Why Are Welding Carts Angled? The Surprising Answer!
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If you’ve ever been in a steel shop environment, whether you are a welder or just a shop hand, you’ve seen welding machines sitting around. Sometimes they are just stacked in the corner not being used. But the ones that are used fall into two categories. Those with clutter all over them, and those that are neat and tidy.
What often sets these two types of machines apart? The one that is well organized is on an angled welding cart. Of course, the primary purpose of a welding cart is to aid in mobility. If you need to move your machine from one end of the shop to the other, it’ll save you and a buddy from having to lug it around or get a forklift. But many welding carts are intentionally designed to be user-friendly in addition to being easy to transport. Here are the other three main reasons.
The Main Reasons Welding Carts are Angled:
You’re welding in a tight spot. You’ve got your wire feeder suitcase, needle gun, grinder, and tool bag all set up and ready to go. You’ve already crawled inside where you’re going to weld. Now you can’t remember if you’ve set your machine correctly. “Did I change it from the settings I was using to weld that vertical fillet?” Now you have to crawl back out and double-check, which is kind of an ordeal.
But let’s say that your machine is on an angled welding cart. You might be able to look right down at the machine and see that you have already changed your settings. “I thought I was going to have to shimmy out of here again,” you say as you breathe a sigh of relief. Now you can get cozy and get to welding.
Of course, the fact that you might be able to see your machine in a tough situation like this means that it will significantly improve your fabrication habits on the shop floor. Not having to constantly walk back and forth to your welding machine to double-check will save you a lot of time better spent on work.
Believe it or not, the fact that many welding carts are angled can prevent serious and seemingly not-so-serious accidents from occurring. Firstly, because of the angle, the center of gravity on the welding machine is lower and consequently less likely to tip over. A machine with that kind of weight can cause serious accidents. If you drop it on your foot, that’s no good. But aside from personal injury, you don’t want to damage the machine. Save your moolah and buy an angled welding cart.
The other thing that might not seem so serious is the repeated motion of bending over or bending your neck to get a good read on the settings of the machine. But even the slightest wrong turn can cause a back or neck injury. The angled cart will save you from having to bend over.
3. Prevents Clutter
No matter how neat and tidy you are, if you have a flat surface, it’s going to get treated like a work or storage table. Everything from slag hammers, grinders, out-of-commission welding leads, empty energy drink cans, and personal items will find their way to your welding machine. Even if you treat it well, surely one of your less organized co-workers will abuse it. A flat surface can also collect debris from the shop. Welding wire, old slag, grinding dust, can all find their way into your welding machine and damage the electronic components.
But with an angled welding cart, you won’t drop tools on top promising to yourself that you’ll deal with them later. Most of the debris collected will gradually fall off, especially as you move the cart. Of course, it is a good idea to routinely sweep off or blow off your welding machine.
4. Other Features
The beautiful thing about an angled welding cart is that they usually have shelves where you can store a new roll of wire, personal tools, coffee cup, etc. These shelves are usually level surfaces. In addition, these carts usually have a handle to push the cart on the back. This is a perfect spot to roll up and hang your extension cords, extra leads, or oxyfuel hose slack.
Another important feature that some welding carts have is a cylinder mount. This allows you to transport your shielding gas with the machine if you are MIG or Flux-cored welding.
An angled welding cart will save you time, strain on your back, clean-up, and potential damage to your machine. Welding carts can be made from steel, but aluminum is probably a better choice since it is more apt to hold your machine and tools. But at the same time, it is lightweight and easy to cart around. There are a variety of carts out there, but with a little bit of time, you could build your own.
Featured Image Credit: Maksim Safaniuk, Shutterstock