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Welding Station Tabletop - steel or aluminum?

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  • fun4now
    replied
    happy to help

    glad you like it and hope it helps you out. the washers were my way of making butterfly nuts that as you say can be operated with gloves. its no good if it takes 2 wrenches and a third hand to hold wile putting it into position, if ya had all that yoiu could just use the 3rd had to hold the part.
    i'm fairly new to TIG so tacking is still a chore of sorts, this makes it much less of one. i'm shore we all have one of the helping fingers but they dont work so well up on the side.
    so to those inspired to build one i hope it works as well for you as it dose for me., and dont forget to give me a vote in the contest.

    Leave a comment:


  • Samurai Dave
    replied
    Outstanding Helping Hands!

    fun4now

    Terrific stuff! Good old American ingenuity at its finest. Great approach for holding parts, without maring them, and minimizing the effects of the dreaded magenetic flux effect.

    I LOVE the washers welded to the bolts. Even with gloves, those will be easy to assemble and get plenty of torque to fasten tightly without a wrench. Dipping the base bracket in tool-handle-rubber paint is a great way to prevent maring the work piece. NICE!

    I am inspired by your idea and will fashion some of my own Helping Hands for use on my future projects. THANK YOU so very much for sharing!

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  • fun4now
    replied
    thanks. it wasent long after i started TIG welding i fond the need for some thing other than a magnet. magnets are useless on aluminum and on small parts for TIG. they can play havic on MIG also but you can just hold the lil sucker there and tack it with MIG so not as big a deal. but TIG is just not happening near magnets. evry thing might as well be aluminum.

    i have used it on a number of projects with good results. being able to bend the suport rod adds even more flexability to it. and its cheap to make and add to as needed. you could buy butterfly nuts but i had the washers so i just used them.

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  • JonnyTIG
    replied
    That's a pretty cool tool you've designed. Works like an ajustable jig of sorts, for many projects.

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  • fun4now
    replied
    sorry i forgott where i was suposed to post it.
    i made this for holding little to med. sized stuff in place when TIGing and or using aluminum where the magnet wont do the trick.
    its just some left over stuff put togather with a few screws and home made butterfly nuts with a old battery charger clamp to hang on.
    its realy a verry simple design. i use a flat pice 1"X3" to start off to alow me to place it on a magnet thats stuck to the table if using aluminum. i also have a smll aluminum starter pice that can be clamped to the aluminum but have recently found some blue dip in rubber coating to add to my starter pice so it will work for both ataching to the magnet or clamping to aluminum where you dont want steel clamped to it. this way it wont marr the aluminum.
    from that made a few diferent lingth 1/8" wire extentions to reach out to diferent distances and be able to bend the wire as needed if needed. add a few ofset atachments to alow you to ajust up, down, left, right , as needed then atach the battery clamp to hold the part. you can use as many or as few pices as needed per the job in question and modify it as needed to suit the job at hand weather it be aluminum or steel, weather you magnet to the work or to the table and reach out to the work, or just magnet to the work wherever its needed but still far enough back to not interfear with the TIG bead.you can also hold a 1/8" tab in the center of a 1" wide serface or even wider if needed where a clamp just wont do it.
    its not the most beutifull thing in the world but it gets the job done and i had the extra 1" flat bar handy. i supose there could be some better options but its what i had and i only had to buy some nut's, bolts, and washers at $1.78 a pound from TSC. less than 1 lbs. i had the battery clamp handy from a 12V pump that i wired direct. i supose you could buy the clamp seperate or if you had a 1" C-clamp you could use it also, but the smallest C-clamp i have is 4"
    so on to the pic's

    H.H.003 is with the aluminum starter clamped to aluminum and reaching out to the tab to be welded in the center of the 1" square tube.

    H.H.004 is with it atached to a magnet thats atached to my work table and again reaching out to center the tab, this time its held up on the side just to show versitility should you not be able to flip the part so the tab is on the bottem.

    H.H.009 is steel with the magnet on the side just incase you cant put it on the top serface for any reason ??? could be other parts there or maybe the way its installed in the car(like a role cage maybe) and you have to be far enough away to not have the magnet interfear with the TIG arc.

    H.H.011 is just a pic of the vereious parts used. the blue one is the one coverd in the rubber dip for tool handles. its not being used at the moment because i just found the rubber Dip stuff and its still not dry compleatly yet. but it will eventualy replace the small aluminum pice as i will be able to clamp it to the aluminum if needed without maring the serface.

    as you may or may not be able to tell from the pic. all the bolts are welded into place so you only have to use the butterfly nut to tighten so you can hold it in place with one hand and tighten with the other as the bolt wont turn wile trying to snug ut up to hold its position.
    granet its got its limitations. parts need to be fairly small about 4"X4" would probly be its max depending on the wait and shape. but if its bigger than that you would be able to use the magnet on one end wile tacking the other end so it wopuld not be needed any way right.
    shouldent take more than about an Hr. to throw togather enough pices to have a verry usefull holder and it can be added to as needed for the project. if the tab has a hole in it yu could skip the clamp and just bolt it right to the end of the tool till its TIGed or tacked.
    it may well not work in all situations but with a few swivel pices and a bend if needed you should be able to hold most small stuff right where you need it.

    hope this is of some help even though its not high teck. or computer controled with voice comand.
    Attached Files

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  • JonnyTIG
    replied
    Fun 4 now,

    I've read you stating using a place mat... But not building a table for differing types of welding... The tables I've used have been for one type of metal or another.. Building a hybrid is the way to go if one is going to utilize it for various projects. Nothing to do with thick heads and such.

    Leave a comment:


  • Samurai Dave
    replied
    Magic trick?

    Originally posted by fun4now View Post
    i have a solution to the tig arc wander with magnets. i'll post ya a pic tomarow, not only will it stop arc wander but it will work on aluminum.
    SWEET! I look forward to seeing it.

    Leave a comment:


  • denkab
    replied
    iv never seen an aluminum table, it makes it hard to tack your projects to it. and also it is more expensive and yes it does dent easier. so unless you do alot of aluminum welding i wouldnt use aluminum table top

    Leave a comment:


  • fun4now
    replied
    i have a solution to the tig arc wander with magnets. i'll post ya a pic tomarow, not only will it stop arc wander but it will work on aluminum.

    Leave a comment:


  • Samurai Dave
    replied
    Thanks for the GREAT ideas

    Originally posted by fun4now View Post
    OH SHORE now its a good idea. , i said do that back in the 3rd post.
    i supose it just takes a wile to sink in, you know how us guys are with thick heads and all.
    >you know how us guys are with thick heads and all

    fun4now

    Hey, I resemble that remark...

    Please see my earlier posts for feedback (#15 on your Placemat idea, and #18 on your warning about non-magnetic aluminum).

    Happy Fathers Day!

    Leave a comment:


  • Tex
    replied
    OK, FAT FAB has the most sensible idea but I can hardly believe you couldn't figure it out by yourself. Sometimes you can waste a lot of good metal overmaking crazy specialty tables and whatever. Unless you've got a good line on free scrap metal keep it simple and cheap.

    Leave a comment:


  • Steve
    replied
    Ultra cool serious welding tabletop... 1 x 5' x 8' steel fully supported tabletop. Nice and flat. Make the support of 1/4 x 3 tubing for legs and platform. Al and steel don't slide ganst one another very well. Al doesn't like much else but itself.

    Leave a comment:


  • fun4now
    replied
    OH SHORE now its a good idea. , i said do that back in the 3rd post.
    i supose it just takes a wile to sink in, you know how us guys are with thick heads and all.

    Leave a comment:


  • JonnyTIG
    replied
    I'm glad you liked the idea (:

    Leave a comment:


  • Samurai Dave
    replied
    Hybrid steel & aluminum

    Originally posted by JonnyTIG View Post
    I have to agree with FAT FAB. Welding aluminum on a steel top leaves stray arcs on the work due to poor grounding. An aluminum top doesn't mark the work or cause arcing. For SS, the Aluminum top acts as a good heat sink to control distortion. A steel top allows you to weld fixtures to it for forming, or jigs, or just tack welding the piece directly to the top. I've used both tops, but for primarily doing either types of materials. A good compromise to this dilemma would be to build the table out of steel, and have half the top steel, and the other half aluminum. When I set up my home shop I will build a table half and half, getting the bennefits of both worlds. The cheapest way to buy aluminum is to find a shop building things with primarily aluminum, and buy a piece of crop from them. Those shops usually will sell a piece of crop for scrap value, usually about 1/10 the cost of buying through a regular supplier.
    Indeed. A hybrid design would give the durabilty of steel and the advantage of aluminum, allowing the best of both worlds. GREAT idea!

    Leave a comment:

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