The frame is made of square, steel tubing mounted on casters to allow it to easily be moved around the garage. The top is made of steel slats to allow sparks and other debris to fall through into the steel tub underneath. The shelves hold my Hobart Airforce 700i Plasma Cutter, Grinders, extra wheels, square and other tools.
First I started building out the frame. I used 1.5" 14 gauge square tubing. Every cut I made was a reminder of how nice it will be to have the completed table. Using a chop saw on the floor or perched on a small work bench is no fun. That and the cuts never come out exactly as planned or at least that's my excuse. We'll see if the quality of my work improves once the table is set up. The chop saw in the background will eventually reside on the new table.
As suspected my cuts weren't exactly square. I got tired and a little sloppy working with the saw on the floor and it showed once I started laying the pieces out. I had to apply a little pressure, clamp a few places and gently "guide" things back to where they should be. At this point I had roughly 6-8 hours in the project. I think an experienced welder would have had half that time in it, but what the heck, I'm having fun.
After a little coercion and sweet talking with a large hammer the table squared up and I was able to finish the frame. From there I started, what was for me the next truly challenging part, adding the metal tub. I quickly found out that cleanly welding 14 gauge sheet metal with a stick welder can be tough. I ended up having to practice with scrap pieces to get a feel for temperature and speed. Eventually I was able to get the pieces cut, placed and welded together. I used light gauge angle iron to form the edges of the tub and help hide some of my rookie welds. Somewhere in the mix of all of this I built in heavy gauge angle iron pieces to support the cutting grate and chop saw and also added the casters.
Another view... so much more comfortable, and accurate, to make cuts with the saw up on the table rather than on the ground. No more excuses! Any bad cuts can be squarely blamed on operator error. At this point I had 15-20 hours in the project. Many of those were spent either scratching my head trying to figure out what to do next or how to undo something that went wrong. Those are the joys of learning, but hey if it wasn't challenging it wouldn't be rewarding.
Next I added the heavy slats to finish out the torch/plasma cutter deck. This was a straight forward and fairly easy task. I cut the slats to length using the table with the chop saw on it. The saw deflected 75% of the sparks and debris into the metal tub as planned. It was nice to be able to make clean cuts with out slouching over a saw on the floor and have very little mess left to clean up afterwords. It became apparent that a foldaway backstop would be an almost required addition. More on that later.
Closer view. I made the cutting grates/slats out of 2" by 0.25" thick flat stock. I used 1" round pipe as spacers between the grates/slats. The pipe spacers are tack welded in place but the grates/slats are not allowing them to be replaced individually as needed without much work. Note how the deck of the chop saw is even with the top of the table. Makes cutting longer pieces easy.
I added a couple of shelves and tools. On the bottom left is a Hobart Airforce 700i Plasma Cutter. I used 0.50" rod to make cable and cutter gun holders. The grate and sheet metal tube work great for catching sparks debris and molten metal from the torch, plasma cutter, chop saw and angle grinder.
UPDATE: Here are a couple videos showing the table in action