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heavy duty work table

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  • heavy duty work table

    New customer of mine, guy owns a fleet of some of the biggest dump trucks I’ve ever seen, wants me to build him a heavy duty work table. Figured I’d ask you guys for what you’d want or something you’ve seen or dreamt of in a heavy work table.

    Here’s what he says it must have:

    1. Be heavy duty
    2. Have good quality wheels to move it around
    3. A good vise
    4. Be able to hold about 4K lbs.

    So it’s pretty much a blank canvas. I want to do a good job for this guy and he’s willing to pay for top quality everything. So maybe a tool box, drawers, small crane, wood chipper, coke machine....

    Maybe someone on here actually works or has worked on heavy dump trucks like this and has an idea of what would make this table a standout.

    Pictures accepted.

  • #2
    I have worked in a truck shop installing box and hoist stuff, truck trailer repairs. Heavy parts, cutting, welding, heating, hammering, wrenching and fluids... I would have a slight lip for fluid containment, an edge to clamp to or hook a chain, screened lower tray, recessed upper drawers for small hand tools. Most have tool boxes so that should be required to hold or store much. Hooks or pegs to hang stuff on the legs. A section with a lid exposing a cutting table and collection tray. The lower table tray recessed allowing for a chair or stool to be used for assembly work. I'd plywood under a heavy top plate to dampen sound, and the bottom tray strong enough to hold parts, materials, angle frame with flattened expanded metal with plywood inserts over top.


    • #3
      All good ideas. I like the plywood dampener idea.


      • #4
        Well for me just #3 is gonna make him pucker, cause my idea of a "good" vice is an old school Wilton. That is if he is gonna clamp something real hard and bash it repeatedly with a sledgehammer.
        I myself would try to keep it simple. The more junk you add to it the less versatile it will become. IMO
        I would want to know what jobs he has in mind.
        Is he going to rebuild Allison transmissions and the like, or maybe leaning towards welding some?
        Having one "all in one" box could be a problem if 2 or more guys are doing similar jobs in separate parts of the shop.
        We started going to using carts for things. For example, we have a riveting cart and a porta power cart. Flat spots are junk collectors, but lower shelves on tables can be flat out hiding spots to bury crap for years!!
        I love the fluid retaining lip idea but then you might need a draining plan for it.
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        • #5
          Funny, we were talking about what vise he wanted on yesterday afternoon and how much they are. I’m with ya on the old Wiltons too, and he ain’t gettin’ mine!

          One thing he specifically mentioned was working on those big transmissions. He has a fork lift for moving things around and has decided he doesn’t want wheels on it, just to be able to pick it from either long side with the fork lift.


          • #6
            I like everything on wheels. Good Albion Kingpinless Casters roll easy with 1,000's of pounds on the table. I moved the table around the other week with 3500 pounds on it, just man power. He'll be happy it's mobile, it will be in the way and the forklift will be busy.


            • #7
              Good suggestion. I’ll push him towards that idea. Thank you.


              • #8
                If this guy is working on Transmissions.......when we used to rebuild truck transmissions like Fuller 13-18 speeds we built 4-wheel dollies that look similar to an oversized motor stand but support the tranny from it's own mounts in either the vertical or horizontal plane with full ability to rotate 360 oil pan underneath catches the excess fluid that was left over after draining...........this really has to be done in conjunction with an overhead hoist of some sort........unless this dude is going to try and lift these trannys and roll them around with a fork lift?

                On a work bench in a heavy commercial shop keep it simple.........4'x8' or larger w/a 3/4-1" plate on top.......on wheels and the new hard phenolic wheels are much better on hard surfaces than cast iron wheels which roll like a truck while the plastic ones move like a sports car........swivels on all corners with brakes and notched steering plates which allow you to lock a pair for steering if need be.

                a removable vise at one end plugged in like a towing receiver works as sometimes the vise just gets in the way when working on large projects.


                • #9
                  Check out these casters, McMaster Carr #2435T31 $158 or 2435T32 $169 2100 and 2400 lb.cap, Polyurethane wheels, they roll real nice. I've got 3 tables with 1/2" tops and one with 5/8. the 1/2" tops pulled flat to the frame under them. The 5/8 laughed at me and kept it's slight bow. The frame under the tops is 2" x 4" 3/16" wall tubing I've had the heavy side of 4000 pounds on them with no ill effects.
                  Last edited by Oldgrandad; 08-15-2019, 04:32 PM.


                  • #10
                    Here's one of my tables. It's 4' x 8' x 34 3/4" tall


                    • #11
                      That’s pretty much what I had in mind. This guy has a fairly small shop, but it’s brand new and he had a fancy epoxy coating put on the floor, so those poly coated wheels would be awesome.

                      I assume he’s been using that forklift to yard those motors and trannys out.

                      I’m glad you mentioned that but about the 1/2” vs 5/8”. I was looking to go up to 3/4, but that seems like a lot of weight for no more benefit over 1/2”. As much as I’d love as heavy of a table as I can get.

                      Sometimes, the steel yard here has some drops from really heavy plate, they sell them for a savings over new in the 4x8. So I may have a range of sizes to choose from. We’ll see.

                      Thanks for all the suggestions!


                      • #12
                        Here's my print for the table I built. Your welcome to use it or not, no hurt feelings if you don't. The 3" inset of the frame is for SP11 vise grip clearance and strong hand clamps reach in perfectly to clamp onto the 2 x 4 frame. The casters called out are from Grainger but are only 1,000 lb. capacity. I know I've exceeded their capacity a few times but they haven't folded yet. Good luck with your table build. I'm sure your customer will be pleased with whatever you build him.


                        • #13
                          Forgot to mention, with the 5/8 top the table weighs about 1350 lbs. I didn't get a weight on the 1/2" plate the 5/8" plate was 816 lbs.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Oldgrandad View Post
                            ... I didn't get a weight on the 1/2" plate the 5/8" plate was 816 lbs.
                            80% of 816 is 653.


                            • #15
                              Methinks the casters for use on a table rolling on an epoxied slab, which will weigh over 1500 lbs bare and hold four times as much should be rated at 3500 lbs or more. Maybe something like this (just the product of research, I'm not affiliated). Good luck.
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