I posted this on Instagram on Father’s day.
‘EVERYTHING the KARUPPED dad wanted’!! Well this ‘KARUPPED’ dad didn’t waste any time let me tell you. He is building up his woodworking shop and has welded up a metal framed workbench! Ed’s tinkering since Father’s Day has turned into an amazing first welding project. He has never done it before, watched a few u tube videos….is he kidding? Sure he says his welding seams are rough, he wouldn’t claim to be a welder… “But any DIYer can do it.” That may be true, though he always amazes me which is one reason I always wanted to blog about his projects too! This is how he started building this workbench.
Traditionally a woodworking workbench is made out of wood. However he gave me reasons in this situation why he wanted a metal frame:
- With heavy use, over time wooden workbenches start to loosen up at the joints because wood swells and contracts with the humidity(and humidity is ridiculous around here).
- A large wooden workbench would be a lot heavier. He wanted a light but strong, large table to work with.
He found plans online to weld a workbench frame on this website: Jimbos Garage Table saw ‘table’ build. That you tube video was his inspiration for this welding project. He came up with his own measurements that would fit in his workshop area.
This one is too cool! No tutorial since this is his first time at welding. However, we will follow up with a welding set-up tutorial at some point. He works really fast so I have a hard time catching up with pics as well. We had steel delivered to our house. For this project he contacted “Metal Supermarkets”. It is a Canadian franchise and there are 75 locations in North America. It was $25 to deliver steel to our house in our area. The price for delivery may be different in other areas. Ed had 2- 24ft. lengths of 2×2 square steel tubes delivered to the house to make an approx. 5 ft. long workbench.
I came home from the store and he had already cut the steel into pieces. No cutting pic…UGH!. “Sorry I’m getting used to all this.” He says. I asked him to just pose for one like he was cutting the steel so people could see how he did it and what saw he used. I went back into the house to get the camera and when I come back out, he is backing out of the driveway to take the borrowed saw back. I’m like ….Oooookay! Yeah…I’m learning! ha. I will obviously have to pick up my speed with this guy!
Consequently, because of this, I do NOT have a picture of the steel in long sheets when they were delivered NOR the metal when he cut it. I did find a picture from the craftsman website of the saw that he had borrowed from a friend to cut the long 24 ft. steel tubes . (https://www.craftsman.com/products/craftsman-cm-14-inch-chop-saw)
Craftsman CM 14 INCH CHOP SAW
Ed gave me all the metal cutting details since I apparently missed it! 🙂
- Cutting metal takes longer than cutting wood.
- Applying steady pressure without forcing the metal through the saw was the best way to handle it.
- There were sparks so he wore jeans and a sweatshirt for extra clothing. He did wear a full face mask visor(instead of just goggles) that he purchased at Home depot to protect his entire face to make the metal cuts.
Once he cut the steel to his measurements, he started grinding down the edges with his angle grinder. Again he wore a full face visor for grinding. (Note:He has ground metal before without a face mask and the sparks left pits in his glasses). yikes! Wow…..He actually waited for me so I could take a pic. Hehe. Here we go!
In this pic you can see the rough edges before he used the angle grinder and after.
(check out my terms/conditions/policies page- DIY it at your own risk!)
Ready to start assembling but FIRST things first- Welding protection!!!!!
Welding does need a lot of protection which unfortunately scares people from doing it. Also, many are unsure of how much it would cost to even begin this new “craft”. Along with the welder for father’s day, I also purchased these items from Harbor Freight:
- welding helmet
- welding gloves
- a leather apron
- magnetic corners
- welding blanket
- wire brush
Surprisingly, all of this came at a very affordable price. You have to check the Harbor Freight store out! The welder was on sale for $90. Everything in total was around $200. Not bad for an entire set up. The pic of him in this get-up is further down in the welding and assembly section.
WELDING & ASSEMBLY
He started assembling the steel together with a slight tack weld. Starting with a corner he used a magnetic corner to hold the 2 pieces of steel together. he clamped steel on top of and across the 2 pieces where the corner meets to ensure they were coplanar. Basically the steel that is clamped on the top ensures the corner steel pieces to be in the same flat plane(coplanar). Being level and coplanar are 2 different things so know the difference when doing this type of project. He repeated this process for all the corners.
I could only take a picture right before he pulled the trigger to weld the metal because it would have messed up my camera lens. I put a separate welding helmet on myself so that I could look at his welding or I backed away from it without looking at it to ensure that I wouldn’t hurt my eyes. I guess this is what concerns people. However, if you are accustomed to doing home renovations and diy projects around the house(like us) where there are table saws and air guns going off at all times 😉 …..you may feel right at home with all of this. Ed was careful doing this when little ones were NOT present. We didn’t want anyone hurting their eyes.
After each tack weld, Ed went back to weld a strong bead in each spot. Here is the process of a his workbench assembly:
He got out his wire brush once all the welding was complete.
Here he removes slag with a wire brush. Slag is the junk that cakes on at the welding seam.
WELDING THE FEET
After all the welding and assembly of the workbench was done, he flipped the table over to work on the feet.
Ed has studied adjustable feet from tables he has seen in the past. He decided to copy the idea. He bought flat stock (2 inch wide flat stock) from Home Depot. With his angle grinder he made 2×2 inch squares. He then drilled a hole in the center of each square with his drill press using a steel cutting bit that was sized so the threaded rod could easily pass through it. Then he welded a nut of proper size over the hole so that the threaded rod can be adjusted. He repeated this process on all 4 legs. By doing this, the height of the bench is now adjustable.
He used a gray spray paint primer to the metal frame and finished with Safety blue spray paint. Here are all the painting pics!
Finally by this point it was ready to attach a tabletop to it. He welded L-brackets on top of the finished frame where a tabletop could be screwed in.
He had bought a maple butcher block counter-top at a yard sale for $25 back in 2005. He kept this in his workshop knowing someday he would use it. Yes, we have hoarding tendencies for our someday projects!! Who knew….in this instance it would work out! The butcher block did need some repair. Some of the glued wood had split at the seams. Ed glued it back up and then planed the top so it was nice and smooth. He then poly’d it. The day he did the work on the butcher block, I could tell there was a lot of activity in his workshop that he wasn’t telling me about. I think I must slow him down when I take pictures so it’s possible he is an unwilling participant in all of this. haha. But he is nice about it so he doesn’t oppose when I do catch him with a pic. 😉 Consequently, I do NOT have a picture of him fixing the butcher block. I do have a picture of the finished butcher block attached to the new welded metal frame! Here they are….the finished workbench!
Ed attached the butcher block to the welded frame. He set it right up against his table-saw. This workbench functions as an out-feed table; whatever long pieces of wood are passed through the table-saw rest upon the out-feed table. Previously he had a stand with a roller that would catch the long pieces as they came out of the saw but he said having a table there is so much better. The roller stand was only so wide and did not work as well at all. Check out all the finished pics.
Ed added a wooden shelf at the bottom to house all of his tools. The workbench is in operation now.
Alright Ed, let’s start pumping out some woodworking projects now:)…..Wait don’t start yet, I have to take a pic! 😉 Until our next project!
Linked up to these parties:
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Stone Cottage Adventures: Tues. with a twist happy august
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Chic on a Shoestring: flaunt it friday #366
North Country Nest: creative gallery #243
Grandma’s house DIY: wed.link party #48
UPDATE: This party resulted in this welded workbench being featured HERE
AND YAY! Press this button….it’s FEATURED HERE: