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End Table is Good Beginner Project for MIG Welding

Quinn from Blondihacks built a small end table for end-of-day drinks, and the result is pretty wonderful. This is the table stand, without the top, obviously:

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In addition to building the table Quinn documented the process and shared it here. It’s chock full of good tips and tricks for beginning welders, whether one decides to replicate this table design or not.

The junk pile coughed up some four foot lengths of ¼” x ¾” mild steel, so I decided to see if I could do something with them. I wanted a design that was lightweight in appearance, perhaps with some graceful curves. I also wanted something that could be slid in close to the chair and overhang the armrest. After the third or fourth beverage, the ruminations tend to be less about string theory, and more about coping with the weight of one’s own arm. These are the struggles of deep thinking and heavy drinking. The last design goal I had was for something asymmetrical with the feeling of a cantilever. I’m partial to things that look at a glance like they should be unstable, because they showcase the beauty of physics, and the power of engineering.

I decided the core of the stand would be an S-shaped piece of steel, so I needed to make some large-radius bends in the material. Doing this really cleanly and consistently is probably best done with a roller-bender. They exist for various kinds and shapes of stock. However, there’s another way that is arguably more fun because it involves fire.

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I especially dig this moment during the build phase, when the steel is approaching or at 1500°F and Quinn takes the opportunity to briefly snap a picture, while telling you,

When you hit that cherry red color, quickly put the torch down and pull the steel against your jig, wrapping it around the big pipe.

I totally know that feeling, when something might only last for a few seconds but at the same time you’re compelled to photograph it to show others what to expect! (Thanks for sharing, Quinn!)

And here’s a really interesting design for reinforcing a potentially weak point in the design:

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See the completed table and read the full post here. (But beware of the koalas!)


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