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 have it.
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.
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?
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."
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 from warping.
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 do> I would like to have a little welding table for welding small