Been a busy few months here, this spring has been interesting for sure.
We had been without a large fab table since Adam pulled up stakes last year. The small setup table had been good enough for the last year but now we have new jobs coming in and the need for a new table was paramount. I prefer a larger flat sheet table with threaded holes for attaching fixtures and clamping down components, the last table had random holes that fit the individual fixtures I built, the new one has a grid for more universal measurement and hold downs.
I started off by deciding exactly how large I wanted it to be. My last table was 4X16 foot and was perfect for building narrow classic truck frames. It was a bit narrow for some of the other cars we were contracted to build. This new table is 5X12 and only 20″ off the floor. The deck is 1/2″ A36 steel and reasonably flat and the frame is made from 8″X 1/4″ channel iron.
Here is a few drawings of what I intended to build.
While waiting for the steel to show, I plasma cut all the legs and cut all the gusset tubing and reinforcing materials.
Just as I wrapped up the cutting and the new top and beams showed up and got to cutting the beams into the correct lengths and then cut forklift holes for moving in the future and a series of “keyholes” in the side beams to attach different fixtures or just chain binders for straightening, repair or just holding down unruly frames and assemblies.
With all the parts cut and prepped, the layout begins and the sub assemblies get welded up and test fit.
Now the real assembly begins, I started by squaring one end and inserting the end gusset tubing and welded it solid.
I then installed the first of the two center support beams, squared it, diagonally measured it and welded it in place. Then moved to the second support beam and did the same procedure.
Last was the other end beam and gusset. It went in surprisingly well, only needing a bit of tension to take the twist out of the side beams. Of course I diagonally measured each cell of the frame as I went and also checked for squareness overall. It was square to less than 1/16″.
Frame done and square I installed the center leg and support then the four perimeter legs. Rolled it over and welded everything from the top.
Quick coat of paint and install the swivel feet, level the frame and put it in it’s final resting place.
The table top was placed on the frame and as luck would have it, my plate was very flat. Only minor waves which was a bit of a surprise. Instead of welding the top to the frame I decided to bolt it down with flat head hardware tapped into the frame. Four holes on each of the end beams and the two center beams hold it in place nicely. I also scored a heavy centerline mark in the surface to aid in building and fabricating.
The last task before put into use was to drill and tap 168 1/2-13 holes in the table surface.
Now the fun begins! Building new fixtureing and tooling. But at least we have a solid base to work from now.