1-3-24 LIVE Video Discussion: "Fabricator Skills Test Build"

Hey guys, join me live on the main channel as I build the table frame on my fixture table. Any questions you have can be left here in this forum thread.

Link found here.


can you do this same build on the floor with just your squares?
I know it would defeat the sales pitch for the table, but could it be done dirty in the field with just your squares and clamps


Hi, Jason. This was fun and fascinating to watch, but I was too late to ask questions in the livestream. Could you grab a pair of calipers and measure how far out the table corners are are with the two tables stacked on each other, top-to-top?? Or if you have a 36" caliper, measuring the span of the legs at their tips? There were a lot of “skootches” ("skotch"es?) and eyeball squareness measurements that are hard to assess on camera. Thanks!


Jason, good video….had to miss a fair amount with work and all….however, was curious why you went legs on first vs. building box then attach legs…?


Do you happen to have a ballpark figure for a biy in for all the tools you used in the video for the table? Just the table related equipment shims included. Great video and was awesome to see you work

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When you put the tables together, legs on legs, that’s what showed it was really close to the mark of being as straight as possible. They were so close to being right onto each other.

Your looking at approximately 4.5-5k before tax /shipping that includes the table used as well as fixtures. Rule of thumb whenever you are looking to get into the fixture system expect to spend 50-100% the value of the table in tooling.

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That was a very interesting inspection procedure.

Awesome video, thanks. I wish i had been avail to watch it live and be a part of the discussion.

One thing i noted while watching:
You cut your material to length and centered your leg to those parts.(by eye even tho you had a fixture table)
Then when boxing it out discovered some lengths were off, and you shortened them on the sander but that means the leg was no longer in the center.
You overcame that issue by fixturing to the side of the leg but that resulted in your miters being off alignment and why some larger gaps. You never showed measuring the actual length of the mitered pieces w a tape measure to check. You also never did a corner/corner diag measurement check for square. Its difficult to have a gap that big and not expect weld distortion. ALSO from a weld inspection standpoint you did not specify a CJP joint that would require ANY root opening on those joints. They could be cut closer to length and welded as a zero root opening butt weld.
(Weld details can be a different convo tho Lol. Filet weld w an all around O sym ???)

I also think the fab shops lied a little about the length of time they spent building your samples. Prob didnt take as long as they said. They just saw easy $ and didnt read thr fine print on the drawings.

Id recommend making a specific playlist on youtube starting w the orig video about building the square, then go to the v2.0 skills test and now the live version. could also add in your fixture table 101 videos.

Thanks again

Like @eti suggested, what could you do with just your squares on the floor or a standard steel table?
I completely understand the value of a fixture table but many folks have to weld in the field without access to a great surface.

Hey Jay
Ballzy video
I was thinking when you welded the outside of the legs to top pre bending in with sixteenths shims may have prevented the legs from pulling out of dimension.
Looking forward to getting my table.
Thanks for great video

Hi Jason,
I could literally feel the anxiety in doing this live but you did well. It’s just like cooking and someone watching what you’re doing … “you’re putting that much salt?”.

On the topic, there’s so much stuff that can go wrong in this build and I do think people aren’t aware of every possible problem. If the tubes were perfectly square, no mill scale, miter cuts perfect and length perfect, you just might get the into spec but only if you’re lucky. You have no way of checking on the go without the table… at least not easily. It would be very time consuming.

I also do believe it’s best to not let the ‘know-it-all’ comments get to you. Focus on your content and the positive feedback you receive. You have a truly magnificent product line which addresses many of the problems fabricators believe is not a problem to begin with. Sloppy “good enough” work has become the new normal.


I absolutely love this series Jason! My one comment about the entire process is when you were QC’ing the parts for flatness, the one piece had an irregular weld because you had to fill the gap on the miter. I would have liked to see if you ground the welds smooth if what you thought was a warp was in fact just a height variation of the weld joints.

Overall, the buy in price for a fixture table if you want to build things quickly and not have to make many adjustments to the part afterwards seems like a no brainer, especially if you’re making multiples of the same part. Repeatability is so important in the fabrication industry and this makes that possible. My son has a friend that is going through a welding school/certification process right now. They are 18 years old so they are a blank canvas. I can only imagine if they learned how to make things on a fixture table early in their career, it would help them rise to the top of the industry much more quickly.

The length was off by purpose, which he stated. He measured the leg position from both stops, which were dimensionally accurate with the end product. So the leg was spot on, only the part which the leg was welded to was dimensionally off.

No, he still referenced the leg position to the fixtures. The fixtures were dimensionally accurate, the lengths could be whatever as long as he’s able to weld the gaps. That’s the beauty of the table.

He had a fixture table and he put two independently welded components in contact with each other with less than 1/8" difference in measurements. Then he also turned one component 90 degrees with practically no difference. The odds of something being out of square is just not there. On the comments about drawings… it doesn’t matter. This is a test and he deliberately made it more difficult by cutting irregular parts and still managed to beat the spec.

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You’ve built your squares twice using shops in town that didn’t have fixture tables. Why don’t you find three shops that have fixture tables and see what they can do we know what you can do with your stuff. I’d love to be able to afford your tables or have the space for it Sometime you gotta use what you have.
The other thing for a small job of only 4 pieces its quicker to not make a jig to produce them perfectly. The cost would be very high for just 4 pieces but if you wanted 100. Then the cost would come down and a fixture jig could be made and parts would be cost effective.

I wonder if he is going to run out of fab shops “in town”. He already used 6 different shops I think.

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Hi Jason, I’m enjoying learning with you on this weldment test and seeing your fixtures in action. Ive had a couple smiles so far watching you forget the ground. Obviously we’ve all done this thousands of times and clearly you’ve got a bunch more on your mind with the cameras rolling in this scenario. All that said I had an interesting idea pop into my head. What if there was a special grounding “landing pad” or attachment that just sat on top (tool-less attachment for putting it on and off) of the fixturing clamp post that you then attach the ground clamp to once at the beginning of the operation? Set it and forget it, until you breakdown to rebuilding the next fixture gang.

This is done on purpose. if you were to ground to the table the the circuit that the welder creates is going to take the path of least resistance. There is a chance that an arc can jump between the table/fixtures and the weldment. This creates effectively a small cigarette burn esk cavity in your table top or fixtures that could become a high/low point and removes the coating that we use on our smaller tables. Hence why we try to ground to the weldment in best case or to a clamp at the worst.

Good stuff, sorry that I missed it live. Interesting how minor variations in material cutting reverberated through the project from beginning to end. As someone relatively new to metal work I’ve found precise measuring, marking, and cuttring to be more difficult than it is with wood. I think that it would have been a more effective sales pitch to the demographic looking at the Dragon Wagon if at least 2X the cost of the table in fixtures wasn’t used. Maybe do another one with minimal kit? There’s got to be a happy medium between the excellent 3-point demo with squares only and what was used here.

I didn’t catch the distinction between the method used to build the part that had to be pressed flat and the others. Am I correct in believing that the fillet welds can be prevented from drawing with adequate fixturing? Finally is there a chance that the weld sequence, specifically delaying the 4th weld on each of the legs could have been responsible for the splay on one of the parts?

I realize all of that. In the video Jason was purposely grounding to the clamp and forgot to hook up on a couple occasions blemishing the table exactly as one would expect. I was noticing a possible solution to avoid forgetting to ground. Just an idea