If you’re a professional, DIYer, hobbyist, or have a strong interest in welding, you need a welding cart to keep all your equipment together. Having a welding cart also safeguards you from emergencies and keeps your equipment in working order for more extended periods.
Because what works for one welder won’t work for all welders, your perfect welding cart may need a lockable storage space or extra-rugged wheels. And the type of equipment you use to weld will also influence the configuration of your welding cart.
Here some great cart ideas if you’re in the market for or about to build a cart of your own.
Why You Need a Welding Cart
The major benefit of using a welding cart over a table or bench set-up for your welding area is that you can move a welding cart from place to place. A cart also provides added organizational help, as you can store all welding-related gear in, on, or hanging from your welding cart.
Considerations for Your Welding Cart
To choose or design the perfect cart, you need to think about what works best for you. Do you have multiple machines? Do parts of your welding cart need to be lockable? How often is it moved around?
With attention to these considerations, you can choose from welding cart ideas to help you with safety, storage, and mobility.
One Machine or Many
How many machines will you be putting on the welding cart, and what kind of devices will they be? This is a crucial aspect to consider. Different hoses and guns produce unique results, so think about where each machine will sit if you have more than one.
Tank storage should balance stability and ease-of-use. To swap out the tanks you use with some welding machines; you need to access them and remove them from your welding cart with ease. Be mindful that tanks with gas can be unstable and should be kept away from any heat elements.
TIG welders are different from MIG welders, and both are different from ARC or stick welders. The one thing they all need, however, is a stable base to rest on. Most can hold at least 100 lbs., but some models outdo others with weight capacities up to 135 lbs.
One prime benefit of a welding cart is its movability, and to match your expectations, consider how much you need to move your cart around and on what terrain.
Check the floor of your workspace; every welding area has its fair share of debris and dirt, but some welders work outside, and some have sleek new garage floors at their feet. The more rugged the wheels, meaning thick and wide, the rougher the terrain under them can be.
Great Ideas for a Welding Cart
As you gain welding skills, you’ll realize what features are most important to you in your welding cart. A welding cart is a lot of different things at once — it’s a storage cart, a platform, and a work accessory all in one. Here are some welding cart ideas to ensure your welding accessory is as optimal as it can be.
Swivel vs. Fixed Wheels
Many manufactured welding carts have both fixed and swivel wheels, which lets them swivel in a way that carts with four fixed wheels cannot. It’s a wise idea to have two small swiveling wheels on the front of your cart and two large, more rugged wheels in the back that are fixed. This configuration will give you power and maneuverability.
Different Types of Shelves
Most welding carts have angled shelves so that you can set your TIG or MIG (or whatever kind of welder you have) onto a slanted surface, angling the control area towards you.
Usually, the welding devices sit on top of the cart, and other job accouterments are stored below. It also may be helpful to have a place to store valuable items, like a locked drawer.
If you weld and work in your garage, you may not need this feature; however, if you work in a shop shared with other welders, you may need a locked spot for your valuables.
Locking drawers are the ideal solution for security issues, and you can use them to lock up critical pieces of equipment you’re storing in your shop when you’re not there or lock up your wallet, phone, and other personal items while you weld.
Hooks and Chains
Welding carts are designed with welding machines in mind. Some carts have specific spots for gas canisters, well away from heat, while leads are usually hung from hooks at the cart’s sides to keep them out of the way. You can even get special holsters to keep your machine’s tips sheltered and undamaged.
Security chains are used to keep the gas canisters in place. Since you’re working with both heat and gas, you need to be extra careful, and security chains let you move your cart with ease and confidence.
If you have a gas cylinder provider already, you can check the measurements to ensure that your canisters will fit in the provided compartment. Those welding carts with two chains are the most secure in terms of gas canister safety.
You need a strong welding cart that won’t buckle under the weight of all your equipment. Steel is your best bet for a strong, non-corrosive material that will last a long time.
If you pick too lightweight a material, it will create an unstable foundation for your expensive and delicately tuned welders. And working with gas cylinders is always a risk, especially when heat is involved.
Welding is an elemental process that uses heat, gas, and electricity to make molten metal bend to the welder’s will. To keep your welding materials and tools organized and secure, you need a high-quality steel welding cart. To keep you safe and your work error-free, look for a welding cart with fixed and swivel wheels, angled shelves, and locking drawers.