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  • Flatten A Table???

    Inherited a very old and well used 4’x8’ steel welding table with a property purchase. It was used for pipe fabrication.

    The surface is composed of four 8’ strips of 1/2” plate.

    It’s not flat enough for example to lay out square tubing and have more than one leg on the same plane. It’s not just a matter of a couple bulges, there’s no position anywhere that’s flat except on small sections of an individual slat. None exist between two or more slats

    Is there a method I can use to flatten that surface? Criteria: must done on site by me, grinding is out, can’t haul it to a mill.

    Asking just in case there’s a way I can save the $1500 for a CertiFlat.
    =======================
    Miller 211 AutoSet
    Miller Dynasty 200 DX
    Thermal Dynamics Cutmaster 42

    "The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters"
    Francisco Goya

  • #2
    Build a jig with straight rails on the 8ft sides and a gantry across the 4ft span to hold an angle grinder, move it back and forth across the table taking down the high spots. Or drop a new top on top and have a 1" table...

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    • #3
      Pictures of the actual table would be nice. You could build a device similar to a Jim Crow rail bender and use a jack instead of a jack screw but it could take a long time depending on how straight you want it and how obsessive your are. Maybe it could be done with hear shrinking but that would also be a long arduous and expensive job.


      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=68WAQbgmiTY


      https://www.bing.com/images/search?v...=16&ajaxhist=0
      ---Meltedmetal

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      • #4
        Can you cut the strips out, straighten them and then reattach?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Bushytails View Post
          ... Or drop a new top on top and have a 1" table...
          That was my first thought.

          How flat do you need it, at what budget?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Bushytails View Post
            Build a jig with straight rails on the 8ft sides and a gantry across the 4ft span to hold an angle grinder, move it back and forth across the table taking down the high spots. Or drop a new top on top and have a 1" table...
            I should have thought of this. I've done with with a router on wood before. Worth thinking about! :-)
            ==============
            Miller 211 MVP
            Hobart StickMate LX 235
            Lincoln AC 225
            CutMaster 42

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Meltedmetal View Post
              Pictures of the actual table would be nice.
              https://1drv.ms/u/s!AlPmJAmrtSotgqcy...doiVg?e=PVhY9r

              https://1drv.ms/u/s!AlPmJAmrtSotgqcx...-OxUg?e=haIfXr
              Attached Files
              ==============
              Miller 211 MVP
              Hobart StickMate LX 235
              Lincoln AC 225
              CutMaster 42

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              • #8
                Originally posted by ryanjones2150 View Post
                Can you cut the strips out, straighten them and then reattach?
                I considered that. Lot of hot work and I doubt I'd get them all flat together without milling.
                ==============
                Miller 211 MVP
                Hobart StickMate LX 235
                Lincoln AC 225
                CutMaster 42

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                • #9
                  OK, I'm getting confused. Split personality?

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                  • #10
                    I have considered dropping a sheet of 1/2" on it. $500 and up for the steel. 1/3 the cost of a smaller Certiflat. But no holes (no, I'm not drilling several hundred holes :-), no guarantee of flat when I'm done. Outside a new table this is probably the option I would go with over the others so far.
                    ==============
                    Miller 211 MVP
                    Hobart StickMate LX 235
                    Lincoln AC 225
                    CutMaster 42

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                    • #11
                      You might start with bolting (so you can pull it tight) some thick stock on the underside to try to flatten out the gaps between the strips and any large high areas, weld the stock in place, remove the bolts, weld up the bolt holes, grind flush. Then put a piece of plywood on any remaining high areas and take your favorite BFH to it. Any flatter than that probably would require a grinding or cutting process of some form. If you still have your router jig, you could try an endmill in the router, speed turned down a bit, with a garden hose for flood coolant...

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Bushytails View Post
                        OK, I'm getting confused. Split personality?
                        Read one at a time. Look at the quote and then the response. Or, drive yourself nuts doing them all at the same time. :-)
                        ==============
                        Miller 211 MVP
                        Hobart StickMate LX 235
                        Lincoln AC 225
                        CutMaster 42

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Bushytails View Post
                          You might start with bolting (so you can pull it tight) some thick stock on the underside to try to flatten out the gaps between the strips and any large high areas, weld the stock in place, remove the bolts, weld up the bolt holes, grind flush. Then put a piece of plywood on any remaining high areas and take your favorite BFH to it. Any flatter than that probably would require a grinding or cutting process of some form. If you still have your router jig, you could try an endmill in the router, speed turned down a bit, with a garden hose for flood coolant...
                          No gaps. Bevels make it look there are though. My grandfather could BFH this thing when he was 68 but I'm not my grandfather. LOL
                          ==============
                          Miller 211 MVP
                          Hobart StickMate LX 235
                          Lincoln AC 225
                          CutMaster 42

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                          • #14
                            I guess it depends if you’re in a hurry for table or not. If you are, I agree with the slap another sheet over it recommendation. If not, cut it apart and rebuild it. Not really many more options. Blanchard grinding would work if you had one.

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                            • #15
                              Some nice looking blue machines on that cart.
                              Richard
                              West coast of Florida

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