I know this isn't Mustang related or even specifically car related, but I thought some of you guys would have interest in this. Plus you can see my '86 in the background of some of the pictures.
I've been wanting to build a welding table for a while, but as some of you probably know, the cost of materials adds up FAST. So this whole effort started months ago when we were throwing away an old bed frame and I thought to myself, "I could totally make something out of that..."
So I've been hoarding junk steel for a while now and I finally have something to show for it.
I started with an old roller mechanics tool cart that I've had since college. It started out looking like this (sorry, I don't have my own "before" pictures):
Step one was to do away with the original legs and make my own. I lost a bunch of the pictures I originally took, but in a nutshell the new legs are scrap square steel tube that I cut, drilled, put a brushed finish on, then sealed internally with black Rust-Oleum and then clear coated the outside. The new legs allowed me to raise the top of the cart to a more appropriate welding table height and drop the lower tray so I could fit the welder below.
Then I started hacking away at that bed frame. I'm using this as structure for a plate steel table using 1/4" plate that I was given for free... More on that later.
I basically cut the frame down into what would be two primary braces and six smaller cross braces for what will eventually be three plates that make up the surface. I wire wheeled the paint off the frame for clean welds.
So the plates I was given are 12.5" X 23" and were, unfortunately, warped. That's probably why they were free. . My method for straightening them was rigging up this system with my cherry picker legs and hydraulic press... Not perfect but it worked OK.
And here's a shot after I "straightened" one of them. Not perfect, but good enough for government work.
So then I started welding the table top together. I am by no means a great welder, but I wanted to show some shots to show how much technique and machine settings can affect your weld. The first picture is with garbage settings and bad gun angle. The second was once I had it more dialed in. This is obviously with flux core on my "MIG" machine. I'll eventually run gas.
So here it is all together and then mocked up on the cart. This is where I finished today. Stuff I still need to do:
Paint the bottom.
Round down the edges of the plates.
Physically attach it to the cart lid.
Add a post for the grounding clamp underneath one of the plates.
I've toyed with the idea of putting a junkyard-sourced lift strut under the cart lid (it will still be used for storage) but that will be something I might play with later. As it is right now, I might just fab up a prop rod to hold it open when I want to. I doubt the factory brackets will support the lid open with the 75lb table top on it.
Yea eventually I'll have to figure out a bottle mount. I'll obviously be limited to running a smaller bottle if I want to have it on the cart, but I'm OK with that since I don't really do a whole lot of welding.