You are here:

Welding/Stainless Steel Table 304 18 Gauge

Advertisement


Question
Hi Ernie,

Based on past posts, it appears you have good knowledge in stainless steel 304.

I'm planning on purchasing a stainless steel 304 table and making a cut out to drop in a stainless steel sink.  Three questions:

1) Would 18 Gauge be strong enough to support the overmount sink?
2) How difficult, time consuming is it to cut the steel, and what is the best DIY method?  In a post from 2009 you recommended an angle grinder.
3) Would it be realistic to glue / caulk a stainless steel undermount sink to the stainless steel table or is there a better method to do this?

Here is a link to a stainless steel table I may be using.

http://www.webstaurantstore.com/18-gauge-regency-24-x-72-304-stainless-steel-com

Thanks,
Thomas

Answer
To answer your questions:

1) Would 18 Gauge be strong enough to support the overmount sink?

Yes as long as the sink is bonded to the edge 18 ga SS with enough strength to add rigidity to the table top.

2) How difficult, time consuming is it to cut the steel, and what is the best DIY method?  In a post from 2009 you recommended an angle grinder.

Cutting stainless steel sheet metal takes a bit of skill if the cut edge will be visible.
Using a top hung sink will hide a nasty cut edge.
A bottom hung sink will require a very pretty edge
You could rent a small plasma cutter, with a built-in air compressor, from a welding store for around $50. But when you plasma cut a hole in stainless steel it will cause heat distortion that can only be removed by using a small hammer to peen the cut edge to stretch it a tiny bit.
To do this use a larger (3 - 4 lb.) sledge hammer as an anvil, and a small 1 lb. hammer to strike.
You hold the sledge hammer head under the edge and lightly peen the edge all the way around the hole until the distortion goes away.

3) Would it be realistic to glue / caulk a stainless steel undermount sink to the stainless steel table or is there a better method to do this?

A top hung sink would also allow you to only use silicone caulk to bond the sink to the table top.

Another consideration in using a pre-fabbed stainless table is that all commercial food service tables have stainless steel channels spot welded to the underside to mount the support legs to.
You can see them on the web link you sent for your table in the smaller pictures showing how the legs mount under the table.
These channels are critical to the strength of the table. You can't cut them or remove them without the table top loosing all rigidity.
You have to make sure your sink will be in between these channels.
If your sink does land between the channels, you can use the channels to mount a low support bracket for the sink, thereby allowing you to use an under hung sink.

The professional method of mounting an under hung sink is to plasma cut the hole and spot weld small threaded studs on the underside of the lip to allow the sink to be bolted to the table top.


I would recommend not getting a "brushed" stainless table top.
Commercial tables are usually not brushed. Brushed surfaces show scratches too well, and are hell to blend out with abrasives.

If you want a really clean end product pay to have a local sheet metal fabricator cut your hole for you.  

Welding

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Ernie Leimkuhler

Expertise

Questions about Oxy-Acetylene welding/cutting, MIG, TIG, Flux-core, Stick welding, brazing and soldering, bike frames, air frames, motorcycle frames, structural welding. Also questions about Welding Certifications and Inspections. All questions about fabrication of metals (stainless steel, steel , aluminum, brass, bronze, copper). Basic questions about underwater welding. TIG is my strongest subject.

Experience

Extensive background in most welding fields. 18 years fabrication of metal theatre scenery, 16 years structural steel, 2 years pipe welding, 9 years as a Welding Instructor at South Seattle Community College, and 5.5 years as a Welding Instructor at the Divers Institute of Technology. 16 years Industrial Welding Consultant for fabrication shops in the greater Seattle Area. 11 years Architectural Metal Fabrication. 8 years in Film/TV; SPFX/construction/set-deco/props/. 33 years Blacksmithing and Knifemaking. Currently a Field Welding Inspector for Otto Rosenau and Associates.

Organizations
American Welding Society - Certified Welding Inspector Washington Assoc of Building Officials (WABO) - Special Inspector - Structural and Reinforcing Steel.

Publications
Do a search on google groups for "Ernie Leimkuhler" in the rec.crafts.metalworking and sci.engr.joining.welding groups. http://www.stagesmith.com/ http://www.metalwebnews.com/ Blacksmith's Gazzette - Anvil Making

Education/Credentials
BA Theatre Technology - Purdue University.

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.