Need advice on building a fixture table

I'm planning to make a welding fixture table like picrel but small (around 60x80cm) and out of 5mm sheet steel, a fab shop near me can laser cut it and I have the DXFs
From what I could find online, hole diameter is cca 16mm as standard but I think this will weaken the material too much. Is there any reason not to use 8mm holes and allen head bolts as pins? Larger pieces can be secured by using heavy angle iron fixed to the table with the same bolts instead of using clamps.
How do I weld and assemble everything so it's dead flat if I only have a steel plate table? Is there a way to cut corners and cheap out on some parts without screwing it up too much?

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  1. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >5mm sheet steel
    That's pretty thin for a welding fixture table (.1968" in American units). Can you not go thicker?

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      This, it will do its best to turn into a pringles chip after a few projects, you want a thick table top to keep heat differentials that cause permanent distortions down

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      No, this is home shop setup only, anything thicker would be too heavy and too expensive. Maybe one day but I'll have to get by with this thickness. I think the side plates should give it some rigidity, my old table is also made from 5 mil and it didn't warp, I just don't like it's size

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        I mostly tig weld too, the fixtures would be used mainly for tacking to minimize heat

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Too thin so it should be kept as small as possible and will minimum amount of welds

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        >welding table
        ok

        >home setup
        ok..

        https://i.imgur.com/7RehwN6.png

        I'm planning to make a welding fixture table like picrel but small (around 60x80cm) and out of 5mm sheet steel, a fab shop near me can laser cut it and I have the DXFs
        From what I could find online, hole diameter is cca 16mm as standard but I think this will weaken the material too much. Is there any reason not to use 8mm holes and allen head bolts as pins? Larger pieces can be secured by using heavy angle iron fixed to the table with the same bolts instead of using clamps.
        How do I weld and assemble everything so it's dead flat if I only have a steel plate table? Is there a way to cut corners and cheap out on some parts without screwing it up too much?

        >60x80
        >5mm
        >laser cut

        if you aren't going to take it seriously then you might as well just get an aluminium optical breadboard 600x900 from china for 300 quid. flat, thick, heavy, drilled and tapped.
        yeah its aluminium so what. check ebay for similar.

        • 4 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          I've worked with less, it's not really ideal but you can make fixtures on a small piece if you don't mind wasting time on repositioning it which isn't a concern if you're just making shit at home instead of serial production.
          I have an auxiliary foldable bench that's just over a foot in length and width and it gets used as much as my main table, good for welding small crap

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Why don't u just buy vevor one kek.

        • 4 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          I have big square tubing for the frame laying around and the top won't be more than a hundred bucks

          • 4 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            Vevor is 1.5 hundred of bucks

            • 3 weeks ago
              Anonymous

              We're on a diy board, what's the point of solving any obstacle by buying everything premade? What if you live in a different part of the world and there's no company making tables like that in your country

              • 3 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                we're on diy and you're talking about having the table made by some shop, that's not diy at all

              • 3 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                You can make it at home, it'll just take 25 drill bits, 10 hours of work and will probably turn out bad. Why? Because laser cutters can make precise slots where the entire construction fits together and holds the plates before you even weld them. I use an ironing board with a clean plate clamped to it, no need for fixtures since I don't fabricate frames, they're ironically the hardest part to do correctly in welding kek

  2. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Hi anon, i built mine about two years ago. It has 16mm diameter holes and 5mm steel plates, just like your idea.
    16mm is a standard for a reason, you will find out that a small 8mm screw allen head bolt is just too small.
    It wont make any difference on the strength of the plate.
    Making it dead flat is impossible if you weld it together.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Nice table anon
      I'm not afraid of laying welds but the distortion could completely screw it up, but apparently the certiflat design minimizes it as I saw a few builds online. I was planning to set the table top on a couple of big 4x4 tubes because I don't want to blow money on material and I have a few of them accumulating rust.
      Is there a reason you used 18 separate square plates instead of one? That seems hard to line up

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        >Is there a reason you used 18 separate square plates instead of one?

        Not that guy, but that style of table is done specifically BECAUSE you can adjust the plates to all be coplanar. You don't really have that option with a single piece of material, which generally has to be milled/ground into being flat. Certainly easier, but it can get pretty expensive for a reasonably large table.

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          I think I get it, set the plates up on a frame that might not be perfect, then turn the screws until the plates are perfect, am I on the right track? Is there a cheaper and easier way to do this?

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            That's the idea. It's a lot easier to find or DIY flat, small plates than it is to do one big one.

            https://i.imgur.com/bvRZF6b.jpg

            Hi anon, i built mine about two years ago. It has 16mm diameter holes and 5mm steel plates, just like your idea.
            16mm is a standard for a reason, you will find out that a small 8mm screw allen head bolt is just too small.
            It wont make any difference on the strength of the plate.
            Making it dead flat is impossible if you weld it together.

            did it kind of weird with the surface plate/epoxy thing, but I guess that works.

            >Is there a cheaper and easier way to do this?

            The torsion-box-ish thing that the Certiflat has going on is as close to as material-efficient as you're going to get, I think, but you need a good level of precision to begin with to make that work. Assuming you can get or make the smaller flat plates, the "make them adjustable and put a bunch on a frame" is a pretty good sweet spot of price, accessibility, and effectiveness.

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          >Certainly easier, but it can get pretty expensive for a reasonably large table.

          I have an idea floating around in my head that a guy could build a fixture to hold an angle grinder and use that to basically grind in a flat surface. Like how they use a router sled to flatten a large chunk of uneven wood. Anyone ever see anything like this done before?

  3. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    The frame is made of I beams, that i joined together using aluminum plates lapped by hand and glued with epoxy against a flat reference, then riveted.

  4. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    just buy a fricking acorn platen and start making shit instead of jerking off about how to build a table out of the thinest beer can sheet metal. or do what 90% of commercial shops have and flop a piece of 1" plate on a couple saw horses

  5. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    People like to pretend that steel bends like a piece of shrink wrap when welded, I mean it does if you blow 3 miles of wire into it but not if you weld in sequence. Small distortion is normal and irrelevant if you're fabricating normal shit, you don't need microscopic precision, all you need is something to force a part into 90/45/30/whatever degree angle and that it visually sits on the same plane. 1/4" is close to 5mm material and it's pretty fricking thick for a hobbyist or a small fixture

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >1/4" is close to 5mm material
      Its barely 3/16 of an inch.

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