If you are just starting out in welding or fabricating and want to build or buy a welding table, you may wonder why most welding tables have holes.
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.
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.
Why Have Holes In The Welding Table?
Here are a few reasons to use holes in your welding table when working on your next project.
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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.
Note: If you like reading different books, then you might also like checking out the top 5 books every welder should read.
Welding Table Tools and Accessories
- Clamps are a great tool for holding all sorts of welding projects in place. Clamps come in different styles, shapes, and designs, serving different purposes. Some kinds of clamps include squeeze-type clamps, C-clamps, screw-type clamps, and lever clamps.
- Stops come in several different lengths. A popular stop size like this one on Amazon is good for holding parts from sliding as welds are made.
- Right angle and adjustable angle guides are versatile clamps. These clamps allow you to set up a job with angles that will stay positioned.
- Vices use holes and slots in the table to mount and demount.
- Other accessories are used to place and hang welding guns. Magnets help hold down workpieces, and braces weigh down a workspace. Trays can hold tools, scraps, and trash. Hooks hold welding armor.
Speaking of welding accessories, one accessory that you might often use is welding gloves. But do you know how long welding gloves last? Check out the guide to learn more.
What Size Should Welding Table Holes Be?
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.
While speaking of welding, you might also want to check out this guide on the best places to find metal for welding.
Welding Table Holes vs. No Holes (What To Consider)
- What kind of tools you will be using on your projects?
- What size of projects do you plan on working on?
- Will you be working on repetitious projects?
- Are you just welding on jobs as a hobby?
- How accurate do your measurements need to be?
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 that 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.
Welding Table Top: Hole Spacing, Thickness, and Size
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 have 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.
By the way, if you’re new to welding, here’s one question you might often think of: Is Welding Hard? Check out our guide on the topic for detailed insights.
Welding Table Specifications:
- Hole Size: 0.625″ (16mm) diameter. NOTE: Some tables have up to 1″ holes
- Spacing: 2 Inch on center
- Table Size: 18×36, 24×36, 18×46 plus various other sized tables
- Thickness: 0.25″ – 0.375 (most hobby tables are thinner than 0.25″)
Check out another article of ours on 11 different welding tables, which lists the 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 projects of varied sizes; 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 tables.
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.
What Is The Best Way To Drill Welding Table Holes
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 soapstone, then use a center punch to mark all holes first. Next, with a mag drill and an 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.
Ensure your tabletop 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.
Tools For Drilling Welding Table Holes
- Center Punch.
- Steel drill bit for pilot hole (to match annular cutter pin) approximately 11/64 inch.
- Cutting fluid for drill bits.
- Magnetic Drill Press like this one from Amazon.
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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