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Used semi truck brake drums = rotating welding table

01/15/2014 @ 12:42pm

Have you ever needed a specialty part and then struggled to find one? After an unproductive search at his local welding shop, Mike Korth began to wonder if he’d ever get his hands on what he needed. With eyes cast down, he realized he did have his foot on exactly what he needed.

“I happened to have my foot propped up on an old truck brake drum. I got out my tape measure, took another look, and said, ‘This is the size I need, right here.’”

The used drum would fit over the 8-inch well pipe he was using to install a custom worktable in his shop.

Better yet, he knew he had a supply back home. “They were ready for the scrap yard. I got out a stack of three, and they added up to just the right height.”

An evolving, revolving idea

The multisided metalworking table Korth was hatching is a refined version of one in his old shop. He’d built a workstation around a wooden center pillar.

This time, it wasn’t going around a structural support. Korth put up a 16.6-foot length of 8-inch well column pipe for the express purpose of supporting his new rotating metalworking table.

“The pipe is flanged on the bottom with eight bolt holes, so I drilled cement lag bolts into the floor. That’s how the bottom is fastened. At the ceiling, I welded a couple pieces of angle iron to the top and attached them to the rafters for stability,” he explains.

A hole torched in the top drum gives access to a pin that locks the table in position.

Korth says he mainly built it so he could turn the table to line up with the two vises on the 6×10-foot welding table about 7 feet away. This makes it possible to hold and work onlong, heavy pieces of metal.

“Now, if I need the drill press for a piece like that, I can line it up with those vises,” he says. “I usually have it positioned with the drill press to the outside, but it will turn when I need to run the Makita steel saw, grinder, or abrasive wheel.

“It’s solid, it’s tight, and it turns very easy,” he says.

Korth, along with his brother, Mark, and cousin Ed Lammers, used all the stations when they built a fertilizer placement implement for their Randolph, Nebraska, farm. He estimates he spent about $40 total on the table, which is for the flat iron work surfaces.

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