Christmas is da bomb at the Webster household. Our kids are at the age where they get presents that even I can play with (think XBox 360), and I get the things that I need, but have been too cheap or too lazy to go buy myself during the first 11 months of the year. My 2005 Christmas list had the usual items on it – tools. Nothing more, nothing less, just a long list of tools that I need.
One of the gifts I received this year was an inexpensive welding cart (part # 90305-3VGA) that my wife picked up at Harbor Freight Tools, manufactured by Chicago Electric. This is a 3-shelf, steel unit that has large rolling wheels in the rear and small casters up front. The cart also sports an area in the back that can hold a full size tank for your MIG welder, along with dual safety chains. There are also two large hooks on either side to hold your ground wire and welding cable, two shelves large enough to hold full-size welding helmets and the whole thing is coated in a tough enamel blue paint. The last thing to note is that the top shelf is tilted for easier access to the welder controls and to prevent the welder from sliding forward when moving it around – nice touch.
Putting the cart together was pretty straightforward. The instructions were horrible, the pictures were worse, but I expected that and took on the challenge. Actually, I solicited help from my 12 year old son and made him put it together while I drank coffee and supervised, but that’s not important. Anyhow, the cart came together in about 20 minutes with common hand tools (pliers and wrenches are all you’re need) and was ready to have my welder and bottle racked up. I would like to have seen a strap or bracket to secure the welder to the cart, but I’ll fashion something up for it with some scrap metal in no time.
With the cart built and loaded, I rolled it out into the garage and have been using for about 2 weeks now. Overall this is a decent welding cart. It isn’t flimsy and supports the weight of the welder, the bottle, some scrap metal and my helmets just fine. The small front casters catch on pebbles and stray lock washers as expected, so I think I’ll probably replace them with some soft rubber casters.
So was it worth the $40 that my wife spent? Absolutely. Is it the highest quality, most durable and rugged welding cart you can buy? Hardly. Will it last 10 years? Nope. But, with another $10 or so in modifications, it can be a decent little, cheap welding cart for our shop until I build something better.