Stainless work table

Discussion in 'Cooking Equipment Reviews' started by kokopuffs, Dec 18, 2015.

  1. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs

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    I'd like to get a stainless steel work table for working bread and tart doughs and for clamping both my pasta maker and meat grinder to.  Advice and recommendations welcome.  One that is 60 inches wide would be preferable.
     
  2. halb

    halb

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  3. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs

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    Since I'll be doing some meat processing, bacon and sausage making, the 300 series stainless with extra chromium and nickel for extra protection against corrosion would be preferable.  8)
     
  4. cheflayne

    cheflayne

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    I would go with 14 gauge, especially if doing primals.

    I prefer 14 gauge tables anyway, except when budget is a concern.
     
  5. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs

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    I plan to process boston butts into sausage and patee, just a 5-10# piece/batch every four to six months.  The table would be for domestic use.   So, 14 gauge, still?  8)

    (EDIT)  Will the 14 (not to mention 16) gauge steel stand up to the compression forces of the clamp on a manual meat grinder and a manual pasta maker?
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2015
  6. jimyra

    jimyra

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    I bought several SS tables at auctions.  I like a wood pastry board much better for breads and pastry.
     
  7. foodpump

    foodpump

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    The heavier guage tables get very expensive and they still suffer from the same problem: Flimsyness/wussyness.

    Virtually every table-regardless of guage- are made the same way;  A "Tray" is made of s/s, two galvanized "u" channels are spot welded to the underside, and leg sockets are spot welded onto these channels.

    IMHO any table 36" long or under this are fairly stable.  Anything longer than this, and the table behaves like  kids in a bouncy castle.  I've had K.A. mixers and robot-coupes shimmy and dance themselves off the table, and I've damaged s\s table edges by breaking 5 kg slabs of chocolate over them.  Thumping large amounts of dough on these tables is like dancing on a bed

    So, I tend to look at these tables as "kits", and I've converted many tables 48" and longer into stable, steady workcenters.

      Before you even assemble the table, you cut yourself some 3/4" plywood (NOT mdf  a.k.a "termite barf") to exactly fit in between the two channels on the underside of the table.  Get a pocket-hole jig and pop some holes along the long edges.  Now contact-cement the wood in place.  Then pop in some sheet-metal screws in the holes and screw into the channels.  Wedge scrap wood inbetween the plywood and the inside "lip" of the edges.

    Usually the undertable is flimsy galvanized steel.  The undertable is necessary for the integrity of the table.  The same treatment should be used for the undertable, as these bend easily and sag.  I've seen brand new ones  sag with the addition of two sacks of flour, but then again, the more weight you have on the undertable, the steadier the table will be.

    The galvanizing on the undertable is very thin and scratches off easily from cans, porcelain ware, and the usual stuff.  It rusts quickly and gets dingy and cruddy looking quickly too.  Regular cleaning with scotchbrite pads will wear off the treatment as well, and then the rusts sets in . (the dreaded Neil Young syndrome...)  I've had good luck by shooting a rattle-can or two of tremclad paint on this shelf, and scratches are easily touched up. 

    If you're not handy with tools, or don't have access to someone who does, it may make sense to go for the heavy guage tables, but these are very,very expensive.  On the other hand, working with a flimsy, wiggly table is a frustrating experience.

    Hope this helps
     
  8. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs

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    For cleaning SS work tables, this article may be of help.
     
  9. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs

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     Okay then let's suppose that I confined the work to just meat grinding and pasta making, using a manual meat grinder and pasta maker, what kind of table would you recommend???  None of the surfaces in my kitchen allow for the pasta maker and meat grinder to clamp to and I need a ledge to clamp to which is my primary concern.

    (EDIT)   I'm thinking of a  30" X 36" wood top worktable, now that I have information from more experienced pros.  8)
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2015
  10. foodpump

    foodpump

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    You can go with the el-cheapo 36"  s/s table, but take the time to stuff in and glue a hunk of wood (2 x 4 remnant) in the inside of the edge  so you have something for your meat grinder/ pasta extruder to clamp on to.

    Does this make sense?

    Wood tops are fantastic to work with, but not available in short lengths from restaurant suppliers, usually they start at 60" and go up from there.  What I've done in my business's kitchen was get 1 1/2" thick solid beech countertops from IKEA (the product is called numerar) in 30" widths, and chop it down to size.  If you like, I can post some pics for you.

    hope this helps....
     
  11. cheflayne

    cheflayne

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    Better call, especially for home, but I would opt for a stainless undershelf. Great brand, probably my favorite. Their method for attaching the undershelf makes for a very stable setup that doesn't turn into a weeble wooble, or even worse, break after prolonged (or short term for some brands) use.
     
  12. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs

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    Indeed, please post some piccies!
     
  13. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs

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    Ahhh, here we go, stainless and made by Advance Tabco.
     
  14. foodpump

    foodpump

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    That one looks like a good deal, stainless undershelf and legs, and a solid maple top. It's going to be a lot more robust and stable than a plain s/s table.
     
  15. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs

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    Does it make any difference that the table top is "...laminated, 1 3/4" thick hard maple work top..."??????
     
  16. foodpump

    foodpump

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    Nope!  That's what will give your table strength and rigidity. 

    I've got about 15 feet of this material for countertops  at the coffee bar and serveryin my kitchen at work and another 20 feet as countertops at the coffee bar and servery.  The best tool I've found to keep this clean is a "cabinet makers scraper"  a piece of steel about 3' x 4', and you can scrape the whole top smooth and clean--as well as scrape off any spills or dried on debris.  I wax from time to time  with a beeswax product--remember wood is porous and will absorb odours and stains, never leave any wet steel items on the top or it will stain black.

    scraper and  wax I get from Lee Valley( www.leevalley.com)
     
  17. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs

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    The scraper has a "micro lip" at one edge which gives it its effectiveness in scraping.  On my cutting boards I apply heated mineral oil at least monthly and will sometimes alternate using a mixture of one cubic centimeter of beeswax dissolved in 500 ml of mineral oil that is heated then applied.
     
  18. markrmoore2

    markrmoore2

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    high quality stainless top, galvanized legs, thats how i always do it. much easier to move around and leveling is also easier. galvanized will last a very long time if kept up
     
  19. nancy30

    nancy30

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    My husband has bought a stainless steel table and chair set before an year from ‘Best Brands Appliance, Canada.They provide  well-protected and stain resistant furniture.  :)

    With the help of furniture customizing tool we can design furniture according to our choice .
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 25, 2016