Table of Contents
- 1 How to Make a Welding Table
- 1.1 What is welding?
- 1.2 What is welding a welding table?
- 1.3 What are the benefits of having a welding table?
- 1.4 Why make a welding table yourself (DIY) when you can buy one?
- 1.5 What are the materials and tools needed to make a welding table?
- 1.6 Where can you get the required materials and tools for building your welding table?
- 1.7 What are the precautions to take note of while making a welding table?
- 1.8 How do you make the welding table?
Last updated on 19th June, 2019
Every lover of do-it-yourself (DIY) understands that asides from the advantage of saving cost, being able to get things done by ourselves also brings with it a special feeling of fulfilment. Ranging from fixing leaking water supply mains in the garden, to clearing blocked pipes in kitchen sinks, as well as mending a bad furniture in the yard; there are many areas where being able to do things by ourselves can save us a lot of stress, money and time. This is especially important when there are no repair specialists in the neighborhood or probably when the cost of their services is well beyond budget.
If you would love to take your DIY to a whole new level that gives you the ability to do things like working around metals, such as: building stuffs from metal scraps, welding leaking steel tanks and the likes, then you must be considering having a welding table of your own. This will enable you to perform various welding operations with ease and also provide good ergonomic that ensures your exposure to work hazards is minimized as much as possible.
How to Make a Welding Table
What is welding?
To begin with, it will be good to explain briefly what welding means so we can all have a basic understanding of how it works. This background knowledge will be helpful even as we begin to engage in one welding activity or the other. Welding means joining fragments or pieces of metals together by heating the edges up to a temperature where they begin to melt, and then pressing them together. A weld is known as a connection made by welding pieces of metal together. Hence, when we bring two metals together, the point where they are attached together after welding is known as a welded joint. The welding operation is carried out using a welder or welding machine which comes in various types and sizes. Similarly, there are other tools used in welding operation but we shall discuss them as we move on in our tutorial.
What is welding a welding table?
Now that we understand the basic meaning of welding, let’s move on to the description of a welding table as it is an important tool which must be in every welding workshop. As said earlier, a welding table provides a working platform for welding operations. Usually, it is made of steel material as utilizing wooden material may lead to the risk of a fire hazard due to very high temperature of the welding flame. It could be of varying size depending on the magnitude of works to be carried out on the table surface, as well as the available working space in the workshop. Common shapes include the rectangular welding table as well as circular welding table as shown below:
Circular shaped Welding Table
Rectangular shaped Welding Table
By now, you should be figuring out whether a rectangular shaped or circular shaped table would be a best fit for you, depending on the type of work you would be doing and the space needed for such works. In addition, all the parts of the welding table (the surface, legs, and bracings) must be made of uniform metal material in order to make it equally strong and durable. Similarly, the top surface sheet metal must be of adequate thickness sufficient to carry the weight of any work to be carried out on it. As a guide, the thickness for the table surface should not be less than 1/8 inches steel material. The other parts of the table such as the legs and the braces should also be made of steel materials having some carbon components. We are going to utilize a rectangular shaped welding table for the purpose of this tutorial as it is the most common.
What are the benefits of having a welding table?
There are many benefits of having a welding table in your workshop. For those looking into taking on new DIYs that involve metal works, a welding table is the best project to begin with as it provides a working platform upon which all subsequent welding projects can be built. In addition, working with a welding table helps provide the right ergonomics – such as enables you to maintain the right posture and position to reduce stress and fatigue while working.
Why make a welding table yourself (DIY) when you can buy one?
Now that you have understood why you should have a welding table, you may begin to wonder if the stress of building one from scratch all by yourself is really worth it. Why not just walk up to a sales shop and purchase one? Good question. Prefabricated welding tables are generally expensive and you must ask yourself whether you would be able to afford one, especially when considering the fact that you are just starting out on your welding expedition. By building one by yourself, you will not only save some bucks but you will also be able to accelerate your learning process. In addition, getting a prefabricated welding table that suits your specific requirements such as size, shape, and height could be a challenge. By building your own welding table, you are certain of making it suit your needs perfectly.
What are the materials and tools needed to make a welding table?
After you have decided on building your own welding table, you need to put all the necessary materials and tools in place. This will enable you to complete the fabrication process at once without having to stop midway.
The materials required for the fabrication process includes:
- Angle iron bars: this is to be cut to length: (3.5ft x 4pcs) (1-1/4“ x 1-1/4“ x 1/8“) for the four legs of the welding table as well to length: (6ft x 2pcs) (1-1/4“ x 1-1/4“ x 1/8“) for two side bracings and (4ft x 2pcs) (1-1/4“ x 1-1/4“ x 1/8“) for two end bracings.
- Sheets of steel metal plates: this is to be used for the top surface and the lower surface of the welding table. The top surface serves as the working area of the table while the lower surface closer to the ground or bottom of the table can be used for holding other welding materials and tools. 2pcs of mild steel sheet (6ft x 4ft x 1/8“) are needed.
- Rounded tube: this will be welded to a side of the table towards the top and be used for holding the welding gun. 1pc of steel pipe (1-1/2“ x 1/8“ x 4“).
- Washers: this is to be used in conjunction with the bolt and nut in order to reduce the bearing effects of friction and also ensures that the bolt is well tightened into place.
- Threaded casters and nuts: this makes it easy to move the table from one place to the other. The thread on the casters makes it easily replaceable in case it becomes worn out over time. 1pc threaded Casters will be needed for each leg of the table making a total of 4.
Tools required include:
- Squares (both speed and tee – 900): the squares are used to ascertain that the angles between two different parts of the table meeting at a point is the desired angle. For example, the tee – square ensures that meeting parts are perpendicular (i.e. 90 degrees).
- Hammer: this is used for beating the joints after welding.
- Grinder: this can be used for cutting as well as smoothening the rough welded edges of the welding table.
- Band or reciprocating saw: this is used to cut iron members into different sizes.
- Cleaning solvent: this is used to remove every unwanted particles from the surface of the welding table after completing the fabrication process.
- Level: this is used to set the horizontal and vertical alignment of the parts of the table as they are being prepared to be welded together.
- Clamps: this is used to hold the different parts together while they are being welded.
- Tape measure: this is used for measuring the set dimensions of different parts of the welding table such as the legs, braces and the top surface sheet for the table.
- Wire cutters: to be used for cutting the welding wires into the required size.
- Shielding gas (mix of 25% carbon dioxide and 75% argon) and most importantly, the;
- Welding machine: to be used for welding.
Where can you get the required materials and tools for building your welding table?
It is possible that you may already have some of the materials and tools in your workshop, especially if you are have been in the practice of welding before now. However, there is a high likelihood that you will still need to obtain some more materials and tools. In doing that, you will need to check out from your local steel suppliers as well as nearby local home improvement stores. Kindly note that local stores and suppliers usually have lesser varieties of sheet metals. While you might be able to find satisfactory picks still within an affordable price range, it is more advisable to patronize major metal suppliers for big scale projects. Asides from the advantage of being able to secure much lower costs, you will also be able to have your metals cut into the exact dimensions which suits your need.
What are the precautions to take note of while making a welding table?
After obtaining all the required materials and tools, and you are getting set to begin fabricating your welding table, you need to bear some important tips in mind. These tips are like precautions to ensure your safety as well as that of the tools throughout the welding process. For all your welding operations, you must adopt the popular saying: Safety First. This means that you must pay careful attention without overlooking anything which could be a potential source of hazard. Some of the precautions to be taken include:
- Do not wear any loose jewelry while welding.
- Make sure the welding area is well ventilated.
- Always wear personal protective equipment (PPEs):
- Safety glasses: for protecting your eyes from direct glare of arc rays.
- Welding helmet: for protecting your head as well as hairs.
- Welding cap: to be worn underneath your helmet.
- Ears shield: to protect your ears from noise disturbances.
- Make sure that all flammable contents are kept away from flying sparks.
- Make sure that you stand properly to avoid tripping off easily.
- Ensure that your welding is carried out on bare metal only. Otherwise, inhaling fumes from galvanized and zinc coatings can be very harmful to your health.
- Always put on thick leather gloves.
- Ensure that you are putting on clothes made from leather and cotton materials. Take care also that your arms and legs are not unnecessarily exposed.
- Do not put on wet materials to avoid the risk of electric shock.
- Do not ever touch the electrode with your naked finger to avoid being burnt.
- Make sure you keep children away from the vicinity where welding is being carried out.
- Always keep a fire extinguisher handy in case of any fire outbreak during welding.
- Last of all, ensure you go through your welder’s operators manual for other additional safety information.
Kindly note that all precautions stated above are in your best interest and adhering to them closely in order to avoid harms and injuries is sincerely advised.
How do you make the welding table?
Now that we are ready to begin fabrication, let’s break the whole operation into smaller chunks so we can pick them one after the other. Kindly expect that to spend about 3-5 hours on the whole process depending on your proficiency with welding works.
- Size the Welding Table: the first thing is to determine the size of the welding table you want to build. For this tutorial, we chose a 6 feet long, 4 feet wide and 3.5 feet high welding table which is (1.8X1.2X 1.05) meters in metric units. This implies that the top surface sheet will be cut to a dimension of 6ft by 4ft. similarly, the angle iron for the legs will be cut to a length of 3.5ft.
- Sketch the Welding Table: the next step is to produce a sketch of the proposed welding table. You could do this on a paper or make use of computer aided design (CAD) software. We made use of a CAD for the purpose of this tutorial but feel free to use any method that you might prefer. One benefit of CAD drawings is that you can save, share and easily modify for use on other similar projects.
- Start from Upside down: place the cut steel sheet on a flat horizontal surface such as a fairly raised ground. Now position the angle iron bars along two adjoining sides of the steel sheets. Normally, the two sides should form a right angle (90 degrees) provided the underlying surface sheet was properly cut. However, in order to avoid transfer of error made on one part of the table into other parts, it is more advisable to perform a precision check on each stage of the fabrication process. By placing a square in between the two sides of the top frame, the perpendicularity can be ascertained.
Take care to allow for a little spacing between the angle iron joint in order to fill with weld melts. Commence the welding operation by first tacking the iron and underlying metal sheet together. This enables the angle iron to stay in position throughout the welding process. Thereafter, complete the welding by heating the joint until completely filled with weld melts. Allow to solidify and repeat the procedure for the other three corners of the welding table. Once completed, we move to the next step of the fabrication process.
- Set the Legs to fit into the four corners of the top bars: by means of a clamp, hold each of the leg into the corner formed earlier. Place the level on a side of the leg to ensure that it is vertically aligned. To be sure, the air bubble in the level should be at the top for perfect vertical alignment. For horizontal alignment, the air bubble should be at the center. After the leg has been well positioned, weld the sides and edges of the leg to the top frame as well as the underlying sheet metal. In the same way, the procedure is repeated for the other three legs.
- Attach the side and end bracings: measure one foot length from the bottom end of the legs and mark the point on each of the legs. Still in the upside down position, weld the cut angle irons to the marked points to help connect the four legs together. This provides additional support and stability to the welding table as a whole, instead of having each legs standing alone. The angle iron connecting the longer side of the table is referred to as the side bracings while that connecting the shorter side is referred to as the end bracings.
Optional step: you may choose to increase the usefulness of the welding table by adding another surface lower down the legs for holding commonly used materials and tools during welding operations. To do this, you will need to cut another sheet of size 6ft by 4ft to be placed directly above the side and end bracings. However, you will need to cut out tiny strips (1/4″ x 1/4″: 1/8″ inwards) around the corners of the sheet so it can fit perfectly into the space within the four legs of the table. After positioning the sheet, apply weld by tacking together at intervals about 5 inches apart all around the edges of the lower surface.
- Attach the Welding Gun holder: after completing the main frame of the welding table, other accessories can be attached as well. Position and weld the round tube at an inclined angle (preferably 45 degrees) to a side of the table about 1.5 inches downwards from the top of table.
- Attach the threaded caster with washers and assembling nuts: position the assembling nuts in the inner corner of the leg, and make to rhyme with the end of the leg. Weld the nut to the adjoining sides of the leg. Repeat the same procedure for the other three legs. While welding close to a bolt, take care to cover the threads on the bolt so as to avoid splatter on the thread. After it solidifies, affix the threaded casters though the welded nut, cover with a washer from the top. Tighten with another nut placed directly on the washer until the caster is firmly held in position.
- Smoothen the rough and sharp edges: this can be done with a grinder in order to have good finish and also avoid injuries from contact with sharp edges on any part of the table.
- Clean the table with degreaser after smoothening and apply paint as desired. However, take note not to paint the main surface of the table as the coat may reduce the effectiveness of the table surface in being used as a grounding component.
In closing, take some time to tidy up by cleaning the splatter on the welding gun. Dust the left over materials and arrange them neatly in a moist free location to avoid rust. Lean back as you behold the sight of the welding table you have just made. You must have realized you did a great job and that’s the fulfilment we were talking about.
For further readings:
- The Family Handman: https://www.familyhandyman.com/workshop/how-to-build-a-welding-table/view-all/
- Hot Rod Network: https://www.hotrod.com/articles/1211sr-tips-for-building-a-welding-table/
- Lincoln Electric: https://www.lincolnelectric.com/en-us/support/welding-projects/Pages/metal-welding-table-detail.aspx