Make a Wire Feed Welder Easier to Carry


Introduction: Make a Wire Feed Welder Easier to Carry

About: I miss the days when magazines like Popular Mechanics had all sorts of DIY projects for making and repairing just about everything. I am enjoying posting things I have learned and done since I got my first ...

This is my wire feed welder. Normally, it sits on a lower shelf under my workbench. When I want to take it to a job, I have three things to coil and keep from unraveling while carrying it by the convenient handle on top. It really is awkward to carry. Hobart makes a cover of weatherproof nylon for the entire welder. It has a hole for the handle and a large pocket on one side to hold the liner and the cables. The price is about $40. See it at this link. I wanted something that costs less and is more flexible in its use.

Step 1: Cut Plywood

I measured the side of the welder's case and cut a scrap piece of 1/4 inch plywood to fit it. After sawing the piece to size, I sanded the edges with a belt sander to round all of the edges and eliminate splinters.

Step 2: Hard Drive Magnets

I want to attach magnets from old hard drives to the plywood and use them to attach the plywood to the side of the welder. The existing holes in the mounts for the magnets are too small. I used an abrasive cutting wheel on a grinder to change small holes to "U"-shaped openings large enough to accommodate short #8 sheet metal screws.  

Step 3: Screw the Magnets to the Plywood

The photo shows a hard drive magnet with a slightly different configuration screwed to the 1/4 inch plywood. Notice that the screwheads have been ground a little so they are below the surface of the magnets. See the second photo. I also ground excess length away from the screws on the reverse side of the plywood so the screws are flush with the surface of the plywood. 

Step 4: Magnets Mounted

The photo shows all four hard drive magnets screwed to the 1/4 inch plywood. Each magnet is set in a little from the edge to allow clearance of any screws on either side of the welder.

Step 5: Frontside Fixtures

I cut a piece of 3/4 x 6 inch pine so it is about six inches shorter than the long side of the 1/4 inch plywood. Use drywall screws to fasten it to the 1/4 inch plywood. Cut a piece of 3/4 x 2 firing strip a little longer than the long side of the 1/4 inch plywood. Attach it to the 3/4 x 6 pine as shown in the photo. Add a support from a five inch piece of 2 x 4 below the 3/4 x 6 piece to keep it from sagging. There is a 7/8 inch hole through the 2 x 4. This will be handy for a place to secure the welding gun while carrying the welder.

Step 6: Attach to the Welder

Choose the side of the welder to which you wish to attach this accessory. Allow the magnets to grip the metal case of the welder. At first I thought I would attach it to the side with the fold up door covering the wire reel and its drive. Later I decided to attach it to the other side of the welder. But, because this design is very flexible, I can easily change my mind and mount it on the other side of the welder any time I want to do so.

Step 7: Wrap It All Up

Wrap up the power cord first. Then wrap the ground cable onto the cable holder. I gripped the clamp around part of the power cable to keep it in place, but without pinching the power cable. Then I wrapped the gun liner around the cable holder. I placed the end of the gun nozzle through the 7/8 inch hole in the 2 x 4 support. The welder is now ready to pick up and carry more easily than before to where it is needed. This accessory can be removed easily by prying the magnets off of the side of the welder, and yet, it stays firmly in place while in use.

Step 8: Extra Portability for Tools and Supplies

The photo shows extra items stored inside the fold up door. These items will need to be removed before the welder is actually used, but they are handy to have when doing a welding job away from your shop. A slip joint plier would be a good addition, too.



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    14 Discussions

    Phil - I use ziploc bags on magnets for gold mining, they clean up easy. One bag permanently on the magnet, and another temporarily on. Just take the temp bag off and it's clean.

    My welder is actually the 140, looks almost exactly the same. It came with a roll of flux wire, but I got a tank and didn't use the flux for fear it would start scratching up the liner. I know that with flux core you'll get a bit deeper weld/amp and you can work in the wind, so it's got it's benefits. I like mine, and have no complaints. Been used almost every weekend for a year now and has never failed me. I've only run it with .03 wire and have had great success with .065-1/8". The finer control of the equivalent Miller would be nice for thin steel, but I was on a budget.

    The 140 would be a nice welder. My 125-EZ was a factory refurbished unit and I got it for $235 delivered. It has been flawless.

    I will probably just use my fingers to pinch iron filings from grinding off of the magnets. I will have to look to see how much has gathered around the magnets since I did this project.

    My welder has only one knob for heat adjustment. The wire speed adjustment is set by the machine. The flux core wire does not seem to do any damage to the liner. I cannot tell any difference between the outer surface of the flux core wire and MIG wire. I tried a 1 pound roll of Lincoln flux core wire and decided I like Hobart flux core wire better. Fortunately, a local farm and ranch store has Hobart wire. I have welded some thin materials.

    I use an old piece of aluminum for a backing plate and carefully stitch a series of tack welds. Currently I am finishing the making of some small parts boxes made from the skin of an old water heater. It is pretty thin, but I do not burn holes if I am careful and the steel fits snugly against the aluminum.

    Phil - Looks handy. I've got the same welder and a boat load of HD magnets, might have to give this a shot, Though I'll weld it :).

    How are the magnets holding up? Everything magnetic for me gets encrusted in filings.

    1 reply

    I have needed to use it only once, but it worked very well. Welding it would work very well. I have more cheap plywood available than cheap steel, so I used plywood. It is not in a position to attract a lot of filings right now, but probably will, anyway. I keep thinking about ways to cover magnets with plastic bags, but have not done it, yet. How do you like your welder? When I bought mine, I confused the 125-EZ with the 125. The 125 will accept a MIG gas kit, but the 125-EZ will not. I do just fine with the flux core electrode wire. I did some welding with it that is really beyond its capabilities by preheating with a MAPP gas torch. See it here.

    I believe MIG works best with one polarity while flux core works best with the opposite polarity.

    I like this! I am going to try this with my welder 90 dollar harbor freight junk.
    I can see myself using this. Plus, if I had this then I might be willing to weld more often.

    1 reply


    I will do some like this. I have not these strong magnets, but my welder is not guaranted now yet, so I will directly screw the attachment.

    3 replies


    Thank you. I could have drilled holes into the side of the welder and used screws. A friend repairs computers and sometimes gives me magnets from failed hard drives. You cannot believe how strong those magnets are! I did consider other possibilities , too. One was a short piece of heavy cord to go around the handle on the welder. The ends would go through holes in the plywood and have knots on them.

    I know the strength that these magnets, because I gave two to a friend to build a wind generator (which of course he has not yet begun to build)

    Nice work! Time for me to run to the hardware store and raid my old electronics box.

    1 reply

    Thanks. Modify this according to your items available and needs, as I am sure you will.