If you are just starting out in welding or fabricating and are looking to build or buy a welding table you may wonder why do most welding tables have holes? Over the years of being in the fabrication business we have built and designed all sorts of equipment and will go over this and other questions you may have on welding tables.
Welding tables have holes specifically for holding your welding projects in place with clamps, jigs, and stops. The holes along with the welding table accessories keep the project held tightly in place while it is being welded and assembled. The holes are also used for securing rests for tools being used during the fabrication process.
Here are a few reasons to use holes in your welding table when working on your next project.
You may have wondered why welding tables have holes, and as mentioned they are used to help assemble a welding project. There are plenty of tools for welding, such as clamps, stops, and vices. You may need a certain tool to help assist you with a larger project that you can not hold down with your hands. Many welding tools are designed to fit into the holes, and the majority are made to be used in a standard-sized hole.
Another reason why a welding table has holes is to help hold a project in place. To do this, a variety of tools can be used. Tools such as clamps can fit in the holes and are placed in an even alignment. Holes can help hold a tool or workpiece for your welding project. Accessories and tools are excellent for making a welding job easier. Tools that hold projects in place will help keep the work surface steady, so welders will not have to worry about movement.
Some welding tables come with holes sized differently from industry standards, so what is considered a standard size welding table hole?
The industry standard size diameter of a welding table hole is 0.625 inches, or 16 mm. They are spaced out evenly 2 inches on center across the entire top of the table in both directions. This utilizes the entire table in order to work on various sized welding projects.
Many people like myself build and customize their tables and drill their own holes. If you are customizing your own table, smaller holes are easier to drill.
Hole size is important to consider when purchasing a table. We recommend the standard 0.625 as this will work with any accessories you may purchase now or in the future. If you are just a hobbyist it may not matter much whether you have holes in your table or not.
Holes are not always necessary and we have used tables with and without them. If you are looking to fabricate jobs that need speed and accuracy, holes in the table for jigging up projects are the way to go.
You may notice when reading some reviews of tables online some of the cheaper tables on the market may not be the standard of 16mm (0.625″) and their fit and finish are off just a bit. In the long run, this can be a pain especially if you are welding and fabricating for profit or in business.
As always you get what you pay for and always be sure to check the specs before making a decision if you are looking to purchase a welding table.
We mentioned the welding top holes and spacing earlier but what about the size and thickness of the table? Here are some general numbers to go by and what we used through the years at our metal fabrication businesses.
Thickness and size also play a role as you will want to make sure you purchase or build the right size table and thickness of the top.
Check out another article of ours on 11 different welding tables which lists out specifications for each. Here you can see and compare 11 different welding tables and the common welding table specifications and hole sizes for them.
Having plenty of holes is useful when working with metal. You never know where you will need them due to varied size projects, therefore they are spread across the entire table.
Welding tables are available in different sizes you can buy, but some people will choose to build their own customized table. If you read our other article on the 11 welding tables just mentioned above we have a link at the end to download a set of free welding table plans.
Building your own welding table can take a little time, especially when it comes to drilling all of those holes for clamps and fixtures. So what is the best way to drill all of the holes in a welding table?
The best way to drill holes in a welding table is with a magnetic drill press. Measure and mark all holes with soap stone, then use a center punch to mark all holes first. Next with a mag drill, and a 11/64 drill bit, drill a pilot hole in each marked hole. Repeat drilling all holes again with a 0.625″ annular cutter, and a drop of oil for each hole to finish.
Make sure your table top is level and square before marking out and drilling all the holes. Ok that might sound basic, but we all forget minor details from time to time.
If you are just curious about welding tables or came across this article because you may be looking into building or buying one, I would stick with the recommended standard-size welding holes. If you are a hobbyist, part-time business, or looking into starting up a fabrication shop, it is nice to have quality equipment. Better equipment should equal a better product.
Although tables are not required for welders, they are nice to have. Welding tables are great for performing tasks without having extra stress or difficulties.
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