Welded Coffee Table

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This is the “Sundry Other Avocations” part of the blog you’ve heard tell about.

In addition to the cheap little woodworking bench and the long mechanic’s bench I have in the shop, I also have a welding table I built from 1/4″ plate steel and some 1-1/2″ angle iron given to me by a friend.

The Bronze Oak Leaf isn’t just your run-of-the-mill woodworking shop.  It’s also your run-of-the-mill metalworking shop.  I’m pretty well tooled-up for just about anything that strikes my fancy at any given time.

I don’t weld as much as I used to, but I can still make some sparks fly when I have to.  And today, I had to.

My lovely sister (for those of you interested in real art, click on either link) asked me over a year ago to build an industrial-style table resembling a cart from an old warehouse.  I promised, but never delivered.  Life has a way of intruding on commitments.

Anyway, I bought the steel some weeks ago and have been just waiting for the right time.  You see, it isn’t just that I need to find the time to do some things, I also have to have the bug.

I was in the shop early this morning, trying to figure out what to do with the rotted-out exhaust system on my beater work car.  I finally decided to spend the money and replace the whole kit-and-kaboodle.  It was a miserable couple hours (and expensive), but it put me in the mood to do some steel work.  What the heck, I was already dirty.

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As you can see here, I notched the side then heated and bent the other side to make a smoother and more visually pleasing leg.  I wish I had taken some pics of my patterns.  I made scaled patterns to help me figure out the angles to cut for the bent legs.

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I welded the inside of the legs before flipping them over and welding the “show” side.  I needed some warm-up; it’s been awhile.

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Things tend to creep with the heating and cooling that comes with welding, so I clamp securely to keep things straight.

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This is what it looks like before the wood.  Not too shabby, all thing considered.  I didn’t have to grind off and re-weld anything, so I was happy.

From my vast rough lumber collection, my sister chose some rough-cut cherry that I bought from a guy last year.  It was cut on a circular sawmill and she liked the look.  However, trying to make rough-cut lumber behave like surfaced lumber is no small task.  I can’t flatten it, so I have to figure out how to deal with the minor cupping and warping that comes with rough-cut.

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I’ll hopefully be finishing this some time this week.  I’ll be posting more pics as I figure out how the heck I’m going to pull this off.

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About Sam

Young, good-looking, manly--you get the picture. Novice woodworker with just too much rolling around upstairs to keep to myself. Random thoughts, philosophical questions, the occasional flash of insight or just dumb luck that needs to be shared with anyone who cares.
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