Sunday, March 21, 2010

Project: Welding Table Complete!

Usually when you look back on a project years later, you see the flaws.  Not so with my welding table.  I could see the flaws *as I was creating it*.  I'm still very proud of it.  I learned a whole lot about my Lincoln MIG welder, as well as constructing a table.

As you can see in this image, the table is desperately needed, to make room for a lot of equipment in an already over-filled garage.

I put casters on one side.  These were the only casters at Pacific Industrial Supply that I could find with a locking mechanism on them.    The narrowest part of the base was 2 1/2 inches.  So, without really thinking (they were getting ready to close) I picked up 2 1/2 inch angle bar for the bottom.  It was very thick, 3/16" (looks more like 1.4").  I could have bolted the casters on, but as I was in a rush, I just welded them on.

Remember that phrase "Measure twice, cut once"? Here's why:

I cut the angle bar in the wrong spot for one of the legs.  Fortunately, I had more, and tacked on a little at the end.  On the plus side, the error that I made, actually made it possible for me to have the table 2" higher, putting it at 3'2", an ideal height for me to work on most projects.  Now, if I had just planned that from the beginning.... This shot also highlights one of my worst welds ever made with my MIG.  Besides the fact that I should have cleaned the metal a LOT more before welding as I'm using gas shielding and not flux-core, the biggest reason I saw bubbles in my welds was due to the fact that it was really windy out.  Even after I increased the gas flow, I still got a few bad welds.  Oh yea, I think this image also showcases a really bad vertical weld.

Just to prove I'm not a total fuck-up, here's a shot of one of the better welds on the table (the one in front).  I'm willing to bet that a pro weldor (i.e. my Dad) would point out some of it's flaws, but it had good penetration, and no bubbles (the two spots are from the wire feed coating that were not brushed off yet)

The one thing I learned during this project was this:  Kerf & metal thickness NEED TO BE TAKEN INTO CONSIDERATION WHEN YOU FABRICATE!!!

Basic stuff for the experienced weldor, I'm sure.  The good news was that the table-top was a bit longer than I measured during my rush at Pacific Industrial Supply  (yup, that mistake again).  The metal thicknesses and some other creative tricks actually made it possible for me to complete the project without having to go back to pick up more material.

At least it's (mostly) level.  Hopefully my projects made on it will turn out better than it did itself. :)