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I made a welding cart

rmchrgr

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Location
Stamford, CT
Been wanting a welder for a long time and recently pulled the trigger on a Hobart Handler 190 MIG welder. Seems like a really good machine for the money. Has 230V power so it can handle thicker material. Also comes with a spool gun for aluminum though I have not used it yet. Have to say it makes me look like I know what I am doing - good penetration, not burning through stuff, very little splatter. I have a lifetime of projects lined up already and have been using the thing a bunch already.

So my first project was to make a cart for the machine. If I had to grade myself, I'd give me a B- or maybe a C+. I screwed up the frame measurements in a few spots and the entire thing is crooked. You can't really tell from the pics but trust me, it's about 1/4" off. I went ahead with it anyway because I didn't want to cut it apart and start again. This was how it looked just after I started.
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Frankly, it took way longer than I thought it would. All the measuring, cutting, fitting, do-overs and stepping back to look at it added up to what seemed like two weeks. Towards the end it was becoming tedious and I needed to be done with it. I had planned for a shelf for the spool gun case and a couple more storage features but decided to call it done as you see it now and paint it. Glad I didn't add anything more, it's really heavy with everything loaded on it. The cheapo HF casters are probably at their load limit. That's neoprene tool box drawer liner on the flat surfaces.
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Spent a bunch of time and effort on the gas cylinder holder. Went through a few different ideas and wound up with what you see. The hoop is a piece of 3/8" steel tubing I had left over from making fuel lines on my Coronet. It was bent around the cylinder and covered with heat shrink tubing. There are two holes drilled through the ends to allow bolts to come up through the half-circle bracket thing which get tightened down with the plastic knobs. The little rounded cutout piece on the bottom helps keep the cylinder stable. Not perfect but it works and it's solid.
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Loaded up and ready to work.
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Learned a lot making this cart. I know it takes years to master welding but so far I feel pretty confident about my ability. Definitely need some better peripheral (measuring/cutting) tools and a dedicated area to do this type of project cause doing it while crouched or kneeling on the floor sucks. Not to sound corny but this is a big change for me, I can make stuff now, opens up a whole new world.

- Greg
 
I have had a Hobart like that for about 5 or 6 years now. Love it! I also made my own cart.
 
Great job. You can't buy a cart that sturdy.
 
The wonderful world of fabrication! The more you do the better you'll get. I Love my Hobart mig welder, as stated those machines make it look easy! I was surprised how easy it is to mig weld. I've done alot a stick welding prior to getting my mig welder. 440'
 
Nice!! I just built a new stand for my cheap second hand HF 4x6 bandsaw bought off C/L for $75... The saws are great, the stand sucks... Made the new stand 6" taller so I don't have to bend over to use the saw... You should consider one of these saws, makes other projects much easier...
 
Nice!! I just built a new stand for my cheap second hand HF 4x6 bandsaw bought off C/L for $75... The saws are great, the stand sucks... Made the new stand 6" taller so I don't have to bend over to use the saw... You should consider one of these saws, makes other projects much easier...

I have a band saw... 1946 Delta Milwaukee 14" metal/wood. Restoration is almost done, just need to get a few new parts. As you can see it has a pretty sturdy stand since it has to support a rather large chunk of cast iron. Nothing flimsy about this thing.
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Thanks for all the compliments fellas.
 
Turned out GREAT! You wouldn't want to even look at those HF jobbies now. Well done.
 
Looks great!, I also have had a Hobart for 25-30 years. Do yourself a favor and always keep a spare roll of wire on hand.
 
nice it always feels good to build something that you use. :thumbsup:
 
Looks great, next thing you’ll need to build is a rack for all the leftover steel from your projects. I never could stick weld worth a damn, I bought a Miller 250 about thirty years ago. I’d be lost without it. I also have a small Miller 110 volt welder with flux core wire that I use as a portable machine.
 
Looks great!, I also have had a Hobart for 25-30 years. Do yourself a favor and always keep a spare roll of wire on hand.

I must be getting smart in my old age because when I bought the welder I ordered some extra rolls in different sizes (.024, .030, .035) and a roll of aluminum wire for when I break out the spool gun. Plus 5 packs of tips for each size and an extra nozzle. Going through cutting and flap wheels like crazy though. Fortunately there's a good welding supply place in my town that has anything I'd ever need.
 
Looks great, next thing you’ll need to build is a rack for all the leftover steel from your projects. I never could stick weld worth a damn, I bought a Miller 250 about thirty years ago. I’d be lost without it. I also have a small Miller 110 volt welder with flux core wire that I use as a portable machine.

Indeed, a rack is on the list! As is an engine-transmission dolly.
 
Nice job. I built my cart for my Miller 130 as well. I also have a Miller 250 for larger jobs. Both are over 30 years old and still work great. My 130 jams up the wire once in a while. I think it is time for a new trigger gun.
 
Nice.

How much did the materials cost vs buying the one from HF?

Did you use thicker a gauge?

Just curious.

...of course the practice is priceless.
 
Nice.

How much did the materials cost vs buying the one from HF?

Did you use thicker a gauge?

Just curious.

...of course the practice is priceless.

Regarding cost, it's hard to say, not an apples to apples comparison. There's a place here in CT that sells surplus for $1.25/lb. for anything over 100 lbs. Last time I was there I spent like $200. Cart itself weighs at least 40 lbs. It's heavy.

I don't know what the HF one is like or made from but there's no way it's as burly as mine. The frame is made out of 1" & 2" x .125" wall square tubing. Honestly you could have used .062" wall thickness and it would still be super sturdy. The flat parts were cut out of a approx. 4' x 4' sheet of 14 ga. cold rolled. I'd say 18 ga. might be OK though it would require more support underneath. The side panels were from old workbench back stop sides I cut to fit, maybe 16-18 ga.
 
Nice job. I built my cart for my Miller 130 as well. I also have a Miller 250 for larger jobs. Both are over 30 years old and still work great. My 130 jams up the wire once in a while. I think it is time for a new trigger gun.
My 250 used to jam occasionally, man if that don’t piss you off, what a waste of wire! I replaced the liner, hasn’t jammed since. That’s been 5-6 years ago. Very easy job, just use a drill motor in reverse if I remember right. Good luck.
 
cost to build....compared to stamped out one at HF....time wise you just went tits up on the built your own, maybe a little over in material....but for someone starting out welding...this is a great exercise in fabrication and welding for familiarity of the welder itself. Great stuff for learning...and you get a welder stand at the same time. My local sells fall off steel for a way better price...and has bailed me out on some many small projects compared to trying to find the metal at the scrap yard or buying X lengths at Lowes/H-Depot and what not. Even so if metal a tad costly there still way better than buying new, my area, new is full sticks...no exception. Gets costly fast, storing if often an issue if you even remotely think you can use it later. I gather and try to keep various lengths and style metal falloff for to meet many of my projects as I retrofit....always go to the local metal fabrication shop and inquire of fall off before ever buying lengths. Anyway, congrats on the successful build and enjoy....this is what we call having FUN...
 
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