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  • Steel plate from sheet metal?

    So my dad got me a bunch of sheet metal and steel bars (free) to play with and thinks I can simply weld some thinner sheets together to make a thicker plate or plymetal for a welding table. There are three pieces of 3/16 that are around 4'x5' and I think they would make a good table if this idea would work. Anyone ever make plymetal before? While the stuff was free I don't want to ruin it because my other idea was to clad some plywood for a heavy duty work bench.

    We also got a 1/2" plate that is 2'x6' so I may just use that if this is a dumb idea.



    --------------------------------
    Millermatic 211
    Miller Thunderbolt AC/DC
    Victor Super Range II
    DeWalt Chop Saw
    15" Ridgid Drill Press

  • #2
    Just use the 1/2" plate and save yourself the headache of trying to get the 3/16" stuff lined up and attached. I suspect that the overall rigidity of the 3/16" sandwich will not be equal to that of the 1/2".

    I would not advise using wood for a welding bench, even if it is clad in sheets of something else. I know it is done, and with 3/16" it would probably be okay, but it seems like a good place for some smoldering to go undetected for a long time. If you are just meaning a general workbench, then go for it. Seems a better use of the thinner stuff than a welding bench, since you do have the 1/2" plate.

    Just MHO.

    I guess I should add that if you need the bigger space that the 4x5 sheet gives you, then go for it. I know that more space is always better. Maybe make a couple of welding tables that can be put together for bigger stuff. I don't know. Just thinking.

    Dave
    Still building my new old truck - see the progress!
    http://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/65...-coe-idea.html
    http://www.hobartwelders.com/weldtal...ad.php?t=27017

    Square Wave TIG 200 - Woot!
    MM180
    SP125+

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    • #3
      As been said putting numerous sheets together is a pain and will cause localized heat distortion in the inside areas that are not attached to each other.Better use the thicker material even if you have to cut it down. You can always use the drops for something else.

      Even if you would punch holes in the sheets and weld the inside areas to the sheet below you still would have heat distortions between the welds.

      And a bit of info anything that is measured in fraction of inch 1/8" or thicker is called plate, anything that is measured in gauge 12,16,20 is sheet.
      glen, been there, done that and probably broke it!If you aren't on the edge. You'r taking up to much room

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      • #4
        Originally posted by whateg0 View Post
        If you are just meaning a general workbench, then go for it. Seems a better use of the thinner stuff than a welding bench, since you do have the 1/2" plate.

        Dave
        Yea I want work bench tops. I am going to set up 15' on one side of our shop. I got a bunch of nice cabinets from a lab remodel but was unable to get the black chemical resistant tops they originally had. I am going to put plywood on top and thought metal would be good because it won't soak up oil etc. On the other side of our shop I already have 15' with Formica tops, but those are strictly used for clean stuff because we use them for butchering.
        --------------------------------
        Millermatic 211
        Miller Thunderbolt AC/DC
        Victor Super Range II
        DeWalt Chop Saw
        15" Ridgid Drill Press

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        • #5
          Originally posted by ptsideshow View Post
          Even if you would punch holes in the sheets and weld the inside areas to the sheet below you still would have heat distortions between the welds.

          And a bit of info anything that is measured in fraction of inch 1/8" or thicker is called plate, anything that is measured in gauge 12,16,20 is sheet.
          PT I was thinking about plug welds but I thought it might not work so well and I was also wondering what kind of rust you would get between the two plates. On the plate vs the sheet thing I am a little confused because wikipedia indicated that plate is above 6mm or 1/4 inch?
          --------------------------------
          Millermatic 211
          Miller Thunderbolt AC/DC
          Victor Super Range II
          DeWalt Chop Saw
          15" Ridgid Drill Press

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          • #6
            Depending on the work being done, it is sometimes nice to have wooden benchtops, even if they do soak up some oil. I like using wooden benches for working on aluminum heads, for example. The wood gives before the aluminum so it doesn't mar it or ding corners and such. The downside is that you have to watch for stuff that gets embedded in the surface.

            Dave
            Still building my new old truck - see the progress!
            http://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/65...-coe-idea.html
            http://www.hobartwelders.com/weldtal...ad.php?t=27017

            Square Wave TIG 200 - Woot!
            MM180
            SP125+

            Comment


            • #7
              Dave, that is a good point. The thing is there is some wafer board laying around here that I could use under the steel (free). On its own I think this stuff would suck and I would probably never use it. I have some more of the same cabinets in my garage that I topped with MDF and sealed with urethane, despite that the MDF still sucks up liquids and gets swollen. What kind of wood is your counter made from?
              --------------------------------
              Millermatic 211
              Miller Thunderbolt AC/DC
              Victor Super Range II
              DeWalt Chop Saw
              15" Ridgid Drill Press

              Comment


              • #8
                1/8" is SHEET

                And a bit of info anything that is measured in fraction of inch 1/8" or thicker is called plate, anything that is measured in gauge 12,16,20 is sheet.
                Not true.
                3/16" & up are called plate.
                7 gauge (.179") and down are sheet.
                Mike

                sigpic WHEELED VEHICLE SERVICE SINCE 1960

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by midnightbrwr View Post
                  PT I was thinking about plug welds but I thought it might not work so well and I was also wondering what kind of rust you would get between the two plates. On the plate vs the sheet thing I am a little confused because wikipedia indicated that plate is above 6mm or 1/4 inch?
                  Yeah, above 1/4" it's considered plate, Plug welds will give you some warpage, too, and be undesirable. The wood clad with the plate is ok as long as the wood is at least 1.5" thick, like a 2x6, etc.

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                  • #10
                    Solid wood doesn't swell the way MDF or particle board do.

                    Dave
                    Still building my new old truck - see the progress!
                    http://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/65...-coe-idea.html
                    http://www.hobartwelders.com/weldtal...ad.php?t=27017

                    Square Wave TIG 200 - Woot!
                    MM180
                    SP125+

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      How do you clean up plate that looks like that? I have some, but it is a bear to clean. I don't know what "kind" of steel it is. But the grinding wheel has little effect on it. I expected to hit it with the grinder and it would be all shiny underneath. What gives??

                      Tim
                      Tim
                      1981 Hobart Beta-Mig 200
                      Hypertherm Powermax 600 Plasma
                      Victor O/A

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                      • #12
                        Grind down far enough and it will be shiny. You probably have a lot of pitting and such to get through before that, though. If it's that bad off, it's probably just not suitable for something cosmetic. If you want to get rid of the rust, you could always use phosphoric acid, but the surface will still be rough.

                        Dave
                        Still building my new old truck - see the progress!
                        http://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/65...-coe-idea.html
                        http://www.hobartwelders.com/weldtal...ad.php?t=27017

                        Square Wave TIG 200 - Woot!
                        MM180
                        SP125+

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by midnightbrwr View Post
                          PT I was thinking about plug welds but I thought it might not work so well and I was also wondering what kind of rust you would get between the two plates. On the plate vs the sheet thing I am a little confused because wikipedia indicated that plate is above 6mm or 1/4 inch?
                          Originally posted by old blue
                          Not true.
                          3/16" & up are called plate.
                          7 gauge (.179") and down are sheet.
                          Originally posted by Rocky D
                          Yeah, above 1/4" it's considered plate,
                          Well so am I as it looks like it depends on what source, supplier or region you are from or you look at on the net. I found one that doesn't consider or stock anything under 3/8" as plate.

                          Around here I guess 1/8" is Detroit plate since sheet metal is what they used to build cars out of!

                          I will go with the consensus here of 1/4"
                          glen, been there, done that and probably broke it!If you aren't on the edge. You'r taking up to much room

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I agree about the regional effect on the plate/sheet nomenclature. I was referring to my supplier's (Triple S Steel) jargon.


                            What I get a kick out of is when somebody calls 1/4" flat bar "plate".
                            Mike

                            sigpic WHEELED VEHICLE SERVICE SINCE 1960

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                            • #15
                              A naughty word in "the Trades"

                              Originally posted by whateg0 View Post
                              Grind down far enough and it will be shiny. You probably have a lot of pitting and such to get through before that, though. If it's that bad off, it's probably just not suitable for something cosmetic. If you want to get rid of the rust, you could always use phosphoric acid, but the surface will still be rough.
                              Dave
                              GSSFC:
                              "I expected to hit it with the grinder and it would be all shiny underneath. What gives??"

                              I'll define the "Trades" as machinists / tool-makers / pattern-makers /
                              even millwrites / who are often fine machinsts.

                              Shiny!
                              Unless you are dealing with Chrome, or pollished surfaces,
                              always avoid using the term "Shiny" to connotate possitive attributes
                              to the surfaces of your machining / grinding / what-ever.
                              And especially "flatness" !!
                              Never never never, use shiny to describe a result you are
                              referring to as addaquitely "flat".

                              You might as well forget to ware pants, or have spinach on your chin.
                              Shiny in practicing reality has absolutely nothing to do with
                              the accuracy of generated surfaces.

                              Infact often in means that the surface-producing tool,
                              is not what it should be. Surface-grinding, Blanchard grinding,
                              even turning in many alloys, are aplications where shiny
                              is really a finger-print that indentifies a crime.

                              Shiny is nearly always the result of burnishing,
                              or on a microscopic level smearing of the surface.
                              I could go on and on, but I'm boring even myself.

                              Just a heads up.
                              I have often revealed my innocent naievaty, in the world of welding,
                              careing not, because it's more important to me to learn the facts.
                              But when you are in mixed company, keep shiny in your watch-pocket.
                              You'll be glad you did.

                              Have a Good Week.
                              VG
                              Last edited by vicegrip; 07-20-2009, 02:15 AM.
                              sigpicViceGrip
                              Negative people have a problem for every solution

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