WELDING TABLE menu
 
Mechanical part

A TIG welder is a very usefull tool in the metalworkers shop. A stickwelder is used if its neccessary to weld, a tig-welder is used for fun.
To maximize the weldingfun I have build a (small) multifunctional welding table.

The tigwelder is a Lorch handytig 210 . The currentrange is 3-180 ampere AC and DC.

An overview of the build-in features of this table:
- Drawers are provided to store welding gloves, spare equipment and weldingrods within reach.
- In the front panel is a selector to choose from three options, TIG-torch 1 (large), TIG-torch 2 (small) and Stick. The attached wiring takes care off the welding machine and for the selection of the torch-swicth and the selection of the gas-output valves.
- Frontpanel selector for footcontrol. The wiring also gives a signal to the welding machine that footcontrol should be enabled
- Liftingmechanism for mobility on buildin wheels.
- Torch holder in 4 positions
- Storagehooks for in-reach storage of three cablesets with torches (2 tig / 1 stick)
- Big pedestal-drawer for storage of clamps, pliers, welding magnets and tools
- Space for an optional plasmacutter or wirefeedwelder including room for an extra 20 ltr gascilinder
- Provisions for an optional sidetable. This could function as the baseplate for a steelnibblemachine, jigsaw, machinal file or router.
- Threaded holes in the legs for mounting a vise

den tukker welding table / lastafel

Drawers made of sheetmetal and powdercoated.

 

In order to achive reasonable stability, the table can stand on its feet under normal operating conditions and it can be lifted with a handle to get it on wheels.
Here is a drawing of the lifting mechanism. It has been drawn to get the right distances for the pivotingpoints and to check if the wheels can freely rotate in both positions. Dimensions are in millimeters.

 

The first version had holes in the tubes. In these holes were the pins that made up the lifting mechanism. It turned out that the contact bearing surface (formed by the walls of the tubes) was to small. So I drilled the holes bigger and inserted hollow pipes in wich the pins fitted. The pipes were welded to the tubewalls. A little grease and the table lifts 10 times easier.

The lifting handle is removable because in downward position it can be in the way while rolling around the table.

den tukkers weldingtable liftingsystem down den tukkers weldingtable liftingsystem up

 

The torchholder can be mounted in three high positions. There is also a torchholder position where the torch is below the table surface. This provides a clear working area when large items are on the table.

 

Stored items in the footdrawer

 

Items in the three topdrawers

 

Electrical Control circuit

The controls of the welder are extended to have full control of all its features on the frontpanel.

sw2 - on-off switch (the genuine switch is located on the back of the machine)
sw3 - torch-selector this threeway switch can select the normal tig torch, the small tig torch and the stickholder.
sw1 - footcontrol-selector, chooses between the frontpanel control and the footcontrol

O1 - new footcontrol connector ( the original is at the back of the welder) this connector is a slightly different type and is selected by the switch sw1.

This is the scheme of the wiring circuit.The top section is the box with the buttons. The middle section is the Tigwelder, the lower section is the relaisbox with the contactors.

It is not neccesary to make any alterations to the welding machine. The connectors can be left unmodified too, but you have to find then exactly the same ones (male and female). If you need the connectortypes for the Lorch please mail me.

 

The container that is located above the welder contains the control switches and the power contactor.
There is a void in the middle to accomodate the handle on top of the welder.
The welder can be shoven in from the backside.

switch unit

 

This is the section below the welder. It's up side down on the table. At the left are the valves placed that control the gasflow. They are scrounged out of a washingmaschine. They used to control the waterflow to the prewashing program and the main washingprogram. The spools work on 220 volt. I filled up some voids in entrance and exit so the gas flows through a channel of about 8 mm diameter from the beginning to the end of the valve .
The electrical contactors in the middle conrol the gasvalves and the controlsignals form the torch. (one for each torch). If no torch is selected both valves are shut and the machine gets in stick-mode.
The two contactors at the right are in control of the footpedal signals.
At the back are the two gasoutlets (G1 and G2) and the connectors for the torchcontrols (O2 and O3). They are mounted at this unit for ease of assembling and occasional dissassembling. They are exactly placed to line up with four holes in the sidepanel.

relais unit

 

 

For the incoming points of the cables I made these strips to which the cables are tied with hoseclamps. No risk of sheaving and no problems with tearing the cables out.
For de gasconnectors I could not find the proper size so I choose one size larger. To connect to the original welder outlet I made a small transfer hose.
The same apllies to the original torchconnector. I obtained an extra connector for the connection to the relais-box. The original one was cut off and got a female connector. I can't use one plug both ways because two pins are connected internally in the original connector. (this connection gives the welder the TIG - STICK information)
trekontlasting

 

Here are both sides of the sidepanel shown.

laskabels

 

The whole unit is mounted with bolts. That way it can be removed for maintanance or to add extra features

 

The whole unit connected. The only cable around is the main powerline. All other cables are inside the table. The connectors on the welding cables have been shorted by making the exitpoint of the cable at the downside of the connector.
In that way it doesn't get in the way of your knees when sitting at the table.

   
Sidetable

The legs of the welding table have threaded holes to bold extra tooling like a vice, guarding shields or a side table.
I made the sidetable also function as a toolcarrier.
The first tool I needed was the nibbling machine. I have no room for a sheetmetal sheer and a nibbler works great to. When cutting with a grinder cutter there always is this mess off abrasive particles flying all over the shop, especially when making large cuts.

With a handheld nibbler it is very difficult to cut straight lines, even when a guiding ruler is used. So I decided to mount the nibbler top-down under a hole in the sidetable.

There is a primitive guiding angle which can be clamped on the table. The nibbler can sink under the tabletop in order to get a free working area.


Nibbler in workingposition

This is the head of the nibbler. The hight can be adjusted
It's a pretty heavy nibbler, it can nibble up to 5 mm sheetmetal..

This is the nibbler in upward position. At the right side of the picture the height adjustment screw can be seen.

 


Here is the nibbler retracted and hanging on a chain.

Above the tuning points are shown.
At "A" the hight of the nibbler can be tuned according to the thickness of the sheetmetal.
At "B" the tilting can be tuned. I think it would work equally good without this mechanism. It clamps the machinehandle at the backside to the table, once set it doesn't need to be altered.
This is a primitive guide for the sheetmetal. It must be clamped to the table.. It is possible to cut pretty straight lines along this guide.
Footcontrol (not ready)

A local technician gave me the schematics for the Lorch footcontrol. Its quit simple. A starting switch, a variable resistor and a connection to inform the weldingmachine that the footcontrol is connected.

I made provisions in my scheme that take care of the signals and connect the other proper lines to a front mounted connector. The footcontrol can stay connected all the time and can be choosen via the frontpanel selector.

All that has to be done is the making of the footcontrol. ;)

In the www.metaldropbox.com I found some very interesting files.

- esab footcontrol
- torchmounted control

There is a manual + schematics for the ESAB FS002 footcontrol

- esab FS002 pdf

Review

Features on my wishlist:

- frontpanel knob to control gasbottle (or even better a electrical controlled high pressure gasvalve)
- footcontrol
- plasmacutter
- router mounted on the side table
- improved guiding rail for router and nibbler
- vice with quickrelease mounting (I'll probably use a former quickchange-towhook from a car as a base to the vice)

Things to do different next time:

- NOT weld the legs to the table (there's a lot of deformation in the table top)
- make the table a little bigger (although the side table gives enough space)
- use a one piece sidepanel (the welding on this one has quite distorted it)

I hope you'll enjoy building and using your own table as much as I do

added 05/2008