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Learning how to build Lotus Seven replicas...together!
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PostPosted: September 28, 2017, 8:40 am 
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Joined: October 24, 2008, 2:13 pm
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Location: Carlsbad, California, USA
Personally, I'd go for the last one. Wood is more flexible in many ways, and you.u can attach to, or modify the table to suit the stage of your build.

In my case, I used building my table as a skill building exercise. I was doing my first big application of welding, and learning to cut and join tubular steel. I would not do such an elaborate table now. However, mine was designed so that: 1) I could build the chassis without having to relocate it on the table to do the rear section; and 2) strong enough that I can build the complete car (chassis, engine, rear axle, seats, etc.) in situ. Here's the 3D model of it with my 3D design of the chassis in place to test the layout.
Attachment:
File comment: Chassis + Table in 3D
Sm-Table-Frame+Plywood+Chassis.jpg
Sm-Table-Frame+Plywood+Chassis.jpg [ 64.48 KiB | Viewed 1520 times ]


In practice, I found marking it up legibly, being able to cut access holes, and being able to attach temporary pieces or supports or structures was really more important. Such as below:
Attachment:
File comment: Layout lines and access holes
BR-Joint-2.jpg
BR-Joint-2.jpg [ 78.08 KiB | Viewed 1520 times ]


I hope this helps with your decision making.

Cheers,

Post Script Edit:
I should have mentioned, two "nice to have" features are 1) leg levelers; and 2) castors. They are not a requirement. However, depending on your build space and other things, it's nice to be able to move the table with your build intact, and then re-level it somewhere else. It's just something to consider. There are some good examples in various build logs if you decide to go that way.

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Damn! That front slip angle is way too large and the Ackerman is just a muddle.

Build Log: viewtopic.php?f=35&t=5886


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PostPosted: September 29, 2017, 6:51 pm 
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Joined: July 4, 2006, 5:40 pm
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Location: Novato, CA
For a Locost build, anything more than MDF on a couple of sawhorses is overkill, IMO. You just don't need a table all that much, once the basic frame is tacked together. It's nice to be able to take the thing apart easily when you don't want it taking up space anymore. If you want something more permanent, then I agree with Lonnie, the last design seems most practical.


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PostPosted: September 30, 2017, 8:28 am 
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Joined: September 22, 2005, 8:12 am
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Location: 4AGE in S.E. Michigan
I agree with Nick. It always seems like you need more space to work in. So a table that can be dis-assemblied will definitely help. The other option is casters on the table, so you can roll the whole thing out of the garage, so you can cut up a 20' long tube. I used saw horses but, once I got about 50% of the build completed I mounted wheels on the table that put the frame about a foot off the ground. That save my back plus allowed me to move the chassis around to free up the work area. Dave W


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PostPosted: September 30, 2017, 4:43 pm 
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A lower shelf underneath is always helpful. Make the cross braces for the lower shelf strong enough and high enough off the ground so that you can get a pallet jack underneath to move everything around. Or put locking, adjustable swivel wheels on each corner. It's always nice to be able to move your project around and the ability to level out the top surface is a plus.

Tom

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PostPosted: October 1, 2017, 11:01 pm 
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Hmm. For me I think a table with some good rigidity is critical because as I build my frame I am constantly getting on and off the table to access parts. Having the table skinned with a sheet of 16ga steel is very helpful because it acts as a ground and a quick way to tack things down. I just finished building the front end of my frame tonight, and it was very helpful to be able to build a jig out of scrap end-cuts, tack to the table in an unused corner, and build the part. Then a few minutes later with the help of a grinder, it's all gone.

my table was built with two sheets of 3/4" MDF with metal studs glued and screwed. Laid out lengthwise and 5 rows of transverse members added after the first pic was taken. I then glued and bolted the legs to what would become the underside MDF, glued and screwed it down to the top half, and flipped it over with the help of a friend. Also added leveling feet, which was a must with my garage floor. Painted all sides of each pce of MDF to help seal it as well as make it easy to mark out the locations of the legs, studs etc.

Image

Image


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PostPosted: October 9, 2017, 8:52 am 
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Joined: August 27, 2017, 6:20 pm
Posts: 81
I've been thinking about the build table for mine. I have a buddy who has a chassis table, but he's using it for a customer car at the moment and it won't be available for a couple months. Has anybody found an old, preferably free pool table to use? One with a slate top. Those are surely strong enough and are adjustable to make them perfectly flat. I found a couple on craigslist here in the $2-300 range. I wonder if you could find a free one somebody just wants out of their garage.


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PostPosted: October 11, 2017, 1:48 am 
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Thank you for the suggestions,

ZiG...I have never heard of metal studs, is this something you can just buy at Home Depot or Lowes? Like the link below?
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Clark-Western-2-1-2-in-x-10-ft-25-Gauge-Galvanized-Steel-Drywall-Track-45226151000000/100321197?MERCH=REC-_-PIPHorizontal1_rr-_-100319022-_-100321197-_-N

It sounds like there are two camps of thought. One makes a cheap build table with sawhorses and MDF board. I get it that makes sense, this form is locost not highcost right. :D

Camp two is a sturdy table maybe welded with casters and leveling feet.

I'm really leaning to the cheap table with sawhorses and MDF Board. My thought is if the table is too nice the frame will spend to much time on it, I'll let it sit on the table too long and not on the ground.

But I did redesign the table with leveling casters and C channel. (This would give me welding practice.) It still has the cool space under the table to hold tools and what not and holes for clapping down the frame for welding. This would cost much much more and take more time to procure all the parts and weld them together. The darn casters are 30 bucks each.

Enough talk here are the pictures....


Attachments:
Paulk-ish Workbench 10' 2.JPG
Paulk-ish Workbench 10' 2.JPG [ 292.54 KiB | Viewed 1319 times ]
24125T230_LEVELING SWIVEL CASTER.JPG
24125T230_LEVELING SWIVEL CASTER.JPG [ 136.88 KiB | Viewed 1319 times ]
Paulk-ish Workbench 10'.JPG
Paulk-ish Workbench 10'.JPG [ 157.25 KiB | Viewed 1319 times ]
Paulk-ish 10' table with C Channel Frame.JPG
Paulk-ish 10' table with C Channel Frame.JPG [ 292.38 KiB | Viewed 1319 times ]
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PostPosted: October 12, 2017, 9:37 am 
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Trackslut wrote:

ZiG...I have never heard of metal studs, is this something you can just buy at Home Depot or Lowes? Like the link below?
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Clark-Western-2-1-2-in-x-10-ft-25-Gauge-Galvanized-Steel-Drywall-Track-45226151000000/100321197?MERCH=REC-_-PIPHorizontal1_rr-_-100319022-_-100321197-_-N




Yup, that's it exactly. Very common in commercial buildings because they are light, go up quickly, and fireproof. I choose them over wood because they are perfectly straight and I didn't want a warped 2x4 causing my table to twist.

To your point about the two camps... Mine cost $300 CAD and took a day to build.


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PostPosted: October 13, 2017, 8:26 am 
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Location: 4AGE in S.E. Michigan
Just to be clear. One should not just use the MFD board with out any reinforcement for your build table. You need 2x4's, either steel or wood under structure to prevent the board from bending while clamping down the frame. Another option is white Melamine panel. It will cost about $10 more then MFD, but will make it easier to drawn [and see] your layout patterns on the white surface. DaveW


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PostPosted: October 13, 2017, 11:05 am 
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I for one, think the table as drawn will be very stable. :cheers: I assume that you have access to an NC router to make these pieces?

The drawing has been reduced so much it is hard to see clearly. I have a few comments. 1) the inner 2 ft sections should be supported by the ribs. It appears that the ribs are located below the adjacent 4 ft sections. Maybe double up the ribs where those joints occur or place a 3" wide splice below the surface joints bridging the joint? 2) If it were me, I would stagger those joints of the upper and lower surfaces so that they don't occur at the same place. 3) increase the number of ribs to 16" min on center 4) the top surface should be very thick, maybe 3/4". The bottom surface could be thinner.

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Visit my active Cushman Truckster resurrection log: over HERE
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PostPosted: October 14, 2017, 6:43 pm 
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This seems a never ending discussion so I'll throw this in. A real weld table (flat, stable) for some bits like suspension arms and a front cross member ala airframe fixer might be nice. Like these https://weldtables.com/collections/pro- ... table-kits Although a full chassis size might be a bit much.
I have tried out there product and you can build square and flat jigs with it.

I'm a little surprised so many people use those engine hoists. Just more junk to store for me. I built a sliding beam into my ceiling and use a chain hoist. Works great.


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PostPosted: October 15, 2017, 10:04 am 
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vroom wrote:
This seems a never ending discussion so I'll throw this in. A real weld table (flat, stable) for some bits like suspension arms and a front cross member ala airframe fixer might be nice. Like these https://weldtables.com/collections/pro- ... table-kits Although a full chassis size might be a bit much.
I have tried out there product and you can build square and flat jigs with it.

I'm a little surprised so many people use those engine hoists. Just more junk to store for me. I built a sliding beam into my ceiling and use a chain hoist. Works great.


This table looks awesome for the price. Having a flat surface you can trust is a big help.


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PostPosted: March 17, 2018, 7:50 am 
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As a newbie to this site I cannot compete with you guys on experience but... just a couple of thoughts:
1. When I was at school (time flies...!) I remember being told the top of the bench vice should be level with the underside of your elbow, when you raise your hand up to your shoulder. So you could measure yourself ('EH'), check vice heights in your local store (around 8"...?), deduct this from your 'EH' and you have a reasonable bench height. Naturally if your chassis design is very high you might like to lower this figure but, if it's just the roll-over hoops you might be happier with small steps to stand on for those few occasions.

2. Most people will perhaps end up in the region of 30" which is the usual height of kitchen cabinets... so try wandering about the kitchen with a welding torch, spanner, hammer etc., and see if it feels comfortable... and then try to explain to your wife you aren't really planning to build in her kitchen,,,

3. Another thing that seems to me to be over-emphasised is the need for the table to be 'level' but what is really necessary is it should be 'flat'...! and nobody here seems to have explained how to do this. We are all making flat tables so we can create a 'flat' chassis but we don't have a flat table on which to make the table... There is a fairly straight forward way to do this that I came across on YouTube a while back. I'll try to find it again. If you have a reasonably level, reasonably flat base to be working on then imagine a 3-legged table(stool) - wherever you put it the table will be stable (and flat if you made it flat) - it just won't be level. Does this really matter...? Now imagine a 4th leg on the table which is adjustable, which you can use to keep the table stable (try saying that quickly) and to help level it. It probably won't be enough to fully level the table but, if you do have a reasonable floor to be working on you will have a reasonable and perfectly acceptable table on which to build. I humbly suggest this is also more in keeping with the name of this site...

4. I am also amused that nobody here seems to have suggested how to get the car down off the bench when it is completed. I know many people then dismantle the build in order to properly finish off the chassis so is the re-build done at floor-level...? This won't help my tired old back... lol.

PS: when I start my build I might find these thoughts to be nonsense, in which case I'll return and eat my hat - the action-cam is standing by.
Thanks, Mangpong...


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PostPosted: March 17, 2018, 8:34 am 
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Joined: August 28, 2010, 7:53 am
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String, or better yet, fishing line, pulled tight will form a line straight enough for our purposes. You can check the table with it easily. I use a pair of 1/2 blocks at each end of what I'm checking, pull the string really tight and see if the gap is even. I drill 1/16" holes in the center of all my cross members for the same purpose.
Having the table level is not necessary but is makes things easier. I use a Wixey digital level (i think it was designed for saw blade sharpening) If the table is level, it is a lot easier to create symmetry on parts that are not horizontal or vertical

String = safe, cheap, portable, accurate


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PostPosted: March 17, 2018, 9:04 am 
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Joined: September 22, 2005, 8:12 am
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Location: 4AGE in S.E. Michigan
Mangpong
I really thing is a matter of personal choice as to how you are the most comfortable with laying out the chassis tubes. Some builders prefer a fixed location table [i.e. leveled] and using a level to help with setting up the tubes. I prefer building off the table surface using squares and bucks to set the tubing, because I probably knock down the table down 30 or 40 times during the build process, and did not want to re-level the table on the sloping garage floor. If you feel that you can accurately locate the tubes with a level, go for it. I just like hard measurements for the set-up.
As for removing your chassis/build from the table, you will need to have a engine hoist, or chain fall to install the engine/power train, which will easily do the job of removing the build from the table when you get ready to skin the frame.
DaveW


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