I recently purchased a MIG/wire feed welder and realized I need a cart in order to easily move the thing around. It is portable, with a handle on top, but it does weigh a good amount. In addition to the weight of the unit, I also have the optional gas cylinder for MIG welding. This is the small size tank, but still weighs enough to make moving it around a pain.
Originally, I was planning on using an old shopping cart. I figured the two straight wheels in the back and the two pivoting wheels in the front would provide the most ease of movement in/out of and around my garage/driveway shop areas.
Then it struck me, I was about to toss out an old gas grill that had completely rusted out when I noticed the similar wheel configuration (that's why I don't throw away anything until it is really trash). Also, I often see old gas grills sitting in other people's trash, so they are pretty easy to come by if you need one for this or another project.
Step 1: Strip Down Grill and Fit Lower Shelf
What I needed was the bottom shelf with attached wheels and the upright corner posts.
I removed the entire top portion of the grill which left me with exactly those items.
The metal bottom shelf has a large hole to fit the bottom of the propane tank. This hole need to be covered up to make the bottom shelf usable for storage and prevent the new welding gas tank from falling through.
A 1/2" thick piece of scrap plywood was fit over the bottom shelf to cover the large hole. A smaller hole (6" diameter for the 7 1/4" diameter tank) was cut in the plywood to rest the (rounded) bottom of the welding gas tank into.
Step 2: Build Upper Shelf Assembly
The upper shelf is used to support the actual welder as well as to brace the welding gas tank.
Wood strips (3/4 furring) were cut to form a frame for the upper shelf. The frame was fitted at an angle to make viewing the dials on the front of the welder easier. Another piece of scrap plywood was secured to the top of the frame to form the shelf.
The front ends of the side frame rails were extended out past the front corner posts, to support a handle. The back end of the plywood on the upper shelf was cut to fit around the (7 1/4" diameter) profile of the welding gas cylinder.
The upper shelf assembly was secured to the grill upright corner posts with through-bolts.
Small flat strips of scrap wood were secured to the top shelf to fit around the short legs on the bottom of the welder to keep it from sliding around.
Step 3: Finish It Off With Some Detail Components
A short length of electrical conduit was cut to fit thru holes drilled in the extending side rails of the upper frame. Holes were drilled in the ends of the conduits where they extended thru the holes and fit with cotter pins to hold the handle in place. As the conduit was fed thru the rail holes, a piece of bicycle inner tube was slid over the conduit to soften the handle.
A length of chain is used to hold the welding gas tank in place. With the base of the tank set into the round hole in the bottom shelf and the upper portion snugly held to the cut-out in the back of the upper shelf with the chain, the tank is secure. One side of the chain is permanently secured with a piece of hardware I found. The other side uses a wing nut on a bolt for easy removal of the chain and therefore the tank.
I threw on some additional scraps of wood to make a box on the bottom shelf to hold some miscellaneous welding supplies.
Step 4: All Done
The result is a cart which can easily be wheeled around the shop, driveway, etc. with all components held securely enough in place.
I'll probably fit out the bottom shelf with some side rails to hold stuff in place down there, maybe some dowels to slip spools of welding wire onto.
You can see that the corner posts extend up above the top shelf, to hold the tank cap and can be used to hold coiled lengths of cord, hose, etc.