Friday, June 7, 2013

Building a Machine Table

I'm really excited for my new machine snow cone maker that's coming, but I needed a table for it because the thing is heavy as heck.  It also needed wheels for portability.

The top and bottom are made of 1" square tubing with .200" plate welded on it and the supporting members are 2" square tubing.  The thing was MIG welded together, and castors welded to the bottom.  Here is a step by step account:

First cutting the pieces of square tubing with the abrasive saw. Then deburring them with the Apex disk sander.

Laying the pieces out and squaring them with a tape measure.  Who knew the Pythagorean theorem is actually useful?
Once square, tack welding the pieces and checking the squareness again before welding completely.
In order for the plate to fit on correctly, the welds needed to ground down flat.
After grinding:
After shearing the plate, I centered the tube structure on it with 1" gap all around and then tack welded it.
Since it wasn't necessary to weld the thing all the way around, I used staggered intermittent fillet welds to secure the plate.
Filing the edges to make it less sharp.  I may end up grinding the corners round later.
Once both top and bottom were complete, I cut the 2" pieces to size and deburred them.
Using the square to tack weld them in position.
After the posts were tacked to the bottom I put the top on.  Before tacking the top on I put a level on top, but it wasn't level.  I tried putting some shims on one side to fix it, but I knew something was wrong because there was more than a 1/4" difference.  I then put the level on the ground, and like I suspected, the floor wasn't level.  When they built the foundation, they likely made it slanted on purpose to aid in drainage.
I then welded the posts all the way around.  While I was welding, I noticed the CO2 regulator was leaking and becoming frosty.  Apparently, this was a result of excessive gas flow, and was a pressure relief function.
Finally, I welded the castors on.  6" castors were chosen for their ease of roll.  To my disappointment, the table didn't sit on all 4 wheels the first time, like a really bad shopping cart.  I had to grind off one of the castors and put shims under it to make it sit relatively level.
All finished after a combined total of about 10 hours.  Can't wait to make those snow cones, I should buy some pineapple flavor.

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