Good design and value, with limitations
January 25, 2013
Clever and functional design, implemented at an excellent price. Many convenient features, easy to move, compact to store. Good quality hardware, clear instructions, and good QA (for example, fastener holes lined up well).
On the other hand, the top is very flexible. The three long slots, while great for clamping, seriously weaken it. It'is easy to lock the tabletop in a twisted condition; one must lay a long straightedge across both diagonals before tightening the two tilt knobs, to insure it freezes in a flat plane.
The top is also highly sensitive to heat warpage, an awkward problem in a welding table. Heat from butt-welding some 11 gauge 6061 coupons on the tabletop permanently heat-deformed one of the webs. Its center now lies depressed about 1/4" below the plane of the neighboring webs. I will have to press or hammer this out.
The designers should consider leaving a web across the middle (six half-length slots, in place of three full-length), adding a third crosswise stiffening rib, or both, to cut down the unsupported span. Such changes won't seriously impair the excellent clamp access.
My table was bundled with a StrongHand clamping kit, which is also designed well and built strongly. One caution: the included magnetic V-block apparently uses rare-earth magnets. While strong, these are highly sensitive to heat (the material has a low Curie temperature). Residual heat from welding some inches away from the clamp evidently demagnetized them, and they're magnets no more.
Finally, the packaging could use more thought. The parts are too heavy for a the corrugated cardboard. My table somehow arrived intact and undamaged, but loose parts fell out of the box when I picked it up to bring it inside.
ConsTop is readily twisted out of plane during setup
Top can be permanently and severely warped by modest welding heat