Welcome to the Corvette Forums at the Corvette Action Center!

suggested first welding project


Well-known member
Apr 17, 2001
Loxahatchee, FL, Palm Beach co
Ok Ill assume your looking into purchaseing or already have purchased your first DECENT SHOP welder, something like a 220 volt 180-350 amp range, in a ARC,MIG, or TIG and in most cases it both HEAVY and doesn,t come with a cart, so youll need one, so it makes an easy and necessary first project
example ,
the three main welders in my shop
MY LINCOLN ARC welder weights 630LBS
THE MILLER TIG weights 930lbs
the MILLER MIG is a newer model and weights only about 200lbs \
ALL WITHOUT the argon tank(thats easily 180lbs extra)

YOUR BOUND TO HAVE A STEEL SUPPLY STORE NEAR YOU, THEY WILL GENERALLY CUT THE STEEL TO LENGTH FOR MINIMAL COST, IF you PAY extra and know the lenghts and type of steel, since cutting steel can be a P.I.T.A. without the correct tools ID strongly advise useing thier services as they are far more likely to get it correct on the first try,
measure the welder base add about 3/4" for clearance in width and 10" extra length ,
lets say the welder measures 24" bye 40" (your cart would be 24.375" bye 50" so youll want two 50" sections of 3" angle and two 24.375 sections of 3" angle in this example and 5 sections of 1" box 24.375" long)and use that as the cart width,& length,
youll of course use the real dim. of your welder)
Id suggest using 3" angle iron as its both easy to weld and nearly indestructable in use, lay the angle iron on the concrete floor , on top of a sheet of junk plywood ,to tack weld with one edge flat, (THE EDGE youve had cut at a 45 degee angle) and one edge strait up an the two long edges parrallel, have the supplier cut two that width ,they weld the same way with the edge up placed inside the two sides so theres a rough 3" corner seam on each corner, and a 3" lip all the way around, USE A CARPENERS SQUARE and CHECK the 90 DEGREE CORNER STRAITNESS BEFORE DOING MORE THAN TACK WELDING, once its strait and level and tack welded move it to the welding bench or place it on a sheet of expendable plywood as you don,t want to be welding dirrectly on concrete as it bioth chips and stains if you do) youll want the corners cut at 45 degrees, so the inside flat on the floor sides shorter and the outside vertical edge is longer ,so they form a large rectangular pan with no center, but a lip thats 3" all the way around to set the welder on, buy five sections of 1" box steel the same width and weld those parralel to the front and back edge on the bottom base and the second of each pair about 3" in towards the middle but parralel, too the ends to weld the four SWIVEL caster wheels on the base too, (use at least 350-500 lb rated swivel casters so you can easily move the welder in the shop, and bolting the casters to the drilled 1" box before welding is not a bad idea here) this prevents flexing, weld the fifth 1" box steel ,vertical and weld a strap to keep the tank steady if you have an argon tank, if not the extra length can be used to store supplies......BTW some guys drop a piece of 3/4" plywood in to form a floor for the welder to sit on, (not a bad idea) QUESTIONS?
BTW 1/4-3/8" thick 3" angle iron is fairly hard to screw up with bad welds and a good place to practice your first welds on those 45 degree corner seams, the 4 parrelel box steel cross braces the casters mount too further increase the stiffness and strength, when youve finnished you can paint the cart and youll have learned a good deal about how your welder works....btw most welders come with instructions as to hooking up the ground clamps, type of sticks, or wire and settings so read the instructions BEFORE STARTING AND DON,T EXPECT TO GET IT 100% CORRECT ON THE FIRST TRY
if you can,t smoke the tires from a 60mph rolling start your engine needs work!
looking to buy a used welder?
BTW, if your looking to buy a welder ID strongly advise taking a course on welding FIRST so you understand what your looking at and what to expect and so you have a good feel for what your looking to do and what equipment is necessary,then stop by a few large welding shops and ask the owner if hes ever considered upgrading his equipment? stop by a few welder dealers and ask about trade ins.?
most will jump at the chance to unload older equipment if given a reasonable offer, the TRICK is knowing EXACTLY what your looking at, having a good idea as to age and condition and value and getting a DEAL, Id generally avoid anything priced higher than 1/2-1/3 of current retail.
but be fair! include all the accessories in the bid!
look around your local area for the guy or guys that do welder repairs, they can very often get you a decent deal on a used welder or point you to someone whos looking to upgrade thier current equipment that you might be able to make a good deal for on thier older equipment.
just stick to name brands , and ID STRONGLY ADVISE STICKING TO WELDERS that REQUIRE a 220volt single phase electrical feed
because having access to parts and service and manuals is MANDATORY
if you do buy equipment thats USED ask for a demonatration on BOTH the thin sheet metal like patching a fender and exhaust pipes and thicker 1/4-3/8" thick stuff

DON,t forget the welder requires a MATCHED electrical feed in your garage and it may require a tank of shield gas and may require accessories or longer cords, and consumables like wire for MIG units or sticks of filler rod for stick or tig welders, all those things add up fast!

Corvette Forums

Not a member of the Corvette Action Center?  Join now!  It's free!

Help support the Corvette Action Center!

Supporting Vendors


MacMulkin Chevrolet - The Second Largest Corvette Dealer in the Country!



Advertise with the Corvette Action Center!

Double Your Chances!


Top Bottom