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  • #16
    Its a better investment than a new boat, a motorcycle, maybe even a TV by some standards and I know guys had 5 large or more in a radio. By modern standards and for some its not extravagant. As for all the reasons you listed as a mechanical concern or aa a money making concern for a general shop no, not worth it if it is at any expense of a good basic bench and some clamps. I have seen some crude operations would have benifited from some simple upgrades, these were going concerns with real payroll etc but so much of the worlds real craft work is done with selection of tools would fit in a 5 gallon bucket and torch/welder. Now days a grinder.,,,, battery,,, drill maybe.
    Shopping is different today,,, I am willing to let some stores keep some stuff until I really need it. We got a new auto parts store and for a while it let me whittle some stuff down. I was gonna future proof a little for a small start up but think I might try to limp in and I know where its at.
    I am comitted to buying another little battery drill I share with my truck is kind of irritating
    Last edited by Sberry; 11-15-2021, 11:09 AM.

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    • #17
      If I was starting over would have a modest plasma and some investment in a really food finger brake so I could recover painted appliance sheet metal for salvage would be on top of my list. Maybe a wheel for semi restoration or furniture design and a paint booth. II might build illiminated sign boxes and channel letters. All artsy/craft/utility furniture from free or salvage, low sale price conversion etc but the hitch is reallty got to be able to finish and paint a little, thats what hits the fan in this type of resto/fab work.

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      • #18
        Yes, build it from salvage, its why you have fab tools to some extent. I do buy some equipment but usually do to the fact it is really cheaper if a guy has to pay for parts and on not that I couldnt do it but the design has been proven and we wanna work it, would simply cost too much to hand build. I believe you could buy the stock to some extent or similar or make a hybrid, why invest in all that fitting you may never use. I have a couple pullers I bought, a couple special things and could have looked harder but they did pay eventually but I simply fab little stuff one at a time as I need mostly from stock cuts ro make a collection way faster and cost effective than I could buy to prepare so to speak.
        I think a guy SHOULD have suffecient bench top if he works but doesnt need to be sophisticated or a liability so to speak. You want to insure expensive items etc and not all that many HF wrenches stolen and find a plate, find some legs, flip it upright.
        I actually have some bench stories. I worked up and down the trades and some job shops, not always long but several and did some my own. I must have done a dozen benches here and there at job shops and about 300 total for a couple different plants. those I had modular and could change some dimensions depending on top size. I won the bid over 5$, I was 5 over the next one look like crap, I stoof right there, does this look the same? ha
        But I been in shops where the owners come dragging something home or the maintenance staff gets a hair up on a pet project etc and they are often a real drag in the end. So,,, I am slumming and hire on at an equipment dealer supplier and they need a welder, thru a friend I say ok and the guy hands me a stinger and tacks a plate up sitting on the bench and he just gonna figure if I can run a rod I guess and I say,,, mind if I change it and clamp it overhead to the bench, I run a rod, ok well even though they should clean up they decide they want a bench like ole Tony built but it was an awkward fugger and so useless it got covered. Must have taken weeks. So the guy asks my opin and I sketch a little on the floor and he sends me and the gopher to the yard. They made haul cuts for free and I bought a plate. They had an ironworker angle shear.
        That was about coffee break and he came back in the afternoon to see how we were getting on and I was a smart azz and assembled it like legos, tacked up pn its feet and was putting a piece of screen we scored and couple shelf brackets on it. When he was happy I reach under with about a dozen 5/32 lo hy and weld it. They were not real thrilled I went to the bar at lunch but they were not used to seeing a project like that assembled that quickly.
        We pulled the plate out of the pickup on to forks and fab it on its back.
        I still remember, ask the guy where he want it and he ask if it could be relatively level, yes we set it on 4 plates under the legs and leveled it.

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        • #19
          Was they made up some replacement flues and face plates for asphalt kettles. Guy that did it when they hire him on really did know, the different models, where they leak and some design flaws he had some fix for and also an improvement in maintenance and economy not in some models. He could make them better and fix them for 1/2 the cost of new most of the time as well as do a few custom apps.. As far as prestigious welding jobs it was not but it was kind of interesting.
          My claim to fame there was I could seal weld with a buzzbox,,, ha
          Last edited by Sberry; 11-15-2021, 12:15 PM.

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          • #20
            thank you for your valuable advice, I believe that a similar bench is suitable if you have to do "clean" jobs, ie tig welding aluminum or stainless steel if you have to weld and assemble pieces of iron, a rough bench is more useful, right?









            https://youtu.be/4MDIE9wHfHc



            https://youtu.be/KCdwQ_qPXvA?list=RD...tIr8lPkSzD4XOw





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            • #21
              A proper fab table, the ones with all the holes, are a pretty amazing asset to have in your shop. Ya, sometimes you drop stuff through the holes, but it doesn’t take long to learn that if you set a handful of 1/4” (that’s probably 6mm to you) nuts on the table, about 1/3 of them are going to the floor, so I better set them in a tray of some kind. Seems simple enough.

              But the fab table is like anything else in the shop, it’s great when you need it, but all the accessories to make it really worth its while is what drives the cost up. Fixturing and clamping make some jobs much easier and more accurate. For me, the flexibility of being able to build a fixture with the fancy fab table alone makes it valuable. I don’t always use it to its full potential though. I would find it unlikely that you’d regret purchasing a proper fab table. My only regret is I wish I had got the next size bigger and heavier.

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              • #22
                That looks pretty good. The main thing might be to add or set a new top on it with some overhang for clamping on one end or better end and side. I use same bench for all, I do keep grease and oil off though. I actually have and like 2 benches, one as a vise stand so to speak so the fab table doesnt have obstructions.
                Your bench is nice size, as I mention, new plate sit on top with overhang and make it longer on one end to change the shape a bit from square to rectangle. I dont like too big or wide, good to be able to reach over and get your tape you set on the other side and not so big you have to pack a lunch to walk around. Most things that get bigger I do on the floor on occasion. Obviously if I had a specialty would tailor to that but I am very general,,,, I rig up for the one off and get back to my general setup as soon as I can.
                Its easy to do a few things and think they will last forever and then the features get parked.

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                • #23
                  I like what you have. I think you are somewhere near where you should be, in the process of improving but dont think there is real gain at this point for pricey parts. Its also a steel world,,, yes, I can do aluminum or stainless but cant even remember the last stainless and only reason I do alum is I have a lot of equipment most people do not have. On occasion a customer brings a piece but as I mention earlier I mke do some for that so all that stuff isnt in the way for the steel I do 999 jobs for 1 alloy.

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                  • #24
                    I agree with Ryan, some guys love it. I am throwing the nuts on the table and dont care for the specialized parts, I got enough stuff as it is without mixing that in with it. But,,,, it certainly can work. I also understand want and treating yourself,,, those are great reasons also.

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                    • #25
                      thanks for your useful advice, how would you do it?

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                      • #26
                        Click image for larger version

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ID:	618338 Welding / fixture tables are an investment in any well run multipurpose shop..........level, strong, able to fixture and attach things quickly and very multipurpose if you build them correctly........I've built many and building my last one right now.....4'x 8'x.750 thick....adjustable work height from 32" to 41" , 6" inch grid pattern w/ 5/8" holes, on HD casters with 6 screw jacks to level it anywhere in the shop......full pull 600 lb. 40" drawer slides below for storage.....and when your playing carpenter easy to secure a 4'x 8' sheet of plywood on top for those needs also... Click image for larger version

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                        • #27
                          Fancy!

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                          • #28
                            That is a work of art. Its in a different league.

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                            • #29
                              , Mine is literally scrap tacked together. I wouldnt mind a new top and if I was going to really do that would start over. It would be 3x3 angle leg and top stiffener and 4 inch side overhang, a cutting box on one end. and a slightly custom overhang on the other with a couple holes and a slot or 2. Shelf underneath one side and clamp hanger on the other. My vise on another modest bench bolted to the floor, dont care much about its design except for a place to lay and hang a few tools.

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                              • #30
                                I would make it 6 wider and 6 inches longer if I was starting over. Click image for larger version

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