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Thread: Welding cart advice?

  1. #1
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    Default Welding cart advice?

    Hi all. I may eventually build my own Welding Cart. As I haven't found one yet that is decent. After thinking about it a bit, I am not sure Where to begin? One of my ideas involved using Angle Iron (1/8") for the frame. 16 gauge sheet metal for the shelves, Top deck. 6" wheel for the rear. Swivel Casters for the front. When I have some time I'll have to sit down and take measurements.

    Unless you guys/gals think that is a bit of "Overkill"?

    Thanks
    Elantramax1

  2. #2
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    Sounds good to me! Fortunately there are tons of cart ideas posted here and on other welding sites, so you can browse to see the range of ideas that others built- there may be things you haven't thought of, or problems you can avoid. Some guys have started with a store-bought model and modified from there, others have created on the fly. Multiple welders? Build in multiple shelves. Confined shop space? Use swivels on all four legs to get a zero turn radius. Are you planning to carry a shielding gas bottle, in the future?
    DaveO
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  3. #3
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    I am starting to gather the pieces. Just ordered a set of 4" casters (2 Rigid, 2 Swivel) with Rubber wheels. Rated for 154 Pounds. Should be strong enough??
    Last edited by Elantramax1; 09-10-2014 at 12:06 AM.

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    This may sound stupid, Does anyone know the Weight of a 40Cfh argon tank(Full)?

    Thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by Elantramax1 View Post
    This may sound stupid, Does anyone know the Weight of a 40Cfh argon tank(Full)?

    Thanks
    A steel cylinder is about 24 pounds (28).
    Last edited by Rambozo; 09-11-2014 at 02:23 AM.
    Long arc, short arc, heliarc and in-the-dark!

  6. #6
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    Here is my idea.

    Cut two 30" long pieces and 3 10" long pieces for the base. The Shelf and Top will be 2 18" Long pieces and 2 10" long pieces each. Using 4, 1" Sq. for the Legs. Welded to the top of the Base. Forming the corners of the Shelves. Maybe 20" High or so. And weld the Sheet metal to the bottom of the frames. So that the Shelves have a lip around them so things don't fall out. Possibly using 16 Gauge. Under the Cylinder, 3/16" Plate. How does this sound?

    Thanks
    Last edited by Elantramax1; 09-14-2014 at 11:27 AM.

  7. #7
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    Sounds about right, but you can get by with 14ga. plate under your cylinder. Way easier to cut and over that span will hold several hundred pounds. The devil is in the details, especially with tubing. So work out where you will use mitered joints and where you want butt joints, so that any tube openings can do dual duty for something or be capped or covered. Some creative carts have the tube legs open for handy rod storage, but that doesn't really apply for a MIG cart. Be sure to provide a place to store your cables and having consumable storage is a big plus. Expanded metal shelves are nice in that they promote great airflow for cooling and don't catch crud. Of course then you can't put small items like contact tips on them, but depending on your design you might have a small drawer for those things or keep them in a nice divided plastic box.
    Everyone has a different idea of what is their perfect cart. Someone on this forum made one of the most unique ones I've seen.

    Long arc, short arc, heliarc and in-the-dark!

  8. #8
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    Thanks. Where can I find Caps for the ends of the tubes?

    As far as the Cylinder, I am not using a big one. Just a 40Cf. The space would be 9"x10" (Inside) I can just get a steel bar. Weld it to the "Legs". A couple of steel Eye hooks bolted through them.

    Need to make a handle.

    HD doesn't stock much of the 1" Sq 1/16" tubing locally. It will take several trips.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elantramax1 View Post
    Thanks. Where can I find Caps for the ends of the tubes?

    As far as the Cylinder, I am not using a big one. Just a 40Cf. The space would be 9"x10" (Inside) I can just get a steel bar. Weld it to the "Legs". A couple of steel Eye hooks bolted through them.

    Need to make a handle.

    HD doesn't stock much of the 1" Sq 1/16" tubing locally. It will take several trips.
    Like I said, find a real steel yard. You can get a 20' length for what a box store like TSC or HD will charge you for a 4' piece. Plus the steel will be of a better quality and not all bent up. If you plan your joints right, you can virtually eliminate having to cap tubing. You can cut steel to weld caps on, or there are plastic press in caps for the common sizes of tubing. An industrial hardware store will have them, or you can get them online. Also many steel suppliers will have them. You can also get ones like THIS that have a caster socket built in, so you can pop in a stem type caster, no muss, no fuss.
    Here is an example of a welded caps, for when you have a non standard size or an angle cut.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Long arc, short arc, heliarc and in-the-dark!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rambozo View Post
    Like I said, find a real steel yard. You can get a 20' length for what a box store like TSC or HD will charge you for a 4' piece. Plus the steel will be of a better quality and not all bent up. If you plan your joints right, you can virtually eliminate having to cap tubing. You can cut steel to weld caps on, or there are plastic press in caps for the common sizes of tubing. An industrial hardware store will have them, or you can get them online. Also many steel suppliers will have them. You can also get ones like THIS that have a caster socket built in, so you can pop in a stem type caster, no muss, no fuss.
    Here is an example of a welded caps, for when you have a non standard size or an angle cut.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    I know. Most of the places have "Banker hours". And I don't have a truck. Just a Hyundai Elantra coupe. I know of one place, Trenton Sheet Metal. Sold me a 10" Square 1/4" Steel for $25 + Tax. Sears Hardware wanted $45 for 1 Square Ft. piece. With a Chop Saw I can get better joints than by hand. Need to save some money towards that.

  11. #11
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    If you call a supplier and ask for a 10" square piece of plate, then a lot of the $25 is for cutting to size. If you go to that same supplier and pick through their culls bin it should be less.

    Sears Hardware is another form of Lowes and Home Deep: full retail pricing applies.

    Is Trenton Sheet Metal close enough that you could stop by on your lunch break? If your Elantra is a hatchback with folding rear seats then you do have a little room for hauling. The last time I tried this trick I wished I had put some cardboard or newspaper down, because the lubricant for their saw stayed on the steel (until it rubbed onto my upholstery).
    DaveO
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    I work at Trane Manufacturing. And only get 2, 15 minute breaks. Cant leave the building. 15 minutes start at 9:15 and 12:15. And better be back at my work station by 9 or 12:30.

    Trenton Sheet Metal isn't exactly a supplier. They do Custom Fabrication work. They welded a SS exhaust bracket for me on my motorcycle. I will have to stop by there sometime and get their e-mail address again. So I can send them a list of what I will need. And get a price quote.

  13. #13
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    I would check around at your work. Go talk to the guys in the maintenance dept for good places to get steel. You will most likely even get your companies discount. It's just like anything else new, you have to learn the ins and outs of a new supply chain. FWIW Many steel yards open at the crack of dawn and close early, so maybe a a stop on the way to work. Also a few around here are open for a few hours early Saturday. like 6-10 or 7-noon. You will just have to do a little snooping around as it usually comes down to word of mouth, not advertising. But once you find one place, just ask around as they will all know each other in that business. Also you can ask at a LWS for good hardware stores and steel yards. A lot of them have closed down as more and more manufacturing has moved offshore, but they are still around. And NJ will be a lot better than many places. This is one place where the phone book can be better than online, especially if you have a business to business phone book. Also you can ask at that sheet metal place. They might very well tell you where they buy their metal from as little jobs like you give them are often not worth the trouble. A ski bag is a great way to transport steel in a small car. Quite a few cars even came with one to go through the back seat into the trunk. I got one many years ago from a wreaking yard, and keep it in my trunk for all kinds of stuff like that.
    Long arc, short arc, heliarc and in-the-dark!

  14. #14
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    I may not be working at Trane much longer. They have this ritual called "Bumping". I was "Bumped" last Nov, Week before Thanksgiving. To Furnace Line #2. And have been stuck there ever since. I filled out a "Long term" request form to be trained as a Brazer. But all I get is the run around. Start work at 6am. Finish at 2. 400 units in 7 1/2 Hrs. Some days I don't feel like moving after work.

  15. #15
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    Went to Trenton Sheet Metal today after work. All I could get was a 43" piece of 1" Sq. 1/8" Thick. Charged me $10 + Tax. Not a bad price compared to HD. So I bought it. Thinking maybe I could use it for the Handle. And where I am anchoring the chain for the Tank.

    One good thing about using 1" Sq. is, I only need to add 1" for each 45 Angle on the piece.

    I am hoping to get the Cutoff saw next month. Probably the Makita.

  16. #16
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    Now you are in the right ballpark. I wouldn't expect the best selection of tube at a sheet metal shop. 1/8" wall is pretty stout for that, but you will find it a lot easier to weld than the 16ga.
    Depending on shipping there is always onlinemetals.com You are not that far away from a depot so the shipping might not be too bad. You won't have to worry about transport, but you will be limited to 8' pieces. At least it's a great place to look up common sizes and get some ballpark pricing. My local steel yard is usually 20-50% lower depending on the material.

    Not sure how far you are away from THIS PLACE.

    BTW When calculating for miters, you might want to measure square tubing on the centerline. Because the corners are rounded, it doesn't lend itself to making accurate layout lines form the max or min length sides.
    Long arc, short arc, heliarc and in-the-dark!

  17. #17
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    I need to get 2 more lengths. Still need to cut the two pieces for the Shelf. And the 4, 20" Legs. I am considering using the 1/8" tubing for the two rear legs. The ones next to the Tank. For the extra strength. As I need to secure the chain to a pair of hooks.

  18. #18
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    Got to figure what Gauge to use for the Shelves? The Imig 140 weighs about 30 Lbs. + Plus wire. Tank weighs about 40 Lbs. Steel. 16 Gauge may be a bit of "Overkill" Galvanized or not? Not would be safer to weld. But a real PIA to prime and paint.

  19. #19
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    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	12397 Here is where I am.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Elantramax1; 09-30-2014 at 04:19 PM.

  20. #20
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    The Beave suggested I use an Open grate style shelf. I found a 13 Gauge, 3/4" one at Tractor Supply. And a cheaper one at HD. The one at HD is 1/2" spacing. And it states .125" which tells me 1/8". These are 12" x 24" pieces. Which would work for the two upper shelves. Not sure if I want to Trust that for under the weight of the Tank. I am thinking about the two at HD. Would get me started. The bottom one would be welded on last.

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