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What’s the most common first project for newbie welders?  A welding cart.  A really crappy welding cart.  So why not save your self some dough — and hassle — by picking up a cheap one like this Clarke for around $50?  You can always build the second most common first project instead: a BBQ grille.

This cheapo cart like is made from steel — just like your first one would be, but without the over-engineered 1/4″ battleship plating — and features a top shelf to fit small MIG welders and a bottle bracket in back. The whole thing rolls on 7-1/2” rubber wheels with casters in front.

With one of these you’ll not only work your first project without worrying about killing your neighbors with an A-Team-style bottle launch, you’ll also learn one of the most valuable lessons a noob welder can learn: some things are cheaper to buy than make.

Clarke [Sears]
Street Pricing [Froogle]
Via Amazon [What’s This?]

 

8 Responses to Cheap-Ass Tools: Your First Welding Cart

  1. Toolaremia says:

    Harbor Fright [sic] has what appears to be the identical cart for $40:
    http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=90305

    I just bought a Hobart Handler 175 for $400 and a full bottle of C25 for $100, so a cart is my next purchase. Oh, then I have to learn how to weld…

  2. Rob says:

    C’mon guys..really? Buying your first welding cart? Cheaper? You’re not trying, you’re supposed to have scrap steel around waiting to be welded. To boot, there’s lots to be had free if you look at things right. Take that treadmill the neighbors are tossing out for example. All steel frame, maybe some casters, a 2hp dc motor hiding in there with a variable speed controller. Maybe you’re throwing one out yourself!

    If taking in other people’s trash isn’t your thing, hit the local steel yard and ask if you can buy some drops. Sometimes they’ll even give them to you. You’ll want to start a relationship with those guys anyway right?

    Now a grill, I definitely want a NEW barrel for that 😉

  3. Bill says:

    Agree that you are probably better off to buy your first cart. I had my welder for three months trying to figure out how to design my cart. I finally decided my time was worth more than what I was saving so I got online and bought a Lincoln cart for $85.

    You can always build a “better” cart after you have used your machine and know what the shortcomings of your first cart are.

  4. Fong says:

    My first welding rig, back in undergrad, was a small Lincoln Gassless MIG. That thing spattered all over the place but it was great for my first project, a mini-baja, powered by that SAE santioned 8-HP Briggs and Stratton. I learned a few things pretty early on.

    1. Don’t try and tack weld by closing your eyes as soon as you pull the trigger, sometimes your timing’s off and you blind yourself. (I was like 21, forgive my stupidity)
    2. Use the full face mask and not just hold the tinted glass in front of your face or you’ll get a whole summer’s worth of sunburn in a few hours. (I was like 21, forgive my stupidity)
    3. When you’re new to grinding and don’t have access to a notcher, a MIG is GREAT for filling those gaps.
    4. Your real friends will mess with you so don’t fall asleep ‘cuz toolmonger pranks Hurt!

  5. motorpsykler says:

    Really crappy welding cart? I have seen some homemade welding carts with over-engineered battleship construction that totally rock. Yeah, if the steel wasn’t scrounged, it probably cost more than that sheet metal set-up. But a bad-ass homemade cart gets my attention everytime.

  6. Jack Wong says:

    We hope to supply you the Welder carts and Cylinder gas trolleys and other products.Pls check our website for your reference.

    Thank you very much.

    Sincerely,

    Jack Wong
    ORIENT TOOLS & EQUIPMENTS CORPORATION

  7. newby says:

    Man up, and build your cart already!

  8. Jack says:

    This cart as the rest are flooding the market of carts.The top tray will not, an I emfasize will not handle the size of any mig of quality (a good mig)it’s size is for toy migs. Just shipped one back on ebay.Another thing to watch is the door to access your spool tightener est. when they make a top tray as they do with the sides remember when you go to change anything an you rookes won’t know till you get into it you have to lift it up to open your door, not a fun thing to do if your in a hurry an pissed about something!!Just something I found as a downer on this cart. Thank you.

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