I would like to have a little welding table for welding small
things. I have a plate (part of some military equipment) that is
approximately 1/8" thick, and 24x18" in dimensions.
I would like to know if this is too thin for a welding table and would
burn through during typical 130A TIG weld.
The nice thing about is is that it has bent edges and so it would
stand a little bit above a table where I would place it, it is not a
completely flat piece. The other nice thing about it is that I already
I made a welding table that has a 1/8 inch thick top. It is in two
pieces, a base and the top so it is relatively portable and I can move
it outside for welding. I have not had any problem with burning
through it, but I probably stick some scrap under the work when I think
I might weld the work to the table.
1/8" is pretty thin. Unless you strike an arc on it, burn through should
not be a problem though. I use my welding table to clamp stuff to,
assuming that the adjacent sides are perpendicular and that the top is
pretty close to flat. It is thick enough that stuff does not move around
if it is clamped to the table top. I think that anything big enough to
need 130A will distort 1/8" pretty easily.
You might be able to frame the top with angle iron or something to
reduce the flex though.
Thanks. My own idea is to use it as follows: to weld a "lip"
underneath it, that would be used for 1) attaching a return clamp and
2) for holding this table in my vise. I have a portable "dirty"
grinding table on wheels with grinder, chop saw, and a vise, and will
use this whole setup to secure the welding "table" in the vise's
jaws when needed.
This way, when I do not need this "welding table", I would simply free
it from the vise and stick somewhere in the corner.
Picture in ASCII is here
,----------------. 1/8" plate
/]|[\ Lip in vise
XXXXXXXXXXXXXX portable table
You will have to grind off stuck dingleberries, stray beads, etc, from time
to time. A 1/8" plate will slowly get thinner.
But, you already have it, so why not go ahead and use it as long as it still
works for you?
Yes. "Oil Can Effect"
Put a plate of at minimum...3/8" plate on top. This gives you something
sorta solid enought to clamp to.
Ive a big 5x8' welding table but recently scrounged up a simple 24x36"
square tubing legged table with a 1/2" top. I find this to be where I
do most of my TIG work now days. Tall enough to sit a chair under, but
still low enough to easily work on, solid enough to clamp anywhere, and
small enough that I CAN clamp nearly anywhere ..sometimes too big a
table makes clamping hard on small stuff. So the big table gets all the
MIG/Stick work..which tends to be much much bigger and the lil one gets
all the TIG detail work.
Cost nothing except dragging it out of a scrap pile and .99c for a quick
shot of Rustoleum Bottle Green from a rattle can purchased at the local
99c store. (legs only...)
It does look a bit odd..that big assed (800lb) Airco Squarewave 300
servicing that lil 2x3' table...but it serves my needs just dandy.
"A prudent man foresees the difficulties ahead and prepares for them;
the simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences."
- Proverbs 22:3
FWIW... I have a dinky shop and made a welding table that folds up against
the wall when not in use. I used a 18" x 24" piece of .125" steel for the
top and it works fine. I am TIG welding small pieces. I welded some angle
iron on the sides and it's tolerably stiff. I do clamp things I'm welding
onto it - mostly for positioning - but it does serve to keep small things
While not ideal, it is quite workable for what I do.
Gunner, you are a great, examplary scrounger. I am far behind, though
I think that I am OK at that also. That said, I do not have space for
a standalone permanent welding table, period. So I have to live with
something I can easily stow away.
1/8" plate won't be a problem burning though it unless you flat out miss
your work piece and lay a good bead on the table. (Don't laugh, I've
seen it done more than once!) On the downside, 1/8" plate is not thick
enough to clamp things down, that's where a nice chunk of 1/4" to 1/2"
plate with suitable holes is just wonderful (we have a welding table
made from a piece of 3/4" die plate with various flame cut holes as well
as lots of threaded 1/2" holes.) The 1/8" plate will heat warp (or even
'pop' up) if you get a lot of heat on it, especially if doing A/C welding.
18"x24" would be a bit small for many of my projects, if you are doing
small stuff, it should be fine. You idea of clamping it in the vice is
fine although you may do one of those "weld, grind, file, weld, repeat
adnausaum" projects where you would want both the weld table and the
vice at the same time. (One of my main complaints with the Shopsmith
Cad fumes are NOT GOOD. And you will heat it up enough to oxidize the
surface one section at a time. Seems to me you are trying to do this in
an enclosed space. Not good a second time. I'd really rather use a
different piece of steel. :(
I have made three welding tables, all 4' x 10'. But then, I make a lot of
wrought iron (ornamental metal) and those are handy.
But for almost everything else, I find a solid table restrictive. i.e. You
cannot clamp things down as easily.
I don't see the logic in a solid table. Help me out. Am I missing
I have found that by making my tables with the proper spacing of components,
it makes things very easy to clamp, and you can get at a lot of places you
couldn't with a solid table.
I bought a 3/16" piece of steel, approximately 1.5x3 feet in size,
with one corner cut off diagonally. I wil make a welding table out of
I may well drill some holes in it for fixturing, though I have not
decided on that yet.
You can always burn a triangle hole or slot or ... with a plasma torch!
I know yo have one Iggie
Martin H. Eastburn
@ home at Lions' Lair with our computer lionslair at consolidated dot net
NRA LOH & Endowment Member
NRA Second Amendment Task Force Charter Founder
IHMSA and NRA Metallic Silhouette maker & member