A Motorized Rotary Shop Table From Scratch

As we’ve seen over the years, it’s possible to bootstrap your own metalworking shop using little more than a pile of scrap steel, a welder, and an angle grinder. With time and dedication, you can build increasingly complex shop tools until you’ve got yourself a nice little post-apocalyptic workshop. It’s the whole idea behind the [Workshop From Scratch] channel, and we never get bored of seeing his incredible backyard engineering.

But eventually, you’ll have built all the basic stuff. What then? Well, as [Workshop From Scratch] shows in a recent video, you can start working on the luxuries. Do you need a motorized table that will let you spin the workpiece and position it an at arbitrary angle? No, probably not. But as the video after the break shows, it’s certainly a handy thing to have around the shop. We especially like how he uses it to quickly and easily produce nearly perfect circular welds.

Note the welded standoffs used to hold on the lid.

From a technical standpoint, this is perhaps one of his more straightforward builds. But at the same time, the attention to detail that he puts into even this “simple” design is phenomenal. Nothing is wasted, and cutoff pieces from one section are often used in imaginative ways elsewhere.

[Workshop From Scratch] is truly a master of working with what you have, and this project is a perfect example. We especially like the tilt mechanism, which uses a massive leadscrew spun by a wiper motor salvaged from an Audi A8 B4. It looks like a fair amount of new hardware went into the control electronics, but even still, we have no doubt that the cost of this build is well below the purchase price of a commercial alternative.

Much like his hydraulic lifting table or motorized plasma cutter, not everyone is going to need something this elaborate in their home shop. But his magnetic vise and mobile drill press cart are far more approachable for the home gamer. Of course even if you don’t follow along and build your own versions of his tools, it’s always worth tuning in just to see him work.

8 thoughts on “A Motorized Rotary Shop Table From Scratch

  1. To bootstrap you don’t really need a welder or an angle grinder. But it’s hard to get by without tool steels to drill holes for rivetting, and files and hacksaws.

    I hate angel grindrs[1], I would much rather use a hacksaw or snips in most situations. Though I did buy a bandsaw a couple of years ago.

    [1] Too loud and fill the world with abrasive muck. My dad was an artist with them, though. When faced with a gear with spalling on some teeth (somewhere in Indonesia, I think. He worked in 102 countries during a career of fixing industrial gearboxes) he said “Well, if we grind 1/4” off of the face of every tooth we can get this back in service in not much more than a day if we work three shifts at it, because we can’t make and ship a replacement in less than a month. This was a gear with a 1m face width and maybe 8 foot diameter. (I learned my units from my dad too). “Let’s get started”, he said “and we’ll need three grinders, one working, one cooling locked on” (they cool faster that way) “and one having the disc changed.”
    As he said to me later “Nobody would do that if you told them to, but if as the old foreign guy you do one tooth and then act tired, they will take over and finish the job to show that they are younger and better than you”

  2. I’ve worn out many 9 inch grinders and stick welders on the farm and it’s true that the combo can do impressive things. Arc welders are limited by only welding on the flat. But when the farm bought a teleporter it made a massive difference, the projects I could do were larger, I could turn over a 26 foot trailer to replace an axle or towing ring. they’re getting old now so they can be picked up for scrap price.

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