STRAIGHTENING A WELDING TABLE TOP

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Posted by Chris Ray on October 24, 1997 at 11:40:29:

This is part of a thread that appeared on the ArtMetal mailing list:

Gene Olsen writes:

I got a 1" plate 5' x 8' for a table some years ago. unfortunately it is cupped.

> I have worked around it, but it is a pain.

> Does anybody have any suggestions on takeing the cup out of a plate like this. >">

My guess Gene is that there might be a way to remove the cup in the welding plate by heat, allowing the depressed areas to shrink. For the size table you have, it might be worth the effort. Folks who do specialized body work on cars know how to do this with sheet metal and I would think the same principal applies to plate, only with a bit more gusto.

I too have one of my small welding tables with a bump in the middle but this table is cast steel and the only way to remove it is by planing or grinding. The problem with doing that is then you'll have problems with the internal stresses in the heavy material when removing even a 1/8" layer off the high spot and it could then readjust itself into something worse.

In a message dated 97-10-24 03:37:35 EDT, osan@netlabs.net (Demon Buddha) writes:

>You'd have to drill a lot of holes along the line of the angle iron, >but when you were done, you'd have a torsion box, essentially, >and NOTHING you're likely to place on it in the shop will bend it.

The principal of a torsion box is so beautiful and is the greatest approach for some things. I've made them out of wood for work surfaces and my swinging doors in the main studio but wonder how this would work for a welding table. I'm not thinking of using the 1" plate so much as one made from 3/8" plate instead. It would be fine for a layout table and fairly simple to do using even 1/4" plate but for heating and welding then you would have serious local warping problems so the mass of a heavier plate is better, of course.

The advantage of a torsion box is rigidity coupled with lightness of weight. To tension a 1" plate with a cup in the center rather than a bow is something I wouldn't know how to approach with the available equipment in my place. For a 5' x 8' x 1" plate with a bow instead of a cup in the center then maybe there is one other option to consider.

How about an angular truss down the center of the plate. You could then drill out a number of holes that align with the center of the truss bar (a "vee" with a vertical member) then using 1" bolts and a heavy back up bar, you can begin to pull the two surfaces together to mate, weld in place starting from the center outward, remove the bolts and plug weld the holes. Rebuild the table legs around the truss spline and there you have it.

Chris Ray


Follow Ups:


I got a 1" plate 5' x 8' for a table some years ago. unfortunately it is cupped. : > I have worked around it, but it is a pain. : > Does anybody have any suggestions on takeing the cup out of a plate like this. >> : My guess Gene is that there might be a way to remove the cup in the welding plate by heat, allowing the depressed areas to shrink. For the size table you have, it might be worth the effort. Folks who do specialized body work on cars know how to do this with sheet metal and I would think the same principal applies to plate, only with a bit more gusto. : I too have one of my small welding tables with a bump in the middle but this table is cast steel and the only way to remove it is by planing or grinding. The problem with doing that is then you'll have problems with the internal stresses in the heavy material when removing even a 1/8" layer off the high spot and it could then readjust itself into something worse. : >In a message dated 97-10-24 03:37:35 EDT, osan@netlabs.net (Demon Buddha) writes: : >You'd have to drill a lot of holes along the line of the angle iron, >but when you were done, you'd have a torsion box, essentially, >and NOTHING you're likely to place on it in the shop will bend it. : The principal of a torsion box is so beautiful and is the greatest approach for some things. I've made them out of wood for work surfaces and my swinging doors in the main studio but wonder how this would work for a welding table. I'm not thinking of using the 1" plate so much as one made from 3/8" plate instead. It would be fine for a layout table and fairly simple to do using even 1/4" plate but for heating and welding then you would have serious local warping problems so the mass of a heavier plate is better, of course. : The advantage of a torsion box is rigidity coupled with lightness of weight. To tension a 1" plate with a cup in the center rather than a bow is something I wouldn't know how to approach with the available equipment in my place. For a 5' x 8' x 1" plate with a bow instead of a cup in the center then maybe there is one other option to consider. : How about an angular truss down the center of the plate. You could then drill out a number of holes that align with the center of the truss bar (a "vee" with a vertical member) then using 1" bolts and a heavy back up bar, you can begin to pull the two surfaces together to mate, weld in place starting from the center outward, remove the bolts and plug weld the holes. Rebuild the table legs around the truss spline and there you have it. : Chris Ray " />


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