One of the best welding tools you can buy is the StrongHand Tools Build Pro welding table and fixture kit.
No, Its not cheap but for anyone who makes a living doing metal fabrication, But it is worth the investment in my opinion.
I am finishing up a short production run of 10 carts that I framed up using the Build Pro welding table and I was really blown away at how quickly I could put something together.
I built it in stages.
In the first Part 1 video, I put together the side panels.
The welding tools fixture package has enough different stops, and right angle blocks, and riser blocks to allow for all kinds of improvising to hold pretty much anything at any angle. 90 degree angles are a piece of cake.
This video is part 2 where I frame up the carts leaving the top off.
The reason for leaving the top off until last was necessary because of the painting issue.
The shop owner wanted to be able to paint the carts before the lid went on so that he could drop the PVC pipes in from the top and then the only operation left would be to drop the lid on and weld it from underneath to a small area left unpainted that was not visible.
Using metal fabrication tools and fixturing
Taking about 30 minutes to adjust the fixturing is time well spent.
That 30 minutes probably saved me 5 hours of the course of 10 carts.
Next came Fitting, Tacking, and Welding the Stainless Steel Tubing Handle.
In just a couple of minutes, I had a simple way to hold the handle and brackets.
The handle is 1- 1/2" .063" wall thickness 304 stainless and the brackets are 1/4" thick 304 ss cut with a water jet.Waterjet cuts on stainless are nice because for most applications, they don't require any cleaning and are ready to weld as-is.
Tack welds at high amps with a torch switch
Using roughly double the amperage that I would normally use to weld, I use the torch switch to make a very quick high amp tack. If you have never tried this before, make sure to practice on some scrap. Using double amps can be tricky.In this situation, welding amperage is around 60. So I set the machine to 120 for the tacks and just tapped the switch briefly to make the tack welds.
Welding the handles was easy because part of the setup for the framing turned out to be a good height to hold the handles.
Small circles with the tig torch lets me wash the corner over using it as filler metal and is a quick way to get a decent looking weld.
I also used the tig torch to tack the handle to the cart before mig welding the handles on.
Now the carts are ready for the PVC pipe to be installed and part 3 will show framing up the lids, welding the sheet to the lids, and welding the lids to carts.
Also in Part 3 there are a couple of other quick jobs that I did using the build pro table along with fixturing and welding tools.
see part 1 on welding tools