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 Post subject: Build Table Questions
PostPosted: August 19, 2020, 8:16 pm 
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Joined: September 15, 2018, 11:37 am
Posts: 32
Just designed my build table, but I am stuck as to which table top I should go with. After I am done with the build, I will be cutting the table in half to create a 4' X 4' work table. Unfortuantely, I rushed during my order and I purchased 4" flat instead of 4" X 1" Box. Not a huge deal as I would be supporting the flat halfway with 2" X 1" box underneath the center.

I will be mounting swivel wheels under each support and thread all with nuts welded to the frame for leveling.

My questions are:

Which would you chooses and why?

What would you change on either design?

All opinions, advice, or ideas are more than welcome!

Option 1: Solid 1/8" sheet metal. This option would force me to weld scrap over my frame tubes in order to hold support the frame structure during initial construction, but would also be considerably stronger and easier to ensure flatness.

Attachment:
Solid top.PNG
Solid top.PNG [ 33.94 KiB | Viewed 1848 times ]


Option 2: Slat top with 4" flats that are 1/8" thick. This option would allow easier use of clamps to hold the tubes in place, but would require significant more time during initial construction to ensure the flatness of the surface.

Attachment:
Slat top.PNG
Slat top.PNG [ 66.15 KiB | Viewed 1848 times ]


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PostPosted: August 19, 2020, 10:57 pm 
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Joined: January 11, 2017, 11:06 pm
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Location: Alberta
I just tacked my frame right to the table here and there. But I also made a torsion box table with MDF top and bottom. Very flat, very stable.


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PostPosted: August 19, 2020, 11:11 pm 
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Joined: September 30, 2005, 1:28 am
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Location: Sunny-Okanagan, Canada, eh?!
I did a torsion box as well. Three sheets of MDF, with the center (and ends) being cut from one of the sheets. Whatever that width would be.... 7" or so?

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PostPosted: August 19, 2020, 11:21 pm 
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Since I have small workshop, I was hoping to repurpose the build table as my fabrication table after the car is a roller. Hence the reason I didn’t go with a MDF sheet. However, I still could use a MDF sheet on top of the frame and safe the metal for after the car is a roller.


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PostPosted: August 20, 2020, 4:23 pm 
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Joined: January 2, 2009, 1:45 pm
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Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia
I made a welding table using a 1/8 th mild steel plate top and it distorted when welded to the perimeter frame. Flat it isn't - but it's not a bird bath either. Bird wading pool?

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PostPosted: August 20, 2020, 4:37 pm 
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Location: Sunny-Okanagan, Canada, eh?!
I have not built a big steel build table, but -I- would NOT weld it. I'd design it to be bolts so I can assemble/disassemble/move it, with adjustable legs so I can level it.

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PostPosted: August 20, 2020, 4:43 pm 
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Joined: October 19, 2012, 9:25 pm
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Location: Summerville, SC
My table has 3/4 MDF with 5/16 steel plate resting on top. I'm extremely happy with it.

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PostPosted: August 20, 2020, 5:36 pm 
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Joined: April 26, 2008, 6:06 pm
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I don't mean any offense by this, but I wouldn't choose either table as shown. 1/8" sheet is really just not stiff enough to be a good table top.

There's a nearly unlimited number of ways to skin this cat though too. You could add more (at least 2 lengthwise and 4 widthwise) supports (and maybe turn them on their side) to the frame with option 1. You could add frame supports under each of the slats with option 2. You could combine either of these with countersunk bolting the 1/8" sheet to a plywood or MDF top. You could simply combine Option 1 and Option 2 with a layer of plywood or MDF fastened/adhered between them.

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PostPosted: August 20, 2020, 6:40 pm 
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No offense taken. When I ordered my metal, I ordered the flat slats because they didn’t have the box I was looking for. Due to my lack of knowledge on the subject I thought the 1/8” thickness would be enough to support the frame build until I got it to roller status and then take the slats or flat off in order to replace it with thicker sheet or with box slats. I may go with the combination of the flat for half and slats on the other half or some mixture in between. The goal is to just get myself to the point where I can have a completed frame and suspension. After that, the table will get rebuilt smaller and taller as a fab table with a proper top. I’m taking all of the criticism in and trying to plan out my best course of action.

So please, continue with the feedback. Everything is helpful!


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PostPosted: January 6, 2021, 6:04 pm 
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Joined: April 15, 2011, 10:39 pm
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Location: Dallas, PA
I built mine from “drops” from a local steel supplier. I-beams for main beams, c-channel for cross supports, tubing for legs and small I-beams for moveable cross supports. Very simple to build, easy to disassembled and stores in very little space.


Attachments:
061AF177-9A25-4A2E-899C-13EF6B772B9F.jpeg
061AF177-9A25-4A2E-899C-13EF6B772B9F.jpeg [ 93.34 KiB | Viewed 770 times ]
2C9A155A-7250-41CF-8464-908156751FFE.jpeg
2C9A155A-7250-41CF-8464-908156751FFE.jpeg [ 117.07 KiB | Viewed 770 times ]

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PostPosted: January 7, 2021, 11:04 am 
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Joined: January 27, 2010, 1:11 pm
Posts: 466
Location: Jefferson City, MO
Castrol wrote:
Due to my lack of knowledge on the subject I thought the 1/8” thickness would be enough to support the frame build until I got it to roller status


With minimal supports the 1/8" would be enough to support the frame, and even the whole car, but when you weld the table together without significant supports your table top will warp significantly. I got my table used, but it has a 1/4" top and 3 x 3 square tubing perimeter and cross supports and it even has a warp ~1/8 from the center to each of the ends. I was able to account for it in the build easily enough.

In regards to slats vs solid top, it depends on what you plan to use the table for after your build is done. If you do a lot of welding and fabrication, then the slat top would probably be the better option. If you mostly do other types of projects and just need a work bench with the occasional welding, then the solid top. I tacked my frame to the table until the frame was fully tacked and even partially welded before cutting it loose. This was even more secure than clamps as clamps can loosen or get bumped.

You may consider a hybrid. Get the 1" x 4" tubes and build your table and frame. once your frame is complete and you cut it down you can top the 1 x 4's with the 1/8" sheet either bolted (so its removable) or welded on.

Here is my table with the frame in process

Attachment:
20140406_141448.jpg
20140406_141448.jpg [ 136.96 KiB | Viewed 708 times ]

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