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Motorsport Fabrication Fundamentals: Step 1: Planning

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Step 1: Planning


00:00 - In this worked example, we're going to go through the design and construction process for a TIG welding bench.
00:06 Not only is this going to give you a real world look at many of the fabrication skills we've learned about so far in the body of this course, if you are planning to add a TIG welder to your workshop, this will give you a simple and easy to build workspace where you'll have everything you need to produce clean, quality welds right at your fingertips.
00:26 TIG welding is a process that rewards patience and mastering the process requires the operator to be comfortable.
00:33 The intention of a welding bench like this one is to provide a comfortable space which is ergonomically suited to your body shape and hence will give you the best chances of success.
00:44 While we've included the plans for the bench we'll be creating here, it's easy for you to adjust and modify the design to suit your own workshop space as well as your own personal preferences.
00:56 The fundamentals will remain the same regardless what you choose to build.
01:00 Our design process involves factoring in some key elements that we want to incorporate within this design.
01:07 Obviously we want to have easy storage for our welder, the gas bottle, filler rods and other consumables and we want these all within easy reach while we're seated at the bench.
01:18 The concept is for the table to be portable, requiring only the power cable to be connected to make it a completely self sufficient TIG welding area.
01:27 Not all welding will be done on this bench though and it would be less than ideal if we had to remove the welder every time we needed to weld on a car for example.
01:35 For this reason, we wanted to keep the width of the table reasonable narrow so that it can fit into tight spaces as well as through doorways if required.
01:45 This also means that we want the bench to be easily movable around the workshop and this is the task for a set of caster wheels.
01:52 Caster wheels are great when you want to move the bench around however there will also be times when we want to ensure the bench won't move.
01:59 We've settled on a solution for this with some of our other mobile benches where we have adjustable feet that can be screwed down and locked up when we want the bench to stay put but retracted out of the way when we want to move it around on the caster wheels.
02:13 The adjustable feet also allow a lot of flexibility in order to level the bench perfectly if required and the stability these feet provide also means that we can make our bench a little more multi purpose with the addition of a bench vice for example.
02:27 Now that we've got a high level view of what we want to achieve, let's start considering our dimensions.
02:33 Our welder measures 400 mm long and the filler rod measures 500 mm so this will be our minimum required width.
02:41 We wanted to make the bench top long enough to allow typical TIG welding jobs to be completed such as header and exhaust fabrication for example.
02:49 And also long enough to have the welder on one side and the gas bottle on the other with enough room for the operator to comfortably sit in between.
02:58 On this basis, we've decided that the length will be 1200 mm and the width 700 mm.
03:03 We also need to consider the height of the table and this will come down to the height of the stool you'll be sitting at as well as a little personal preference.
03:12 Based on the other work benches in our shop which we know are at a comfortable working height, we've chosen 950 mm for the overall height.
03:21 With these design parameters in mind we can begin to develop a rough design outline for the bench.
03:27 The options for developing your design will depend on your skill level and at the entry level of course we can simply use a pencil and some paper.
03:35 For this worked example, we also drew the plan out for the TIG welding table using Fusion 360 and you'll find the completed design as a PDF attachment.
03:44 Once we're happy with the design, we can use this to develop our cutting list which is a list of the lengths of steel we're going to need to build the table.
03:53 These lengths of steel need to be cut and the cutting list will tell us what length and what angle, if any, is required.
04:00 A tip here when measuring lengths of material that have an angle on the ends, is to always measure the longest side.
04:07 Doing this consistently will avoid any potential for confusion when cutting your steel.
04:12 By incorporating angles into the ends of our raw material, we won't be left with any open areas of tube, making the finished job look that much more professional without really adding to our work load.
04:24 Incorporating 45° angles on a job like this means that the material should fit up perfectly with no gaps when it comes time to weld them together and this will also help us achieve true 90° corners, ensuring that our finished table is nice and square.
04:40 With the planning and design stage complete and our cutting list written out, we can move on and select the materials we're going to use.

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