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Welding 1/2 Plate

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Welding 1/2 Plate

Postby taylorhudson166 » Tue Dec 19, 2017 12:14 pm

Hello all,

Brand new welder here. I've been practicing beads with my Hobart 130 amp and I'm ready to start my first project. I'm fixing to build a shop table that will double as a welding table for various tinkering.

The legs for my table are going to be 3" or 4" 1/8" square tube welded to 3 foot by 6 foot 1/2" steel. I'm thinking I'm going to reinforce the legs with framing and a shelf about 12" up the legs and some framing under the metal slab. 2" 1/8" square tube.

So my questions are as follows: I understand 1/2" plate is beyond the limits of my machine but I'm not building anything structural; it's just a table that will take some light abuse but nothing crazy. I will set my machine to it's max and weave the puddle into the thinner legs so as not to burn through. In your guys' opinions will this weld be strong enough for what I'm doing? Do ya'll see any issues with my design?

Thanks a bunch
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Re: Welding 1/2 Plate

Postby MinnesotaDave » Tue Dec 19, 2017 2:17 pm

Personal opinion, don't weld to the table.

Good chance it will warp and that'll bug you every time you layout something that needs to be straight and flat.

Weld the legs to stretchers that the table sits on - in other words, make a complete frame.

The table can then be bolted on and adjusted for flatness this way.
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Re: Welding 1/2 Plate

Postby Oscar » Tue Dec 19, 2017 2:38 pm

MinnesotaDave wrote:Personal opinion, don't weld to the table.

Good chance it will warp and that'll bug you every time you layout something that needs to be straight and flat.


Completely agree. Ask me how I know. :lol:

Do NOT weld to the table. Bolt it down.
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Re: Welding 1/2 Plate

Postby cj737 » Tue Dec 19, 2017 2:58 pm

I differ from the others. A few 1” stitch welds spaces along the frame will NOT warp your table and will be more than strong enough to hold it to the frame. I’d use a 3/32 7018 rod and clean the mill scale first. Burn it in st each corner, once or twice along the sides, DONE.

You only need to secure the top to the frame, it’s not a massively structural weld for Pete’s Sake.
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Re: Welding 1/2 Plate

Postby PeteM » Tue Dec 19, 2017 4:28 pm

I'm with cj. Don't do that for my sake. I don't need big welds on 1/8th inch steel.

On that subject, typically a weld only needs to be the size of the thinner metal.
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Re: Welding 1/2 Plate

Postby taylorhudson166 » Tue Dec 19, 2017 6:14 pm

Dang now I’m torn. Maybe I will bolt it down but I like the idea of a few stitch welds too.

I read somewhere that when welding two different thicknesses you’re supposed to set your machine to the thicker metal? You guys disagree?

Finally is 1/8” 3” legs with 1/8 2” square tubing for framing strong enough? The top weighs around 500 lbs I think.

Thanks for all your help!
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Re: Welding 1/2 Plate

Postby LtBadd » Tue Dec 19, 2017 6:37 pm

taylorhudson166 wrote:
Finally is 1/8” 3” legs with 1/8 2” square tubing for framing strong enough? The top weighs around 500 lbs I think.

Thanks for all your help!

More then strong enough.
Bolt or weld the table top, either will work, however if in the future you want to modify the table, being able to remove the top by unbolting would be easier
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Re: Welding 1/2 Plate

Postby homeboy » Tue Dec 19, 2017 10:49 pm

My first table 3x6ft I had the local shop fabricate the top frame- perimeter and 2 lengthwise center members all 11/2x21/2 x1/8 RST on their big flat welding table. With the flat frame I built the rest of the frame -legs-11/2x3/16 RST-- shelf supports etc upside down shimmed tight on top of an old heavy wooden work table. when that was done I picked up the frame (2ton cherry picker)and slid the top under--1/4in plate-- clamped and tacked slowly staggered aprox 2ft o/c ea side of frames. then flipped and set flat to weld on feet for wheels and flat expanded metal for shelf. Clean and paint. No warping and flat. Built 2 more of different sizes on top of first. If building your own top frame to get a flat plane square your top outer frame members (6in welding magnetsa big asset) and pull a string tight corner to corner in an X. Shim the top string ( I use a popsicle stick for a spacer) so it just clears the bottom string. Shim the frame corners until the 2 strings barely touch where they cross. You have a flat plane. My info if it's correct is 1/2in plate is 20lbs per sq ft X18 =top 360lbs or 90lbs per leg for the top itself.After that is whatever you load on it.My feeling is 3-4in legs might be overkill. Maybe someone can calculate what they would carry being pinned at the top and laterally supported at aprox. 12in level with welded shelf supports. The first one I built with a Lincoln 100 flux core only and it worked fine. :D
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Re: Welding 1/2 Plate

Postby cj737 » Tue Dec 19, 2017 11:00 pm

I like to use leveling casters on my tables. Allows me to level the table and set it, or, move it when necessary. My table weighs nearly 2,000# so a floor jack is helpful when shoving it around (sometimes do large projects that won’t quite fit and allow walk around space.

Your frame is plenty strong for what you’re planning. If you can, lay the top flat on the ground, frame upside on it. Weld the frame to the top with a few stitches. This will keep the surface flat and limit distortion. Once done, flip it over (friends are helpful for this step) and roll it into place. Flux Core or hard wire MIG will work fine, just clean the scale first. Or Stick stitch it.

A helpful hint: make your frame smaller in area so the top overhangs on all 4 edges by about 4-6”. This leaves you clamping room and won’t hurt your stability.
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Re: Welding 1/2 Plate

Postby pgk » Wed Dec 20, 2017 9:15 am

When I made my table I welded the frame and had planned on welding the 1/2" top to it, When I went to my local metal supply and they loaded it with a fork truck I thought maybe I don't need to weld it. lol So I didn't and for 15 years or so it hasn't moved unless I want it moved..
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