The Basic Frame
Overall height: 36″
Overall width: 12″ (not including the top, which extends about 1/2″ on either side)
Overall depth: 19″
Legs, and stretchers….14ga, 2×2 square tubing
Angle Iron……….3/4 x 3/4 x 1/8
Sheet metal…..all sheet is 14ga
Legs are cut, and assembled on the usual tabletop fixture that I always use for smaller projects.These assemblies are fully welded before proceeding further.The full finish welding is required because these pieces will be joined by a stretcher. Where the stretcher joins, the metal has to be solid so that it can be welded. Otherwise you’d be working with a void when attaching the stretcher.
Stretcher is then installed, and work is begun on the shelf framework.Note that the angle iron doesn’t extend to the outside shoulders of the tubing. If the welds securing the angle are somewhere near the middle of the tubing (the neutral axis), they will have less tendency do distort the tubing as they cool. This is the same for most shapes…..always try to do welding in the neutral axis if possible.
In this particular case, because I wanted storage for clamps, the shelves are spaced at 7″ (remember to take into account the angle iron dimensions when figuring your locations for the shelf frame pieces….7″ + 3/4″).
SPEAKING OF THOSE WELDS……… I think it’s time to say goodbye to an old friend. For 14 years I’ve had good service from my Hobart Handler 135. It’s been an excellent machine, but I’m afraid it’s days are coming to a close.Recently I had to repair a kink in the liner. Being cheap, and needing it done yesterday………I straightened the kink, and used some half burnt welding rods as a splint 😀In addition……the wire feed roller is so worn that I’m now running the wire (.030) in the .023 groove. Just so it has some traction 😀 This is to correct an issue of the wire burning back into the tip while welding (a problem when wire feed is slipping). Note the shavings on the roller surface. The smaller groove is removing some of the outer surface of the wire as it is fed through.
Cost about $150+ to replace the gun/liner, and the roller. New machine is probably a better investment. Replace what’s worn on this machine, and you’re still left with an older machine that has issues.
SPEAKING OF ISSUES………………….I’m afraid the old girl is starting to run cold. Not enough oomph to properly wet in a bead, even at the highest setting available on the machine.These welds should be on the verge of burn through, considering that the tubing is 14ga, and extremely weathered 14ga.That pitting tells you that the wall thickness has been severely compromised. This is what happens when metal is stored outdoors for a number of years. (I’m using this stuff for non-critical projects) This stuff should be thin enough to burn through with moderate heat.
Finally……….the contactor is going bad I think. It’s almost impossible to start an arc sometimes, even with clean steel. These could all be symptoms of a bad gun/liner assembly, but why take the chance.
The Downhill Weld
Normally I’d never join tubing like this. I feel it’s a weak joint. Had to do it to preserve the dimensions I needed.Because I’m using self shielding flux core wire, the welds had to be made running VERY fast downhill, rotating the piece to do so, just staying ahead of the puddle. This prevents the weld from burning back your edges. Not particularly pretty, but effective under the circumstances I guess. The MIG process would have been ideal here if I could use it outdoors. Flux core doesn’t like to be run downhill because of possible slag inclusions, and control issues.
At this point, the feet are made, then attached.Marking length, then drilling holes for screws to attach the stand to the floor, is best accomplished when the material is drilled before cutting to length. This makes it possible to do it fast on the drill press.The heat from welding makes it necessary to straighten the feet to get rid of the distortion.
The top is made up of 3 pieces. Why??????? Well, I’m in the process of using up all the old drops, and cutoffs, I have on hand…..so it’s in 3 pieces 🙂
Cut everything as square as possible (I’ve used a plasma cutter in this case), then put the pieces in the fixture for welding.The splice tabs are welded with short welds to minimize heat ( 🙂 like that’s a problem with the welder running like it is 🙂 )The area near the edge is beveled, then welded flush. This is so the top can rest on the square tubing.
To trim the top to final dimensions, a straightedge is used to mark a grind line.This allows you to work to the line to make a nice even edge. Notice how the edge has been ground to final dimension on the left side, and to the right of the small insert piece. The insert was ground last to match all 3 pieces.
The top is then placed on the frame, and the arbor press is placed on the top to mark a footprint for cutting holes for bolts, etc.Holes for the hold down bolts, and a cutout under the ram, are made.The top is attached, and the shelf work is started.A pocket is closed in where the ram will push anything through the top. This keeps stuff from getting away from you if you don’t catch it as the press pushes it through.Finally, the back of the cabinet is attached. THE ONLY PIECE OF NEW STEEL ON THE WHOLE THING 🙂
In The Shop
While the stand isn’t for everyone, it’s at least a template you can use for your own ideas.