Saw horses for assembly stands

Some years ago I needed a good way to support steel bars that were to be welded, collared, etc.. to make gates and railings.
Things needed to be really flat for several reasons, which, I'm sure are obvious to most of you. I used some saw horses that I have had in my shop for years, but it was hard to keep them from moving since the floor was not perfectly flat. Also, as I moved around the area with my helmet on, I'd occassionally kick a leg and knock the whole thing out of alignment. To get things perfectly level, I had to constantly be shimming the components, by as little as 25 thou here and there to make up for all the variables. I chose to make some adjustable 3-Legged saw horses which solved the uneven floor problem and eliminated the need for shims. By uneven, I mean uneven by only a sixteenth of an inch or so in 4 feet. My mentor Bob Walsh, from Pepin Wisconsin also showed me how to make and use "winding sticks" to make certain that both beams of the saw horses were parallel (in the same plane).
Here's where you can learn more about it:
http://www.spaco.org/Blacksmithing/3LeggedSawHorses/3LeggedSawHorses.htm
Pete Stanaitis ---------------------------
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wrote:

Very cool, thanks for posting. I just got rid of my 5'x5' welding table, won't have room in the new place. I intend to get a piece of drain grate for a smaller table, but your saw horses will work a treat for larger stuff.
I've used that winding stick technique forever, but not with the different colors. I like that one, too. Thanks.
Pete Keillor
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Thanks for your reply. I just saw that drain grate idea someplace recently and it sounds good, too. I will be on the lookout for one, also. For those who may not know what we are talking about, the idea is to use an old street-curb drain cover as an acorn table. IIRC, they are about 1 1/2 by 2 feet in size and pretty thick. They have either holes or slots in them so you can clamp parts to it to weld them. Google "acorn table" to see what a "real one" looks like.
Pete Stanaitis -----------------------------
Pete Keillor wrote:

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I would suggest "cat walk" grating instead of the drain grate. Here is an example: http://products.construction.com/Manufacturer/McNichols-Co-NST1946/products/Bar-Grating---GW--SGW-Series-NST3066-P
weld a heavy angle iron on each end to bolt on a small vise, provide a flat spot for clamping small parts, etc.
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While it would provide more places to clamp, it's not particularly rigid or flat, although it might be fine in a small size. You generally have to use clips to get it to lay right in a structure. Also, spatter is going to stick unless you get galvanized or coated, and I don't like that idea around high temperatures.
The grate would be much more rigid and potentially flat (not sure on that, but it could be ground flat and stay that way), spatter won't stick, and it would be heavy enough to be fairly stable in the small size I'll have room for, like 2'x3' or so.
Pete Keillor
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A guy on rec.crafts.metalworking asked for more construction details. Here's my reply to him:
Sorry, Paul. Although I hadn't meant this to be an actual construction article, I knew in the back of my mind that I could have done better. So I have added the detail that I think you will need.
Go to the same place: >>http://www.spaco.org/Blacksmithing/3LeggedSawHorses/3LeggedSawHorses.htm
Thanks for the "heads up", Pete Stanaitis -------------------------------------------------------------------- KD7HB wrote:
> Yes, very interesting and useful. > > I can see how the vertical leg is attached, but can't quite make out > how you attached the two back legs. Care to elaborate? > > Paul
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