When I was preparing to start writing this column I attended the Fabtech Expo in Chicago. Among other things I was looking at fixture tables. Most fixture tables are extremely heavy and fairly expensive. On the second day of the show I stopped at a booth and found the Fab Block from CertiFlat. I knew right away I needed to put one in my shop. To me, having an ample and clean workspace is very important. Before I start a job I make sure all my tools are put away, my work surfaces are clear, and the floor is swept. The feeling of starting fresh before every project allows me a stress-free environment to be creative and to do my best work. While mid-project I’ll stop to clear my head by putting away tools, cleaning work surfaces, and sweeping the floor again. The freedom to work uncluttered is something I always strive for.
The table is 6 inches thick, and the holes in the table are 5/8-inch. I used 8 x 1/2-inch coarse thread bolts to clamp through the table. I used half-inch coarse thread Ready Rod or All Thread to secure my table laterally through the sides, and it worked very well.
Once the entire block is bolted together “snug” I placed it on a set of saw horses and got out my straight edge. By tightening and loosening bolts where needed and the occasional persuasion of a heavy hammer, I was able to true the work surface so that it was flat across front to back, side to side, and diagonally across the entire surface. You do not want to rush this step. The more time you take here to ensure your surface is flat the happier you’ll be when it is finished. All the prep work pays off when the welding is done. While truing the surface I had a couple of spots that I needed to add bolts to draw down a couple of high spots, so I was happy with how flat the block was.
For the time and money investment I don’t think you can go wrong here. It’s perfect for any small fab shop or home work shop. There are lots of “off the shelf” sizes available and custom sizes are available as well at weldtables.com. Tell them that #HotBikeSnapFab sent you!
If you have any questions or suggestions for the column you can reach me at [email protected] Cheers!