Here we go, time for the final pieces to be fabricated and put together. I have learned a few things on this build, welding sheet metal is not easy with tools not designed specifically for it. With a bit of practice and patience I made it work. Would I do it all the same again? Probably not exactly the same way, of course I noticed things I think I could do better on another build.
I had greatly underestimated my ability to weld sheet metal. As it turns out trying to weld thin metal with a large stick welder is like asking the incredible HULK to open a can of coke. Holding the can without crushing it most likely took some practice. I got some good results as shown below.
With the big metal pieces done, it is time to finish putting the base together. The rails need to be secured between the two coffee tables and the coffee tables need to be secured to each other. The solution has to go hold all three pieces in place. I decided to drill holes through the brackets and insert nails through those holes. All of the weight of the equipment should be a vertical on the legs. The nails only have to provide stability to keep the rails from moving side to side and to keep the tables attached. In addition to the nails I also used gorilla glue applied to the nails and to the flat contact surfaces.
With the glue applied and the nails placed it was ready for the second table to be positioned. Once everything was lined up I placed a piece of scrap wood on the top and started lightly pounding down with a hammer. A tap on all four corners going clockwise making slight adjustments as needed to keep everything lined up. The end result turned out looking very good.
The top pieces are not attached. I was concerned that traveling down the highway they might be damaged by the wind. The top will be attached later this spring possibly early summer.
If I were to do this project again, the hind sight review. I might try a few different approaches to making the Ikea furniture more sturdy. The first idea is to fill the hollow legs with cement or plaster so that fasteners can be placed directly in the legs. This would cause the whole thing to weight more and require a different method of joining the two tables.
The second idea involves a different method of attaching the rails. The legs are attached to the top with one double ended screw between them. Threading that screw through a plate that attaches to the rails. The exact method of attachment needs some work to figure out. Of course I will keep playing with these ideas and maybe later try to implement one of them. For now this project is done.