New welding table and adapting my garage for metalworking
April 24, 2021
I had been planning to adapt my garage for metalworking for some time already, and finally I got lucky and found a used tabletop. A small fabrication company was selling it and they had used it as a basic welding table already earlier, so it had the four legs welded on already. So that was the starting point for me to adapt it for my needs. On the same go I changed everything around in the garage and wired a VFD for my large bandsaw.
The table is approx. 1m (3.3ft) x 2m (6.6ft) and the tabletop is 40mm (1 5/8”) thick mild steel. It weights around 650kg (1440lbs) and 850kg (1875lbs) with all the tools on it.
It has 3 phase 400v power wired into it and carries my welder/plasma cutter, 20 litre compressor, shop vacuum, all of my angle and straight grinders, horizontal bandsaw at the bottom + belt sander and a mag drill on the top. Most of my welding clamps are hanging on the end of the table and the vertical bandsaw is standing next to it on a tool trolley. My idea was to build it so that I can easily move the whole work surface and all the tools in one go, and that I’m able to clear all the machines from the tabletop if I’m working on something larger.
I also have a fireproof curtain that can be pulled across the workspace to protect the rest of the garage when grinding or plasma cutting.
More information about the tools:
I’ve spent a lot of time trying to find good quality machines that are still small in size. It is much more difficult than you’d think.
The vertical bandsaw is a really old one (and a gem in my eyes). It was made in western Germany, so before the Berlin Wall fell. I believe it was originally built for shaping the ends of large timber houses, i.e. it was a handheld saw which required two people to operate it. You can see the wooden handles behind the saw.
There was apparently an add-on that you could buy for the cutting table and stand to change it to a stationary saw.
It is fully restored and I’m running it through a VFD which is mounted on the cabinet behind it. It has a 900w (3 phases, 400v) motor, and with the VFD I have a full control of the speed. It has of course a metal blade but it is a “custom” length, so I need to weld my own blades for it.
It is a great one as well and does very accurate cuts. Most of all, I love how quiet it is.
The mag drill base is made in Italy and is approx. 25 years old. It is meant to be used on shipyards and the weight and sturdiness reflects that. The drill on the other hand is almost new Bosch GBM 32-4 which is one of the most powerful drills Bosch Professional has. It is a beast and I’ve named it the Thor’s Hammer. I’m planning to remove the drill handle and replace it with a 3D printed box which has a large e-stop button on it. Then I can at least hit it with my head when it decides to consume my arm.
The belt sander is called “SC 200 TB” and is from a Danish manufacturer Scantool. It runs on 3 phase/400 volts and outputs 750w. It’s a nice semi-professional grinder that doesn’t take much space.