Mounting & Connecting Your Welder Safely

One of the things that will cross your mind sooner or later is where to put your welder and where to connect it to a power source. One of the best solutions for a mount is a welding cart.

The welding cart provides mobility but gives the welder a semi-permanent home.  It affords the convenience of having a portable workspace by allowing the welder to be wheeled close to the work and cuts down on the necessary amount of leads and cables running from the welding machine to the work.

But given the different styles and types of carts out there, the solution is not that simple.  Some carts are smaller, some are bigger, some are shorter, and some are taller. The welding cart you buy may not actually fit your welder. Or the cart you buy may topple because of it being too top heavy.  You need to carefully inspect the specifications of both the welder and the welding cart if possible.  If you do decide on a cart, rather than a permanent location, you will need to strap the welder to the cart.  This is small safety issues, I know, but trust me a quick snatch on a welder sitting a cart that is tall or too heavy can bring the cart and the welding machine toppling down.

The strap should cross the welding machine in the middle if possible and hold it securely to the cart. Other safety issues are connecting the power up to the power source. Once again, this can cause safety issues because when a welder is connected to a cart, usually some sort of long extension cable is used, and the cart can accidentally run over the cable, or topping the welding cart.

Some people decide to wire a breaker box or receptacle directly on the side of the welder to prevent damage to the power wire on the rear of the welding machine.  But in some cases they add in a long extension.  The extension should be sized properly for the distance and power required, but should not be too heavy or stiff to follow the welding cart around the shop, or the cart will once again topple fairly easily of the cable doesn’t cooperate. Also if the cable is accidentally run over, then you would not want the cart to become unstable while the cart is crossing the wire.  This is a real risk, so running cable over head on a “floating” system that allows free range of the cart while the cable follows overhead is a sound idea.

Both selecting the right welding cart, making sure the welder is firmly fixed, and the cables are out of the way are safety issues that will likely save you money in the long term, if not prevent serious injury to you or someone else.