Back in January, '01 I bought a TIG welder; my Christmas present to me, so to speak. It's a Miller Econotig, which was on sale, complete with gas regulator, foot pedal and torch, i.e. everything except a helmet and a bottle of gas, for $1,060.-, tax included.
Before I began on the cart I made a few welds on scrap material and clamped them in the vise so I could beat on the opposite ends with a large hammer. I was unable to separate any of the the two piece assemblies or even to generate a crack, so my confidence was increasing. I knew I'd have to get in more practice, but it was nice to know that the welds I had tested held up beyond my wildest expectations.
By the end of January I had made my first few purposeful welds on a pair of upper support racks for a plywood storage cart, but with the weather turning nasty and one thing and another I never got around to painting them, so I couldn't really call that a done deal. But after one day of doodling, 2 days of gathering needed materials and a week of welding I managed to complete my first ever large welding project: a rolley-cart for the new welder!
Some of the welds are pretty ugly, particularly the ones in corners, but the butt joints are solid. And now that it's painted (blue, like everything else in the shop) it looks pretty good! The welder had been perched sideways and barely off of the floor on the old rolley-cart liberated from the wood pile near the fireplace. I was therefore very happy when I was able to hoist the welder off of that contraption and onto the new one. Now the Econotig sits at a right convenient height and and all of its ancillary bits are tucked away neatly, too.
I made a lower shelf for the foot pedal and a box of torch parts. Behind the axle there's another shorter shelf for the argon bottle. All in all I'm quite pleased.
|Front view: I bent up some 3/16in. steel wire and attached it to the left side of the cart handle, to have a place to set down the torch between welds (hey, I'm a lefty!). All the tubing used to build the cart is .09in. wall 1in. square.
|Side View: I bent up some heavier 5/16in. steel rod and welded it about mid-way along the left side, so I would have a place to hang all of the cables and such. Gloves are joined with a spring clamp which can be hung on the torch hook.
|Rear View: I made a brace about 3/4 of a bottle length from the bottom and I welded on two strips of metal, notched to grab a chain that will hold the bottle safely in place. Until I found the right kind of chain I made do with bunjee cord.
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