Last Updated on June 7, 2020 by Gary Hargrave
Every intermediate and professional welder knows the importance of having a welding table. No doubt, it’s a must-have tool for any welder, especially who is planning to take over multiple projects in the near future or someone who already has some projects in the queue.
The best part is, this guide has been specially designed for keeping those welders in mind who are craving to learn how to build a welding table. But before that, we are going to learn about the importance of owning a particular table for welding.
So let’s begin:
Topics Covered in This Article
Why Do You Need a Specific Table for Welding?
We oftentimes refer welding to an art. This is because welding doesn’t mean to just feeding electrodes and drawing lines, there are hundreds of factors that a welder should be aware of while performing the actual task. This also requires the welder’s complete attention to the task and the essential tools and equipment should be placed near to the welders’ hands.
Now let’s take a look at some of the crucial reasons why you should own a particular welding table.
- Ease Of Working: You can work comfortably at your waist level. Just imagine, if you are working on the ground for a project that includes several different parts and components to be welded together, it will certainly make you feel discomfort and even trigger waist pain after working for a while. But a welding table will remove all these concerns.
- Ability To Clamp: Welding without clamping is just like attempting to ruin your whole project. We all know how crucial it is to clamp your working materials before drawing beads. Well, a welding table will allow the welding clamps to be in place and ensure smooth welding of that area.
- Excess Heat Absorption And Measuring: Welding will generate a mass amount of heat over the weld metal. Besides, excessive heat may result in porosity if it’s holding surface doesn’t absorb much of it. In this case, a welding table works as an absorbing tool to rigors and heat. On top of that, working on a square and liner material require you to weld over a straight surface over which you can accurately determine its size and other similar attributes.
Now that you know the necessity of having a specific table for welding, let’s walk into our most crucial part of this guide which will teach you how to build your first welding table from scratch. So let’s begin:
How to Build A Welding Table?
Making a welding table will require you to have some tools and gears. The material by which you’ll create your table can be flexible and should be according to your frequency and type of projects and materials. The best part of making a welding table of your own is to have flexibility in using any building material or making it in such a way or level that makes you feel comfortable.
The Required Tools & Gears:
- A Bench Grinder: The necessity of having this equipment is very crucial because it will allow you to clean all the small parts of the table before beginning to weld.
- An Oxy-Acetylene Cutting Torch: As the name suggests, this acetylene powered cutting torch will help you to accurately cut down the small metals and parts that will be subsequently joined together. You can also use a chop saw instead of using an oxy-acetylene torch which can also do the cutting work for you.
- Striker, Permanent Marker And Tape Measure: The striker will be primarily used for igniting the oxy-acetylene torch. Besides, you’re going to need a permanent marker for drawing lines and tape measure for determining size.
- Auto-Darkening Welding Helmet: Every welder knows the necessity of having an auto-darkening welding helmet in their welding gears collection. It not only protects your face from sparks and flames but also the auto-darkening feature will help you to be more concentrated in drawing lines despite having bright light across the welding arc.
- Welding Gloves: The gloves should be made of leather material. They are used to protect your hand from potential sparks and heat.
- Regular And Darkened Safety Glasses: Now, since you are going to perform cutting and grinding tasks way more than welding, you will certainly require safety glasses which will work as a go-to gear for the production of your eyes.
- Tig Welder: We are going to join our materials by using the Tungsten Inert Gas Welding process. This process basically uses a non-consumable tungsten electrode for striking up the arc and subsequently joining the workpieces. This requires us to get a TIG welder.
- Filler Metal: Since TIG welding uses non-consumable electrode, we’re going to need filler metals to cover up the gap.
Now let’s take a deep look into the required materials:
- 4 steel angle table legs
- Tabletop sheet metals
- One 4″ round tubing
- 4 casters with brakes
- Galvanized or non-zinc nuts
Step by Step Building Process of Your Table:
Step 1- Cut Your Metals into Accurate Size:
The first thing in making your welding table is to cut down your raw materials into accurate size. Well, we will use the oxyacetylene torch to precisely cut them out. However, you can also cut the metals using a chop saw. Now, we’ll follow the required materials section to determine the approximate sizes of each particular side.
However, in the case of table legs, the square tube will be 1″ in size and 30″ in length. Now the next 7 pieces frame will be 32″ long which is a 1″ inch square tube. Lastly, you’ll require 3 steel plates each having 3/4″ thickness with 12″ wideness. They also need to be 36″ long.
Step 2- Cleaning the Materials:
Now the second step in this process is to sufficiently clean up the materials especially if they are recycled materials. This will protect the process from having unanticipated weld defects and contamination. While cleaning, you should especially look for visible rust and paint. Besides, make sure to clean it again after the weld for getting the smoothest finish.
Step 3- Grinding off the Edges:
In this very step, you’ll need to grind the rough edges of the metals to make it more smooth and clean. This is more essential if you’re using recycled materials.
Step 4- Metal Grounding:
This is one of the most crucial steps inside your whole table making project. Since we all know without proper grounding can presumably ruin your whole project, it’s very crucial for you to properly ground the pieces using ground clamps.
Besides, if the table you are working on is made of metal, you can attach the clamps directly with the table. Conversely, if it’s made of wood, the clamps should be only attached with your metals.
Step 5- Make Sure The Joints Are Properly Square:
This is another crucial thing to consider. In fact, you should ensure this before performing clamping and tack welding. Make sure the legs are perfectly squared both vertically and horizontally. You can use a pocket square to do this task. However, magnets and c clamps can be essential to hold them in the right place.
Step 6- Tack Welding:
Before welding over any material, a temporary tack weld should be performed. Tack welding is basically a temporary means of holding or aligning your materials before it gets its main weld. The main advantage of tack welding is the ability to perform any corrections if needed subsequently.
Step 7- Drawing your first line:
Now here comes the integral part of this whole process. Many beginner welders feel intimidated while doing this for the first time. The fact is drawing the perfect line of weld admittedly depends upon the number of times you have practiced before. The more endeavors you did the higher the chances of your weld to be perfectly penetrated and drawn.
Not to mention, you should definitely do some prior practice over scrap materials before drawing real lines over the tack weld.
Step 8- Make The Top and Back Part of the Frame:
Now it’s time to make the top and back parts of the frame. The top section of your table needs to be very strong and durable since it’s going to hold the main tabletop of the surface over which you’ll perform all your welding tasks. Just be conscious about applying an accurate current and heat while welding this section.
For the back part, we’re going to weld 2 back legs in a cross member way so that the legs stay in a stabilized manner without bending out.
Step 9- Now Make All The Side Frames And Put Down The Tabletop:
Similar to the back part, we’ll also attach cross members that will be subsequently welded with the back part to complete the overall frame. Finally, it’s time to grab that TIG welder again and attach the top plates of the table.
Step 10- Attach Casters Under Your Welding Table:
The casters are basically an optional gear to add with your welding table. Not to mention, it’ll allow you to conveniently move your table from one place to another. Just be sure to buy those which have threaded bolts attached with it. This will basically allow you to quickly replace that in case of damage.
Step 11- Gun Holders For Added Safety:
Now gun holders can be very essential especially when you’re about to work for long hours over large projects which require you to frequently putting off your gun in a certain place after drawing a line and subsequently pick that up shortly for continuing the operation. A small piece of a pipe attached to any corner will do the work.
Step 12- Finally Sharp The Edges And Clean Up Your Gun:
Well, this is called the post-weld cleaning which is basically performed in order to grind and sharp the uneven weld beads and make it look aesthetic and gorgeous. An angle grinder would be perfect to do this task. Besides, make sure to clean your gun’s nozzle and tip from visible splatter right away after you’re done with the project.
Some Safety Factors to Remember
Now that you know how to build the perfect welding table for your welding projects, it’s necessary for you to get some insights about some of the crucial safety factors you need to remember while you are performing the actual task. Let’s explore them:
- Always Wear Your Safety Gears: As we always say in our other articles, this is the number one prerequisite you need to obey before even attempting to grab your gun. The gears include an auto-darkening safety helmet, fire and shock resistant jacket, welding gloves, glasses, chaps, boots, and respirators for added safety.
- Make Sure To Weld Over Accurate Current Settings: Trust me, without doing this properly can actually ruin your whole project. You got to understand that the type of power AC or DC and amount of heat you should apply to penetrate your metal will solely depend upon the type of that metal by which you’re going to make the table. Otherwise, you may end up breaking or bending that metal or even make it vulnerable to potential contamination.
- Reduce The Heat Through Alternating Sides: A common mistake made by beginner welders is that they don’t take any breaks while welding over a certain area for a long time. The problem here is it increases the chance of the metal getting warped right away after it gets cool. This happens because of excess heat. Our suggestion will be to alternate between sides after welding one area for a while. This can be the appropriate solution for this concern.
- Weld Inside A Well Ventilated Area: Since safety is our first priority and we never compromise with it, we request you to weld in an area which has a proper ventilation system. We all know welding generates a plethora amount of fumes and toxic gases which aren’t good for the human body to inhale. Hence, welding inside a well-ventilated area will keep you protected in the long run.
Investing some time and effort to build your first welding table from scratch can be invaluable in the long run. Since although there are a variety of welding tables available in the market, making the one for your own will be the best decision because you can make it just the way you want and the way it makes you feel comfortable.
Besides, it’ll also increase your efficiency in work, and not to mention, the reduced costs and flexibility of adding and removing between existing and new features. Thanks for reading the whole post. Stay tuned with us for our upcoming welding-related guides and articles.