Tom built a custom welding table for his shop. His old welding table was built out of 1/2 inch steel plate. After three or so years of use it began to warp slightly. He used it primarily to weld a lot of jigs. He ran across a guy in Nebraska who cut apart a press break. It was a 200 ton machine and he had some scrap plate. He sold it to Tom for roughly the same price that new 1 inch steel would cost. The plate was actually 3 1/4 inch thick plate. The steel plate is certainly overkill for a welding table, but it should never warp. Tom picked up the plate after the guy in Nebraska cut it apart with a torch, leaving the sides fairly rough. Tom brought it home to Wyoming and then used a track torch to square the plate. It is important to have square edges on a welding table to aid in laying out projects like handrails.
Tom then built a stand for the large plate. He used his forklift to lift the 5 foot by 9 foot 3 1/4 inch slab on to a 6 inch by 6 inch by 1/4 inch wall square tube stand he built. The square tube is actually old guardrail tubing that is galvanized. It was a bit difficult to weld, but Tom ground off all the hot dipped galvanize first. Tom threaded adjustment legs on to the stand so that the table would be level even if the concrete floor beneath it was not.
High points when building a welding table? Make sure you have a good heavy steel top that won’t warp . The table needs to be square with a good base underneath.