I have a small project coming up where I need to fab some rolling carts with uprights. A 3 axis clamp that can handle 1x2" box channel would be a great help. Is there such a beast out there, and can it be had for a reasonable price (under $50)? Thanks in advance.

Ernie, this looks like a simple problem in cutting and welding but a very complex problem in fitting! How do you fit those pieces so they are all mutually square after welding? (Or do you make one L shape, then heat the joint and tap it to square ..?)

Basically, how do you make this thing, step by step?

Cut 3 pieces of square tube steel for the legs. Any size tube, any length. You can either miter cut all 3 or just butt them together, your choice. If you miter them, you only have to do a simple 45 deg miter on 2 of them. The third one can simply butt into the side of that joint.

Cut 3 pieces for the diagonals. Again any size tube, as long as it fits against the others. Miter cut the ends of the diagonals.

To assemble, you need a corner of a steel plate big enough to clamp the pieces to.

The plate doesn't have to have a perfect square corner, but it helps.

Take your first 2 legs, and clamp them to each side of the corner of the plate. Check them with the best framing or machinist square you have. Then clamp the first diagonal between the 2 legs so it forms an "A" on the table.

Check for square again. Tack-weld the pieces together, but DO NOT WELD.

Take that tacked frame and flip it up so it is now standing with one leg in the air, at the exact corner of the plate, and the other along one edge of the plate. Place the third leg along the other edge and again "clamp and square" the two to eachother. Add the diagonal between those two. Clamp, check for square, and tack weld. Now flip the frame again. At this point the first and third legs should be on each edge of the plate. Clamp, square, add the diagonal, clamp, check for square, tack weld. At this point you have a tacked Z-square. If you weld all the joints, it shouldn't be able to warp anywhere because all the pieces are squaring eachother. Hence my rule, "Tack everything before you weld anything".

You can check it for square after you complete the welds. The only way to adjust it at this point would be to shrink or stretch one of the diagonals using a torch, and a hammer.

If you want to get fancy, you can put a bend, of a few degrees, in each diagonal before welding them into the Z-square. After wedling you can flatten the bend to lengthen the diagonal, or bend it more to shorten it.

Z-squares are great for attaching legs to tables.

I have an idea for a folding one using ball joints, but haven't bothered to build it yet.

The one in he picture is my small one. I have a larger one that is 3 feet on a side made from 2" tube.

I built one years ago that had two 4 foot legs and one 6 foot leg. I used it to attach vertical pipes to steel plate bases for light stands for theatre.

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