welding table thoughts

I am going to make a welding table for wire feed, I think I am going to make it 3'X5'X36" high with 1/2 expanded metal top using 1x2 thinwall tubing for
the frame and legs. Can I get by just doing four legs or would I need six legs? Most everything will be light weight.
I also saw one that the legs cross like X to support the table and fold up when not in use..They did theirs at 24X36 I think. You all think this will work at 3X5 and set the legs in 1' @ 12" in on both sides? That way I will not take up so much room and it would be mobile.
Would any of you have a good plain for a table that you made or wish you made instead and have not got to yet?
--
From the desk of Don D. "Pegleg"



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Unless your arms are quite long, a 24" width would be more accessible than a 36" width. My table is 12"x48" - longer work is supported by sawhorses. If you want a large flat area, why not make it 48"x48"?

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Don D wrote:

When designing a welding table you need to consider the size of what you intend to build on it and the weight of that stuff. The top of the table needs to be made of a material that gives adequate support and flatness and offers sufficient clamping options.
Most expanded metal is too flimsy and too wavy for me to consider for a welding table surface. But it would offer lots of options for clamping or bolting through it...
I don't care for a solid surface either, too heavy and to tough to maintain, you can weld a jig to the table, but if you do a lot of one-offs, soon the table is gnawed up from grinding off old jigs.
I work on a table that is about 5'-3" by 18'-6" with 1" Square tube forming a grid on 1' centers. For my applications, framing the skeletons of theatre scenery out of steel and aluminum box tube, this allows me to assure flatness and squareness. Without a solid surface, I can weld all the way to the bottom of most joints without fear of welding to the table and all the joints can either be clamped piece to piece or clamped at the nearest place of intersection with the table grid.
For the real odd or small bits, I have a small grid of 6" centers that I can toss onto one corner of the table, or I can use a plywood jig.
With regard to table strength, do not neglect the eventual need/desire to coax something into place with the Large Hammer. Design your table to be robust enough to really get the job done.
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Ernie turned me onto a slick welding table setup.
MDF it turns out is very flat and doesn't burn very easily.
Take a 2' x 4' quarter sheet, and slap it down on a couple of sawhorses. I use folding sawhorses and store the MDF next to the beer fridge when not in use.
The table doesn't conduct obviously, but I just ground directly to the workpiece.
If you've got something heavy, throw some square tube or channel underneath the MDF and it will support 100's of pounds.
My shop is small, so being able to stow it is key.
Jeff Dantzler Seattle, WA
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Don D wrote:

You can have a look at mine at <http://www.metalworking.com/DropBox/_2002_retired_files/WELDTBL.TXT That is the write up. The file names for the pictures are at the top of the write up.
Ted
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