Fabricating & Jig Tables

By Ralph J. Sproul
Bear Hill Blacksmith


I have four fabricating tables that I have built and they all get used.

The first was a 3' x 5' with a dropped shelf off one corner for a beverly metal shear and the opposite corner has a large machinist vise.

The second is a 3' x 4' with two rows of 1/2" holes with nuts welded below and a vice in the corner.

The third table is an old metal planner 2'x 7' with "T" slots and 3/4" holes all over for clamping, putting pins in for scroll work or fastening weldments to for unlimited bending applications.

The fourth is this: When I built the welding body for my third truck I made the sub-frame to the crossmembers out of 3" x 3" x 3/16" sq. tube that enabled me to put the same size tubes under the 3' x 4' x 3/8" plate. I could then take 2 1/2" x 2 1/2" x 1/4" sq. tube and slide it into the truck tubes. Pin it, as well as pinning the table to these tubes - then having a fabricating table attachment for the truck. The next step was to cut four holes in the corners, the size of the 3" x 3" tubes x 6" deep to use as pockets for a machinist vise, pipe vise, or large pipe rollers, or the radial arm flame cutter mentioned in the Metal Web News page.

You can next weld four more 3" x 3" tubes x 6" also in the corners next to the pockets. These serve as reciever pockets for your 2 1/2" tube legs (with pads on the bottom so as not to sink into the dirt ) as well as the bumper-step unit you should have for safety while it is on the vehicle.

The legs you will find a bit wobbley and you may want to weld some 1/2" bolts for adding cross braces (like pipe staging) - remember to keep them up a bit for shin and foot clearance, as well as using wing nuts so you don't have to look for a wrench every time you take it apart.

The next thing I added to my table were four 1 1/16" holes to accomodate the jib boom or pipe bender, that hooks into the truck hydraulics with quick couplers or into the power unit in the shop. You can easily see how handy this table can be on the truck or in the shop.

Please contact me if you have any clever ideas about attachments to add to this table, as I am always interested in fabricating a good idea!

If you need more information, you can email me at: brhlbsmt@mcttelecom.com Ralph Sproul


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Rev: 05/26/97