Welding Cart

Like most of these kinds of projects they get built from leftovers from other projects. This will be constructed from angle iron cutoffs as well as metal pulled from dumpsters. One of the office supply chains closed recently and several friends and I had a field day pucking steel tubing from retail displays, shelves, supports, and other metal things.

Here is the base - three pieces of angle iron and a flat to connect the two sides at the front. The flat allows me to slide the welder on the bottom shelf out rather than lifting it over the angle iron. Considering what these things weigh, this seemed to be a smart idea.

Here's the top shelf - basically just a smaller version of the bottom shelf.

These chrome plated bars are 3/16" thick and are the sides. Four of them required.

It's starting to look like a welding cart. The reason for the base being larger than the top is to provide a place to store a bottle of tri-mix for the mig welder, or possibly argon for the plasma cutter so I don't need to use an air compressor.

Everything worked out, and the top was by far more stable than I anticipated. I was expecting some serious wobbling, but there is none believe it or not.

Cutting the caster pads was a real pain in the ass. I used pieces of 1/2" plate and cutting them to 4"x5" on the chop saw ... well ... lets just say I'm glad I wore hearing protection. Cutting out each pad took about 30-35 minutes per cut. Had I used a real chop saw instead of a woodworking compound miter saw with a metal blade installed, this probably would have been less work.

The caster pads are drilled and welded onto the cart. Welding 1/2" thick steel to 1/8" angle iron is very tricky. If you set the heat too high, you blow through the 1/8" angle iron and make a real mess. If the heat is too low, you don't get any penetration into the 1/2" pieces. The trick is to pre-heat the 1/2" pieces with an oxy-acetylene torch then set your welder appropriately for 1/8" or 3/16" steel.

I debated grinding my welds flat but it's a lot of work for something I'm not terribly interested in how it looks as a finish product. I ground two or three down that had odd protrusions to avoid snagging clothing. Other than that, it's time for primer. I used rattle can primer because I had two cans that were opened and wanted to use 'em up.

Prime the bottom also!

Painted safety red, bolted on the casters, and now waiting impatiently for the paint to dry. It's about 90 degrees so it will be ready for the 2nd coat very soon.

Sprayed on the 2nd coat which I mixed in a little UV protectant leftover from some automotive body work I had done a few weeks ago. Hopefully this slows down fading.

MIG welder on top, Plasma cutter on bottom, ready for use anywhere!