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Metalworking or Shop Table Ideas

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by tokyo, Aug 9, 2008.

  1. I am lookign to build a movable shop table for my garage and looking for ideas that might have worked well for others.

    The things I want to incorporate in it include interchangability of different pieces like a vice, shrinker/stretcher, small english wheel, shot bag etc, with some things that won't be able to be removed like a smaller metal brake maybe a throatless shear or roller.

    Sawzall has the queen bee of one called bertha that has some nice functionality, and flt-blk has a nice small one that has some features built in as well.

    But I am looking for more ideas than what I have already.

    I am thinking something about 3x3 feet, rolling (locking castors), but at about waist to stomach high. For the top I was thinking about 1/2 in plate with different sized tube openening welded to the sides for pieces to slide in, be bolted down and removed when not needed. Heavy enough to not move when i am pounding on something or cutting something, but easily moved when needed.

    If you have any suggestions or pictures, that you would like to share, please do.

  2. doliak
    Joined: Nov 14, 2007
    Posts: 166


    id probly make it t atouch larger if youve got the room. i like to be able to lay a full sheet out and layout my marksand still have some room for tools and what not. also at the shop i made provisions to store sheetmetal under the table in like try type deals works slick as hell.
  3. Here's a table I fab'd up outta some scrap 2x2 tubing & angle...I made it so it would collapse to about kneehigh also...If I need a work surface ,I have a piece of plywood I put on it...the angles are handy for clamping welding projects...I also have a small vise that I C-clamp onto the angles for light far ,it's been worth the effort to build
    BTW I have since added shelves underneath to store my angle grinders,disc grinder,short pieces of metal & tubing, etc... the added weight helps stabilize the table

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Aug 9, 2008
  4. duncan_m
    Joined: Jun 28, 2008
    Posts: 3


    For Metalwork you should seriously consider a "skeleton" table.. check out this thread over at the Miller Welders forums..

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  5. Brad54
    Joined: Apr 15, 2004
    Posts: 6,008

    from Atl Ga

    If you're using 1/2-inch plate for the top (as I am going to on mine...finally found a piece at the scrap yard), drill and tap several 1/2-inch holes in the table. A series of two or three or four holes, spaced an inch or two apart, a couple inches back from the edges, will give you a quick place to attach jigs or other tools.

    How mobile is it going to be? Move it every now and then, or every time you use it. If it's every now and then, put two of the legs on adjustable "machine leveler" feet, the other two on casters. Lift the footed end with a floor jack to move it around, set it down and it won't move, plus you can always level it so it doesn't wobble.

  6. Mine is 4 ft by 4ft octagon. I can work on all edges and dont have to worry about bumping into the corners. Like haveing a table with 8 stations. Vise, holepunch, anvel, beverly shear, bead roller, etc, etc. all on one table all at a different angle. Here is a pic of my kids helping out in the shop cleaning the gunk off the front clip for the merc. In the backgroung is a pic of the table. Sorry for the bad pic but a bit of something is better than a whole lot of nothing!!!!!!! ETHER

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Aug 9, 2008
  7. ether that octagon style is somethign different. I like the possibilities it would offer. Do you have all those items on it and what kind of top are you using?

  8. The frame for the top is 2X3 tubing with a 1/8 inch top. I wish it was thicker but it works with no worries. I have round bar stock welded to the uprights to hold vise grips on one side and c-clamps on the other. The legs are slid into bigger square tubing and bolted so I can adjust the heigth, although I never move it from where its at. I do have all those things on it from time to time. I just c-clamp the item to the table when im using it, but the vise is bolted. The bottom is floored with diamond plate aluminum to store my chop saw, spot welder, anouther punch. and a large mouth shrinker stretcher. Good storage!!!!! ETHER
  9. 49ratfink
    Joined: Feb 8, 2004
    Posts: 17,657

    from California

    here's one I picked up a while back for $200.00. 4 foot enco finger brake, roper whitney corner notcher, vintage 3 foot or so slip roller, Harbor freight bead roller and a broken press brake/roller.

    it's got wheels with brakes. and this sucker rolls great. it sat outside and needs to be really cleaned up. probably put my 12" disc sander on it along with my shrinker/stretcher and get rid of the press brake/roller deal.


  10. Clark
    Joined: Jan 14, 2001
    Posts: 5,092


    Mine is an old factory table on wheels. Got it at Archies auction for $5. Has kick jacks on either end to keep it in place when needed.

    When I got it it had a wood top on it. I switched the wood out for some 1/4" plate. Also made recievers for a vice and the planishing hammer.

    Sorry no pics. You'll just have to stop by.
  11. This one was in the shop during my Gene Winfield seminar.

    He's working on a 2' square table of 1/2" plate, the other side had a cut down plow disc with a shot bag.

    This is where I got the idea for using the pipes on mine.

    Attached Files:

  12. safari-wagon
    Joined: Jan 12, 2008
    Posts: 1,457


    My shop table is kinda like Ether's, only round. I keep my MIG welder under it & have a vice mounted on top.
  13. 3Mike6
    Joined: Jan 2, 2007
    Posts: 704


    May want to rething the Locking castor thing, my welding table is about 5x4, with two tiers on it, I have locking castors as well...but alos have a big vise in one corner I use for a lot of tugging, yanking..put in the shrinker.strecther/etc...thing is, even with locking casters, the thing 'jerks around" enough to irratate me, some day I'll make up something I can stomp down on, wood or rubber bottom, that plants it to the's not that the locking casters aren't good, but they don't secure things like you might want.
    Joined: Apr 9, 2002
    Posts: 1,783


    For a workbench, I use an old steel desk like this one. It was on Craigslist locally for $25. It's really rigid, and the drawers hold a lot.

    I love it. Best bench I've ever had.

  15. scottybaccus
    Joined: Mar 13, 2006
    Posts: 4,106


    This has worked very well for me. It was an assembly table in a local factory. It has a 1/2 inch top (3' x 6') on 4 legs of 5" x 5" x 3/8" angle. It weighs between 600 and 800 lbs. I added two trailer jacks to make it mobile. I just added two more last week. It can even climb stairs with these jacks. That little step up and the garage door is nothing.
    It is just the right size to build up my model a frame, but a bit small maybe for a 32+.

  16. No pics, but I built one in about an hour with some 3x3 sq tubing. It's 3'x3' on top, 3' high, skinned with 12ga mild steel. I bolted my vise to it and welded a piece of 2x2 angle as a "rail" on 1 side to collect tools & parts. Its easy to move, even without wheels, and doesn't take up much space.
  17. plym49
    Joined: Aug 9, 2008
    Posts: 2,797

    from Earth

    Build the framework so that you can slide one of those rolling tables with the hydraulic lift under it. Then you can pump it up a little, like a fork lift, to move it around or to any working height you like. Plus, you still have the lift table for loading heavy stuff into the back of your truck. These rolling table have very heavy duty locking castors. Mine came from Harbor Freight and yes I know they have bottom-feeder quality sometimes but the rolling lift table I got is fine.

    You are on the right track to have one item do several jobs. Just like building a rod. :) Take it a step further and use one of these tables to add flexibility.
  18. All great ideas and I am going to take your advice when I start to plan the structure. The movement thing is a big focus because I am never happy where something is - I guess its a space planning OCD thing.

    Clark - I will make sure to take better notes next time I am there...maybe this fall eh :)

    49ratfink - that is a great set up, but how are you ever going to clean it all up?

    roadster - that is great desk - reminds of middle school,

    baccus - i like the angle on the side with the holes in it nice place to keep hammers.

  19. unklgriz
    Joined: Sep 12, 2005
    Posts: 284


    This is a great post. All of these benches are great ideas. I really like the one that is on the Miller thread. I like the idea of being able to move the top for different pieces.

  20. Grunion
    Joined: Apr 13, 2007
    Posts: 171


  21. The two pipes have a gap so I can bend sheet metal, also work great for storage inside

    The other side has a 1/4" plate that is flush with the table top, works great for welding and beating on stuff. I usually ground to the table then clamp my work to the plate and go...

    The center is 1" MDF that sits on a perimiter with a couple ribs.
    I can whale on it and it stays flat and solid.
    If I need to drill holes to mount a jig or attach a frame, no problem.
    When it gets nasty looking I get out my 25 cent rollers and dip into my leftover house paint and the surface is clean and ready for more abuse.
    If it gets too bad I flip it over or replace it all together.

    I made it a 3 wheeler because my floor isn't perfectly level, I have had a rear end and some other pretty heavy stuff on the corners and it didn't tip. If I have any problems I will just move my work to the 2 wheel side.

    Attached Files:

  22. Clark's sounds like the one in my shop.
    There are six caster/wheels. the two in the middle are larger and stationary, it rocks a little from end to end but has the kick jacks to level it and lock it in place.
    I love it and am getting ready to fab a motorcycle frame jig for it.
  23. 49ratfink
    Joined: Feb 8, 2004
    Posts: 17,657

    from California

    49ratfink - that is a great set up, but how are you ever going to clean it all up?

    WD 40, scotchbrite pads, assorted grinders and abrasives as well as sandblasting parts that are removeable. already did the fingers on the brake and cleaned up the notcher pretty well. it doesn't need to be pretty, though that would be nice and will happen eventually
  24. snapper
    Joined: Jan 4, 2004
    Posts: 531

    from PNW

  25. Wildfire
    Joined: Apr 23, 2006
    Posts: 830


    Make sure you can lock the wheels or buy step down locks. Mine has neither and it is a pain. Additionally, I'm too lazy and cheap to change it. So, I just cuss and complain almost every time I use it. Another thing, I made two wheels rigid and two swivel. Another mistake, they all should be swivel.
  26. 48fordcoe
    Joined: Feb 18, 2008
    Posts: 113

    from In

  27. Damn ... a guy could sure fabricate some "nice" ratrod's with that equipment ... the sheet metal could be shaped ... and the rusty faux patina applied ... all in one fell swoop! :D
  28. fiat128
    Joined: Jun 26, 2006
    Posts: 1,428

    from El Paso TX

    Keep em coming, great thread.
  29. FritzTownFord
    Joined: Apr 7, 2007
    Posts: 1,020


    We have a winner!! The trailer wheels are genius. Crank'em up to roll - crank'em down to work.

    I liked the sheet metal bending pipe set-up on the other table too.
    Great thread.
  30. pan-dragger
    Joined: Sep 13, 2006
    Posts: 3,187


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