Bessey clamp can be passed through for clamping out in the middle of the table. The slots are arranged so that there is full clamp coverage over the entire table. Good thing I had the little forming table cut first. Since it was all we had, it became the shop welding table while we waited to get the larger table. It turns out that those cutouts are a pain when you are doing small fabrication jobs. All your tools fall through the holes and frustrate you when what you want is a little flat area to work. After realizing the cutouts would frustrate me much more often than I needed them for clamping I redesigned the table. Eliminating all but one in the center of the table where it is difficult to get any serious clamp pressure normally made a good compromise.
My buddy at the scrap place hooked me up with a really nice chunk of steel plate for a welding table. It was thicker than I was planning on but the deal could not be ignored. The only problem was I had to move it. As is where is means just that. There was some timing issues that almost collapsed the deal partway through. And good thing the new Hyster is running. And just in the nick of time I might add. I really wasn't looking forward to moving the steel plate for the welding table by any ancient back breaking methods.
Phase one was to get the plate out of the hands of the scrapper. To calibrate the readers the plate alone weighs 2000 lbs. This is a wee bit of a logistics problem since all I have for a truck is a small easily crushed Toyota. I could rent a truck I suppose, so I checked into that. For a truck that can haul the plate and match up with my dock to make unloading easy was the better part of two hundred dollars for a one day minimum. If my forklift wasn't ready and I had to rent one it would be another three hundred bucks for the forklift rental and pickup/delivery. It was now looking grim if I couldn't get the planets to align. I hated to have to pass on the plate just because I couldn't move it in a timely fashion.
It struck me after looking at the plate. I thought to myself, "gee it sure has a thick mill scale on it. It would be great to wheelabrade, it or better yet Blanchard grind it flat." I wonder how much it would be to grind a plate that size to some easy grinding tolerances? The answer is, less than a truck and forklift rental including pickup and delivery. For a fab table this size I only need flat to .005 or .010. What is more important is nice and smooth. I asked for grind to clean, flat to .005 with a 32rms finish. 32 rms is a semi fine machine finish you might find on a lathe turned part with a smooth to the touch finish. Not too hard or expensive to produce by grinding and smooth enough that things slide easily on the table.
Jim at Advanced grinding worked his magic and a short time later I had a flat smooth table on the way.