Welding Project #2 - Welding Cart Part 3
After determining height, width, and axle placement, you can start to visualize the overall design of the cart. Most carts need at least two shelves. Some carts may have 3 shelves, which allows for a water cooler or small tool box to be carried as well. The top is where the welder is usually mounted, and the bottom is where excess cable and accessories are stowed. Usually the top shelf is mounted in a 10 or 15 degree reclining position so the welder panel face is easily seen and adjusted.
Materials used for the shelving should be substantial to carry the weight of the welder. Formed sheet metal or plate work best. In a pinch a plywood surface will suffice, but may not look as neat as a nicely rolled sheet metal edge. A slight lip around all the edges of the cart is helpful too. Stay away from expanded metal. Although it is lighter and adds a neat look to the cart, it is not strong enough to retain a flat surface on it’s own, and it has gaps where welder feet may fall through. Another feature of most carts is that you’ll find hooks to wind up your cables neatly and to hang any torches or clamps.
These are easily built out of angle iron or small pieces of flat bar bend into an “L” shape. A more advanced feature you may want to consider, depending upon your skill level is that you may want to add a drawer under the top shelf. This is excellent for storing odds and ends, and consumables. Ball bearing guides can be bought at hardware stores, or they can even be harvested from an old toolbox. Although some advanced skills are required to make a good drawer, it is well worth the extra aggravation to have one.