, 05:21 PM
Well I did a quick search and found this Home made Plasma cutter. Don't know if it will work. But you mentioned building your own. He claims it will cut 1/4 steel.
See: www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Make-Your-own-Plasma-Cutter/


Build at your own risk. I just discovered it and make no claims to it's operation.

Tradetek
05-16-2013, 08:56 PM
Interesting skim DTD. Makes me wonder exactly what all that MOSFET and IGBT tech does... ?

darnthedog
05-16-2013, 10:55 PM
Interesting skim DTD. Makes me wonder exactly what all that MOSFET and IGBT tech does... ?

They are nothing more than fancy switches that use low power to turn high power on and off just like this guys relays. They are also less Likely to stick open or fail to close because it of arcing. It takes more than just those devices to turn on and off but essentially that is what they are.