I always wanted to have an ultimate welding / fabrication table, built using thick solid steel flat bars.And I always dreamed of having a welding table to not only be as solid as it gets, but I also wanted it to look very elegant and presentable.
I made the table frame from rectangular but thick hollow profiles, and welded together to the total length of 6 feet = 1828 mm, and 2 feet wide = 610 mm. The step of making a frame is not part of this video, to keep it short, and focus more on the solid steel bars top.
The top of my welding / fabrication table consists of 10 solid mild steel bars 610 mm x 150 mm x 16 mm = 2 feet x 6 inches x 5/8 inch thick.
I envisioned the beautiful solid steel bars top to be smooth and flat, therefore I decided not to have any through holes showing on the top surface. This decision made my life miserable, as it was extremely difficult to maintain the precision drilling of all the holes both in the frame and in the individual solid bars, to all align perfectly together. It was very hard but I achieved this, and obviously now I feel super cool about it. But if I had to make another welding table, I would probably drill all the way through the solid steel bars to make the assembly swift and easy.
The first part of the video puts a strong emphasis on how to remove the mill scale from the solid steel bars, because once you have solid steel 5/8 inch = 16 mm thick table top, you definitely want it to look exquisite. I didn't want to use any mechanical / abrasive action on the surface of the solid steel bars, as it would have damaged its beauty and leave dents and scars. I had to remove the mill scale using the chemical approach.I used vinegar in two 20 hours long rounds, which did the job nearly perfectly well. The remaining mill scale I removed using Scotch & Brite purple strip disc.
Finally I spent many hours flattening the steel bars using 3 grits of the diamond stones.
In the end I sealed the mild steel solid bars with the bees wax, to protect them from the elements, as my welding / fabrication table is stored outdoors, and I live in tropics on top of that.
I couldn't be more happy with my final outcome. I think my welding table stands out, and also is very functional. The thickness of the solid steel bars really helps with the heat dissipation and overall makes the welding / fabrication jobs a real pleasure.
This project required a lot of effort, but it filled me with real satisfaction and accomplishment.