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I’ve been gently toying with metal working for a while, adding a little bit to my projects here and there. So far, however, I haven’t had a good place to do the welding. Concrete floors are not idea for several reasons, and wooden tables would obviously be bad.

I decided to make a cart to hold my welder and other metal working tools, but could also act as a surface to weld on. One of the simplest ways to accomplish this is to make the table out of steel, then clamp the grounding clamp directly to the table. With the whole table acting as the ground, you can set two pieces on the table, weld them, then be finished… no fussing with setup and teardown.
As I said in the video, I overlooked turning on the gas for part of this build, which has a HUGE negative effect on the quality of welds. Don’t be like me.. check that your gas is on 🙂

If you’d like to build your own, I’ve got some plans available to help you with the layout and dimensions.

Get Digital Plans

Here’s what you’ll need:

(purchasing via these affiliate links supports ILTMS)

I gather some square tubing, angle iron and 1×2 tubing from the steel yard.

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Using a speed square, I drew some 45˚ angles on the square tubing.

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I used the metal cutting bandsaw to cut these angles on both ends of one piece.

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Using that piece as a template, I marked for a duplicate piece.

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I cut it, and two shorter pieces for the top frame.

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I used welding magnets to hold the pieces in place while squaring the joints with a speed square.

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I tack welded each joint, on both sides of the frame, before fully welding the seams.

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I went over the welds with a grinder, just enough to smooth them out. The goal on this one isn’t to be pretty.

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I followed the same process for the larger, bottom frame.

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I cut four pieces of large angle iron to use as the uprights.

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Using a speed square, I held them perpendicular to the top frame (upside down), and  tacked them in place.

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Before completing those welds, I sat the bottom (larger) frame in place and tacked it on.

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Then I completed all of the welds on all of the joints for both frames.

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Again, just a little grinding to clean up my messy welds.

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With the frame upside down, I cut two more pieces of square tubing to act as cross supports., and welded them in place.

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One was a hair short, so I held it flush with a clamp while welding.

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I cut some smaller angle iron, with opposing 45˚ angles. These pieces acted like a frame for a shelf.

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I used the cut offs from the larger angle iron as supports to weld the shelf in place. I clamped them to the uprights, and sat the shelf pieces right on top.

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I worked my way around the frame, tacking the pieces in place.

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I cut down pieces of the 1×2 for the top work surface, with the bandsaw.

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I lined the first piece up with the side of the cart and tacked it down.

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To finish the top, I did the same, using a 1×1 as a spacer until I reached the other side.

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I flipped the cart over and added a heavy duty caster in each corner.

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I used a whip to run heavy gauge electrical wire into a box for some plugs.

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I wired up two plugs for plugging in tools.

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Then I screwed them into a cover, and the cover onto the box.

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I wired the other end of the whip to a heavy duty appliance plug, inside of a smaller box.

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I used a connector on the side to clamp the plug wire, and screwed on the cover.

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I marked out the size of the bottom shelf on some expanded steel sheeting.

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I cut it to size with a cut off wheel.

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I used a smaller grinding disc to notch out areas for it to sit around the uprights.

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These notches helped it sit right in place.

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I trimmed down a smaller piece for the top shelf.

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Both shelves got tacked around their edge every two or three inches.

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I attached the plug box on the upper shelf, then held the whip conduit to the frame with zip ties (you can’t weld it).

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I did the same for the smaller box.

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I placed the gas tank on the bottom overhang, up against the cart.

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I welded on a piece of chain close to where the tank sat, on the middle shelf.

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I had a small scrap of flat bar, so I notched it with my bandsaw, making a peg to set the chain on.

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This piece got welded into position so the chain could tightly grab it.

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I loaded up the tools, plugged them in, and it was done!

 

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